Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The CMS Vendor meme - a.k.a. CMS vendor reality check

We have been challenged by Day to participate in the CMS Vendor Meme. To repeat:

The rules
  • A CMS vendor is challenged to honestly answer all items on the "Reality checklist for vendors" suggested by CMSWatch's Kas Thomas (aka the "we-get-it checklist for vendors").
  • If possible the vendor has supply screenshots, links or other means to make it easy to verify the answers.
  • The answers also need to be supplied in a short form of one to three stars (denoting "no", "sort-of", "yes").
  • Answering all questions on his blog allows the vendor tag some other WCMS vendors.
  • A tagged vendor should provide a link back to the blog that tagged him.
So here we go:
1. Our software comes with an installer program - Yes

Yes, download the EE trial and you can choose between various bundles meeting your needs, including an installer. All files are installed in a single folder, no additional software except Java is needed. To uninstall either use the uninstaller installed by the installer, or simply remove the folder.

2. Installing or uninstalling our software does not require a reboot of your machine - Yes

No restart required. Why are you asking?

3. You can choose your locale and language at install time, and never have to see English again after that - Yes

You can chose the installer language, but the default locale when you start up Magnolia is English. You can change that in the user preferences for each user separately, so if you have a globally distributed team speaking 15 different languages, no sweat.

4. Eval versions of the latest edition(s) of our software are always available for download from the company website - Yes

Not only eval versions, but even completely functional versions are available from Magnolia - a free trial of a complete Enterprise Edition or a completely free Open-Source Community Edition is available for immediate download.

5. Our WCM software comes with a fully templated "sample web site" and sample workflows, which work out-of-the-box - Yes

Oh yes. And not only is it a sample site, it is a a production-ready, search-engine-optimized, accessible site that works on any browser. CSS driven. XHTML. State of the art.

6. We ship a tutorial - Yes

We provide all documentation online, including a 300 page user manual. No registration required.

7. You can raise a support issue via a button, link, or menu command in our administrative interface - Yes

Yep, link to our issue-tracker is right in AdminCentral.

8. All help files and documentation for the product are laid down as part of the install - Sort of

All Magnolia documentation is online. Link is right in AdminCentral (see above). As a side-note, I don't think it is a great idea to deliver documentation directly with the product, because it bloats the download and is outdated before it is read.

9. We run our entire company website using the latest version of our own WCMproducts - Sort of

Nearly. Unlike Day, we did not have three years time to release our latest generation of software, and since we just released Magnolia 4.0 last week, I am afraid we did not have time to upgrade our site yet. We'll do it as soon as we have managed to call back all those prospects that inquire about us these days.

10. Our salespeople understand how our products work- Yes

Salespeople? That's a bit last century, no? But the people you talk to know how Magnolia works, because the people you talk to are the people who developed it.

11. Our software does what we say it does - Yes

Of course. We tend to say less and let the software speak for itself though.

12. We don't charge extra for our SDK - Yes

Of course not. We don't even charge for the software unless you want our supported Enterprise Edition.

13. Our licensing model is simple enough for a 5-year-old to understand - Yes

You can get one version for free. You get a better, supported version for 12k $ per server per year. Simple enough for a five year old.

14. We have one price sheet for all customers - Yes

Yes, and Magnolia prices are published on the web. We do give discounts to non-profits and educational clients, though.

15. Our top executives are on Skype, Twitter, or some similar channel, and: Feel free to contact them directly at any time - Yes

CEO Pascal Mangold: Twitter
CTO Boris Kraft: Twitter
... and we are always happy to talk to you on the phone or in person.

And we are tagging:

Jahia, Alfresco, OpenCMS, Hippo, EZ, Core Media, dotCMS