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Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB

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A draft paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for Small and Medium Businesses. …

A draft paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for Small and Medium Businesses.
This was presented at the Linux Asia Conference in India in 2006.

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  • 1. Project Name: Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Document version: 1.0 Prepared for: Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Prepared by: Rahul Dewan, Suman Debnath Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd, India; www.srijan.in Date: 06 January 2006 Purpose of this document This document is a draft paper for presentation at Linux Asia 2006, prepared for review and approval of the conference organising committee.Project Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 1 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 2. 1. What ails Indian websites Clearly, a majority of websites of Indian companies are not ready for attracting business - national or international. We do not mean “E-Commerce ready”; but a large number of them are not even ready to generate enquiries and leads from their website. In order to be able to have website business ready, for receiving enquiries, they must have: 1. good content strategy, intuitive navigation and pleasant visual designs 2. well managed content; updated regularly 3. be well promoted in search engines 4. possible use of customer relationship tools to handle business enquiries transparently/with accountability Typically, all these basic requirements are missing, in most Indian websites. The most neglected is content, which is central to the whole exercise. Even if the navigation is intuitive, and visual design is done to acceptable levels, the content is normally very dated in most websites originating from India - Govt, NGOs, Education and Research organisations and even businesses. 2. Requirements of a typical Website Relevant well-managed and regularly updated Content is central to the success of any website, whatever its purpose maybe - information dissemination; generate business enquiries; generate user feedback; build a community. Consider a business website, of typically any business - IT, Tourism, Manufcaturing, Trading, Print Media (wishing to publish their content online - maybe subscription based) or Services. All these businesses need to do all or some of the following: • announce new products/highlight old ones • talk about latest news and events • list all services offered - which may change, as your business grows and evolves • maybe post Job openings • post some recent articles or Case Studies • Maintain your contact information (with the changing TRAI policies, nos. of private companies are changing too frequently for comfort - if not your letterheads atleast theProject Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 2 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 3. website must have latest phone nos.) • have a SiteMap (possibly a Google compliant sitemap), which gets updated easily • promote this website in Google (website should be Google friendly) • Have human readable URLs which can be individually marketed (unlike complex id strings that appear in most database driven websites) Additionally, you may have some of the more complex requirements: • Department Heads should be able to update and manage relevant portions of the websites • Website should be multi-lingual • Feedback forms, or Sign a Guest book; enquiry Forms • Send out E-Newsletters (HTML formatted with Images or Plain text - maybe offer that choice to the customer) • Allow people to subscribe through the website; and unsubscribe when they recieve an e-newsletter • Manage job postings frequently, with online applications reaching different departments within your organisation • Some CRM functionality • E-Commerce ready website • Some specific software requirements for making the website interactive for a customer, such as generate printable PDF catalogues of your products real-time (updated with latest content and product pictures as updated on the website); OR setup a database of members, as in the case of a networking/community portal 3. Infrastructure to manage all this You probably know all this and have burning business needs - but may have the following concerns: • implementation of such a large-scale websites are too high • even if one time implementation done, dependence on technical people, for maintenance, remains (who swith jobs far too often for anyone’s comfort) • an alternative is to outsource to a web agency who will help you maintain. Well, ofcourse, they are quite expensive as well, and do not, very often, have a reasonable turn-around timeProject Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 3 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 4. 4. Enter - Content Management Systems Manage Content Yourself! CMSs enable you to do that, and as simplistically, as you would manage Documents or Spreadsheets. But what about the Licence Costs for such CMSs? If you are a Print Media company, it is very likely, that you have explored some CMSs on the market, and the License costs are unbearable. Listed below are some Commercial CMSs. The cost of these commercial CMSs ranges from US$25,000 to US$200,000. (CMSWatch also has a comparison list of features of different CMS products. Typo3 has most features built-in or as extensions that cost extra in commercial CMS products i.e. not covered by the base price) Enterprise CMS: • Documentum • Interwoven • Vignette Upper Tier: • MS - Content Management Server • FatWire • IBM Workplace WCM Mid-Market: • CoreMedia CMS 2005 • Red Dot Classification taken from : http://www.cmswatch.com/CMS/Report/Vendors/ Costs are not surveyed; based on reports available on the Web 5. Enter Open Source GPLed Content Management Systems Well mostly, all GPLed CMSs are available free or atleast some core is available free, with add- on features being commercial open source. Here’s a list of some popular Open Source CMSs: • Typo3 • Drupal • Plone/Zope • eZPublishProject Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 4 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 5. • Midgard • OpenCMS 6. Typo3 Open Source Content Management Framework Our presentation is focused on Typo3, as we’re experts in this framework. Some key advantages of Typo3: (Please see http://typo3.org/about/statistics/) • Very well-documented Open Source project • Over 11,000 ready-to-implement (out of the box) extensions for immediate use in your website • Granular Access Control • A predictable development Roadmap for development upto 2007 (your investment is safe) • A huge developer community of over 20,000 (and growing, even in India; there is a TUG India) • An Association (called the Typo3 Association) with democratically elected members, who give direction and do development considering future needs of businesses • Some wonderful Core Applications such as Digital Assets Management, Database Abstraction, Workflow Engine, E-Commerce, others are built-in, which will make it one of the most advanced ready-to-implement CMS across industries 7. Out of Box applications Typo3 has a simple extension deployment mechanism in any website – connect to the Extension Repository from within Typo3 Ext Manager and choose an extension. No copying files/folders etc. Lets have a look at some of the important extensions in Typo3 or those built by us: Extension name Description tt_news Touted as a CMS within a CMS; News, Article management TemplaVoila A new template mapping tool which includes an API for using the results (Template Objects) and a new content element for flexible content. Get a website within 3 minutes; tt_products E-Commerce plug-in; Multiple product categories; Referrals discounts mgmt, Gift Coupons; Bulk purchase discounts; integration with 3rd party Payment gatewaysProject Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 5 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 6. Extension name Description Newsletter Send out TML/plain-text newsletters to subscribers base; Subscribe/UnSubscribe; Analytics HtmlArea RTE Rich Text Editor based on the open source htmlArea editor. PDF Generator Uses open source FPDF Library; another version with PDML being written. Allows real-time generation of Invoices, Product Catalogues, in custom layouts Documentation Center To make a centralised Document Creation/Update system; DocBooks > LaTex > PDF; An online Open Office. 8. Other Factors 8.1. Security 8.1.1. Security Team Security is taken very seriously by the developers of TYPO3. The visible part of that concern is that there is an explicit TYPO3 Security Team. URL: http://typo3.org/teams/security/. TYPO3 Security Measures include • Security reviews for the TYPO3 core • Security as a major part in TYPO3 extension reviewing • Monitoring and response to potential security issues • Enhancements in TYPO3s security features Security News: http://news.typo3.org/news/teams/security/) 8.1.2. Security Update Process To continually address Security concerns, there is a Typo3 Security Team, formed by volunteers from around the world, which addresses Security Bulletins issued by testers and implementers from around the world. With the help of teams, volunteers, consultancies, and independent developers, over the years, TYPO3 has become very mature in many respects, one of which is the seriousness that is being put on security matters. The current release 3.8.1 contains several improvements listed at: http://news.typo3.org/news/article/security-bulletins-important-security-enhancements-in-typo3- 3-8-1/.Project Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 6 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 7. 8.2. Performance The following charts were generated using a test with 300 concurrent users (front-end) and 5 backend editors. Interpreted as visits, this adds up to about 4,000 visits per hour. This test was done on a Dual Xeon 2.6 System with 4-GB RAM, on Linux running apache 1.3.x, php 4.3.x, MySQL 4.0.x. A test setup including a complete TYPO3 3.7.0 (extensions: real_url, index_search) with about 240 virtual hosts and 20,000 pages was installed on the server. Please note the Maximum Hits (HTTP Requests) of 123 per second, which Typo3 was tested at. This proves the reliability and performance Typo3. Squid and other Caching mechanisms Using Squid or other Caching Mechanisms, or possible use of the commercial Zend Platform, can even further enhance its performance. Source: http://tuga.at/uploads/media/paper15.pdfProject Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 7 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 8. 9. Case Studies 9.1. Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd BTVL had a website which was completely in HTML. Maintenance was done by their internal resources, and updates were cumbersome and irregular. Their Investor communitys surveys ranked the website very poorly. Srijan, with its skill in Usability and User-Centred design, visually made the website pleasant and investor/media centric, and implemented Typo3 CMS for maintaining it on an ongoing basis. • During Quarterly announcement, there is a window of only a couple of hours and all documents have to be readied on the website, within this period as announcements are made. • Typically, this would have required good co-ordination of a team of a 2-3 people web team. • Right now, 1 person from Srijan manages this single-handedly. • Communication to Investors on important Press Releases is regular and seamless Although BTVL is yet to implement a CMS on its Airtel websites, a user-experience on a competing company had the following experience: This company has recently updated their website. This has enabled users to view and manage their accounts. However they have not managed to take into account a few simple details. Like when you try to view your monthly bill online you are provided with a “the page cannot be displayed” popup and a message “To view your bill in shortest possible time please go to Tools on your tool bar and select Options. Choose privacy and set it at “LOW”. Why do we need to change the privacy settings to view a page on a site one has logged on ? This shows a decided lack of thought and putting together pages on a piecemeal basis. With a CMS plus a validating server like A-Select (if necessary for advanced validation), we could avoid this break in user expectations. In an enterprise CMS like Typo3, you are not creating physical pages as such rather a node in a page tree. Also, it encourages and goads the users towards a very structured page system. Also, Typo3 has its built in granular access control system. So such weird situations though not impossible but highly improbable. 9.2. Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations CISCE wanted to have a student portal, and make the website increasingly interactive. We had been maintaining the website in 2003-04 as well, and after a decent design, as the content grew, it became increasingly difficult to maintain the website. All Notice and content uploads had to be done manually because of restrictions of both technology and funds, available with and to us, respectively. We convinced CISCE to LeapFrog to Typo3, and use it slowly steadily to build a big studentProject Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 8 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 9. community online. Results: • Content Updations are now seamless, without intervention of HTML/FTP tools • CISCE personnel are happier having access to management of Notices themselves • Planning some major Student-School initiatives • Online Forms for entry by schools are being designed, to cut out on the physical filling and tracking 9.2.1. BSG Institute They are an organisation (HQ – USA) building online communities of professionals in Business Process Management and Service Oriented Architecture; having regular publications of White Papers, Articles, Presentations, etc. and have a subscriptions based model. Earlier websites were becoming unmanageable, as new requirements and new business initiatives kept cropping up. Moved to Typo3 – convinced by a partner company in USA. • Have now over 6 websites, with cross-publication of articles, presentations, white papers, others; Featuring these on any of the websites centrally through a common team of Sales personnel • Built modules for allowing sponsors to put up their own articles, papers, etc. • Featured articles are managed in a complex process across websites seamlessly • Discussions on to deploy a Single-Sign-On, “A-Select” server for allowing Sales people to navigate between sister websites seamlessly 10. Who is using Typo3? 10.1. Businesses • Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd • Dassault Systems • New York Times • DHL • Volkswagen • 3M • GE • T-Mobile • Omega Watches 10.2. Social • UNICEF, GermanyProject Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 9 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in
  • 10. • MAPPA Asia 10.3. Government • Munich City, e-Governance apps • Dutch Government, Education initiatives across all schools in Netherlands • US Air Force (under construction) 10.4. Education and Research • CISCE • Stanford • Harvard • University of Frankfurt 11. Live Demo Time for a Live Demo... (7-8 minute demo)Project Name : Draft Paper on Open Source Content Management Systems for SMB Page 10 of 10Document ver : 1.0Customer : Presentation at Linux Asia 2006 Copyright © 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd. www.srijan.in

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