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Is Liferay DXP an Alternative to Adobe
The other day I was having drinks with a non-client friend who told me that his company had recently
decided to build their new web presence using Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a platform. He
explained that his company had purchased Experience Manager, after a comparatively brief round of
Enterprise Class Content Management System (CMS) comparison shopping, primarily because they recognized
Adobe, and thought of it as "trusted brand" with the resources to improve their product going forward.
Which begs the question: How well does Adobe Experience Manager actually stack up to a competitor like
the Liferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP) and which one best matches up to the needs of similar
Experience Manager and Liferay DXP are two platforms often pitted against one another in "which Web
Content Management (WCM) solution—a Web CMS or a Portal Tool—best fits our project" contests. If
you’ve also been comparing the two, here are a few pointers to help you distinguish strengths and
weaknesses of Adobe Experience Manager (formerly CQ5) and Liferay’s new Digital Experience Platform.
Content Management Systems and Web Content Management
First, let’s go over what we mean by a WCM. Web Content Management products are solutions that allow
users to control content that’s consumed via one or more digital channels through the use of core
repository based management software. The purpose of any WCM is to support the authoring, formatting,
collaboration, and administration by marketing or design professionals without expert knowledge of
programming or markup languages. Business users typically don’t care how the gears turn under the hood
but price point, adaptability to search or usability concerns, ease of content creation and deployment
matter to them a lot.
That said, as a category, Web Content Management tools encompass two distinct software approaches.
Content Management Systems like Adobe AEM and Portal Tools like Liferay’s Digital Experience Platform.
Content management systems like Adobe AEM focus on building a page of content then providing
a mechanism to integrate web applications. So a CMS wants to display the policy or help for changing
your benefits information and then give you a link to launch the benefits web page or application.
So CMS solutions have great tools for building pages and placing various types of content on pages
Portal Tools like Liferay DXP on the other hand focus on delivering integrated web applications,
of which content is but one part. For example, when you think of an intranet portal, you might
think about how to provide self-service access to your HR or Payroll Systems, which allow users
to update their health benefit info or enter changes to their withholding tax levels. But at the
same time, you need to house content such as your company’s PTO Policy. So the main focus is
surfacing and integrating the aforementioned applications while providing a home for the content
You can see the differences between these two approaches. Both are concerned with building web pages.
Both want to provide access to both content and web applications, but portal tools start with an application
centric view of pages while content management systems start with content centric views of those pages.
How Do Liferay DXP and Adobe Experience Manager Compare?
Experience Manager is a primarily a digital asset management focusedenterprise class CMS. It’s equippedwith
a variety of features designed to help users manage their company’s content. It has well developed sharing
tools and boasts features designed to help companies secure their digital assets. Overall, Experience Manager
aptly providesthefeatures andtools users needtoorganize,manage andsecuretheir company’s digitalassets.
The Liferay Digital Experience Platform by contrast is an open-source enterprise-grade platform developed
for business users who need to create and connect personalized digital experiences across web, mobile,
social, in store and other touchpoints. It provides both the solid technical foundation—built in security,
app integration and modularity—your digital platform need to deliver customer specific content experiences
and a suite of business value features designed to support customer data mining and behavioral analytics.
In short, AEM is a great at deploying content whereas DXP is great at tuning content touchpoints into data.
Liferay DXP vs Adobe AEM According to Reviewers
Now Here’s What Those AEM vs DXP Grades Mean
Corporate vs. Open Source Development: Experience Manager is backed by a large ongoing development
budget but Liferay is open-source, meaning that you can develop new or enhance existing features to suit you
without waiting for Adobe to maybe get around to it.
Investment:AccordingtoAdobe,the averagecost ofanAEMlicense with implementation isaround$450,000
while Liferay DXP starts at around $30, 000. Experience Manager has a marketing content targeting mode and
DXP has an audience targeting app that perform essentially the same function. The AEM license you purchase
will “Per Instance” (i.e. one license, one website) whereas your Liferay license will be “Multi-Tenant” meaning
that if your needs include sites for multiple brands or individual service sectors you’ll be free to build them at
no extra cost.
Integration: AEM was designed to perform fabulously when integrated with Adobe Services such as Marking
Cloud, Liferay was literally developed with integration into your existing business processes in mind.
Is It Time for You to Give Liferay DXP a Closer Look?
So you can see, if your company has money to burn, time to wait on updates based on official Adobe R&D
and primarily need to rollout content for easy consumption on your social media channels, Adobe
Experience Manager might be the enterprise class CMS for you. If however, you’d rather spend less for an
open-source platform that you can haved updated to match your company’s specific requirements and
need to extract actionable busines intellenge from each custom designed and delivered interaction your
consumers have with your content across web and mobile platforms it’s probably time to give Liferay DXP