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Jahia's Java-Based CMS Leaps Into Crowded Race

Analysts note that it's almost impossible for any new content management system to compete with the likes of Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal.

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Jahia is now shipping the latest release of its enterprise content management (ECM) platform. Version 6.5 features several new capabilities including building composite user interfaces without development and the consolidation of Web, portal, social, search, mobile, and content management into one user experience.

Jahia's open source, Java-based ECM is somewhat unique in a market that is flooded with PHP-based tools. Some may question the use of Java for ECM, simply because PHP has dominated the market for so long. Nevertheless, Jahia is betting that its ECM platform will deliver reliability and ease of use due to the incorporation of an architecture that relies on a mature, open source Java project that uses a module-based design normally found in PHP solutions.

The company claims that Jahia 6.5 offers the best of both worlds by combining the modular ease of PHP on top of the latest powerful Java frameworks, which makes it easy to build user-centric, content-rich applications combining any type of enterprise and Web content.

However, gaining a foothold or increasing market share may prove to be a challenge for Jahia. Brett Martin, CEO of the Exigo Group, a channel enablement consultancy, said, "Jahia is not really even a player in the CMS [content management system] world, and I have never used it. I can't take a chance as I don't know if it will be secure, have continued support, etc." Martin added, "This breaks it down into the GOOD, THE BAD, and the UGLY as to market share. Jahia is in the ugly category, they aren't even in the top 20 CMS in installations. It is almost impossible to for any new CMS to compete with the top 4: Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and DotNetNuke."

Nevertheless, Jahia's take on market success is a bit different. "Jahia 6.5 makes module creation easier than ever before--more like a PHP solution such as Drupal--which is unheard of among Java platforms," said Emmanuel Garcin, VP of Jahia Solutions Group. "Our new release supports the smooth delivery of data from any source, and our new Jahia Studio enables users to compose composite content applications with zero coding. Jahia 6.5 is the first iteration of a great journey ahead, together with our community, customers, and partners, to build 'content-smart' business solutions."

Version 6.5 extends Jahia's CMS beyond traditional content management and allows content managers to build composite business applications that incorporate active content. Jahia has accomplished that by integrating new components, such as eXtended Content Management, which allows both technical and non-technical users to adjust the interface and work in an intuitive fashion that fits their particular skill sets. Examples include a drag-and-drop content contribution mode for non-technical users, while a traditional edit mode is geared towards advanced users. Other capabilities include a new translation mechanism, advanced search, social capabilities, versioning and workflows.

Major features include:

-- Jahia Studio for fine-grained template customization and drag-and-drop website assembly using ready-made components;
-- JahiaApps Forge, a community-based marketplace of ready-made templates and application modules;
-- Choice of a wide variety of scripting languages, including PHP and jsp;
-- HTML5 delivery of multimedia and graphical content, without the need for proprietary plugins and APIs;
-- Drag-and-drop creation of blogs, wikis, forums, and data-driven charts and graphs;
-- myConnections interaction from Jahia's interface; and
-- Sustainable open source business model, which Jahia says is the first guaranteed enterprise contribution program in professional open source.

In the Jahia 6.5 announcement statement, Glenn Korban, beta partner and director of technology at Oshyn, said, "my personal bias in choosing my Top 5 exciting features in Jahia 6.5 is geared toward those features I think can best help our development team deliver high-value features for our clients and deliver solutions as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible."

The real question about the new version's viability comes down to market share penetration. Can the new features and drag-and-drop capabilities sway users of competitive products to give Jahia 6.5 a try?

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User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2011 | 11:59:33 PM
re: Jahia's Java-Based CMS Leaps Into Crowded Race
Quoting someone who never even looked Jahia CMS that GǣI can't take a chance as I don't know if it will be secure, have continued support, etc.,Gǥ doesnGt seem fair to Jahia, after all the work they put into their 6.5 release. Why didnGt you contact some of JahiaGs enterprise clients, such as the European Parliament, the United Nations, Ben & Jerry's, or Abercrombie & Fitch, who have been using the system for years to see if they have issues with security or support?
User Rank: Apprentice
6/15/2011 | 10:06:09 PM
re: Jahia's Java-Based CMS Leaps Into Crowded Race
Might be of interest to mention that the Java marketplace in Jahia =Jahiapps, allows to add applications in ANY scripting language, open source or commercial alike.
elie auvray
elie auvray,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/15/2011 | 12:00:35 PM
re: Jahia's Java-Based CMS Leaps Into Crowded Race
Hi Franck,

In principle, we agree with Brett Martin, that launching a "community-based PHP CMS" is a VERY challenging undertaking. Although, especially in our sector, upheavals can take place quickly.

But that is not exactly what Jahia is proposing.

As a CMS Jahia is based on a singular vision: web application convergence (web, document, and portal) unified by the simplicity-of-use concepts of web management tools.

This innovative, functional convergence is undeniably accelerating, driven by business' demand for IT solutions. It has also resulted in a merging of the web application markets, the delineation of which essentially hinged on a technological separation that has been rendered obsolete.

Where technology structures markets (portlet > portal, files/document > DM), the principal motor of the current structural revolution in the web development software market is the necessary consideration of the multiple facets (collaboration, sharing, search, creation, grouping) of web development. This holds true regardless of their user-base (public, intra/extranet), the client platform (web, phone, tablet), the original market of the editors which all converge toward unification, and the development language and platform. JAVA is demonstrably one the most important platforms, on the order of PHP and Microsoft environments.

Jahia, as a CMS, does not try to compete with these frameworks as we are not PHP based. Jahia rather draws inspiration from the best general ideas those communities have to offer the JAVA community, which lacks the speed and simplicity of the world of PHP CMS development.

Essentially, the key to rapid development is a product's capacity to deploy simply with efficient development tools. This is what made Drupal a success along with a number of other PHP projects. With the concept of JahiApps, and its rich, powerful construction tool, Jahia Studio, we have put into practice exactly that which our clients and partners of many years (including a 12-month beta program) were looking for, and which we designed in the tri-fold manner: (1) the modular nature of PHP (2) within a JAVA environment (3) with a drag-and-drop graphical development tool capable of constructing an application on a indispensable foundation library of functions and application modules--ready to use, but totally customizable.

That is why when it comes to PHP's modularity, we do not claim to be "better than", but rather "inspirited by".

It is a nuance that is fundamental to a convergence between the communities, regardless of the underlying technologies. We even have left ourselves the option of using PHP as a scripting language for our modules (thanks to another great open source projet, Quercus).

Inversely and in a similar manner, it would be complicated to develop an alternative JAVA Content Repository given the lead taken by the Apache Foundation's Jack Rabbit project, or that of our other open source friend, Nuxeo (JAVA based ECM), named Apricot with the Eclipse foundation.

In contrast, though it is clear that the norm is JAVA-based (JCR= "Java" Content Repository), the structure and concept of the project is echoed in the PHP community, notably in the Jackalope project: "Jackalope is an open source PHP implementation of the PHPCR API, which is a PHP adaption of the Java Content Repository (JCR) standard, an open API specification defined in JSR-170/283. Jackalope's test-driven development aims to provide full client functionality for Apache Jackrabbit, the JCR reference implementation as well as being a base to build a full PHP Content Repository with no Java backend involved."

Good ideas tend to spread, and be carried across to different development communities, and that is what we have done with the structure of our modules (inspired by the modularity of PHP, and with the capability to use php as their scripting / presentation language).

Once again, the idea of convergence, and the convergence of ideas is neither UGLY, nor BAD, but rather GOOD, isn't that so?

All the best,

Elie Auvray
CEO of Jahia
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