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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