CMS Intranet - How to make right choice
What is CMS INTRANET?
CMS Intranet is a collaboration platform build with content management systems for enterprises and communities. Lot of CMS Intranet softwares are available in market. Here I will discuss about best available CMS Intranets in market. Choice of a CMS Intranet should be based on business requirements. CMS (content management system) is software that provides facilities for creating, publishing, editing and updating contents of a website with minimum programming efforts. Intranet is a private network within an organization which acts as a tool to facilitate data sharing and communication between people. Emergence of social web created a demand for enterprises to have a social intranet within the organization. This social intranet will be capable of connecting employees within the organization, sharing resources, one stop entry to organization knowledge base and integrating business process automization. We can consider this social intranet as an enterprise level software product. This product can be build with content management systems and here lies the significance of CMS INTRANET. There are lot of hypes buzzing around this enterprise intranet software in internet. The purpose of writing this article is to give details about the popular software available in market to the readers and help them to choose appropriate one for their needs. This list is prepared based on the usage statistics of each cms in internet and its enterprise level product capabilities.
How to choose good software for developing CMS INTRANET?
In internet market you will get lot of cms solutions; many times it becomes a difficult task to choose one from the basket. A good cms intranet choice should always focus on two questions.
1) What are my requirements?
2) How much I can afford?
Every cms sticks to the common niche features but differs in their way of implementing, developing and extending the core, so the choice must focus on business requirements. You can use the check points below to rate cms based on your requirements.
· Efficiency and quality
· Current usage and development statistics
· Ease of use (installation, development , upgrade and end user friendliness)
· Scope of expandability
· Availability of good documentation and support
· Availability of third part modules
List of popular cms intranet softwares
No doubt, wordpress is the top one cms in internet. WP core is build with PHP. Majority of seo bloggers use wordpress because of the simplicity and ease of use, it holds the half share of cms market. It doesn’t require programming knowledge to keep a wordpress site. WP is meant for end users. Basic functionality can be extended with additional plugins to develop shopping carts and intranet portals. If you don’t like to code much and require a platform focussed much on wikis or blogs then wordpress is the best option.
· Free and open source
· Active community support for plugins
· Easy to use
· Large collection of themes
· Good for SEO.
· Automatic updates
· Blog centric
· Difficult to develop business process solutions
· Not a good option if your business requirements grow beyond WP capabilities
It is an award winning cms build with PHP. You will get lot of articles in internet regarding the comparisons between Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal. Joomla is not as flexible as Drupal in terms of coding. But it is a good option if you want a good looking site to impress the users and visitors.
· Free and open source
· Intuitive administration interface
· Designer friendly
· Good for those who don’t want to lose their money to hire designers to develop the UI.
· Good community support
· Most of the third party modules come with a price.
· Coding is not flexible
· Doesn’t support multisite
If you are a good developer and requires a CMS Intranet with out of box capabilities then Drupal is for you. It is well known by the community activities with more than 15K developers and contributed modules which make it as the third most used cms in internet. It is fair to refer it as a content management framework because of its extensive customization possibilities. Lot of other open source distributions can be merged with it. Civicrm, Ubercart are some examples. Multisite is another unique feature of Drupal, it is possible to run multiple websites with single Drupal installation. The usage of software is expanding quickly and it is used widely by the corporate world. All modules in the community come with zero cost. Theming in Drupal is bit painful when compared to Joomla.
· Free and open source
· Multisite support
· Good option for developers
· Large module library
· Integration with other open source products like Civicrm, Ubercart eg
· Best for those who require more customizations in their CMS Intranet
· Theming is not flexible
· Document collaboration is not up to the mark (Expecting improvements in future releases)
SharePoint comes from the product house of world’s most successful software vendor. It is a one stop solution for all needs but comes with a price. You will get a free version if you are running a windows server but requires payment for further third party modules. SP is a hit in enterprise level domain especially for building CMS Intranets and also opened wide range of job opportunities for developers. For SP installation and product development one requires the support of an experienced .NET professional. If you are having .NET development resources and ready to spend money to buy a recognised brand product then choose SP.
· Enhanced document management
· Strong integration with rest of Microsoft stack
· Good for Project Management
· For more customizations third part modules comes with price
· Not seo friendly
Typo3 is well known as an enterprise publishing platform because of its high end grade features. It is widely used by high profiles to build complex web solutions. Theming is highly customizable. Typo3 holds a good recognition in the global market as a recommended platform for building scalable cms intranets.
· Highly extensible
· Enterprise level features
· Steep learning curve
Liferay is one of the mature content management platforms available in the market developed with Java. It is secure, reliable and includes more than 60 programs to manage content making it an option for large organizations.
· Utilizes the power of latest Java, J2EE and Web 2.0 technologies.
· Highly secure
· Good for enterprise application integration
· Best option for high profile organizations that requires Java as a platform for their CMS Intranet.
· Comes with a price
· Java knowledge is required for application extension
Plone is built on the Zope (written in Python) application server. It is also known as a mature enterprise cms. One can use the plugin architecture of Plone to extend its functionality.
· Good security integration.
· Supports MS docs and pdfs
· Developing and extending requires good knowledge of Zope and its infrastructure.
· Not recommended for shot run web development.
DNN is the favourite CMS of .NE T developers. It is the best choice for .NET developers to build a cms intranet with more extensible features. You can find a wide list of high profiled companies using DNN as their enterprise collaboration platform; no doubt it is the final option for .NET lovers for developing enterprise level cms intranet.
· Best in .NET domain
· Follows good security
· Open source
· Enterprise edition and third party modules comes with a price
· For extending core capabilities requires .NET knowledge
Tridion is the big name in wcms, suitable for heavy applications with high end business needs; costly due to its nature. It is one of the scalable enterprise level cms product, recommended only for big shots because price limit is from $80 K to sky-limit. Cost includes product, support, training etc. Tridion cms intranet customer list includes very large organizations like Mitsubishi, Yamaha etc
Platform: Supports Java/J2EE and .NET environments
· Best for high end business requirements
· Latest Tridion R5 supports both Java and .NET
· High cost
· Deep expertise required
· Only suitable for expensive cms intranets
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