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“Re: Ugly Secrets of Content Management Systems”

From: Brian Andresen In Response To: 159  Re: Ugly Secrets of Content Management Systems
Date Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 2:06:09 PM Replies: 1
   
Enclosures: None.
>If a potential customer is looking for a strong Content Management System,
>then telling them about Conversant's event calendar isn't going to cut it.
>They're interested in Conversant as a CMS, period. The fact that they can use
>it for more than that might be interesting, but if we're going to compete then
>we have to do it on implemented features.
[snip]
>I don't think most companies want to build their own, but rather that they
>have a right to expect their vendors (Macrobyte) to work like crazy to provide
>them with exactly what they need. That's the benefit of our plugin
>architecture... we can add customer - specific features very quickly.

And, in my opinion, that's just the tip of the iceberg. The important point is that Conversant is designed to be customized and added-on to and plugged-in to. Nothing has to be hacked in. As you mention, it's easy to add customer-specific features... easy for Macrobyte to offer that service, and even easy for the customer to do that on their own. It's straightforward to see where and how various features interact. In contrast, hacking Vignette (or any other monolithic CMS system) looks like a slow and ugly option that is difficult to maintain. And apparently, it doesn't just look like that... it actually is.

But I think the question was not "Vignette vs. Conversant" as much as "in-house coding vs. Conversant." If a company invests in Conversant, they get a lot of "the basics" done for them... user/group management (which can be extended if so desired), database connectivity (ditto), ownership and privilege models (ditto) a plugin architecture, and a substantial set of features/tools. Instead of developing something entirely from scratch, the company can develop only what additional features or customizations they need... or they can utilize plugins created by Macrobyte or by third parties.

Given those options, I can't see how developing in-house code from scratch is very effective. It's much more sensible to extend a vendor-built system, and the modular framework that Conversant offers is a good choice for that system.


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