Open Source Portal Software Vary in Usability, According to Report

Oct 27, 2006

Open source enterprise portal packages are seeing substantial uptake in the marketplace, but vary substantially in features and usability, and tend to target a limited set of simple scenarios, according to the latest semi-annual release of the "Enterprise Portals Report" from independent analyst firm, CMS Watch. According to the report, with the growth of open-source Java application servers, CMS Watch has found prospective portal customers taking a longer look at open source portals as well. Those customers are finding that open source alternatives can provide an acceptable platform for simple standards-compliant portlets, but may not yet be capable for more complex transactional, process-oriented scenarios. A new "Open Source Edition" compares 5 open source portal vendors head to head: eXo, Jetspeed, JBoss, Liferay, and Plone. Pricing begins at $925 for the entire report or $350 for individual vendor chapters.

Other Report findings include: open source portal packages tend to excel at scenarios emphasizing web application development and simpler informational portals. They tend not to fit well for more complex, transactional, or process-oriented portals and also offer less in the way of pre-packaged integration capabilities; all the major open source portal platforms are based on Java, with the exception of Plone, a Python-based alternative. There are no significant Microsoft-based open source portal packages to challenge Office SharePoint; community size and vibrancy varies substantially among open source portal projects; and Sun is in the midst of releasing its portal offering into open source. Sun's portal is now free of charge, but not all of the source code has been made available yet. The new Edition of the Enterprise Portals Report provides 8- to 16-page comparative product surveys of 15 enterprise portal products as well as information about 6 other packages across 3 product categories. The Report is available for purchase online.