Discussions

News: dotCMS 1.6 - A Java answer to Mambo/Joomla/Drupal?

  1. dotCMS recently released version 1.6, a mature and actively developed open source wCMS written entirely in Java. dotCMS is easy for web developers to grok, provides total flexibility in template design/content delivery and uses an architecture that is extendable and developer friendly. It was even runner up in PacktPub's most promising new open source CMS awards. Why hasn’t anyone in the Java community heard of it? [Editor's note: because we have?] I often see posts asking about a Java equivalent of the popular PHP CMSes like Mambo, Joomla or Drupal. Java shops are looking for a web management solution that marry familiar technologies and architecture with ease of use. These shops need a solution that can be integrated with legacy and enterprise systems. And while there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of open source php+MySQL CMS solutions, there are far fewer true Java CMS options. Java-source.net lists 30 or so open source Java "CMS" projects. But if you are looking for a web CMS, this list can be misleading. Many of these CMS projects are actually portals or document management solutions - content management, sure, but of a different type than the php players. Other systems listed are smaller offerings or cripple/abandon-ware. On the whole list, maybe 4 are actual active open source web CMS projects designed specifically to manage web content. And while I am definitely biased it is pretty clear to me that of these, dotCMS offers a lot of CMS bang for the open source buck. With the release of 1.6, dotCMS is coming closer being a Java answer to the php CMSes. Like them, the dotCMS is user friendly, feature rich and provides a clean starter site. All of dotCMS can be managed through an web based interface. dotCMS is also easy to extend through macros, WebAPIs and administrative portlets. Some highlights of the new dotCMS 1.6 include:
    • Full featured starter site.
    • Complete Importer/Exporter - Users can contribute starter sites/accelerators of their own
    • Ajax/Web 2.0 Calendar
    • Tomcat 6.x
    • Content is now permissioned, personalized
    • Content API is hardened
    • Categories/Taxonomy is now permissioned- only designated users can use certain categories.
    • Numerous new macros:
      • Pull RSS which can take a RSS feed for use on your site
      • BuildRSS which can turn content into an RSS Feed
      • A news ticker
      • An updated Photo Gallery
      • Tag Clouds
      • Permalinks
      • Social Bookmarking
      • A Flash based Photo Carousel
      • Google integration macros for both the Google Mini and Google Syndication
    Additionally, dotCMS 1.6 has a number of "Enterprise" features that its PHP counterparts may or may not have. These include:
    • Database Independence - Postgresql, MySQL, Oracle and MSSQL are all supported
    • Clustering support
    • Sophisticated Caching with OSCache
    • Structured Content - design and reuse your own types of content.
    • Strict Separation of Content, Structure
    • Object level Permissioning
    • LDAP/AD Integration with support for LDAP provisioning
    Still, we have a ways to go before we can declare dotCMS a PHP killer. For starters, we are hard at work on building the community. It is active and vocal and needs to grow to 10 times its size. Also, we need to define and implement a module framework (OSGI anyone?). JSR-170 support will most likely be included by the next major version. (We were ready to go, but Jackrabbit 1.4 had postgres issues initially). Installation needs to be made easier. Is there a place for a php CMS killer in the Java open source quiver? We think so. Try dotCMS, join the growing community and let us know what you think.

    Threaded Messages (29)

  2. Deployment ...[ Go to top ]

    Way to go and congrats with the 1.6 version to the dotCMS people! ... but ... As much as I would like a decent Java Web-CMS (at the level of Joomla), I'm afraid the basic problem is somewhere else and will still remain. As long as the installation and deployment of (enterprise) Java applications are so much harder than PHP based web-apps that service providers do not offer it (at least not at comparable prices) it simply won't happen, right? Please, tell me that I am wrong! :-) /Ragnar
  3. Re: Deployment ...[ Go to top ]

    I did a quick visit to DotCMS site. And I was not impressed when this flash-heavy site failed to display properly in Firefox 2. So first suggestion: polish your site, and keep it open source (Firefox) friendly, if you want to attract some developers. Second suggestion: for ease of deployment, I would suggest that you start building Debian and RPM packages for DotCMS. If you can provide that, then this will give your project lots of exposure to Linux people, this is the secret behind Drupla & co success.
  4. Re: Deployment ...[ Go to top ]

    Agreed on the Debian/RPM packaging. apt-get install dotCMS would be very cool. What we do have is an amazon ec2 public virtual image available. It's not quite the same thing, but this image is an Ubuntu server running the latest dotCMS code. You can see the image details here.
  5. website[ Go to top ]

    I use Firefox 2, it works fine to me and the design is really quite neat and clear. In fact, it just seems to be the banner on the front page, everything else seems pretty normal.
  6. This hold true for individuals looking to develop personal sites or for small time customers .. I'd swear by Java/J2EE anytime, have spent most of my career working on related products and technologies. However when it came down to having sites of my own – I didn’t really have a choice but to adopt PHP – this was solely for the fact that I couldn’t find enough service providers who would support Java technologies, and pretty much none who could offer the cost advantage offered by ISP supporting PHP. However if you're targeting corporate cutomer, things will change drastically.. It would score over PHP counterpart cause of the inherent PHP challanges.. who know it may become another Alfresco :-) Rgds Sanjeev http://www.sanjeevg.com/2008/05/php-based-open-source-cms/
  7. this was solely for the fact that I couldn’t find enough service providers who would support Java technologies, and pretty much none who could offer the cost advantage offered by ISP supporting PHP.
    Why would you say that? You can install Java on your own account, you don't need root access for this. Any hosting service that can this. Then run your favorite app server: Tomcat, Jetty, Glashfish etc to deploy you webapp. Add a few lines to httpd.conf to have apache proxy to your Java webapp abd you are live. Why waste you brain cycle on PHP if you are already well versed in Java?
  8. >this was solely for the fact that I couldn’t find enough service providers who would support Java technologies, and pretty much none who could offer the cost advantage offered by ISP supporting PHP.

    Why would you say that? You can install Java on your own account, you don't need root access for this. Any hosting service that can this. Then run your favorite app server: Tomcat, Jetty, Glashfish etc to deploy you webapp. Add a few lines to httpd.conf to have apache proxy to your Java webapp abd you are live.

    Why waste you brain cycle on PHP if you are already well versed in Java?
    I believe he is referring to shared hosting. Very few shared hosts are setup in a way that you could install and use Java. From a hosting provider's perspective, hosting PHP is far, far more economical than hosting Java (or even Ruby/Rails) due to the significantly smaller amount of dedicated resources required.
  9. You can get a Virtual Private Server hosting for $10USD or less a month from many companies. It can't get any cheaper than that. Don't use shared hosting if it doesn't work. And why doesn't shared hosting work with Java? All you need is proxy from apache to your Java webapp.
  10. You can get a Virtual Private Server hosting for $10USD or less a month from many companies. It can't get any cheaper than that. Don't use shared hosting if it doesn't work. And why doesn't shared hosting work with Java? All you need is proxy from apache to your Java webapp.
    1. True, although VPS hosting can still be problematic - on some systems, the way memory is managed, it can be difficult to get a large enough contiguous block of memory needed to start the vm with enough memory to run your app. Very few of the $10 or less VPS solutions will actually work for Java. 2. The point the original poster was trying to make (I think) is that getting something PHP-based like Drupal or Joomla is extremely easy and cost effective. Virtually every cheap host out there supports PHP and most of them have web-based installers for a lot of the popular applications. This means you can play around with a PHP-based CMS with very little investment, whereas playing around with a Java one is going to require a little more. 3. Virtually no shared hosts give you shell access, so you couldn't even install Java. Those that do give you access have policies against installing (relatively) resource-heavy applications like a Java app server. Your java process would get killed quickly (if it started at all), and you'd likely get in a bit of trouble :) Shared hosting and Java will never work really well together - Java uses up too much memory for it to be viable. Not that this is the end of the world, though. The point is that Drupal, Joomla, etc all enjoy a certain amount of popularity simply due to the fact that you can sign up for a $4/month hosting account and within a few minutes have a working install of one of them up and running.
  11. Well, it is very simple: does anyone know good (shared) hosting companies that let perform dotcms well? What kind of price range are we talking about? I guess a $10 / month account would be "sellable" to customers, as an alternative. My (quick) search did not end up in anything usefull.
  12. proxying[ Go to top ]

    Most hosting providers are not set up to easily manage multiple proxy setup requests, and the major hosting control panels don't support this stuff. Yes, it's *possible* but it's not what's out there. It's not always the most desirable option to tie yourself to just a handful of hosting providers. If the few that provide proxying provide bad service otherwise, where are you to go? Dedicated perhaps, but that's more money. A $10/month shared hosting account can easily handle multiple dozens of users on one domain using multiple PHP apps. As for $10/vps, I've never seen anyone give you more than 256meg for that price. I don't consider 256meg enough to be able to host multiple java applications for a website. That's really mean you might have 200meg after the OS and necessary server stuff. I might be wrong, but running multiple java web apps (a blog engine and a forum system, for example) in a 256meg operating system wouldn't be very viable. Arguably $10/month PHP hosting isn't terribly performant either, but it does work better than expected in many cases.
  13. WTF?[ Go to top ]

    You can get a Virtual Private Server hosting for $10USD or less a month from many companies. It can't get any cheaper than that. Don't use shared hosting if it doesn't work. And why doesn't shared hosting work with Java? All you need is proxy from apache to your Java webapp.
    Clearly you've never done this.
  14. can't find cheap Java support[ Go to top ]

    True .. I've still not been able to find one that's provides Java support in that price range.. Rgds Sanjeev www.sanjeevg.com
  15. Bettern the opencms?[ Go to top ]

    Has anyone used opencms? This is my favorite candidate for an opensource java cms. But I haven't tried it out yet.
  16. OpenCMS[ Go to top ]

    I have used OpenCMS in the creation of the site for the Kentucky lottery (www.kylottery.com). OpenCMS is heavily XML and JSP based. This leads to quite a bit of code in the JSP pages. We also incorporated Spring for retrieval from the backend database. That was a bit tricky but doable. Documentation for OpenCMS was at the time a bit sparse, but there is a very active forum community. It is definitely worth your consideration as a viable choice.
  17. Wicket[ Go to top ]

    Does this thing anyhow integrate with (or could it be extended by) Wicket WebApps ?
  18. Embeddable CMS[ Go to top ]

    Can this be embedded into an existing web application? Is there any java based CMS that fits into this? I came across MindQuarry sometime back but it seems to have hit rough ground of late (http://www.mindquarry.com) but again it is also not embeddable. Thanks Sunil http://sunilabinash.vox.com
  19. I was involved by my company in a cms evaluation: i tried a dozen of cms listed on java-source (including dotCMS) but none of them met my expectations as a developer nor my company needs. Last month I came across RIOT (http://www.riotfamily.org).It's not a complete CMS product but only a scalable kernel that you can use on its own or embedded in your application. It uses spring and hibernate and customization is not a pain like other monolitic products. The User Interface uses Tinymce as content editor and dwr for client-server communication. It worth a look.
  20. dotCMS != a framework[ Go to top ]

    dotCMS is a monolithic wCMS. It's intended to solve 95% of a web site's content management needs. It's not a kernel. That said, dotCMS makes it real easy to build what most people consider "webapps". Looking at riot - I would suggesting taking a look at the structured content engine in the dotCMS. It is by far the most powerful (yet simple) feature in the system. Through the interface, you define your content (domain) objects, permission them and can set /enforce relationships between them. You are actually building the form users see to manage the content objects. These content objects are exposed to the ui through the "content" tab, which gives you a crud interface to manage all content types. The content are also searchable and can easily be repurposed into applications. For example, the AJAX calender on the demo site is just different content pulls from the content repository. Using your content objects on the front of your web site is dead easy - see the #pullContent macro and the screencast if you are interested. I understand that if you have a hammer, etc... But defining, managing and reusing content objects on a site or webapp is one of dotCMSes strong suits.
  21. modularity[ Go to top ]

    I still think the success of a CMS strongly depends on its modularity. EVERY site has different needs, so you must be able to build your site with only the stuff you need, and leave the rest (=overhead) behind. Unfortunately, exactly this thing (modularity) is missing. People won't adopt it, unless you easily can extend the thing with plugins (or whatever you want to call it; components, modules, etc...) I have the impression that dotCMS is one Monolitic thing. DotCMS has now version 1.6. Isn't it a bit too late to think on modularity? It must be easy to write/install plugins. THIS is makes the success of existing CMS systems (e.g. Joomla!, Drupal) BTW, it's not because a CMS is written in PHP, that you cannot have the advantages of JAVA. When you run Drupal on the Quercus server (http://quercus.caucho.com), your PHP CMS runs on the JVM, can be clustered AND you can call you backend Java api's right from PHP... (I love java more then PHP, but unless there is no CMS with a decent modularity, I'll stick with Drupal.)
  22. Magnolia?[ Go to top ]

    Hi Will, how would you compare your product to Magnolia?
  23. Re: Magnolia?[ Go to top ]

    Hans: Magnolia is a very nice product, to be sure. One thing that is different with Magnolia is that to get the "enterprise" type functions that you might need, you have to purchase their enterprise edition. This includes a template/site builder (imho a core function for a wCMS), LDAP auth, Meta-data search, etc... dotCMS includes all of that. Also, I would suggest that dotCMS is a bit more web developer friendly. Out of the box, there are numerous widgets that help in real world development of a website, and more are being developed each day. See: http://www.dotcms.org/community/documentation/macros-tips-and-tricks.dot for more details. Anyhow, I really do like Magnolia and where they've taken their product. It ultimately comes down to a fit.
  24. dotCMS is powerful[ Go to top ]

    We installed dotcms as our content management system at The University of Akron. We are porting all of our content from an old system over. While there have been some bumps in the road, I would say that dotcms is extremely well thought out software. They have integrated Velocity templating scripting into the code, so it is very easy to use variables, loops, lookups of content and display it in a way that is very similar to writing php. DotCMS has provided a number of ready made velocity macros to do many common tasks so it helps the web developer have a ground level understanding of the system when you try to implement something. Velocity isn't a complex language. The permissions capability is wonderful for a larger size company. We can permission folders, pages and even content items on the pages to individuals or groups by using a complex role setup. Structurs can be built to accept content in many forms. DotCMS uses a flat file index to serve pages so when a page is hit, it doesn't have to make constant database calls to draw. Since we were utilizing php, I was a bit hesitant to move to a java backend system, but now I am glad we utilized dotcms. Web developers will love the freedom they have to construct the site in a way that can be easily managed.
  25. This is yet another user hostile, convoluted Java CMS. What is it about Java-land? Is this just not a reworking of Liferay, another app that made the mistake of trying to build all functionality around Java Portlets? Java CMSs are either impotent wikis or complicated, user hostile beasts. AFAIK, There still is no easy to use, but powerful Java CMS. At least dotCMS isn't it, neither is Liferay, Alfresco, or any numerous others I have tried. I am still looking for the Java (F/OSS) answer to Plone, et al.
  26. cms/plone[ Go to top ]

    It won't quite be a plone clone, but I'm working on a lightweight CMS system built on Grails. http://gcforge.grailscrowd.com/gf/project/grailskit or http://michaelkimsal.com/blog/new-grails-project-grailskit-starter-kit/ for more information. The current stated goal is a 'starter kit', but a lightweight CMS will be the result of that. If you'd like to help build it in to something more, please drop me a line. I've mostly been a PHP person over the years, and I think that's going to affect how the Grails code develops. By necessity, it won't be the result of Java-based thinking approaching a traditionally 'scripting language' domain.
  27. dotCMS v. Plone[ Go to top ]

    Granted, I haven't worked with Plone extensively and there is not much information comparing the two systems, but I found a comment on Plone mailing list about dotCMS.
    ...I was able to learn how to create a custom content type, dynamically pull in contents of that type, and format the content in about two hours. It took me about two weeks to learn to do the same in Plone.
    http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.web.zope.plone.ui/335 All this said my takeaway from this thread is that there is still work to do on making dotCMS more approachable.
  28. Melenti.org Java CMS project[ Go to top ]

    Hello , long time all the java people hasnt developed an easy cms like joomla. We decided to change that , we are developing www.melenti.org, a softwareas easy to install as joomla and java J2EE based, JPA, SPRING, POSGRES OR ANY DB, GWT and JSF. We are still developing this project but please keep an eye on US we can assure you you wont be dissapointed, we already found a solution for Modular and Component systems like joomla and templates will be as easy as in joomla. We are just financing this development with two clients here en we will release the source code in www.melenti.org and sourceforge. Hope to hear from all of your suggestions and recomendations once its launched. Adrian Cadena
  29. Liferay or OneHippo[ Go to top ]

    I would say it is liferay or onehippo - onehippo for content-driven websites and liferay for social communities. I was even thinking about migrating my dating site http://www.flirtbox.co.uk to one of them but decided to start my own framework based on Tapestry.

  30. Anyone developing one?[ Go to top ]

    Joomla is popular because developers can extend it. So Joomla serves any purpose the owner of the website wants it to serve. There is plenty of documentation on how to use and extend the system. Extensions are easy to install and content is easy... in short everything is easy. So what do we do about this, we want Joomla but we want it in Java. Its not too late, is it?

    I'm not proefficient enough in Java EE to develop it but i will definitely try. It won't matter if it doesn't work well in a shared server environment because organizations can use it in their intranets, it will serve some purpose one way or the other.