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.
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
- 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.