We are running Story Server 4.x and are looking to replace it because of the cost. The site is composed of Tickle pages. We were thinking of perl but was wondering about some of the free middleware. I would love to hear your thoughts on which products you would go with.
If you are looking for something that could produce dynamic web content, you might take a look at Resin JSP/servlet server from Caucho (caucho.com). It integrates with Apache HTTP server, and it's quite fast. You can add a database of your choice to it (Postgres SQL, mSQL, MySQL, etc.) and have something online in no time. Resin is very easy to set up, personally I like it. I don't know what is the license cost for commercial use of Resin or any of those databases. All those products run on both Windows and Linux, I think. This is not a top-of-the-line solution, but it works well, and it does not cost as much as playing with WebSphere/WebLogic and Oracle/DB2, for example. As an alternative, I think there is a JSP server called Tomcat, part of the Apache project, but I didn't play with it.
This is a JSP/servlet approach. If you want an EJB server, you might take a look at Jonas, an open-source EJB server (evidian.com/jonas/index.htm). I don't know how it performs, didn't play with it, either, but it's open source.
Check out zope server (python). www.zope.org
Very nice and powerful.
Try OpenCMS (www.opencms.com). It`s a free content-management, based on Servlets, XML and a JDBC compliant SQL DB (for example MySQL, SAPDB, Oracle). OpenCMS has a lot of features and is (in my opinion) the best free CMS available at the moment.