University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Looking for some opinions out there on Content Management Systems. Our institution is looking to replace our current CMS since it is not user friendly and does not offer much.

One CMS I came across was Ektron: http://www.ektron.com/ - Backed by a CMS400.NET API I have found this product to be powerful and offer many tools such as Social Networking & Community Platforms and Document Management Functionality.

Any info would be appreciated...

Thanks

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Comment by Simon Gregg on October 9, 2008 at 6:07pm
Hi,
A few names that I hope are helpful that I've come across in other Universities / Colleges:

If you're Cold Fusion based, think:
Paperthin

If you're Microsoft based, think:
Ektron
Sitecore

If you're looking at open platform / Java:
Percussion
Terminal4

The CMSWatch website (www.cmswatch.com) has an excellent report. Although you have to purchase it, it is well worth it.
Comment by Gregg Soltesz on October 9, 2008 at 9:57am
Hi Bill,

1st of thanks for taking the time to write...

We are currently using the 'Estrada' CMS engine which is also based on the .NET framework with an open API. (http://www.estradacms.com/e.asp?durki=2361&site=269&return=660) and our site (http://www.newhaven.edu/) - I have to say that most are not very happy with this CMS and that includes both author and admin sides. From what Ive been reading it seems like the .NET frame work is a good way to go however we here at UNH do not have a big team to custom develop/enhance the engine, templates etc and so we rely on Estrada for that who of course are not cheap.

As far as the editor ours too is not very good at all. I have used FCKEditor when I worked at Yale. We used an LMS called Sakai. Have you ever heard of it? That too was an open source API etc. but at Yale we had IT staff dedicated to enhancing and customizing the app.

This site has been somewhat useful for weeding out some poor CMS's:
http://www.cmsmatrix.org/

And here are a couple others I came across:
http://www.ingeniux.com/
http://www.hannonhill.com/index.html

So if you had to give an overall rating for Ektron, from 1-10, what you say?

Thanks again and will be in touch!
Comment by William Frankhouser on October 8, 2008 at 8:44pm
Also.. one note. If you are on the PHP open source side, CMS like Drupal or Joomla are very developer friendly and can customize full sites.
Comment by William Frankhouser on October 8, 2008 at 8:42pm
Currently here at Everett Community College we have been using Ektron for some time now. We had our main site on the legacy Ektron eMpower CMS. A few years ago we started up our Intranet and we used Ektron's CMS300. Pre-400, Ektron mainly used ColdFusion as the backend of this product with some ASP. Since the company made a business decision to go .NET, the CMS400 as brought that along with all their previous apps. However, we are still a ColdFusion development shop, but looking into Adobe CF 8 which includes some .NET integration.

Our new site at www.everettcc.edu was ported (more like program over) to CMS400.Net. We enjoy the ease of use for users to login and add pages and calendar items. As a programmers point of view, it was easy enough to create templates, and take on some of the features. I say 'some' because after dealing with Ektron Support.. we were told that with the new CMS400.Net, they have allowed integration of the CMS using ASP, ColdFusion, PHP ... but with only limited feature set. Mainly, they provide a lot of .NET Web Service calls.. but only wrote the basic ones for pages and calendar. Items like Blogs, Maps, Forums, Polls, etc. the stuff we were excited for.. was not available to non .Net users. So if you look at our site.. only about 30% is using the CMS.. the rest is a wrapper to Ektron's functions OR we wrote it ourselves. Ektron does keep adding new features with each release.. but we can't take advantage of them unless we go .Net or have time to write each Web Service.

Also.. the one item I felt that they could improve is their own WYSIWYG editor (eWebEditPro) in their CMS WorkArea. To take full control, users need to install a plugin (which we had to push out to all our editors on campus) that mainly works in Internet Explorer. Firefox has very limited support and is not 100%. I wish they would allow us to take like FCKEditor or TinyMCE and replace that editor. So this limits all our Mac editors on campus... to basically kind a lab and use a PC and IE.

If you are a .NET shop, I think you would really take advantage of all their features. Otherwise.. like us, we are 90% done with our new Intranet.. we wrote it by hand and removed Ektron CMS300.

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