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DigiCULT
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13
would encourage people to share resources
and work together. Zope was responsive to
our needs and we're now working with
them to create a CMS solution that we
hope will transform Duke's online activities.'
6
ZOPE, OPEN SOURCE AND THE CMS
COMPETITION
W
eb content management tools are
big business in the US marketplace
today. Industry analysts have content man-
agement trends on their radar screens and
have produced assessment reports over the
past three years that document increasing
hype, marketplace mergers and consolida-
tion, and the relatively rapid maturing of
the product environment.Three of the
largest technology analysts have articulated
the case that an open source content man-
agement system might be a viable option,
at least until the commercial sector stabilis-
es. Among these analysts, however, only
Tony Byrnes' independent CMS Watch has
given substantial attention to any of the
open-source CMS tools. In some ways, the
failure of open-source CMS to register a
share of marketplace or to compete direct-
ly with large-scale enterprise applications is
understandable. How do you identify `mar-
ket share' when the only product being
sold is a service? How do you measure
return on investment when the core soft-
ware product is freely available for down-
load?
F
reely available and extendable software
has been around in many forms virtu-
ally since the inception of computing
technology. In particular, the educational
and research emphasis of the early evolu-
tion of Unix has fostered a robust commu-
nity of developers and users that has freely
shared and cooperated on open-source
software projects for many years.The more
formal concept of `free' software as an
organised and licensed initiative is credited
to Richard Stallman, who founded the
Free Software Foundation in 1984 and
introduced the GNU project.Today,
began with a thorough review of the exist-
ing technical literature and a set of consul-
tations with industry analysts.The
committee assessed products from fourteen
companies and then issued a formal
Request for Proposals (RFP) to four ven-
dors. Representatives of these companies
attended a half-day bidders conference to
clarify the requirements and then submit-
ted full responses to the RFP. A compre-
hensive review of the four proposals led
the committee to recommend the selec-
tion of the Zope Corporation
(http://www.zope.com) to build a Duke-
specific content management system based
upon the open-source Zope content man-
agement framework
(http://www.zope.org).
D
uke University signed a contract
with the Zope Corporation to
develop a product called `Zope4Edu' with
Duke as the first user. `None of the leading
CMS packages seemed quite right for our
situation,' said Tracy Futhey, Duke's vice
president for information technology and
chief information officer. `Our challenge
was political and institutional as much as
technical.We needed a system that was
very flexible, with open-source code, that
the eventual growth of a CMS on cam-
pus is predictable, a CMS must be easily
scalable and expandable.
Openness. The University has a strong
interest in ensuring that solutions
deployed at the enterprise level support
open standards, both to protect against
vendor lock-in and to ensure the long-
term utility of campus software imple-
mentations. Of particular interest to the
University are open-source solutions that
feature the active involvement of devel-
oper and user communities and vendors
that demonstrate a willingness to train
local users and participate in open stan-
dards development.
Modularity.The major components
of a campus implementation must be
capable of functioning with relative
independence and have modular com-
ponents that can be adopted in varying
combinations by various campus units.
Enterprise. Enterprise-level strategies
for selecting vendors, platforms and
support mechanisms will be used to
specify a CMS product.
B
ased upon the requirements described
above, a campus-wide committee
managed a vendor selection process that
INDUSTRY ANALYSTS
CMS Watch.
http://www.cmswatch.com/ `CMSWatch is an independent source
of information, news, opinion and analysis about Web content management.'
CMS Wire.
http://www.cmswire.com/ `Content management news, commentary
and product information.'
Butler Group.
http://www.butlergroup.com/ `Europe's Leading IT Analyst
Company providing Analysis without compromise.'
Faulkner Information Services.
http://www.faulkner.com `Faulkner provides
in-depth technology information services to public and private sector organisations
worldwide. Our products include subscription and custom-developed reports, stud-
ies and databases.'
Gartner, Inc.
http://www4.gartner.com/Init `Gartner, Inc. is a research and advi-
sory firm that helps more than 10,000 clients leverage technology to achieve busi-
ness success.'
6 Zope Corporation press release, 9 Oct 2003.
http://www.zope.com/News/PressReleases/DukePR