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Forrester calls out Alfresco and Drupal as the top-two open-source WCM systems

Which are the two best open-source web content management systems? According to Forrester, Alfresco and Drupal win the war.

Forrester Research just released a great report detailing the open-source web content management market. In it, Forrester analyst Stephen Powers highlights a shift to open source for managing websites:

As organizations embark on next-generation Web content management (WCM) initiatives, they want to avoid the mistakes made in earlier, more costly WCM projects. As a result, information and knowledge management professionals increasingly show an interest in open source WCM as a way of controlling software costs and increasing their access to product-specific expertise in the marketplace.

That's great: Enterprises should move to open-source web content management offerings. But which ones?

Out of the wide pool of open-source web content management projects (There are, quite literally, hundreds), Forrester says there are two to which CIOs and CTOs need to pay particular attention:

Alfresco and Drupal (Acquia).

In answer to the question, "Why these two?" Forrester answers: Relevance. As Powers writes:

For an open source WCM vendor to be relevant, it must have a satisfactory product offering, proven enterprise-level implementations, and a large--and passionate--community of developers and service providers. Currently, enterprises interested in open source should keep an eye on two offerings--Alfresco Software and Drupal--because:

  • Both have taken pages from the commercial vendors' playbooks [i.e., enterprise-class support, stability, etc.]....
  • Technologists praise the product architectures....
  • Both have strong professional communities.

In sum, Alfresco and Drupal, backed by Acquia, offer enterprises a way to improve their web presence while saving a great deal of money in the process. What's not to love?

Of course, there's money to be saved in licensing costs, but it's how a company reallocates those costs that matters most. As Forrester points out, applying those saved licensing fees to a tailored implementation should translate into much higher levels of satisfaction. Today, most IT projects fail, but enterprises can mitigate the risk of failure upfront by trying an open-source project before they buy.

Disclosure: I work for Alfresco.