Faceted search and navigation has been mainstream for a while now in the larger eCommerce sites. This was partly driven by both the faceted nature of product data (i.e., most products have a type, brand, price, etc.) and the availability of the data in retailers’ existing information systems.
Interestingly enough, even though the technology is there, the use of faceted search and navigation in mostly content sites has been lagging. However, in the last year, we have finally seen an uptick in the use of this pattern beyond commerce sites. With the redesigned Bing search engine really leveraging this concept, and driving some of the innovation around search, I believe we will see the concept become a standard practice on sites that have large amounts of content.
One additional contributing factor is that there is also some traction around the lower end and open source market. Although vendors like Endeca and Coveo have been providing this capability for the enterprise for a while now, open source and low cost alternatives are emerging as well.
For example, Apache Solr is getting a lot of traction recently, and Acquia launched a hosted faceted search capability for Drupal earlier this year.
This is an exciting development, and I believe we will see significant improvements in site search in the future.
I have just read the August 5 2009 magic quadrant of WCM from Gartner. I am sad to see Gartner still proceeds to evaluate only commercial offering when it comes to top WCM solutions. Gartner’s main driver for inclusion seems to be revenue, not user experience, not adoption rates, not market peneration, and not features, but legacy measures of revenue, professional services, and support. By doing so, Gartner tends to elevate and promote the older, less agile solutions, and may skew the research of companies looking for cutting edge approaches. Gartner identifies trends in the markets are web 2.0, enhanced usability of non-technical audiences, popularity of open source, and interest in saas, however they fail to identify open source WCM drivers in the market. For example, user experience and web 2.0 are directly being impacted by the expansion of the open source communities building and implementing WordPress, MovableType, Drupal, and Joomla solutions. Next, the Saas market is seeing an explosion in adoption of cloud products like Squarespace.
I truly value some high level assessments of great products like Autonomy Teamsite, Sitecore, Ektron, and Sharepoint; since a majority of the open source solutions cannot scale in fortune 500 situations across the enterprise. However, when evaluating a magic quadrant of WCM, you cannot leave the open source off the table, many large distributors of content and SMBs are looking to open source since they provide quick and easy solutions for business users to rapidly produce and publish content. Trends of WCM/CMS now place a higher value on development community over revenue. Through development communities, companies can accelerate innovation and adoption of new web 2.0 and social media features.
I just watched a very interesting screen cast at:
Alfresco-Drupal Integration via CMIS:http://labs.optaros.com/2009/04/07/alfresco-drupal-integration-via-cmis-screencasoach
This video presents an approach to integrating Drupal 6.X and Alfresco. Alfresco is a powerful commercial or opensource J2EE ECM and Drupal is smaller agile PHP CMS/developement framework. Drupal is powerful opensource solution to enable web sites with various features via modules/plugins. Such features are such as content management, OpenId, Facebook Integration, blogging, comments, and social media. However Drupal does not have the scalability required by most fortune 500 businesses who want an ECM to centralize/archive a majority of their content. This screencast demonstrates a very innovative approach that leverages Alfreso ECM to centralize and govern content via workflow and its robust web content management and then push/pull/sycnchronize content using CMIS across various distributed Drupal Sites and Alfresco. The presents a very fitting solution for managing content across multiple Drupal sites for blogging, marketing, intranets, microsites, and campaigns etc. This further shows how to decouple content from presentation layer and even another PHP CMS solution. Can’t wait to play around with this approach, it could solve many issues revolving around the distribution of content across channels,widgets, mobile, etc..
Question: Could I get this to work Alfresco to WordPress? Hmmmm
By Matthew Johnson
Senior Technical Architect
Razorfish CMS Center of Excellence
In the past, installing Drupal consists of the painful tasks of downloading, unzipping, setting up MySQL, changing permissions, running setup, changing permissions again, and then spending hours researching, downloading and installing various plugins/modules. This can create a significant barrier to adoption. However, Drupal now has Acquia. Acquia is Drupal 6.X bundle that is aligned with the Acquia’s commercial services and technical support. If you want to leverage the Acquia support services, it will cost you $500-$3000+, which can be attractive to some users. Acquia provides a pre-packaged bundle of Drupal Core and plugins/modules needed for Web 2.0, Communities, Performance, Caching, Search, Blogging, Comments, and Ratings.
The best part about Acquia is you can use the distribution to jump-start your CMS project without signing up for Acquia services. Acquia has a public SVN repository that you can use to update/patch your distribution. If you chose to, you can download the Acquia Drupal distribution and manually disable all the Acquia specific services …. before you know it you have a fully operational Drupal 6.X environment. This directly alleviates the time consuming process of downloading,installing, and configuring Drupal Modules after installation.
Download it here: http://acquia.com/downloads
Good Review on Acquia:http://webdevnews.net/2008/10/acquia-drupal-released-with-partnership-opportunities-for-developers/