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.
Image via Wikipedia
Drupal is a great open source CMS. One of the reasons I like it is the strong community around the platform. There are many different modules available for all kinds of purposes, ranging from forums to integration with salesforce.com. Secondly, many vendors releasing new products are creating plugins for this platform to generate traction, such as Kaltura , OpenX and Mobify.me. With this kind of community support, an open source CMS solutions have a leg up in how easily new features or trends can be incorporated in a web site. Other open source solutions like WordPress have these same benefits as well.
It is interesting to see that there is now also some community traction around enhancing the user experience of the Drupal administration functionality. This blog post shows some great ideas around improvements than can be made, while still building upon the foundation that is currently in place. The Drupal 7 User Experience project outlines similar strong ideas. Incorporating ajax functionality such as drag and drop within the admin user interface would make Drupal a CMS that can become much more user friendly, allowing business users to really control their site.
by Matthew Johnson
A common conflict I am seeing across companies is the clash between the CMS needs of B2C or external web 2.0, social media, Internet infrastructures and internal B2B/B2E Enterprise 2.0 Enterprise content management efforts. While I do see a convergence within the Enterprise 2.0 and CMS markets, I still do not see a enterprise cohesive solution for Web 2.0 and CMS that bridges the gap between internal and external efforts. I see many companies are still looking for the holy grail of solutions that will fulfil all their needs (B2B, B2E, B2C) but the fact is (and I am sure many people will disagree), solutions such as Microsoft Share point and other ECM tools that excel within the intra-nets, often fail to meet expectations within in the B2C Internet scenarios. However, this holy grail will needed when it comes to holistic compliance and legislation requirements in the future.
Internal efforts within companies can live with canned, generic solutions, while B2C Web 2.0 solutions needs to be unique, cohesive, and sticky. Now I know that the evangelists of Microsoft, Documentum, Drupal, and Joomla will all say that these solutions can meet that need. But the problem I see within the market is speed. Almost of the time these solutions needs at least three to six months to get a site online that meets all the needs of creative, user experience, legal, compliance, analytics, and most importantly the business. I wish a solution was developed using the API first methodology where a CMS was not bound at all by platform, the entire engine is web service, REST, JSON driven. This will allow the entire infrastructure to be totally segmented from presentation and be placed in the cloud not be tired to .Net, Java, PHP, Ruby, etc. I know this is a rant…but where is it?
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
The cloud is a very broad term covering many angles from services to infrastructure. This topic is very relevant within CMS space. Frankly the time to market for many CMS solutions can be large and significant, especially within the Enterprise market-space. CMS setup, development, customization and cluster maintenance can be very cumbersome to say the least. Members of the CMS community are all familiar with the time and effort to bring a high performance CMS cluster online and support it. As content consumption patterns shift from traditional web pages to a more multi-channel content ecosystem (mobile, website, tablets, widgets, game consoles, kiosks, etc), the demand for highly scalable and near real-time CMS will be needed. The movement to a real-time web will exponential increase resource requirements of CMS solutions as they try to manage more content in a shorter time frame. Innovative CMS solutions will need an agile and flexible home that expands and contracts with shifts in demand due to marketing campaigns, events, and overall increases in consumption . Cloud services from Rackspace and Amazon provide an excellent foundation to establish a CMS foundation. They allow the ability to quickly allocate space, bandwidth, and instances in direct response to demand. I am especially interested to see how the traditional vendors like Oracle, Autonomy, Tridion, Sitecore and others address this trend and enable their solutions to quickly be installed and setup within these dynamic Cloud infrastructures. I see movement from open source community like solutions that combine Drupal, Joomla, Alfresco, Liferay, and others, however big players have yet to show a significant presence. How will it play out? wait and see.. but I see blue ocean possibilities. -