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Interoperability and Platforms vs Products

Jeremy Ziegler
Jeremy Ziegler

Great new updates from WCM analysts have come out lately and Aware is always in large agreement with many of the assessments and quizzical at others.

There is a ton of great information that can be gleaned from the Gartner Magic Quadrant. CMS Watch (now called Real Story Group) has recently posted a new Quadrant-like graph here in addition to their extensive report on all major WCMS tools.

The Magic Quadrant is a great report which is spot on about the major shift for seemingly ALL enterprise Web sites to desire interoperability as key criteria for picking a WCM. Enterprises are realizing more and more that their customers want real interactions (show me my customer data or the product info for the product I’m looking for) rather than just marketing fluff. In other words, the WCM more and more must be connected to the enterprise’s CRM, ERP or other backend tools. Interoperable or Integration beyond a simple link to another page or site that doesn’t look like the page they were just on is the main consideration.

To be fully interoperable and integratable (did I just make that up?) the WCM should be written and customizable in the same development language as all the rest of the enterprise’s systems and applications. Enterprises are aware of this, yet the major analysts still lump all the tools together like it doesn’t matter. CMS Watch breaks down their list by "small, medium and large" as opposed to "what are the typical short lists out there". For example you don’t see short lists very often consisting of Fatwire, Ektron and Drupal. Or you don’t typically see Day, Umbraco and Crown Peak.

When you’re buying these reports you are often buying reviews of tools that will never make sense for you to use and you can skip a few steps in looking more at these typical shortlists:

.NET Java Open Source Saas Tools

DotNetNuke and Umbraco don’t make sense for Enterprise sites
Shouldn’t really apply to true enterprise companies except for microsites or one-offs Shouldn’t really apply to enterprises that view their Web site as the central point of their customer communication due to the lack of interoperability

Selecting a tool based on the .NET vs. Java column comes down to good old fashioned homework and talking to someone who has experience implementing and using the tools on your shortlist. Digging under the covers, beyond what the vendors themselves say with their sales speak, demoware and claims that your requirements are all available in their tool "out of the box," is a crucial piece of the WCM selection process. Feel free to bend our ear related to the tools mentioned above and we can offer some initial guidance in selection. We also offer sympathy and hugs.

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