Monday, April 30, 2007


Portals: Intruding the ECM space?

If Portals are the underlying technology for the presentation, aggregation, integration and SOA implementation (as every vendor talks about it ), then the Content Management System (CMS) is what feeds the portals.

Portals have been designed to integrate with CMS products as a part of their offerings. At the same time they have come up with their own version of built-in CMS.

Besides Partnering with vendors from Web Content Management (WCM) or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) arena, Portal vendors are also working successfully towards their own built-in CMS. These built-in CMS provide you the best a CMS product can offer. Journal Content Management, Document Management, Integration with MS office or Open Office, Drag and Drop of your desktop files, Workflow management, Integrated Publishing and Search.

WebSphere Portal 6.0 Integrates externally with CMS products like Interwoven Teamsite ,Documentum etc , also includes IBM Workplace Web Content Management Version 6.0 which itself carries a full fledged WCM capabilities. BEA provides the integration with Stellent, documentum and Vignette CMS products but has its own Content Management system and virtual content repository. Open source player Liferay portal 4.2 has come up with portlets for Alfresco (another open source Leader in ECM),but again it has its own "Liferay Journal" CMS which covers most of the WCM functionalities.

Sun and Bea have partnered with FatWire to provide Portal Server customers with unlimited-use licenses of FatWire Spark Portal Content Management (pCM) software at no cost.

There is a definite and clear separation of a built-in CMS and a third party CMS integration on to the portals. The choice is up to you, it all depends on what satisfies your business requirements. As for small and mid-size customers, these built-in CMS are doing the job, that too with a lot of ease and bringing in cost benefits.

CMS market has always been more mature, streamlined and more professional. On the other hand, the Portal market are not making the impact that was expected of them and was so fiercly predicted by the experts, a few years ago. The reasons could be cost, need, ease of implementation or lack of expertise with the service providers. In such a scenario are Portal vendors adding on CMS to their product feature list to stay alive?

If yes, what next? Would they continue to break ground and venture into ECM territory as they have now ventured into WCM territory?