Best Free Enterprise CMS (Stub only)

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Introduction

An enterprise-class CMS needs to be very capable, stable, and extendable by ECM (enterprise content management) developers. It will not be a handicap if it uses a less-common codebase or needs specialist hosting, though the closer it keeps to popular code languages and to basic hosting, the more useful it will be to those with smaller budgets.

The CMS may need to handle intranet / extranet tasks as well as web publishing. In terms of functionality it will need comprehensive content handling and publishing, strong ACL, versioning, workflows, audit trails, and document handling. If any kind of web popularity is envisaged, it would be wise to look at those CMS that prioritise for quality in the web standards area, with strong standards-compliance values leading to code that both validates and passes accessibility testing. This helps with search success and legal compliance. Currently, many implementations have problems in these areas.

In addition, legal issues are likely to become more relevant, partly because accessibility issues will become important. In many countries, all sites offering a public service must now pass accessibility testing to level A in order to be legally-compliant. Busy sites are likely to attract inspection by interested parties.

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Open-source Enterprise-class CMS

These are some of the contenders in open-source enterprise-class CMS:

eZ Publish  

A candidate for the most capable PHP CMS.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Most capable PHP CMS and one of the best eCommerce CMS solutions available.
Commercial installs are expensive.
Read full review...

Plone  

A high-quality CMS with a long and solid history.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
High quality, long and solid history, good documentations.
Can't use shared hosting, demands a very capable webmaster, steep learning curve.
Read full review...

WebGUI  

A popular and very capable CMS as a hosted solution.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Very capable and has a good history.
Shared hosting is not an option.
Read full review...

Alfresco  

A major project uses the common open-source Java, LAMP stack or IIS if required.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Supports the CMIS spec, full interoperability includes integration with MS Office, along with thousands of APIs.
Commercial installs are fairly costly.
Read full review...

The 'Blank Canvas' Class of CMS

It is possible for very capable developers to create an enterprise-class CMS with one of the top free / open-source 'blank canvas' CMS - a term that can be applied to those WCMS that install in a blank sheet style - ie not much there to start with. The developer creates everything required. This means that if the devs can hack it, you could have a highly-capable CMS at zero licence fee. But if the developers aren't up to it, there would be problems. Here are two candidates of the highly-capable but blank-install type:

Radiant  

A highly capable CMS product from the Ruby on Rails developer community handles just about anything web-wise.


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free (Open source)
Highly capable and handles just about anything web-wise, the ultimate web development and web for database environment.
Needs a compiled install and only suitable for a LAN server or a dedibox you can access.
Read full review...

Umbraco  

A very interesting and highly capable ASP CMS originates from Denmark.


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free (Limited features)
Easy-use features for the sysadmin, an enterprise-capable CMS framework that will install remotely on a shared server.
Some tasks such as forms have to be built using .NET user controls, hard-coded approach that is hard to modify later.
Read full review...

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