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Custom Cloud Solutions

MediaWiki CMS

The MediaWiki content management system is the wiki system made famous by Wikipedia. It is best used by an organization looking for contribution by a large base of people, and/or constantly changing contributors.

Pros:

  • Allows writing by many people, rather than an author or role based security system
  • Relatively easy, uniform tag system providing simple formatting and advanced layout and database features, rather than using full HTML or a word processor-like WYSIWYG editor and different interfaces for different functionality

Cons:

  • Securing the site is not easy, having been designed to be for open contribution rather than controlled contribution
  • Functionality and extensibility is limited by the lack of interfaces, and increasing complexity of tags with increased featuresets
  • Limited themes make customization more of a necessity for those requiring a different look and feel

More information can be found at: www.mediawiki.org

Drupal CMS

Drupal is an extremely flexible and extensible content management system that is difficult to configure, but nearly infinitely malleable. This is ideal for a large organization with requirements for compartmentalization and customization:  even customization for individual pages is possible. This CMS has a very steep learning curve, but is among the most flexible.

Pros:

  • Extremely flexible on every element, from display of a set of pages to special functions added to a small form on a page
  • Security roles can be arbitrarily defined, with granularity down to individual functions on individual data types
  • Arbitrarily define data and page types, and how those pages and data are displayed
  • Able to support a number of sites sharing the same extensions and same heirarchy of custom themes, for reletively easy administration of multiple similar, custom sites.

Cons:

  • This CMS takes years to master, and is only for the most decicated of customers. The simplest sites can take days or weeks to put up, even by an experienced professional. Quick use of this software normally means hiring a contractor and a serious committment
  • Extensions and themes are very abstract, with very little practical design in place by default. Nearly very extension must be configured before use and many of the few themes available, while flexible, are hardly ready for use out of the box and must be customized
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More information can be found at: www.drupal.org

Wordpress CMS

Wordpress is a very user-friendly content management system that allows a novice user to publish a few pages to get a site functional in a small amount of time.

Pros:

  • Very easy to learn
  • Very fast to set up a simple site with few users
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Cons:

  • Lacks extensibility: more or less limited to its strengths
  • Lacks complex security and workflow for an organization

More information can be found at www.wordpress.com

Joomla CMS

Joomla is a Content Management System that allows for a wide variety of extended functionality, good for a small organization with needs related to control of information flow. This CMS can be extended to do things like pages, blogs, galleries, searching, profiles and social functions, database functions, and many more.

Pros:

  • Very versitile functionality with a large library of extensions
  • Allows control of interfaces so that those with knowledge of the system can make using the system easier for those without knowledge
  • Workflow functionality to control publishing of information among several members
  • in some cases, allows integration of database functionality
  • Very large libraries of free templates are available for downloading of different looks
  • Broad functionality for social sites

Cons:

  • Customization beyond packaged extensions becomes messy; they are only customizable to an extent without deep programming
  • Concentric organization of security groups lacks complete functionality to compartmentalize workflow and content like a large organization would require
  • Security restricts editing to a single author plus a silo of editors and administrators; in effect, no shared editing

More information can be found at www.joomla.org

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