CMS Watch Finds Open Source Portal Software Gaining Market Acceptance but Trailing in Functional Breadth

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2nd edition of the "Enterprise Portals Report" evaluates 5 open source enterprise portal products.

The main driving force behind increased adoption of open source portals is still the initial licensee savings

Open source enterprise portal packages are seeing substantial uptake in the marketplace, but vary substantially in features and usability, and tend to target a limited set of simple scenarios, according to the latest semi-annual release of the "Enterprise Portals Report" from independent analyst firm, CMS Watch.

With the growth of open-source Java application servers, CMS Watch has found prospective portal customers taking a longer look at open source portals as well. Those customers are finding that open source alternatives can provide an acceptable platform for simple standards-compliant portlets, but may not yet be capable for more complex transactional, process-oriented scenarios.

"The main driving force behind increased adoption of open source portals is still the initial licensee savings," according to Lead Report Analyst, Janus Boye. "There is also a greater sense that community support may trump commercial support, but open source portal adopters often have to work harder to recreate features found out-of-the-box in commercial alternatives," adds Boye.

The Enterprise Portals Report was released earlier this month by CMS Watch (, an independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies and strategies for prospective solutions buyers.

Based on hundreds of interviews with enterprise portal customers worldwide, the 2nd Edition includes detailed comparisons across 16 key feature categories, as well as evaluations of product suitability for 7 enterprise portal scenarios.

A new "Open- Source Edition" compares 5 open source portal vendors head to head: eXo, Jetspeed, JBoss, Liferay, and Plone. Pricing begins at $925 for the entire report or $350 for individual vendor chapters.

Other Report findings include:

  •      Open source portal packages tend to excel at scenarios emphasizing web application development and simpler informational portals. They tend not to fit well for more complex, transactional or process-oriented portals and also offer less in the way of pre-packaged integration capabilities.
  •      All the major open source portal platforms are based on Java, with the exception of Plone, a Python-based alternative. There are no significant Microsoft-based open source portal packages to challenge Office SharePoint.
  •      Community size and vibrancy varies substantially among open source portal projects. Established projects like Liferay can boast highly dynamic communities, while Apache Jetspeed and Red Hat JBoss Portal have yet to gain significant developer traction.
  •      Sun is in the midst of releasing its portal offering into open source. Sun's portal is now free of charge, but not all of the source code has been made available yet.

The new Edition of the Enterprise Portals Report provides 8- to 16-page comparative product surveys of 15 enterprise portal products as well as information about 6 other packages across 3 product categories. Vendors covered include ATG (NASDAQ:ARTG), BEA (NASDAQ:BEAS), Broadvision (OTCC:BVSN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Vignette (NASDAQ:VIGN), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Red Hat/JBoss (NASDAQ:RHAT), SAP (NYSE:SAP), Sun (NASDAQ:SUNW), Apache, eXo, Liferay, and Plone/Zope. The Report is available for purchase online from CMS Watch (

The Report is designed to help enterprises make faster and better buying decisions. Like all CMS Watch offerings, the Enterprise Portals Report does not rank "best" vendors, but instead details the strengths and weaknesses of the various suppliers, identifies their suitability for different use cases, and isolates vendor tendencies that may influence longterm product roadmaps.

About CMS Watch

CMS Watchâ„¢ ( is an analyst firm that provides an independent source of buyer's advice on content management, enterprise search, and enterprise portal technologies. CMS Watch's highly detailed reports sort out the complex solutions landscape, helping project teams worldwide minimize the time and effort to identify and evaluate technologies suited to their particular requirements. To retain its independence as a vendor-neutral analyst firm, CMS Watch works solely for solutions buyers and never for the vendors it covers.


Kristie Hughes, Marketing Director, CMS Watch

Tel: +1 202 966 6999

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Kristie Hughes
CMS Watch
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