OpenCms at a Glance

OpenCms is a mature open source CMS and WCM solution based on J2EE technology. It is distributed by Alkacon Software under an open source license. The current version at the time of the last article update was 7.0.3, and the first open source version was released in 2000.

From a post on an evaluation of OpenCms, Alfresco and Liferay:
[on OpenCms 7] I found changing the look and feel and layout non intuitive at first but it was ok once I worked out that my site was based on the “templateone” module and most of the styling and layout could be driven from properties in the document tree. OpenCms supports XML content that you can define and author through an automatically generated web form and then access from JSPs. The bundled documentation is good and finding help online is easy.

[on Alfresco Community 2.1] Even something basic like installation instructions are incomplete and all over the place. Alfresco is more feature rich than OpenCms and with that comes extra complexity which led to frustrating attempts at implementing more complex things like XML based web content. Overall I was quite impressed with Alfresco and can see the potential to do some really cool stuff in it. Unfortunately, due to the learning curve, lacklustre documentation and short amount of disposable time I abandoned Alfresco as an option. I will re-visit it when I have more time.

In the end I chose OpenCms as “the simplest thing that works” and spent 2.5 days spiking an Intranet on it.

[follow up comment] Anyway OpenCms will remain as the best LightWeight Open Source Enterprise WCMS and the upcoming OpenCms JSR168 Module Contribution from China will add the desired portal capabilities to her rich feature list.
From a post regarding OpenCms/eCommerce integration:
What caught my eye, however, is the amount of momentum OpenCms seems to be having. With two, high impact, big releases (v6 and v7), OpenCms has brought itself back into the limelight after losing mind-share to the new generation of Java based WCM platforms (Magnolia, Jahia, Alfresco).

Plus, OpenCms is considerably less expensive (there is no "Enterprise" version to buy. All the revenue comes from support). Support packages from Alkacon are relatively inexpensive and provide enough of a safety net to molify the risk averse CIO.
From a post regarding an Alfresco/OpenCms Integration component:
Perhaps the key value to this component is that it allows you manage content within Alfresco's sophisticated repository and leverage OpenCms's more mature web content delivery functionality. For example, maybe you use Alfresco for internal collaboration and document sharing and then you publish some assets to your OpenCms powered corporate web site.
No JCR Integration

OpenCms does not currently support JCR integration. This has been requested several times on the mailing list and is included in the wish list , but is not noted in the public development roadmap.

OpenCms uses a file system metaphor to manage content, rather than a link-based metaphor. It creates a proprietary Virtual File System (VFS) from the information in the database, and stores all content within it. The VFS is part of the OpenCms database and is not a normal file system like NTFS or ext3 as outlined here.

Accessing the VFS using WebDAV is outlined here.

Other Resources

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