"Count what is countable. Measure what is measureable. What is not measureable, make measureable." -- Galileo

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More about Features

Yesterday I noted that Features were poorly defined in the InfoWorld CMS comparison. Their analysis was biased by a mysterious 25% weight on Features (and Ease-of-use) as well. Looking at the Features scores it was Alfresco-10, everyone else-8. I observed that I doubt if Alfresco is 100% feature-finished.

In trying to stay true to my "added rigor" position, I thought I'd cast about for a metric on Features. Most will agree with me that CMS Matrix has the most thorough listing, both of CMSs and of potential features. Out of 136 features listed (ignoring 9 items dealing with system requirments), Alfresco had a 'Yes' or a 'Free Add On' for 130. DotNetNuke had 108, Drupal 102, and Joomla 90. Plone had 129 of the 136 features. This translates into Features percentages of Alfresco-96%, DotNetNuke-79%, Drupal-75%, Joomla-66%, and Plone-95%.

Converting these into 0-10 scores, we have 9.6, 7.9, 7.5, 6.6, and 9.5. Substituting these new, more objective values for InfoWorld's Features score and rerunning their scoring algorithm (with and without their weights) we have:

Alfresco - 9.1 - 8.9
DotNetNuke - 8.4 - 8.3
Drupal - 8.1 - 8.3
Plone - 9.0 - 8.9
Joomla - 8.0 - 8.3

Suddenly we've taken a data set with a run-away leader, Alfresco, and turned it into a two horse race. It also tightens up the grouping among the others.

That said, who cares if Plone has 129 features if the one critical feature you require is missing or poorly implemented as a free add on. Base your decision on your requirements, your IT environment, your staffing strengths and weaknesses, and the job you need done.

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