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

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Plone's Subway Station

One graphical idiom that has caught on in the last few years has been the subway map for the Internet. First popularized by iA by placing top-ranking Internet concepts on top of the Tokyo metro map, now they're working on their 4th annual production (pending any day now).

Similarly, CMS Watch has put together a vendor map of the CMS landscape. Here's a small copy (click to view the larger original).

Interestingly, Plone is tucked away in the lower lefthand corner at the intersection of the web content management, social software & collaboration, and enterprise portal lines. The main line running horizontally across the middle of the map is enterprise content managment--not surprising given CMS Watch line of business.

Back to opensource, Drupal is one stop away, but off the enterprise portal line. Joomla, Typo3, DotNetNuke, EZ Publish, and their ilk are nearby on only the web content management line. WordPress, frequently compared with CMSs like Plone, is halfway across the map on the social software & collaboration tube.

To reach other stations that share Plone's three lines, one has to travel all the way down to the main line. There we finally meet up with IBM, Microsoft, EMC, Interwoven, Vinette, and Oracle. These are all commercial, proprietary heavy hitters.

This visualization gives one the best eagle's eye view of why its so hard to compare the many vendors and their products. Systems that are frequently lumped together may be adjacent but on different lines. Distinctive core capabilities and differentiating feature sets mean that CMSs have stations throughout the requirements landscape and are adapting in different ways as that landscape shifts, expands, and evolves.

Thanks for this, CMS Watch.

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While I've got your attention, I'd like to mention an unrelated item that also hit the web on 3 March. Its a posting on A List Apart entitled The Elements of Social Architecture. Worth the read. Nice plug for the book, too. Keep in mind the closing quote from the author, Christina Wodtke:
If we remember the social in social architecture, we can continue to make new products that delight people as well as change their lives.

1 comment:

Francesco said...

The insight that CMS Watch have is incredible. I've the 2008 map printed behind my desk, I need to update it, now. As you are pointing out Plone fits in this very special place where web publishing, collaboration and enterprise meet. It's one of Plone most important selling points when talking of a medium to big size intranet/extranet where the three components above are all very important.

Thanks Karl.