Most portals and Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) combine functionality with content, usually a mix of HTML, documents, images or video. Earlier portal platforms relied on external Content Management Systems (CMS) to achieve this functionality. However, the convergence of CMS and portals is becoming more prevalent. Good portal platforms not only have their own content management system, but are able to integrate with external CMS platforms.
A native CMS within a portal platform should minimally support the ability to:
-Import content from existing repositories into its own repository. (E.g., via import utilities that programmatically
use an API)
– Manage and edit unstructured HTML content using a modern WYSIWYG editing interface
– Define and use workflows that are based on the jBPM standard
– Define and use structured content types. The CMS should provide:
– The ability to define new structured content types without having to restart the server
– The ability to create display templates for the structured content types
– An easy to use interface for editing the structured content types
– Preview content and publish it to staging and production environments
– Automatically create versions when changes are made
– Support automatic expiration of content based on a date attribute.
The Liferay portal platform provides strong CMS capabilities, and was recently named the most popular Java-based CMS system in Water & Stone’s 2010 Open Source CMS Market Share Report.
As mentioned above, good portal platforms can also easily integrate with externally managed content. Since moving a significant amount of content from an existing CMS can be cost prohibitive, it makes more sense to manage, access, and serve the content directly from the external CMS. Ideally, the portal platform will support the external system through a native interface protocol. Alternatively, external content should be able to be accessed using the standard Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) protocol.
Liferay Enterprise Portal is an example of a platform that provides out-of-the-box connectivity using native protocols for integration with SharePoint and WebDAV- based repositories. Other repositories, such as Alfresco, are supported directly using the CMIS protocol. (Earlier versions of Liferay simply used Alfresco as a repository with the intent of using the native Liferay user interface to manage content. However, the latest release supports bi-directional editing capabilities where the same repository hierarchy is reflected in both platforms, making it easy to edit the content from within either environment.)
For more info, check out our white paper: Is Liferay Right for Your Organization.