I have written about this before in a four part series ending with "Spending money is better than saving it on ECM and CMS." I have also done a pretty objective comparison between TYPO3 and its primary open source competitor, Drupal, in "TYPO3 is the Best Enterprise Content Management System (CMS)."
I have an empirical science background, so I am well aware that we all have biases. However, unless one is intentionally trying to deceive or is just plain not that bright, when writing comparison or advice articles or consulting with clients, one has to be completely honest and as objective as possible.
In the US, I find that discussions about open source software anywhere but within the open source community itself are completely nonobjective, biased, and often out right false.
Recently, two examples smacked me in the face and really made me angry. This kind of thing actually affects my company’s earnings, so they are not trivial matters. These kinds of things must be stopped or at least exposed for what a scientist would call bogus science masquerading as real science.
First, I received my periodic email newsletter from CMSWatch.com. Their slogan is "Get the real story, meaning…
- Impartial product evaluations for technology buyers, rather than software vendors
- Hard-hitting, critical analysis, debunking marketing hype in favor of the truth
- Detailed insights and education based on real end-user experiences
In their latest newsletter, they were promoting their ECM Suites Report 2009, starting at $2,950. I wanted to see what Enterprise Content Management systems were included, so I took a look at the table of contents. Neither TYPO3 nor Drupal are anywhere in the table of contents, not under ECM class, mid-range, or specialty. Only one open source product is, as far as I know, listed and that product is not a free open source product, Alfresco, if you want the Enterprise version.
So, it appears that products that made the cut were mostly proprietary and all had a licensing cost associated with them. The implication, of course is that, if it doesn’t cost you a lot of money, it must not be good. This report is a disservice to anyone who wastes their money on it as it omits options that are better than many, if not all, of the products covered.
I dug a bit more and found their Web CMS Report 2009 list of vendors. Here, I finally found TYPO3 and Drupal. But, the plot thickens. Here are the main categories the WCM solutions were classified under:
- Enterprise Platforms
- Upper Tier
- Mid-Market Mainstream
- Mid-Market Challengers
- Hosted Services
- Commercial Open Source
- Open Source
Obviously, the above listing goes from perceived best to worst, that is the obvious implication to a reasonable person. TYPO3 and Drupal are in the last category. According to this report, neither of them are Enterprise level, upper tier, or even mid-market level products. Again, the more it costs, the better it is, even commercial open source is ahead of free open source. Again, the report is deceptive and does a great disservice to excellent Enterprise and Upper tier free open source CMS products. Companies pay up to $4,500 for the ECM report and up to $3,975 for the CMS report.
If a company uses these reports to make decisions, they will not even consider the Enterprise level solutions that do not cost thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet do as well as or better job. Reports like this also directly cost companies like mine real dollars with their deceptive reporting. Is it intentional due to pressure or sponsorships from the big boys or it is ignorance in believing the myths prevalent in the US about open source software? I have no idea, it doesn’t matter. What I do know is that it is wrong and that generally Europe gets it and most of the US is clueless.
Next week, I’ll cover the second thing that angered me this week on the topic of open source myths.
Please share your comments, we’re really interested to know what you think and if CMSWatch will respond.