Open Source vs Proprietary – Part 2

Read Part 1

When I started to write about open source versus proprietary software, the aim was to discuss why Acqal is committed to open source in general and TYPO3, Magento, and other open source systems, in particular. If no adequate open source option is available, we have no problem using a proprietary solution. At Acqal, our goal is to use the best software for each client’s individual needs.

In any case, I figured this would be an easy series of articles to write, but I realized that I needed to back up my statements with references and I didn’t realize how difficult it was to find out accurate prices for licensing the big proprietary systems with which TYPO3 competes.

Then, there is the issue of terminology. It is really nice to talk about oranges and have the listener knowing the discussion is about oranges and not thinking it is about kumquats. Here at Acqal, we discuss terminology frequently. At one time we used content management system (CMS), but realized this was too limiting, TYPO3 is far more than that. Then, we settled on website management system (WMS), as this widens the scope. But, website management is not really an industry term and can easily be misunderstood, in my opinion. In the industry, the big boys are called Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems, with Web Content Management Systems (WCMS) being a subset of ECM.

Confused yet? No kidding. Before I can go much further in this discussion, I feel it important to lay out some definitions so we will all know what I am talking about. I believe that TYPO3 fits into all the categories defined below.

The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) definition for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the technologies used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization’s unstructured information, wherever that information exists.

A Web content management system (WCMS or Web CMS) is defined by Wikipedia as software, usually implemented as a Web application, for creating and managing HTML content. It is used to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of Web material (HTML documents and their associated images). A WCMS facilitates content creation, content control, editing, and many essential Web maintenance functions.

Finally, Wikipedia defines Content Management System (CMS) as a computer software system for organizing and facilitating collaborative creation of documents and other content, especially for loading to a website.

Lots of overlap between these definitions, I believe. The next article in this series will get down to why TYPO3 is the best solution for most of the requirements mentioned in all three definitions.