Scott Paley talks about Choosing an appropriate web content management system . I've got two additional comments on two quotes:
Here's auote one: That's one of the nicest things about working with an open source CMS. You get to spend your money on customization and configuration, and not just on licensing.
Also spend your money on getting the extensions your provider makes for you released as more generic open source extensions. So not just for you, but for the generic public. Some of the items that I've been involved in that had at least partial customer funding: feedfeeder, instancemanager, azlinks, a security howto / httpslogin .
"I want to give something back" is pretty strong at some customers. Some only look at the price, but others allow you to book 4 hours for some extra documentation and packaging and putting it on plone.org. And moving it from Zest's internal svn repository to Plone's collective svn repository.
You also can get the advantage of feedback: some bugs are found, for instance.
The second quote: With the commercial systems, there is a significant amount of vendor lock-in you will experience, and typically you will not have the flexibility to customize commercial products the way you'd like.
See an earlier post by me about contracts and licenses .
Well, what's the lock-in to your provider? What's the license on the code? At Zest software we, in practice, place all the code under the GPL license. Not that we publish everything, but it gives both us and the customer all the freedom we want/need. They can take the code and go to one of our fellow plone companies in the Netherlands . They're free to do that, so they won't :-)
The customer can modify code themselves (some can/want that) without licensing/copyright hassles. Hey, they modified GPL code, so it stays GPL code. No problems. Two of our customers regularly hang out in our own IRC channel and at least three actively commit to our svn repository.
Another advantage: it is easy to share code snippets or whole examples with other plonistas.
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
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