We have completed the Vignette infrastructure plan and the Vignette v7 VCM (Vignette Content Management) installation. I am fairly pleased with the infrastructure so far, but the VCM installation doesn’t look as good as it initially did. As we’ve been designing the CDA (Content Delivery Application) system, we’ve noticed that the consulting company was not as careful in their design as they should have been. Especially considering our lack of experience with the product and our reliance on their recommendations. There were some indicators as we were proceeding through the project, but we had to forge on since we didn’t have the time to learn how to do the project ourselves. The most glaring problem is the lack of robustness in the content types they set up – they don’t even allow the basic functionality we had under v6.
Not long after I started working for this company, we had a consulting company come in and take a look at our Vignette v6 implementation. The implementation was largely the deep, dark, black hole where editors entered content and it miraculously appeared on our websites. The web designers knew enough about the system to display content on the sites, but not much more. There was an overpaid consultant already in-house, but all he did was sit around and run his consulting business from one of our desks. No one knew how to properly support the monstrosity (including the in-house consultant it seems in hindsight).
I knew the consulting company previously, as I had worked with them on a previous project at a different company. They suggested that we could save money by purchasing single processor servers because Vignette chargers per processor. While Vignette may be well-meaning by charging per processor, in today’s marketplace of dual processor servers, it seems like this is a severe limitation on their software.
After purchasing the new servers and looking at planning an infrastructure migration project, we learned the Vignette was going to stop supporting v6 after December 2005. Now we were looking at not only migrating our software to new servers, but also migrating our content to a completely new implementation of Vignette (after seriously looking at Vignette replacements). Add to the mix the ever changing requirements of the publishers to sell new types of content, and you have a network change and a separate infrastructure change on top of an already complex V7 migration.
Details to come…
Prism by Web Impact Web Impact has a content management system called Prism, which I demoed a few days ago. It includes a library of templates, designs and stylesheets, which you can add to or extend. The membership controls allow registration on the web pages and can control access to content by page. By using personalization, a user may choose what topics they are interested in and how much they interest them by using a percentage. Web designers can tap into that percentage for serving up special content. This personalization can also be extended to enewsletters or email blasts. On the back end, content managers can share content across pages. Pages can be moved, cloned or ghosted, with the security that does not allow masters to be deleted when children still rely on them. Prism tracks versions and stores all its content in XML. Prism will help with the migration of data by writing scripts to migrate content over with q&a testing.
Prism’s pricing is based upon either purchase or lease of their software. Leases are based upon monthly pricing of number of sites supported and features desired. Pricing for purchase is similar and yearly continual support is available.