Sense/Net 6.0, the .NET Open Source Enterprise Content Management System has released its latest, Beta 4.3 version with Active Directory synchronization implemented. This is a small feature addon to the Beta4 version of the software, which among others implemented workspace support probably first in the open source .NET ECM world.
I’ve recently written a blog post on Sense/Net being an open source alternative of Vignette v8 based on the preview video on Vignette v8 available online.
Stating that Sense/Net 6.0 is an alternative for Vignette v8 does sound really bold though. Vignette is (well, was, until Open Text acquired it) a company on NASDAQ with over 600 employees with an annual revenue well over $200M while Sense/Net is a company of 45 and an annual revenue of about $2M. Vignette probably spends 10x more money on R&D than the total annual income of Sense/Net. What are the chances that Sense/Net can make a software even comparable to Vignette? Practically nothing.
The reason however that I made this statement is because I couldn’t prove the other way round – that Vignette is far more advanced than Sense/Net. The easiest way would have been to place the two products next to each other and evaluate them (actually this is what some vendor neutral companies like CMS Watch or J.Boye do in the forms of reports). As a simple developer/blogger though I didn’t have that option. An evaluation version of Vignette is not available for me – or even my company: we are just too small for a such a giant. So that left me to compare with the sources Vignette provided: the video and their webpage. And based on this pretty much the same functionality can be achieved with our open source software. If you are a developer you can even install the portal featured in the video and try our yourself.
I know that the comparison is not fair at all and that Vignette has a huge number of features that Sense/Net does not. I would love to get more information on Vignette to have a better comparison so if there is any publicly available data/demo other than on the Vignette v8 page, please let me know.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the core team developing Sense/Net 6.0.
On 24th July we released the Beta 4 version of Sense/Net. This version includes two important added features compared to the previous release:
- SmartBuilding support – until this version Contents in the site could not be adressed directly, e.g. the content yoursite.com/Products/Camera-Sx-410 could only be viewed on a page with an URL someting like this: yoursite.com/ProductViewerPage?Content=Root/Products/Camera-Sx-410 With SmartBuliding. From now contents can be addressed directly and viewer pages are assigned to content in a smart way using theSmartApplication model
- Workspace support – collaborative project workspaces can be created sharing memos, documents, deadlines an an activity log of who has been doing what.
The Beta 4 release was actually the result of rapid development – from planning to finish it took about a month – and this was the first release of Sense/Net that arrived on time as we planned to. 24 July was the deadline we set for ourselves and we managed to keep to that – and this was the first release where we used the MSF methodology as strict as possible.
To see a more detailed announcement of the Beta 4 read the blog post on the Sense/Net ECMS development blog.
Recently I’ve been creating a list of useful addons for Sense/Net which the community would find useful. To get an idea I started looking at some open source CMS projects with heavy community participation. I started the list with Drupal and to my surprise among the top 40 extensions I found plenty of which are core features of Sense/Net. These are the following:
- Content Construction Kit
- ImageField, FileField
You can read the full article on the Sense/Net devblog.
About two weeks ago ECMS vendor Day started off a smaller lavina in the CMS vendor blogosphere by completing the reality checklist published by CMS Watch and tagged some other vendor to have them complete it as well.
As of now more than 20 vendors have completed this checklist. Even though Sense/Net was not tagged once we heard of this meme, we decided to fill out the test and evaluate ourselves as well. You can see the Sense/Net CMS Vendor meme results here.