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By GCN Staff

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Open sourcing the portal

New item on our to-do list at GCN: Include more open source software in technology coverage.

Sure, we cover issues within the open source community quite a bit, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of using open source. But we forget that there are open source options in pretty much every group of products we cover.

Case in point: Portals. Rob Hankey, vice president of operations from HRWorX LLC, of Dulles, Va. e-mailed us to point out a gap in on portal software story that ran in the Jan. 22 issue. We didn't include any open source portal projects, though many fairly-mature open-source portals do exist.

'Some are not as functional at the commercial versions, or as well documented...but they sure are cheaper,' Hankey said. Make no mistake, using an open source portal probably will not be free'even if the software itself is free'but an open source portal in conjunction with support services from a company such as Hankey's still may cost less in the long run.

A Java shop, HRWorX typically may typically use one of four open source Java-based portals. One is the JBoss portal, which is perhaps 'the most widely used and probably best documented with the best user forums,' Hankey noted. Liferay is another solid option, though the documentation and user support does not appear to be quite as strong. Others include the widely used Jetspeed, from the Apache Foundation, and the eXo Portal, an enterprise portal and content management system (Version 5 of which has just been released).

Still others could be found here.

Posted by Joab Jackson on Feb 08, 2007 at 9:39 AM

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Reader Comments

Fri, Feb 23, 2007 Shevonne Polastre VA

Open Source software lets you experiment with all sorts of applications that are sometimes more robust than expensive, known-name software.Shevonne PolastreExperienced Technical/Proposal Writerhttp:/www.enallage.org

Thu, Feb 15, 2007 James Weingart VA

My organization does not have an IT staff beyond the network engineers so that my goal was to stand up a system that did not required coding. DotNetNuke allowed me to do that and I had a system ready for users in about 2 weeks. We're still building it out but without developing any code - it is a configured solution. Plus, the technology stack is all Microsoft, out of the box. There are lots of 3rd party modules available that can be plugged in to add functionality incrementally. It has worked well for us. Free software isn't a free lunch - someone has to put the time in to stand it up. This solution was easily 1/10th the cost of the other option I had available.

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