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Home / News and Resources / OpenCms – Initial Notes from OpenCms Days Conference: May 5th 2008, Cologne

This is an old article (from June 2008) that we have transferred from our old (and now permanently retired) WordPress blog.


OpenCms is the open source content management system, that forms the basis for many of our successful web projects (e.g. www.artsderbyshire.org.uk).

I attended (and presented at) the first international OpenCms conference in May 2008. Here are some notes that I took at the event. A complete conference programme can be found on the OpenCms Days website and the slides and video recordings of the presentations are available on the OpenCMS website. The key theme for the conference was that OCMS is a powerful platform that is widely used on major global, mission critical sites (e.g. www.gardena.de) but the developer community is rather weak in comparison to that associated with other open source products (i.e.Drupal) with OCMS developers tending to ‘hang onto’ their code base, for the following reasons:

  • concerns about IPR- some companies have built successful businesses around sophisticated bespoke code and they are concerned that releasing that code will compromise their success
  • failure to coordinate between OpenCMS developers- with the result that those organisations that want to provide code to the community are not sure what is valuable and whether it is worthwhile making the effort to release
  • no clear sense among the community of whether there is a wider market for modules that OpenCMS developers have authored - for example Futurate have an ‘events module’, but is the market large enough to justify making it available for free or at a charge....?

There was wide agreement among delegates that the situation must change if the product is to move forward, and development of the OpenCms website to more actively support community code exchange seems the most likely outcome. Delegates were reminded that the current OpenCms website contains a small list of modules and extensions, as does the OpenCms wiki. A comprehensive single point of call for developers and business managers does not exist however, nor does any method of determining the quality of any released code through approaches such as peer review or rating. For readers who are interested in learning more about freely available code/documentation for OpenCms, the following links may be of interest:

A limited set of freely available open source modules, plus lots of documentation produced by Alkacon (the developers of OpenCms).

The Alkacon OAMP (OpenCms Add-On Module Package) offers a number of extension modules including a mailing list module, webuser registration, counter webform and RSS -

Modules that have been created by others and are freely available.

I felt that the following modules/extensions are worth singling out as of particular interest:

Konakart ecommerce extension

Greeting card module

Bearing point OpenCMS modules (includes workflow module, which is sorely missed OpenCms functionality)

Danish Library KB Suite - (note that the Danish Library have released a lot of OCMS code, some of which is only available on request). Also Karl Nielsen presented at OCMS Days 2008 and his slides and a video of his talk will be available via the OCMS website).

OpenCms connector Xstandard WYSIWYG - for those OpenCms developers who are dissatisfied with the ‘out of the box’ OpenCms editors ‘Xstandard’ offer a viable, cost-effective alternative.

The OpenCms Page Definition module looks very interesting in that it enhances the functionality that’s available through Direct Edit. My understanding is that it uses script.aculo.us javascript library, which is a little unfortunate since our view is that jQuery is a better library which is also to be integrated into the OpenCms core in the near future.


Authored by: Jonathan Grove, Futurate, June 2008

Sun, 06/12/2009 - 17:17