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Introducing the 'CMS Vendor Meme'

In the last weeks the "7 things about me"-meme has been all over the blogosphere (here are some random examples.). In case you missed it, here's how it works: a blogger reveals 7 previously unknown things about himself. That permits him to "tag" other bloggers, i.e. to publicly challenge them to reveal 7 things as well. If the tagged blogger accepts the challenge he:

  1. blogs about the 7 things he wants to reveal,
  2. provides a backlink to the blogger that tagged him,
  3. and tags some other bloggers he wants to challenge.


It is in this great tradition that we herewith introduce: the

"CMS Vendor" Meme


The rules:

  • A CMS vendor is challenged to honestly answer all items on the "Reality checklist for vendors" suggested by CMSWatch's Kas Thomas (aka the "we-get-it checklist for vendors").
  • If possible the vendor has supply screenshots, links or other means to make it easy to verify the answers.
  • The answers also need to be supplied in a short form of one to three stars (denoting "no", "sort-of", "yes").
  • Answering all questions on his blog allows the vendor tag some other WCMS vendors.
  • A tagged vendor should provide a link back to the blog that tagged him.

So here we go:

1. Our software comes with an installer program.

Sure, one double click: installed. One folder removed: uninstalled. There are no strings attached.(see the screencast here)

2. Installing or uninstalling our software does not require a reboot of your machine.

Of course not. Installing is one double-click only, no reboot needed.

3. You can choose your locale and language at install time, and never have to see English again after that.

Well, there is really no install time.. But after that, you change the language in the preferences.

Hmm. Not perfect. Will settle for "sort-of".

4. Eval versions of the latest edition(s) of our software are always available for download from the company website.

CRX (our content infrastructure platform upon which our WCM, DAM, and Social Collaboration application are built) is available for free download by developers for non-production use. Our CQ WCM, DAM, and Social Collaboration applications are available upon request under an eval license. 2 stars only.

5. Our WCM software comes with a fully templated "sample web site" and sample workflows, which work out-of-the-box.


6. We ship a tutorial.

Yes, it is part of the help files.

7. You can raise a support issue via a button, link, or menu command in our administrative interface.

Ermhh.... Good idea :). Well, in CRX there is a direct link to the mailing list where support is provided. But I'll settle for 1 star.

8. All help files and documentation for the product are laid down as part of the install.


9. We run our entire company website using the latest version of our own WCMproducts.

Of course (we updated to CQ5 on the day of the release). is running on CRX and Sling at the moment (will be running on CQ SocialCollab when that's released)

10. Our salespeople understand how our products work.

As part of our product launch process, no product goes GA without our internal Sales, Consulting, and Support staff having downloaded, installed, and trained on the new product capabilities.

I know this for sure because I did parts of the training.

11. Our software does what we say it does.

12. We don't charge extra for our SDK.

There is no extra charge for CQDE (our IDE for CQ development). For lower level JCR development anyone can download our Eclipse plugin. Finally, CQ5 is built upon Sling which is open source, hence the APIs are free and open.

13. Our licensing model is simple enough for a 5-year-old to understand.

Make it a nine year old, but we are working on it... however, it is much easier than the usual industry level enterprise pricing... A "sort-of".

14. We have one price sheet for all customers.

Same pricelist, different currencies though.

15. Our top executives are on Skype, Twitter, or some similar channel, and: Feel free to contact them directly at any time.

Absolutely, all email addresses are on the web. The addresses also work as Jabber/GTalk addresses. Moreover, there is:

David Nuescheler (CTO): Slideshare, Xing, LinkedIn, david.nuescheler on Skype

Roy Fielding (Chief Scientist): Slideshare, @fielding on Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn

Kevin Cochrane (CMO): @kevinc2003 on Twitter, LinkedIn, kevinvcochrane on Skype, YIM: kevinvcochrane, Facebook: kevinc2003

So our final score is:



And we are tagging:OpenText, Coremedia, Interwoven, Vignette (where's your blog?), Fatwire (where's your blog?), Nuxeo, Magnolia and Tridion (where's your blog?)

Come on, guys. Don't be shy.

Update: adding the meme ID 9c56d0fcf93175d70e1c9b9d188167cf suggested by Bertrand. Google is our friend.



  • By djg - 2:05 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    Hmmm ... what about CMSes that are only offered as SAS? They don't quite fit in your scheme.
  • By Michael Marth - 2:17 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    @djg well Kas' list is probably geared towards vendors that offer an installation on site. However, I think almost all items also apply to SaaS CMSs (apart from the installation stuff probably).
  • By SevenZark - 4:49 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    As a front-end developer, I'm saddened to see that friendliness to semantic markup, best practices and standards for HTML/CSS, and seo-friendly html structures are not included as highly important issues. It does reflect the importance given to it in most of the CMS applications themselves, too, sad to say.
  • By Boris Kraft - 5:17 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    Accepted the tagging ;-)<br/><br/><br/><br/>Cheers from Magnolia
  • By Bill Winett - 5:46 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    Kas - just getting the vendors to state who they think their competitors are makes this a great idea.
  • By cleve - 7:52 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    Michael, can you point us to the url for the pricelist for all customers please?
  • By Kas Thomas - 8:46 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    SevenZark, the things you mentioned are extremely important. The list I came up with was arbitrary, of course, and very-high-level. But the intent was to address the most common customer pain points around the procurement and rollout of enterprise software. These pain points coincidentally happen to have a lot to do with how "open" the vendor is. <br/><br/>For example, we know (from a variety of sources, including studies we did at a software company I once worked for) that one of the most common complaints of customers is that the software they bought doesn't do what they were led to believe it would do! <br/><br/>We know, too (again from real-world surveys), that potential buyers of large software systems very often find that software salespeople do not have a solid understanding of the systems they are selling. <br/><br/>Lack of escalation options in cases where first-line support didn't perform, is also a frequent source of frustration.<br/><br/>So, all of these criteria are in the nature of high-level "problem areas" that are common in the enterprise-software world. They do not address functionality or design issues. That would be a different meme-theme altogether.
  • By Kas Thomas - 8:48 PM on Mar 17, 2009   Reply
    Bill W., I wish I could say I was so smart as to think of that in the first place. I'm not that smart. But as with any happy design accident, I'll take full credit!
  • By Jon Marks - 12:30 AM on Mar 18, 2009   Reply
    I think this whole thread is brilliant. Kudos to Day for sticking their neck out, and to Kas for providing the framework. It didn't take long for Alfresco and Magnolia to join the party. I'm really hoping that Vignette, Interwoven and OpenText have the balls to play too. I've got a feeling one of them might get 45/45 ...<br/><br/>More thoughts on my blog.
  • By Michael Marth - 8:50 AM on Mar 18, 2009   Reply
    @cleve the prices for CRX are here: Re CQ: the list is not public, but I believe all partners like Cognifide should have it. If not it'll be quickest to get in touch with Trevor Salmon (trevor.salmon(at)
  • By Gunnar Klauberg - 6:56 PM on Mar 18, 2009   Reply
    We cought the ball. Thanks for mentioning us, here is our response. <br/>
  • By Martin - 7:37 PM on Mar 18, 2009   Reply
    GX Joins the cocktail party:
  • By Bertrand Delacretaz - 10:01 PM on Mar 18, 2009   Reply
    I have a suggestion to help find web pages related to this meme: add the following string to all such pages, so that a web search finds them: 9c56d0fcf93175d70e1c9b9d188167cf<br/><br/>This number is the md5 of some great software, the first person to tell me which file that is gets a free beer or equivalent beverage ;-)<br/><br/>
  • By Thomas Witt @ Infopark AG - 10:01 PM on Mar 18, 2009   Reply
    Great idea - we'll join in:<br/><br/><br/><br/>Tag added, thanks to Bertrand. :-)<br/>
  • By - 11:38 PM on Mar 20, 2009   Reply
    "We run our entire company website using the latest version of our own WCMproducts."<br/><br/>Any plan for upgrading DayCare to CQ5?
  • By Pascal - 9:50 AM on Mar 22, 2009   Reply
    MD5 (cq-author-7502.jar) = 9c56d0fcf93175d70e1c9b9d188167cf<br/><br/>
  • By Michael Marth - 11:11 AM on Mar 23, 2009   Reply
    @pascal<br/>correct... but too late to get the beer, unfortunately ...<br/>
  • By Kia Puhm - 3:37 PM on Mar 23, 2009   Reply
    >> Any plan for upgrading DayCare to CQ5?<br/>Most definitely! ... and the timing of your question is great.<br/><br/>The newly formed Customer Satisfaction team will be focusing on the development of our customer portal which will include all of our self-assisted and assisted applications, such as DayCare, in order to better serve our customers. We've dedicated a full time Web Application Developer to this responsibility and are kick-starting this initiative this week in Basel.<br/><br/>You'll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks.