Open Source CMS vs. proprietary CMS

There are numerous commercially available, proprietary Content Management Systems (CMS) that are primarily suited for business-critical applications. Several are extensive Enterprise-class solutions – but the majority are small solutions, usually implemented locally or in specific market segments.


Characteristics of proprietary CMS

The “vendor lock-in” problem

As a rule, proprietary Content Management Systems with a server architecture and interfaces are solutions developed especially by individual vendors. Due to vendor lock-in, function extensions are generally only possible if a large demand for the new feature exists. Individualized solutions and extensions of proprietary CMS are usually not possible or can only be implemented at great cost.

Proprietary CMS means expensive adjustments

The integration of an Enterprise-class CMS by a service provider is often associated with excessive costs. The expenditures depend on the complexity of the CMS and the necessary adjustments. In addition, license fees for the software and – und certain circumstances – investments in special hardware are also needed to set up the optimal system. Vendors generally offer comprehensive service and support – but only for the system components offered. Because of legacy infrastructures, individually customized features are usually not possible or extremely costly.

The issue of shakeout in the CMS market

The IT- and software industry is undergoing a radical upheaval – a situation that especially affects CMS vendors: Many established products have been acquired by competitors in the past years (e.g. Gauss, RedDot, Vignette, Interwoven). The long-term continuation of these product lines is often uncertain. Whenever a solution disappears from the market users have an increasingly difficult task to find know-how or support for the CMS.

This danger does not exist with an established Open Source Enterprise Web Content Management System such as TYPO3 and Drupal, which are continuously undergoing development by a worldwide community of independent companies, developers and designers.

Open Source Software – no “vendor lock-in” and a scalable, future-proof platform

Compared to commercial software Open Source Products combine all the advantages of proprietary and Open Source Web solutions: high-quality source code, peak performance and maximum efficiency as well as a high level of security against hacker attacks or hijacking of business-critical corporate websites.

In addition, an Open Source CMS solutions such as TYPO3 are significantly more future-proof than a proprietary one: Unlike commercial companies, an Open Source project cannot disappear completely from the market – only individual service providers. As the software is being continuously improved by thousands of supporters a removal from the market is virtually impossible. And, since know-how is readily available, one can switch to a different service provider at any time without endangering the corporate CMS. In a worst-case scenario, as in the case of bankruptcy, such a transition would not be possible when a proprietary product is involved.

Open Source CMS are significantly less expensive than proprietary CMS

However, the decisive advantage of an Open Source CMS solution is not just better scalability and a larger degree of freedom in design, but the costs.

Key benefits:

  • Average savings of more than 50%
  • Quicker “time to market” (up to 75%)
  • Future-proof and scalable platform