Why choose Magnolia as Open Source CMS?
Maurizio Müller | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated August 20, 2015

Why choose Magnolia as Open Source CMS?

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version

Magnolia EE 5.2.2

Overall Satisfaction with Magnolia (V5 and later versions)

Magnolia CMS is a great product to develop enterprise websites, extranets and intranets. At the moment, the community is growing day by day but so far not many extensions are available. Magnolia is an enterprise CMS, the initial learning curve takes time, to learn all its functionalities and how to customize it is necessary to know Java. When one wants to develop just a simple website without complexity which doesn’t need any specific features such as workflow, versioning, environment separation between staging and public, etc. it is preferable to choose another CMS.
  • The usability of Magnolia is appreciated, a content editor easily learns how to manage the content in two hours only.
  • Magnolia is open, flexible and extendible and it is possible to modify or improve the standards features. Using Java API, REST, SOAP, CMIS, XML, etc. makes it possible to integrate other software or legacy data.
  • Magnolia as a modular architecture, a module has its lifecycle, configuration, version handing and dependency: this is a good approach for package content and functionality.
  • Magnolia is written in Java, the platform of choice for enterprise IT systems. It is scalable, stable and secure, and Magnolia separates the staging from public environment.
  • Magnolia lacks of an administrative dashboard showing all the workflow, possibly in a graphical representation of their status.
  • The audit module only logs in a file: having a dashboard for the audit would be a nice improvement.
  • When the time comes to configure templates and components in the Standard Templating Kit is quite complicated and boring at times. A widget to help the developer would be a very interesting job. In addition, having the possibility to configure template and component in the Standard Template Kit by code would be nice.
  • Implementing a customization in the administrative UI or in the dialogs isn’t simple and the developer must know Vaadin.
  • Migrating from the previous major release is complicated and expensive, since Magnolia 5 isn’t compatible with the old major versions (Magnolia 4).
  • The biggest business for Tinext is digital marketing. Our team - which includes Sales accounts, Project managers, information architects, software engineers, designers, system engineers, etc. - use Magnolia CMS every day. Having a team focused on a product only is very efficient and allows us to offer a good service and advice to customers.
  • Our customers have very high expectations and need a lot of integration: the flexibility of Magnolia allows us to satisfy every request.
I evaluated many CMS products and I’m continuing to evaluate them to verify the new functionality introduced.

I evaluated these products: Alfresco, Apache Lenya, DotCMS, Drupal, Liferay, Hippo, Joomla, OpenCMS. I chose Magnolia because Magnolia offers two licensed community editions and the commercial edition, is written in Java, the solution is open and extensible, it is very simple to use for the contributors, and includes a good set of functionalities out of the box, as well as being secure and scalable. I think Alfresco is a very good DMS but the CMS functionality could be improved.

If I had to develop a portal with portlet I would choose, but the portlet needs a lot of system resources, as well as the integration of the external product or legacy data which usually doesn’t support natively the portlet so I haven’t used Liferay in a real project.
Apache Lenya, DotCMS, Hippo and OpenCMS are very good products too, especially Hippo CMS which in the last few years made important improvements. Drupal and Joomla are very simple to use and to develop a small website, and there are many extensions available in the community. On the other hand, customizing or integrating other systems is not so simple.

Magnolia CMS is a great product to develop enterprise websites, extranets and intranets. At the moment, the community is growing day by day but so far not many extensions are available. Magnolia is an enterprise CMS, the initial learning curve takes time, to learn all its functionalities and how to customize it is necessary to know Java. When one wants to develop just a simple website without complexity which doesn’t need any specific features such as workflow, versioning, environment separation between staging and public, etc. it is preferable to choose another CMS.

Using Magnolia (V5 and later versions)

Magnolia is an innovative CMS, for example it is possible to use the ipad to manage the contents. Magnolia’s team works hard to improve the product; the community is small but active and the support for the enterprise version is good. Magnolia’s team asks the users what they think and what they need, and the new functionalities planned for Magnolia 5.3 are very exciting for example the content personalization.

Magnolia V5+ Training