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Why dotCMS plugins change everything…

Mar 27, 2009

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But in all the new features and fixes there is one that is a biggie.  It's the most important and potentially game changing addition to dotCMS since our structured content engine; it's our new plugin architecture.  As of version 1.7 dotCMS will include a plugin architecture that allows developers and webmasters to extend and improve dotCMS functionality, from adding the latest JavaScript doohickey as a macro to overriding the system at the java/portlet/db level and everything in-between.  Basically, the entire system can be customized and extended. Because of this, I think, plugins change everything for dotCMS.  Here is my reasoning in four bullets.

  1. Plugins Enable Community - we haven't even released plugins yet and we are getting plugins contributions from our community.  This is a huge development and bodes well for future uptake.  We are developing a plug-in repository that will follow the joomla extension /app store type model and act as a clearing house for new additions to the system.
  2. Plugins give site administrators core stability AND the ability to quickly add cool new features as they become available.
  3. Plugins gives developers looking for a java CMS platform a clear development environment, one that won't break the upgrade path.
  4. Plugins allows us - as a company - to offer dotCMS Enterprise Subscription/Warranty and custom Professional Services in a ways that don't come into conflict. Really, plugins enable us to offer a whole host of new products that are yet to be invented.

    Ok, here is one more, which is really all of the above combined.
  5. Plugins puts dotCMS in the position to be THE java web CMS.  Right now, all anyone can talk about is Drupal or Alfresco, the big VC guys.  Well, if you are a java web developer and have tried to build sites on Alfresco, you will know that there is a lot of room for improvement.  And Drupal, well, there are times when companies need java to get the job done.  That's where we come in.

We are not there yet and are working furiously on improving all parts of the plugin experience, so expect there to be continual improvements.  But watch this space, because I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more about dotCMS and plugins.

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