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  1. #51
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    For those of you who developed your own CMS or use an open source CMS, how do you address the "if I get hit by a bus" scenario? For instance, I had a follow-up discussion with a prospect this week. I pointed out that our CMS was not something we developed internally or an open souce application; it was a commercially developed product. In the case that I get hit by a bus, they could easily turn to any developer familiar with .NET, or even the company that developed it for additional work or support. Not necessarily true with your own CMS (unless you're more than a one-man shop), and only somewhat true with an open-source product.

    She admitted that this was a "huge concern" and was happy to hear that it wasn't a home-brewed or open source application. This is the second time in as many sales calls that the "getting hit by a bus" scenario was brought up. Any thoughts?

  2. #52
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Documentation, documentation documentation....

    That's for knowing how to operate it.

    I developed it in such a way that all you need to know to extend it is XML/XSL. If you want to create a new theme/skin/style/look you need to know CSS and XML. That's it. There's nothing more to know. So if I get hit by the proverbial bus.... Life goes on and so do the websites. It's ported to run on ASP/PHP and .NET so as long as those technologies are supported so is my CMS. It's a compact little "web engine" with plugins for specialty sections like news, faq's, articles, ecomm, etc...

    As far as Open Source goes, it's in even better shape. The bus needs to hit the whole developer community that supports it

    What happen when the Software company decides not to support their product or forces an update?
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  3. #53
    SitePoint Enthusiast mediatech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson
    Documentation, documentation documentation....

    That's for knowing how to operate it.

    As far as Open Source goes, it's in even better shape. The bus needs to hit the whole developer community that supports it

    What happen when the Software company decides not to support their product or forces an update?
    Good point... TYPO3 has the most documentation of any open source CSM I've seen, however there's also overkill as with TYPO3. My recommendation is to stick to the video tutorials

  4. #54
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awasson
    Documentation, documentation documentation....
    I'm sure this doesn't apply to anyone here, but my experience is that you're an exception, rather than the rule. My neighbor's company is looking for a new developer because the one they've used for the past few years hasn't documented a thing, so if he were to get hit by the proverbial bus, they'd be screwed (proverbially, of course).

    Quote Originally Posted by awasson
    That's for knowing how to operate it.

    I developed it in such a way that all you need to know to extend it is XML/XSL. If you want to create a new theme/skin/style/look you need to know CSS and XML. That's it. There's nothing more to know. So if I get hit by the proverbial bus.... Life goes on and so do the websites. It's ported to run on ASP/PHP and .NET so as long as those technologies are supported so is my CMS. It's a compact little "web engine" with plugins for specialty sections like news, faq's, articles, ecomm, etc...

    As far as Open Source goes, it's in even better shape. The bus needs to hit the whole developer community that supports it
    I'm more curious to know about the client's perception. Have you had to address this issue, and was your client satified with your assurance that you've adequately documented your work?

    Quote Originally Posted by awasson
    What happen when the Software company decides not to support their product or forces an update?
    The same thing that woud happen if it were open source -- life would go on. Like yours, the application is fully extensible using XML/XSL.

  5. #55
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by john
    My neighbor's company is looking for a new developer because the one they've used for the past few years hasn't documented a thing, so if he were to get hit by the proverbial bus, they'd be screwed (proverbially, of course).
    I think this is true about most in-house software and I'm referring to time-trackers, accounting, etc... where a developer has built or extended for a specific business' use. If it isn't documented you can be in for trouble. I've run into this myself with websites I've inherited where the developer has packed up and gone elsewhere. It can definitely happen. We've been in business for about 11 years and that holds some weight with prospects that we'll be around for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by john
    I'm more curious to know about the client's perception. Have you had to address this issue, and was your client satified with your assurance that you've adequately documented your work?
    I suppose we've had to deal with this type of concern about many projects but in my experience, clients are more confident with the knowledge that we have a demonstratable product. (This would seem to be the same regardless of us developing it in-house, licensing closed, or open source.)

    Quote Originally Posted by john
    The same thing that woud happen if it were open source -- life would go on. Like yours, the application is fully extensible using XML/XSL.
    Not always so. I recently chatted with a client who is currently using MS Siteserver 3.0. Because of Microsoft's migration from ASP to .NET they no longer can run the existing site. Now I'm not sure if they paid a one-time license or if it's yearly. I expect it is a yearly license because their vendor is now pitching a quote to move them to MS Commerce Server on .NET and telling them that they will not provide any support for Site Server.

    It's a business ecommerce site. They need to have support from their vendor.

    I've worked on the internals of their site and expect Commerce Server will be a huge improvement but it's a bit of a forced move that will cost them a few bucks. Probably about $12k to $15k by the time the dust settles and they aren't a huge company. Bigger than a mom & pop business but not big enough so that they won't feel it.

    This leads me to think that an Open Source initiative is an even better option because if the product goes proprietary or becomes bought up the GPL code can continue in the open arena. I've followed a few (PHPShop, PHPBB) and they have extremely dedicated followings.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development


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