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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member slicksno's Avatar
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    Anyone have experience with Oxcyon's CentralPoint

    I have a client that has just been purchased by a larger company that uses Oxcyon's CentralPoint CMS. Currently they use Joomla to manage their site, but it will soon be moved to the CentralPoint system. Has anyone had any experience with this system? Any help would be great, the client wants me to help with the transition and make sure that they will not lose any functionality or aesthetics.

    Some questions would be:

    What language is it programmed in?
    Can it be modified if their modules don't have the functionality that is needed?
    How is Oxcyon's service?

    Just hoping to find someone who has actually used this system to give some inside info so I know what I am in for...

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    Judging from their site, it seems to be a lot of sales oriented language. If the company also uses its own product, then the CMS potentially has a .NET (ASP?) backend.

    They also appear to offer an Online Demo as well as a Training Service. I'd recommend using one of these to familiarize yourself with the product. In fact, you might ask the parent company about paying for the training (Unless you fear that they might just replace you with one of their team that does know the system).

  3. #3
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    Unhappy I have used CentralPoint

    I am pro Open Source and experienced at using Joomla. I wish I could convince my company to move to Joomla for their 10 or so magazines' online websites, for which they currently use CentralPoint.

    design challenges:
    They use a hosted version of the product with no "Master Mgt Console", so we don't have access to any real customization in the code nor can we create pre-defined template files saved to the server to use for the homepages. Instead, we use what limited tools they allow us in the CP control panel; where CP lacks, we have to create work-arounds to accomplish a decent website. Their database-driven homepageshave to be managed with html and special javascripts built with their script generator. On top of that, the online WYSIWYG editor loses those javascripts upon editing and saving a homepage stylesheet record, requiring us to have an html file locally, edit that file, then copy and paste for every change whether slight or major.

    bulk edit challenges:
    In record list view, we should have the option to bulk change start or end dates, etc. The only bulk editing option is selecting the check boxes and clicking delete. All other bulk edits require an export to excel then an import back into the system.

    member / community:
    Trying to run mag websites that could encourage an online community (blogs / forums) has proven to be difficult. The forum is completely separate and has to be used within a wrapper. The blog is a limited system, but may have potential if they revisit it. The e-commerce isnt too bad, but we've recently been testing Zen Cart to handle special shipping needs that CP can't be customized for. Between the three "features" though, the member information is not integrated among them. A fourth login exists as well for newsletters, which can be used for the PDF article download as well. Other than that, our users would be faced with three or four different logins, which is not acceptable from a user point of view.

    So many issues that don't resolve to what we need for our sites. The issue ticket manager site is helpful sometimes, but several times now they have said "no" with there responses and only consider customizations as programming quotes, if they allow any changes at all. We aren't an important enough client as a "hosted" client I guess.

    Anyways. Overall, after having used Joomla, I am disappointed in CentralPoint. It handles the content of the magazine at best, which is almost the only reason to keep using it.

    Hope this helps. I've monkeyed around with the system enough to know a good bit, so if I can helpout, let me know!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
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    To respond to your questions from experience with this system:

    What language is it programmed in?

    Previous version - in COM
    Latest version - .net

    Can it be modified if their modules don't have the functionality that is needed?

    Previous version - If a client had a mmc / yes | no mmc / only to a certain degree

    How is Oxcyon's service?

    I've never had an issue with their service. I got aggravated a few times that I couldn't do things that I wanted, but adjusted the plan for the client and got it to go through in most cases. I'm not a programmer, so I am used to adjusting to what the software allows vs. the other way around.

    My issues were with how some of the forms were dealt with, and also the members integration in .com (like the last post). With the .net version there are more questions sometimes to get to where you want, but it's only becuase you have the full control of the modules that I didn't have for the client in .com.

    Also, the setup of .net allows unified login, and access to whatever modules you can dream up (bulletin board / newsletter / etc.). A 'my profile' screen could have the ability to not only update their profile, but also to add news / events / classifieds / etc. to the site with approval from us which is pretty cool to have in one page. I wish we had that in .com...oh well...com is dead anyways.

    For .net - It's pretty cool. You can move the module fields wherever you want, and all the functions (print / comment / share / rate / email / etc.) are done as standard scripts...so you just paste them where you want to see it. Also, they did a much needed revision to the forms management portion. You could make a form that posts to a module, or to a web based database, or any number of things. It's a little more work then in .com sometimes, but the initial template is predefined when you create a module (like news / events / etc.) so you can change it.

    The coolest thing that i've seen on .net is the ability to update an xml file for the module itself, and then the fields are in the module (IE: Add relationships from one module to another, or add text fields for placement on the pate, etc.) That exists now at the client site level with or without a mmc. So they actually gave us more control in this new system.

    That's just my thoughts on the system. I have been a consultant for a client using this system for a few years (5+), so if you want to know anything else...just ask. Have a good one.


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