Can Java CMS match the PHP ones?

One question that keeps being asked about IndicThreads.com is that how come you are running on PHP when you are supposed to be a Java J2EE portal?

Honestly, we would have loved to be on Java and be able to experiment on the site using Java software and also keep generating in house articles about how we manage IndicThreads using X component and how we upgraded to Y server and so on.

However going with a Java Content Management
System (
CMS) wasn’t the best option for us at the time we launched and I am not sure if it still is.? While creating IndicThreads, we tried out and compared several CMSs from the Java as well as the PHP stable. Based on those learnings, below is an attempt to list some of the points that I think make PHP CMSs a better choice than the Java ones:

  • Evolved:
    The PHP CMSs seemed far more evolved. Mambo, PostNuke, Drupal all have huge communities and have been around for quite some time. They are also running on thousands of sites and so are very well tested.
  • Ease of Use:
    PHP CMSs are remarkably easy to use. In 15 minutes time, even a PHP illiterate person can get a site going . I doubt if that can be done with a Java CMS.
  • Hosting:
    Java hosting is not only costly but it is also a specialized segment. Not many hosting providers understand how Java J2EE web applications are deployed. Apache + PHP is so common that even the small hosting companies are good at it and can fix issues in no time.
  • Sleek:
    Some Java CMSs are 10 times bigger and more complex than the popular PHP ones. If you know HTML, you can more or less figure out how a PHP CMS is working. That also makes tweaking the CMS a fairly simple task.
  • Community:
    The community? around Java is one of its strong points but PHP CMS also have huge community bases and so getting help from fellow users is simple.
  • Non Issues:
    Even if we presume that PHP cannot match Java in terms of scalability, object orientation…. it wouldn’t matter much to most website creators. Having a good, simple, feature rich, easy to host and maintain site, are the things that matter most.

As of today, the PHP CMSs seem to have convincingly beaten the Java ones.

Maybe while the Java world was engaged in talking of high end, super techie stuff, with the words ‘enterprise’, ‘transactions’ and ‘SOA ’embedded in every sentence, the PHP guys actually went out and created a lot of simple yet very useful software.

>> PHP CMS: http://www.opensourcecms.com/
>> Java CMS: http://java-source.net/open-source/content-managment-systems

Harshad Oak

Harshad Oak is the founder of Rightrix Solutions & IndicThreads. He is the author of 3 books and several articles on Java technology. For his contributions to technology and the community, he has been recognized as an Oracle ACE Director and a Sun Java Champion. Contact - harshad aT rightrix doT com & @HarshadOak

105 thoughts on “Can Java CMS match the PHP ones?

  • June 4, 2006 at 3:52 am
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    Regarding Ragap Chettri’s comment, JAVA does NOT lose out to PHP in OOP in any aspect, any PHP proficient user would understand the limitations of PHP’s OOP and that JAVA is a true OOP language. Not to mention its a comparison of languages in a different level, JAVA would definitely have more defined features and better efficiency, but that would be at the cost of ease in coding and that the level of understanding in java would be more taxing as a whole.

  • April 5, 2006 at 4:38 am
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    PHP is a softy melon but JAVA is hard cored one.
    PHP tastes sweet, JAVA tastes awwwwhh..
    Fun around PHP won’t let your hair fall rather then JAVA will make you ‘H-A-N-G’
    PHP is scalable but JAVA is Back-to-Front confusion programming lang.

    PHP is OOPs all about but JAVA is OlO (Object Illusion Output).
    So I say take off your net beans out of SUN JAVA and throw in BIN.

  • April 5, 2006 at 4:38 am
    Permalink

    PHP is a softy melon but JAVA is hard cored one.
    PHP tastes sweet, JAVA tastes awwwwhh..
    Fun around PHP won’t let your hair fall rather then JAVA will make you ‘H-A-N-G’
    PHP is scalable but JAVA is Back-to-Front confusion programming lang.

    PHP is OOPs all about but JAVA is OlO (Object Illusion Output).
    So I say take off your net beans out of SUN JAVA and throw in BIN.

  • March 30, 2006 at 8:19 am
    Permalink

    First thing I would like to say is use the right tool for the job. I am a Java Developer but I think there is a need for other technologies to fill the gaps. With that being said: Java opensource portals provide a merge of content with portlet functionallity. If you do not want the portal then you can use Alfresco, Magnolia, or XWiki, etc…. All of these integrate into JBoss Portal, ExoPlatform, Jetspeed 2, any other JSR 168 Portal… They also are JSR 170 compliant, so if you need to display the content outside of the simple CMS then you may need this type of solution… The thing I think to remember is a non-standard based solution is ok if it meets your needs. But It may come back to bight you in the ass if you need to integrate the content into another system.. Other things to consider would scallability, reliabillity, reusabillity… Questions like does this CMS system provide templating, WebDav integration, support from Microsoft Office, auto tranformation of CMS content into web content….

  • March 30, 2006 at 8:19 am
    Permalink

    First thing I would like to say is use the right tool for the job. I am a Java Developer but I think there is a need for other technologies to fill the gaps. With that being said: Java opensource portals provide a merge of content with portlet functionallity. If you do not want the portal then you can use Alfresco, Magnolia, or XWiki, etc…. All of these integrate into JBoss Portal, ExoPlatform, Jetspeed 2, any other JSR 168 Portal… They also are JSR 170 compliant, so if you need to display the content outside of the simple CMS then you may need this type of solution… The thing I think to remember is a non-standard based solution is ok if it meets your needs. But It may come back to bight you in the ass if you need to integrate the content into another system.. Other things to consider would scallability, reliabillity, reusabillity… Questions like does this CMS system provide templating, WebDav integration, support from Microsoft Office, auto tranformation of CMS content into web content….

  • December 28, 2005 at 10:31 pm
    Permalink

    I think we can all agree that j2ee solutions at least diserve the scalability and sustainability thumbs up! I have used some of the most widely accepted and appreciated php cms and its true that they are a breeze to use and expand.

    Being a j2ee developer i must confess my thankfullness to java ineroperability when building a enterpise scale app and solution. Business logic, front end, CMS, db all just add up perfectly and just work coherently.

    I really dont want to get into the php extentions and interfaces for trying to make thing work! Thats why i use java CMS.

    But in due time Java cms will prevail. Just think how much has been done in so much less time for the j2ee part to be competing now with the most powerfull php cms representatives.

    I think what most of the java developers here are trying to point out is that php is great and easy, but while php future holds good things… j2ee cms future hides great steps and vast potentials.

    Peter

  • December 28, 2005 at 10:31 pm
    Permalink

    I think we can all agree that j2ee solutions at least diserve the scalability and sustainability thumbs up! I have used some of the most widely accepted and appreciated php cms and its true that they are a breeze to use and expand.

    Being a j2ee developer i must confess my thankfullness to java ineroperability when building a enterpise scale app and solution. Business logic, front end, CMS, db all just add up perfectly and just work coherently.

    I really dont want to get into the php extentions and interfaces for trying to make thing work! Thats why i use java CMS.

    But in due time Java cms will prevail. Just think how much has been done in so much less time for the j2ee part to be competing now with the most powerfull php cms representatives.

    I think what most of the java developers here are trying to point out is that php is great and easy, but while php future holds good things… j2ee cms future hides great steps and vast potentials.

    Peter

  • October 5, 2005 at 4:42 am
    Permalink

    I agree with Jerry it is difficult to find Java hosting for reasonable price with good support. Most of hosting companies go for an easy and headacheless solutions with PHP or Python etc. Very few support J2EE/Tomcat with relatively good memory heap size.
    If any of you know some hosting company and it had some experience with Liferay deployment, send me a few lines on marcin.puchala@o2.ie
    Thnx Marcin

  • October 5, 2005 at 4:42 am
    Permalink

    I agree with Jerry it is difficult to find Java hosting for reasonable price with good support. Most of hosting companies go for an easy and headacheless solutions with PHP or Python etc. Very few support J2EE/Tomcat with relatively good memory heap size.
    If any of you know some hosting company and it had some experience with Liferay deployment, send me a few lines on marcin.puchala@o2.ie
    Thnx Marcin

  • September 22, 2005 at 5:32 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve been on a mission pulling together some sites on comparing Java with PHP.

    This being one of the many pages but if anyone had any more they wanted to point out then let me know. Be doing Python vs Ruby at some point and may upgrade to doing a full blown personal comparison.
    [URL=http://straw-dogs.co.uk/tao-blog/?p=10]PHP vs Java comparison[/URL]

    Personally I prefer PHP. Its friendly. 😉

  • September 22, 2005 at 5:32 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve been on a mission pulling together some sites on comparing Java with PHP.

    This being one of the many pages but if anyone had any more they wanted to point out then let me know. Be doing Python vs Ruby at some point and may upgrade to doing a full blown personal comparison.
    [URL=http://straw-dogs.co.uk/tao-blog/?p=10]PHP vs Java comparison[/URL]

    Personally I prefer PHP. Its friendly. 😉

  • September 13, 2005 at 7:34 pm
    Permalink

    I thought I’d throw in my thoughts, I’ve also made the decision to host my community portal ‘mambotastic.com’ on Mambo and some of my other sites (ofcourse, it is directed at Mambo users so it would be kind of stupid to host it on anything else)

    By choice I would rather host any content using java, but Mambo is so rounded and easy to modify that it makes it very attractive. PHP is a breeze to write, and as the article says, the communities for PHP/Mambo are huge and if you need a new component or module, its so easy to write.

    However, scalability is a real issue, not ofcourse for the majority of sites that will use it but thats because they don’t really get hit hard enough, the ones that do seem to struggle.

    However, JBoss is now following the portal modal. They are also following the ‘theme’ (template if you are a Mambo head), and its pretty cool, its not as flexible as Mambo (yet), but its scaleable, so if one of my sites goes skyward, at least I’ve got a chance and don’t look like a complete numpty. And I can develop portlets/themes which I can share with the JBoss community. Its got some mileage in it. Could do with tighter integration with the struts modal, it uses the struts-bridge, makes me think of the ODBC-JDBC bridge, eeeeugh, but that’ll come no doubt.

    Be interested to know if anyone else has used JBoss portal/portlets ?

  • September 13, 2005 at 7:34 pm
    Permalink

    I thought I’d throw in my thoughts, I’ve also made the decision to host my community portal ‘mambotastic.com’ on Mambo and some of my other sites (ofcourse, it is directed at Mambo users so it would be kind of stupid to host it on anything else)

    By choice I would rather host any content using java, but Mambo is so rounded and easy to modify that it makes it very attractive. PHP is a breeze to write, and as the article says, the communities for PHP/Mambo are huge and if you need a new component or module, its so easy to write.

    However, scalability is a real issue, not ofcourse for the majority of sites that will use it but thats because they don’t really get hit hard enough, the ones that do seem to struggle.

    However, JBoss is now following the portal modal. They are also following the ‘theme’ (template if you are a Mambo head), and its pretty cool, its not as flexible as Mambo (yet), but its scaleable, so if one of my sites goes skyward, at least I’ve got a chance and don’t look like a complete numpty. And I can develop portlets/themes which I can share with the JBoss community. Its got some mileage in it. Could do with tighter integration with the struts modal, it uses the struts-bridge, makes me think of the ODBC-JDBC bridge, eeeeugh, but that’ll come no doubt.

    Be interested to know if anyone else has used JBoss portal/portlets ?

  • September 5, 2005 at 10:25 am
    Permalink

    How about .Net cms such as DotNetNuke? Every comments and suggestions or opinions are welcome. I’m actually looking for a easy to manage (in terms of install, work around, upgrading, modules etc) for my personal website.

    I’m using WinXp, IIS and MSSSQL

    Musang Berjanggut

  • September 5, 2005 at 10:25 am
    Permalink

    How about .Net cms such as DotNetNuke? Every comments and suggestions or opinions are welcome. I’m actually looking for a easy to manage (in terms of install, work around, upgrading, modules etc) for my personal website.

    I’m using WinXp, IIS and MSSSQL

    Musang Berjanggut

  • August 4, 2005 at 1:27 pm
    Permalink

    I love Liferay. My company looked around for a while and at the time, there were no good open-source Java-based CMS systems that didn’t use EJB’s. It’s too bad that Liferay Professional wasn’t around back then. It will run within Tomcat, uses Hibernate and other stuff instead of EJB’s and it’s open source.
    I am in the same situation now though. I’m trying to find a decent CMS system that allows Boy Scout troops to create thier own websites. I am a Java Developer by day, so I have the skills to extend and develop for it, but Java hosting is very hard to come by, especially cheap (or free) hosting. I’ve used a number of PHP-based CMS systems, and I have to say that I agree with this article. I wish it were the other way ’round and that Java had more to offer in open-source CMS systems, but it’s sadly not so.
    So I’m left to choose to go with a well-developed, out of the box open source PHP solution, or use a (possibly inferior) Java solution.

    I’m honestly torn between the two options.

    Jerry

  • August 4, 2005 at 1:27 pm
    Permalink

    I love Liferay. My company looked around for a while and at the time, there were no good open-source Java-based CMS systems that didn’t use EJB’s. It’s too bad that Liferay Professional wasn’t around back then. It will run within Tomcat, uses Hibernate and other stuff instead of EJB’s and it’s open source.
    I am in the same situation now though. I’m trying to find a decent CMS system that allows Boy Scout troops to create thier own websites. I am a Java Developer by day, so I have the skills to extend and develop for it, but Java hosting is very hard to come by, especially cheap (or free) hosting. I’ve used a number of PHP-based CMS systems, and I have to say that I agree with this article. I wish it were the other way ’round and that Java had more to offer in open-source CMS systems, but it’s sadly not so.
    So I’m left to choose to go with a well-developed, out of the box open source PHP solution, or use a (possibly inferior) Java solution.

    I’m honestly torn between the two options.

    Jerry

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