Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Heading to the Big Apple

May is shaping up to be quite the travel month. Next week I'm heading to New York City to put on a 5-day seminar for a client. Topics include: Web Frameworks, JSF, Ajax, Spring, Spring Web Flow, Hibernate, Caching and Performance, Deploying to Production, Comparing CMS Applications, eCommerce in Web Applications, Sharing with RSS and Atom, Acegi Security, Storing User Preferences, Source Control with Subversion and Coding Standards/Project Management. Yeah, a whole slew of stuff. There's nothing like doing a customized seminar when the client gets to pick whatever topics they like. ;-)

The only things I'm a little light on are Comparing CMS Applications, eCommerce and Storing User Preferences. For Comparing CMS Applications, I'm going to talk about Alfresco, Drupal, Joomla, Magnolia, OpenCMS and Plone. I'll be talking about ease of installation, ease of use, community and support, extensibility and performance. One thing I plan to do is zing CMS providers about eating their own dogood. As far as I can tell, neither Alfresco nor Magnolia use their own CMS for their websites. Of course, they might not be developing a "CMS for the web", but that's what most folks tend to use CMS's for IMO. It should be interesting to see if the Java solutions have decreased their installation times. Drupal, Joomla and Plone all took under a minute to install (on OS X) the last time I tried. If you happen to work on one of these applications and want to point out a kick-ass site developed with your software, please leave a comment.

As far as eCommerce solutions, most of the applications I've worked on recently just hook in with PayPal. This seems like the best solution because you eliminate the headache of credit card processing and in-house security/fraud preventation. If you've recently developed an e-commerce enabled application, what solution did you use? Did it work well for you? I'm also interested in solutions that were utter failures or a pain in the ass to use.

Lastly, as far as storing user preferences - I can only think of 3 ways to do it: cookies, database tables, and using the Java Preferences API. I'm sure I'm missing something. What solutions have worked well for you?

After returning from NYC, I'll be in Denver for 5 days before flying out to San Francisco for The Ajax Experience and JavaOne. In the midst of all the travel, I hope to finish up the CSS Design Contest, release Equinox 1.7/AppFuse 1.9.2 and do some performance tests with the T2000.

Posted in Java at Apr 27 2006, 12:17:39 PM MDT 12 Comments

Liferay has a bunch of CMS portlets bundled into it and they *do* use it for their own web site. That being said, the last client I worked for wanted to use Liferay as a portal and alFresco as their cms / document management. But that was before the new version of Liferay was released ... My two cents. Bob ps. enjoy NYC. My hometown. sniff sniff.

Posted by Bob on April 27, 2006 at 01:12 PM MDT #

I have not circled back to use Alfresco in a while, but they are claiming a clicky installer that will install the entire stack -- MySql, tomcat, OO -- in a few minutes. (One user claimed 1 minute 20 seconds; Alfresco calls it a 5-minute installer.)

It is a press release, so take it with a grain of salt. It is probably not fair to zing them for not using it on their site, since Alfresco is a document repository, and not a Web delivery platform -- yet. Their roadmap includes a buch of Web CMS plans, so it will be interesting to see what they deliver in the next few months. Once they target that space, *then* I would hope they start eating their own dogfood, and, if they don't, they can be properly zinged :)

Posted by Greg on April 27, 2006 at 02:32 PM MDT #

Hey Matt,

We welcome you to the big apple. I'm the guy that originally contacted you to come and do that seminar. I'm kind of sad that this friday will be my last day at the company so I won't be there to see your presentation. All in all, Have fun.. All of the people at this company are a great bunch of guys. There is also a pub down the street from where the company is.. I'm sure you'll have no problems finding it ;) if not, then you can try visiting some of the NYC's breweriess.. there are plenty all over the city. Check out this link - I would've gone with you but I'm catching a plane on monday.

Best of luck!


Posted by Tony G on April 27, 2006 at 03:59 PM MDT #

I hope that the big apple treats you well... There's always plenty of stuff happening here.

Posted by Solomon on April 27, 2006 at 07:16 PM MDT #

I've come across projects/customers who store user preferences in LDAP, especially when they use LDAP for their cross product authentication.

Posted by Sanjiv Jivan on April 27, 2006 at 11:38 PM MDT #

Quick to install, java based CMSs? try Cofax ( I've deployed it in about 2 minutes - create the database, import the schema, then deploy the .WAR - simple. Its actually very easy to use too, designed for online newspapers...

Posted by Lee on April 28, 2006 at 03:00 AM MDT #

Hi Matt,
This year in an effort to learn spring and hibernate i created my own ecommerce solution. I used app fuse as the base layer, struts-menu for the menus.. excellent work.

My solution has two war files. One is an administrative application that sets up a the store. it is used to add products,monititor stock level, newsletter mangement ,email management and other configurations.

I use FCKEditor for creating my newsletters and emails and it does and very good job. I also use it to update some of the pages on the client application (i save the content to the db) so it allows the user easy update cetain pages in the application. Ability to easy update some of the static pages was important.

Paypal web services was tricky at the start but working great now, seemless integration, and great sand box environment for testing.

I looked at hooking in some CMS system but I found some of them would be a bit too complicated for end users so fck editor sorted me out.

Also these guys are great for anyone starting off they offer a free java hosting environment (you just gotta login in at least once every 15 days) this was my production environment.

I looked initially at getting some java ecommerce solutions but none of them was as strong as oscommerce. I looked at oscommerce to get some ideas from what they had done and I think they are the best out there. But I have a hang up on php so I went about my own. If nothing comes my little project, I can say I learned spring and hibernate - nothing beats a proper project to get you up to speed.

Posted by reddeagle on April 28, 2006 at 03:38 AM MDT #

I built an e-commerce site a couple of years ago and hooked up to Wasn't too hard. Costs about $40 a month.

Posted by Will on April 28, 2006 at 06:06 AM MDT #

I built an e-commerce service a few years ago ( using JSP/Struts, Hibernate, MySQL, etc... and hooked into and Paypal (via API) payment gateways to process credit cards. I initially looked over OS Commerce, but at the time they didn't (and still don't) have a nice intuitive UI and they didn't support multiple stores very well, which was a core requirement. Also, since I've worked on large enterprise e-commerce systems in the past, I wanted to make sure security was done right especially in regards to encrypting sensitive data in the db. My system isn't open source, but I'd be happy to let you (Matt) take a peak if you or anyone else are interested in what I have going.

Posted by Tim on April 28, 2006 at 04:23 PM MDT #

Paypal over CC for a e-commerce site? I would surf to the next site that accepts CCs instead of opening a Paypal account. This is pretty date, but I couldnt find their latest. I got alot of old work buddies that work there :)

Posted by René on April 28, 2006 at 09:03 PM MDT #

i'm not sure why you have the idea that the magnolia site isn't running off magnolia, they certainly claim it is, and being a magnolia user myself it certainly looks to me as if it is - what reason do you have to believe it isn't ?

Posted by on May 06, 2006 at 11:21 AM MDT #

I didn't believe it was powered by Magnolia because they've done such a good job of producing clean URLs and clean HTML. I was wrong, as noted by Boris Kraft on my Virtuas blog. Magnolia certainly has gotten a lot better in the last 6 months.

Posted by Matt Raible on May 06, 2006 at 11:32 AM MDT #

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