The Joomla website proclaims that, “Joomla is one of the most powerful open source content management systems on the planet.”
Sure, they’re biased about their collaborative open source creation. But there’s no arguing that Joomla is quickly becoming one of the top content management system (CMS) platforms on the Internet.
Late last year Joomla won the best PHP Open Source Web CMS award.
Since its first release in fall 2005, Joomla has become one of the most downloaded content management systems on the web and recently released a retooled version 1.5 in January.
How does it stack up for use within an intranet? Let’s take a look at its capabilities and technologies.
Out of the (virtual) box, Joomla provides all the basic features needed to create a website that can be managed day to day by non-technical content contributors.
It helps remove the webmaster bottleneck by providing an easy-to-use, browser-based way to add and edit content and pages using a word processor style interface.
Users can control elements such as navigation menus and page layout and have the ability to add unlimited sections to the website.
Basic content management features are included in the core such as:
- Categorizing content
- Archiving content
- “Most read” and “latest” content
- Sections (ability to limit access to content based on user permissions)
- Publish content to an RSS feed
Built-in templates provide a starting place from which to build your look and feel. You can customize as little or as much as you like to ensure company branding is prevalent throughout your site.
The core features are powerful enough to create an intranet portal. As with many open source applications the real power lies in the insane amount of additional functionality offered by extensions.
There are currently several extensions available for Intranet and Groupware type applications: capabilities such as contacts, LDAP integration, CRM, and project/task management.
Of course if the extensions available through Joomla don’t meet your needs, your in-house developers can use the Joomla API to build your own.
Joomla supports multiple languages so this is helpful to companies with the need for multilingual support.
With the release of version 1.5 Joomla adopts an MVC model as the basis of its three-tiered system which follows an object-oriented pattern-based methodology and design pattern.
The distinct framework, application, and extension tiers enable rapid prototyping and great extensibility.
Joomla is a cross-platform application and is written in PHP (version 4 and 5 support) and uses a mySQL backend.
As with most open source applications it pays to jump right in. A vast array of wiki style documentation is available at docs joomla org and addresses concerns from the beginner to expert.
Joomla Tutorials also offers a variety of animated and visual tutorials to help you determine if it is right for you and to get started.
As with any CMS initiative it depends on your company’s size, budget, and resources to determine which solution is right for you.
For Intranets and Extranets that need a lot of functionality without a great deal of complexity or cost, Joomla can be a very satisfying solution.
For more information and a wealth of everything for developers and users alike, visit Joomla’s website.