The open source Crafter content management system (CMS) is getting a new life as a standalone operating entity. Crafter will now have commercial support from the newly-formed Crafter Software Corporation.
Crafter got its start as a part of consulting and systems integration specialist Rivet Logic in 2007. Mike Vertal, CEO of Crafter Software and Rivet Logic, explained to Enterprise Apps Today that Crafter started out as an extension to the open source Alfresco Web content management system.
Over the last five years, Crafter has become a robust application in its own right. Rivet Logic began offering commercial support for it in 2012.
"We now think it's time that we treat Crafter as a software product, so we're spinning out a company that will be tasked with providing commercial support for the open source Crafter project," Vertal said.
The plan for Crafter Corporation is to follow a typical open source model, where the company helps lead and foster development of the core open source project and also provides commercial support and training for paying customers.
Open Source Ethos
The Crafter technology works together with Alfresco as the underlying content repository. Apache Solr is used as the underlying search technology, and VMware's open source Spring framework and the Twitter Bootstrap open source technologies are employed as well.
Crafter is Java-based technology; this is one of the reasons why Alfresco, which is also Java based, is used as the content repository. In contrast, some other leading open source content management systems like Joomla and Drupal are PHP based.
"Most enterprises like to stick with one technology, especially for on-premise stuff, and we don't really compete with the PHP platforms," Vertal said. "Our competition is more of the larger Java-based Web CMS systems."
A key difference between the Crafter approach and that used by PHP-based systems is the data backend.
"PHP based systems like Drupal sit on top of a database, and the content is delivered directly from the same database," Vertal explained. "Crafter takes a de-coupled approach, where the management of the content is separate from the actual website application."
Crafter is in its 2.2 release, with planning already under way for version 3.0. The plan is for Crafter 3.0 to include more user-friendly features and to deliver better integration for plugging into backend systems for e-commerce or CRM.
"We're also introducing some social components, including Crafter social, which will support social content on the delivery of websites, for user-generated comments and ratings," Vertal said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.