Anyone else hate Ektron? Any hope for it?
It might be just me but I can't stand Ektron. Has anyone else had problems with this CMS? It's the CMS400 .net. Ours crashes the server and eats records in the database. It's charming. I might be spoiled because I designed my last CMS. Still, this seems to be particularily yucky. Any info would be helpful so I can either save it or have enough ammunition to trash it.
Thanks in advance for everyone's input! I'm hopeful and eternally grateful!
Ektron - A not so good CMS?
I have been forced into using Ektron because I was not involved in the design process. I have found numerous problems with it.
Our focus very quickly moved from content management to forms management with SmartForms (or not so smart) due to client specific requirements. I also want to get it chucked out for the following reasons:
- You do not have a UI for managing external list lookups and are forced to write Visual Basic in their cruddy backend. This is not sustainable when trying to upgrade the package as you have recompiled their code. A tested off the shelf package theory flies right out the window.
- There is no way for doing filtered select lists, ie. If you were filtering area's by country, then city, then suburb in a chain of 3 linked select lists, this cannot be done. Hmmm, should have probably stuck with ASP.NET forms there.
- There is so much css that goes into styling up a SmartMenu (once again Ektron please change the name of this control!). You probably are better off writing your own control. In their Hospital demo site(CMS400Demo) they use a smart menu on the news.aspx page. It requires 353 lines of css from cms400demo_menu.css just to get it to look like something. This is not feasible from a developer point of view.
- It gets incrementally better with the flex menu. In the developer samples they include 148 lines of css(no suprises there) and over 360 lines of xsl just to run the sample!!! You can view this inside the ./developer/menu/flexmenu/... directory. This explains why xml was splattered all over the place when I dragged and dropped it onto a aspx page because I forgot to write 500 lines of rubbish to make it work!
I find this system very boring and a chore to customize. There documentation is nowhere near to what it should be, I have to reference 3 documents as a 'DEVELOPER' to figure out how it all hangs together. We have already bought the system, but I am desparately fighting to get it thrown out. It is utter rubbish.
We are looking into buying Ektron right now. are the out of box features worth using your own code for some of the trashy features?
What are you going to use if you dump Ektron?
I was so against the use or ektron, that I voted with my feet and quit.
There are good content management systems out there. All you need to have is a really good ways of extending the system in a modular way. I am not saying sharepoint is the best but at least being able to slot new web parts into site collections is better then messing around with ektron's visual basic nightmare of a backend.
I would have to know intimate details about your project to be able to point you in the right direction, some contenders are good with workflow, other have strengths in publishing, and then there is always collaboration.
Dont pick your CMS by just merely downloading a trial and picking the first one that looks good. Mess around with it, figure out how extensible it is, and more importantly find out what its strengths are and what it gives you out of the box.
Originally Posted by fir3pho3nixx
It's for a medium/small book publishing company's four online stores. I spoke to sitecore but they don't bost to be much better then Ektron. I'm thinking why not just use sharepoint??
If you want to use sharepoint (I have just delivered a job site, and a media advertising site using it) this is what is possible ...
It is a real pain to change the look and feel(master pages), and you have to get used to writing web parts for stuff. The learning curve is steep to begin with for example, instead of developing normally using Visual Studio on your desktop and deploying via source control and continuous integration, you have to download a MOSS 2007 image and develop your site using a combination of Virtual PC, Window Server 2003(VHD), Microsoft SQL 2005(installed on VHD) + Microsoft Office Sharepoint Services 2007 etc. This chews up resources like you wont believe. Also some of the development happens in Sharepoint designer, which is a yukky successor to the old MSO Front Page. You can use Visual Studio for everything but then you would be missing the point of going with Sharepoint in the first place.
Here is where you can download the image to have a look around ... needs WIN2003 activation though
Here is where you can have a look at a video which shows you how to develop ****point using Visual Studio
I wish you the best of luck & honestly if these are e-commerce sites to begin with I would definately consider going down the custom route. Your biggest enemy is the time it takes to learn the object model of any CMS vs. being short of time and having to code around it.
Avoid Ektron at all costs
We have been trying to get a store up and running for months, using their CMS and e-commerce add-on.
The product is garbage. The parts of the e-commerce add-on that work are primitive and much of it simply doesn't work.
They lie to you during the sales process and abandon their support when they realise that the product is defective.
They offered us our money back, but when we said yes, they became impossible to contact. Still chasing them.
Ektron is the product and the company from hell.
Can someone please post a recommended product to replace Ektron. Our server is Windows 2008 with MS Sharepoint and Akeni Social Network software installed on it already.
I can possibly help.....
Let me know if you are interested in salvaging the ROI of your (probably very pricey) Ektron implementation. My firm specializes in CMS solution implementations and can definitely remediate any issues you are having; as well as offer suggestions if making a switch is the preferred choice moving forward. We have actually won several awards for our Ektron implementations that were originally contracted to us for many of the same reasons discussed throughout this entire thread. In short, these are common problems with pretty much all Enterprise CMS providers out there. An overabundance of information regarding "what" you can do with the CMS is always provided, yet very little information on "how" you actually use the darn thing once it is implemented tends to fall by the wayside. Making the CMS completely ineffective (on average a CMS should provide a 75% cost saving, both soft and hard, to an organization shortly after the technical implementation is complete) and highly frustrating for those trying to capitalize on all those "neat features" they were told about prior to purchase.
If you are interested in having more of an in-depth conversation regarding this let me know. Either way, I do wish you (and the many others experiencing the same aggravation) the best of luck in resolving your CMS issues moving forward.
Yes, Ektron is Garbage
I concur with all of you. Support is horrible. With every release comes a new set of bugs; some times even destroying the most simplest functionality like editing a page. DO NOT EVER BUY THIS PRODUCT!! period. Put a sign out "NO SOLICITORS"
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