Hippo Helps Get Portal Enterprise Software Right

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Arje Cahn (see his blog) is the chief technical officer of Hippo, a developer of content management software (CMS) and related extensions. I think Hippo's offerings build off a real-world, business-oriented understanding of how to handle and what to do with large amounts of unstructured data.


Hippo will soon be announcing Version 7, which builds on and more formally productizes current enterprise content management (ECM) capabilities in the core Hippo offering, also called Hippo. Hippo competes with product and services suppliers as diverse as Acquia, Alfresco, EMC Documentum, IBM Filenet, Oracle/BEA/Plumtree and more.


I especially like the way Arje and Hippo position their functionality. It's a core CMS framework consisting of an OSGi-compliant repository and other software and a user interface based on the Apache Software Foundation Wicked project, plus various extensions to enable portals, web publishing, collaboration, and/or other related IT functions.


In particular, his view of portal software mirrored what I called enterprise application portals in my original 1999-2000 research, not just the simplistic Web-page servers that portals became. Portals are just one of the extensions for CMS that he promotes, but the characteristic of using CMS to do multiple things multiple ways is the key to the Hippo approach. To accomplish this broad objective the company works with multiple partners, including the SourceSense organization that I mentioned here.


Arje even goes so far as to say, talking about his company's commitment to IT-industry standards, that content management is just part of the solution and that you in IT should be able to unplug Hippo, plug in another content management framework, and have it work exactly the same way. That's what open standards are all about, not all the politicized Open Standard propaganda that you usually hear from suppliers using Open Standards (always upper case) as a marketing ploy.