Joomla Jumps to the Enterprise

A new and more diversified technology focus for Joomla -- the same open source CMS that small businesses know and love -- is making waves in the enterprise.

By Vangie Beal
Fri, March 16, 2012

CIO — Seven years ago, developers behind Mambo, an open source software project for publishing websites, split over a dispute regarding control of the project. The project fork resulted in Joomla , a free and open source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content and sites.

Today, Joomla—the name is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word "Jumla," which means "as a whole"—is one of the most popular open source content management systems (CMS), claiming that 2.7 percent of the Web is Joomla-based sites.

If you were to drop Joomla on a straight line with other popular open source CMS projects, it would fall somewhere between WordPress and Drupal. Joomla, which is offered under the General Public License (GPL) version 2.0, is more robust than WordPress, while Drupal is usually favored by those with a developer background.

"Joomla really fits nicely between WordPress and Drupal," says Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters, a nonprofit organization that provides organization, legal and financial support to the Joomla project.

"We've built a community and have a focus on reaching out to the average user and administrators of a website, but we also give under-the-hood tools to the developers and engineers trying to do something more complex," he adds.

Joomla at Children's Hospital Boston
Joomla powers the Children's Hospital Boston social intranet, providing a "Facebook-like" social environment and handling more than 2,500 concurrent users.

Behind Joomla is a strong ecosystem of developers, users and businesses offering products and services. When you join the community, you're not left on your own to figure it all out—there's more than a half-million people registered in the international forums and 25,000 registered developers to connect with and learn from.

Joomla Jibes With Small to Mid-Sized Businesses

With such a large community and abundance of products and services, the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market is where this open source CMS is a strong contender. Small businesses like having access to thousands of add-ons that make it easy to extend basic website functionality.

"We've encouraged an economy around being able to productize add-ons. A small business can install a Joomla site by following a five-step tutorial on the Web, download the add-ons in a single zip file and end up with a professional site," said Ozimek.

Ozimek said that small businesses typically use Joomla-based sites for standard brochure-like websites, to add functionality to communicate with customers using support ticketing or for ecommerce.

The SMB market is where Joomla earned its reputation, but now all eyes are on the enterprise and what Joomla can do there.

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