Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to openACS vs Weblogic/Dynamo/Broadvision...

Posted by Rodger Donaldson on

The biggest risk with a lot of these companies is that they're going under with the end of the Stupid Web Boom. BroadVision are appearing constantly on FuckedCompany, slashing staff left, right and center. Prophecies of doom WRT the danger of being on a proprietary platform from a vendor who went bust are beginning to become horrifyingly real.

As far as my experience goes with Vignette:

Depends on your setup, number of visitors, etc, but can easily run to millions of dollars. Hundreds of thousands at least.
Dev Cost:
Factor on a couple of weeks for VPS to come in and check out your architecture, plans, etc. VPS are not cheap - you won't get much change out of $2000/day/person, so tens of thousands for the early dev phase. Vignette developers are expensive - rates in London appear to be on the order of 100 pounds an hour, for example. Since Vignette partners have to pony up substantial sums for the privilege of their status, they will charge big time, too. And Vignette training for in-house staff is expensive.
Dev Time:
Varies widely. If you want to use their suite of pre-built stuff, which has until recently been very slender indeed, you'll want to budget a good six months, minimum. That's assuming the VPS guys you get are good and you have a good source for competant developers with a chunk of real world experience. Be warned, there's a lot of crap on the market in the Vignette development world. Projects can easily blow out to years. Be warned that many of their add-ons are horribly untested, and I've worked at a couple of sites that have had very, very bad experiences with being early adopters.
You'll probably want at least a couple of systems of your live setup, and seperate dev and content management systems. You'll need a reasonable amount of grunt to run them; something like a pair of E250s is a practical minimum for low volume sites, rising to a cluster of E450 class web boxes and a higher end DB server. V/Series gobbles memory. If you use VAF (App Framework), double everything. Also, beware: the support teams can become unhelpful if you sepearate systems with firewalls.
Costs big time, but you get a lot of major upgrades free for it. Their support organisation, like any, varies in expertise from people who are very good to ones who are very bad. You can't get on site support (AFAIK) without paying VPS.
Not much. Vignette have a lot of big customers, so they aren't likely to go broke. If management to decide to go with Vignette, the best thing you can do is put a lot of time into selecting people to work with you. Don't accept Vignette's recommendations, since in some contries their preferred partners are useless; I've made a lot of money cleaning up broken sites by preferred partners.

Lest I sound excessively negative: Vignette's no worse than any other vendor of a toolkit masquerading as a product. It's expensive, it sucks, but they all do. Vignette will be around in some way next year. Just avoid the sharks that follow them around.