This site has been running on Graffiti CMS a .NET blogging platform from Telligent, since late 2007. While I have enjoyed using GCMS, it appears the future of the platform is in serious doubt. While I think GCMS is still a great platform, it’s lack of clear communication from the developer about it’s future is strangling any hope left for it.
I stumbled upon GraffitiCMS when it was in beta, and was very excited to see a company very well known for quality community solutions such as Telligent releasing a product that looked so promising. It’s a .NET framework application which gave the option to use a SQL server, or to use a file based VistaDB giving site owners great flexibility in their deployments.
I purchased a license to use on my personal site, and started migrating legacy content into the GCMS framework. It really was a simple CMS to setup, and it’s versioning capabilities have come in handy even when only having a single author for the site.
One of the benefits of using GCMS was the community that was building around it to promote,extend and enhance the platform. While it was a closed source commercial product, it had the extensibility which ignited many developers to offer modules and plug-ins for GCMS users.
I felt that with a well known developer behind the product, and a growing community effort, it could be the best of both worlds to have in a blogging platform. There are many closed source products, and even more open source products for similar software, but maybe a hybrid sounded better.
After the initial releases Telligent seemed to be gung ho around their new platform, and there were many posts and activity in the forums around the usage of GCMS.
- 2008-02-18: Graffiti 1.0 Released
- 2008-03-11: Graffiti CMS 1.0 Service Pack 1
- 2008-06-20: New Graffiti CMS v1.1 Release + New Pricing
The future looked so bright for GCMS, but things started to take a turn for the worse. The momentum around GCMS was starting to diminish, and communications from Telligent was minimal. Fortunately, they appeared to realize this, and posted their about their renewed focus on Graffiti CMS in 2009. Graffiti CMS 2.0 was on the road map, and a new update was released for existing 1.x, so there was still hope!
- 2008-11-10: We’re Back, Sorry It Took So Long
- 2008-12-19: Graffiti CMS v1.2 Just Released!
- 2009-01-26: Graffiti 1.2 Refresh
Then things went silent again, as customers were in the support forums looking for updates on the progress made from the vendor. The silence was finally broken again on the Graffiti CMS blog where the future of Graffiti was communicated.
- 2009-04-13: What is the future of Graffiti?
This mentioned “a release of Graffiti 2.0 in early summer”, but as we are coming to the end of summer and into fall, things are once again silent on the future of Graffiti CMS. For a company who started GCMS by offering early pre v1.0 betas, I take it that since there are no v2.0 betas, that v2.0 is not actively being working on. There is no mention of Graffiti CMS on Telligent’s current product lineup on their main site as well.
So what went wrong?
Unfortunately the world economy went on a nose dive, and I am sure some hard decisions had to be made around what resources they would put into a niche product. Yet, this does not excuse the lack of communication and involvement shown by Telligent for a product that people have paid money for.
The vendor is silent, the community forums are now filled with topics of “How can I migrate to another platform”, “Why haven’t you migrated yet?”, and there is no roadmap given. Telligent could post detailed features, sample screen shots, anything to help maintain interest that GCMS will make it to v2.0.
The only recent hope given is a 2 month old post by Scott W., saying progress is being made, and alluding to a possible announcement that never materialized. Following Scott on Twitter has been as close to insight in what to expect as possible.
While I am still happy in my use of GCMS, I am very disappointed in the support and communication of the product. I have to now ask myself “Why have I not migrated off of GCMS yet?”, as I have no belief that Graffiti CMS 2.0 will see the light of day.
I understand why Telligent doesn’t want to release GCMS as a “yet another open source” blogging project, but it might be the only alternative if Telligent is not going to make true on their vows of continuing investment of Graffiti.
So I am going to look at other alternatives, both closed and open sourced and see if they offer a brighter future than what appears GCMS has. Secretly though, I hope that Telligent will surprise me with at least some realistic communications that GCMS is not as dead as it appears.
- Lee Dumond’s Open Source or Die – The *Real* Future of Graffiti?
- Jason Short’s Time for Graffiti to support the community of give it up