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Is The RedDot CMS Dead? No it’s not – But what’s next Open Text?

open-text-whats-next-is-reddot-cms-deadThis topic has been mentioned by John Shackleton, CEO of Open Text earlier this August where he said that Open Text “would migrate the RedDot to the Vignette platform.” [1]

Does Open Text Drop RedDot CMS?

At the moment it seems like Open Text is not planning to continue the product development after Summer 2010 at this stage. Instead they are proposing to create a third product which will combine the RedDot UI with Vignette’s underlying technology.

Roadmap – Open Texts next planned and proposed steps

- Planned release WebSolutions 10.1 for Q4 2009
- Planned release Vignette Content Management 8.0 for Q4 2009
- Combined release proposed for Q2 2010

It seems like the product development of Web Solutions will end soon, there is no talk about a next major release after v10.1. Although The new version 11 named “Dolphin” will be a combination of WebSolutions UI and Vignettes Content Management content centric technology.

Impact on current OT clients

  • The licenses will transfer to the new product
  • Migration will be (as it always is) a fair bit of work, although OT speaks about an automated way of content migration to the new third product. Personally although they speak about automated migration I think this will be difficult to realise with the given technical diversity.
  • Clients which plan to launch projects within the next year based on version10 might have to budget for the migration within the next 2 years.
  • There is no word on end of product support / end-of life yet.
  • DeliveryServer (formerly LiveServer) will still be supported.

What’s the impact on your Open Text agency and for RedDot developer?
Read more »

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About the author:

Markus Giesen Markus Giesen is a Solutions Architect and RedDot CMS Consultant, formerly based in Germany. Travelling around the world to find and offer solutions for a better world (in a very web based meaning). He just found a way to do this as part of a Melbourne based online consultant house. On this blog Markus shares his personal (not his employers) thoughts and opinions on CMS and web development. In his spare time you will find him reading, snowboarding or travelling. Also, you should follow him on Twitter!


34 comments for “Is The RedDot CMS Dead? No it’s not – But what’s next Open Text?”

  1. I for one would miss RedDot CMS. I think there’s a lot of “good” there.

    But LiveServer? I won’t shed a single tear… except for the great guys who support it, who hopefully will be sticking around.

    Posted by Ed | September 15, 2009, 4:37 am
  2. Markus (and the other contributors) thanks for putting this together. You’re summed up a ot of questions i’ve been pondering. I look forward to the ongoing discussions, flamewars and competitors hijacking this article for their own purposes :P

    On a side note contrary to everything i’ve read so far of a probable November release of 10.1 cms wire indicated that it has been pushed back to the first half of 2010 any thoughts on this? (see this article http://)

    Posted by Morgan Ritchings | September 15, 2009, 4:44 am
  3. Posted by Morgan Ritchings | September 15, 2009, 4:47 am
  4. My comment to that site and I am wondering if they will actually release it or delete it:

    This article sounds to me like pure publicity. Which is fair enough because that is how you make your money here I guess.
    There is nothing new here in this article which hasn’t been said before.
    Raising some solid questions and getting some proper answers is what I was looking for. So we (developers, clients, partners) did that ourselves.

    Now I am looking forward to see if you will delete this post or how far free speech goes with CMSWire.


    Posted by Markus Giesen | September 15, 2009, 5:19 am
  5. And I agree Ed, the support staff where great where it came to LiveServer and CMS, it would be wrong to let them go.

    Posted by Markus Giesen | September 15, 2009, 5:20 am
  6. Happily published your comments. Will reply later.

    Irina Guseva
    Sr. Editor

    Posted by Irina Guseva | September 15, 2009, 5:25 am
  7. Dear Irina,

    thank you for this quick reply. Always a pleasure to read and agree or disagree with you ;)

    Apologies for the ‘publicity’ bit in my last comment, that was certainly a cheeky guess and not necessary. It just doesn’t seem to other readers I talked with and me that CMSWire is always taking their time to point out the tricky bits of announcements this particular vendor is making. Even if this involves speculations sometimes it is good to create more questions than giving answers. I rather prefer to ask and think than just listen and take what I get. My point is that CMSWire can’t post as let’s say “volatile” as others can.

    And you are of course right about the blogosphere and their temptation to interpret or speculate. It would sometimes be better to wait for rock solid facts. Our article has been created at the beginning of last week, even the mentioned post on contentwrangler appeared for a short time on friday before ours. But not only in Germany are a lot of partners and clients waiting now quite too long for a proper statement so we decided after waiting for a week to finally publish this one.

    I am looking forward to get a glance on the announced “singular solution”, although I didn’t quote you here, there are certainly other sources I took into account before Morgan pointed me to this article today. I will eventually subscribe to CMSWires RSS feed to avoid that next time and recommend that also to my fellow readers.

    I agree that there can’t be a complete set of answers available by Open Text yet. But it seems like when asking Open Text they don’t really pay attention to those questions or refer to a vague date in future. So this approach is a different way to see if this will help setting up a dialogue where so far only the “one way announcement communication” took place. I still expect a bit more Web2.0 dialogue instead of announcement monologues.

    Too early for conclusions, agreed. And it’s great to see that a CMS Consultant with such a high-level experience is taking time to get a bit deeper into detail with a single vendors audience. Keep that level of distinction :)


    Posted by Markus Giesen | September 15, 2009, 7:08 am
  8. There is no way they can migrate either CMS platform to the other. They share absolutely no technical foundations.

    The only thing that would make sense is LiveServer moving to the Vignette platform.

    I really hope CMS remains its own product. Ive done a bit of work with Vignette and its absolutely horrible. The end users hate it and developers cant stand it either.

    Posted by Aaron | September 15, 2009, 10:41 am
  9. [...] hum. Another migration in a box. I really liked the post from Markus Giesen on the Unofficial RedDot blog. He asks many of the questions that customers, implementors and investors should be asking. He also [...]

    Posted by When CMS Genes Won’t Splice | Jon On Tech | September 15, 2009, 11:18 am
  10. I, for one, think there will be plenty of RedDot as we know it (OK we know it as Management Server now) for some time to come – certainly past 2010. We have seen many organisations still use CMS 6 and 7 and for the many thousands of clients that have invested in the platform there will be no compelling reason to re-build their entire infrastructure around Vignette (if indeed that is the intended direction of OT). What we likely will se is a stabilisation of the v10 platform over time, as fixes are released for all those little issues rather than simply being deferred to an upcoming version.

    And I can say for certain that a Visual Studio development environment for RedDot CMS versions 6-10 is on its way (because I am building it). I am looking for a select few partners to test it in its alpha release stages and help shape the behaviour and locate bugs and edge cases. If you want to be in it please reply here or to the original blog post: http://www.reddotcmsblog.com/management-server-and-visual-studio-integration

    Posted by Richard Hauer | September 15, 2009, 2:05 pm
  11. No good news for us as Customers.
    We are on the relaunch of all of our Websites and want to use V10.

    So what next? Only support and no new features at V10 ?
    Wait for news from OT?
    Search some other CMS?

    Okay we talked to OT and they say that the existing Roadmap will be finished. But some Developer will be used for the new Product.

    Hm another 2 or 4 Years with out new Features?

    We will see.

    Posted by Bastian | September 17, 2009, 2:00 pm
  12. I think to stabilize the current CMS is a good step. I am also wondering if they will finish the .NET migration or if this is just a too hard job to finish?

    @Bastian & others
    Which features would you like to see within a new version?

    Posted by Markus Giesen | September 17, 2009, 2:25 pm
  13. I was going to sign up for this Webinar today but it seems I am unable to register due to technical dificulties. Maybe too much interest in the topic.

    Open Text and Vignette Product Strategy and Roadmap Update

    Posted by Neil Browning | September 17, 2009, 3:39 pm
  14. I’ve got the same problem. Coincidence?

    Posted by Markus Giesen | September 17, 2009, 4:22 pm
  15. I’m in, though we will have to see if I get sound (nothing to do with OT). Let you know if I hear anything interesting. There are supposed to be audio and slides for those who are registered and miss it (or hobbled by local IT like me :) )

    Posted by Adrian Mateljan | September 17, 2009, 4:38 pm
  16. I managed to get in on the call and it will be supplied as a download on the ContentWorld365 site.

    Brief highlights:

    Stressing that they will be supporting both product lines and customers going forward.

    Will NOT discontinue / put in maintenance either platform.

    No plan to combine platforms (how could you anyway) no code merge, but will implement best bits of each functionality in other product.

    Will both be Opentext branded.

    2 years down the line will be a NEW Evolution of WCM. Maybe a new Product, is my guess?

    Posted by Neil Browning | September 17, 2009, 6:04 pm
  17. From todays Webinar (at least like I understood without any warrenty):
    - Both products (OTWS and V.) will stay and will be developed seperately
    - They will NOT be merged
    - There will be a new product that is combines all features in the next 24 months
    - You can still use OTWS and V., but if you want to use new technology (Silverlight/HTML5 etc.) you are free to change the platform (which in my opinion indicates that the old products will die in a mid term)
    - they try to make an update path from Reddot to the new products (which in my opinion indicates that there will be no possibility to do an update at all)

    Posted by Dennis | September 17, 2009, 7:22 pm
  18. @Markus
    let me think: thats realy missing is to publish “real” seo-urls – like “/news/index.html /news/september.html” (created by the NavMan-Structure?!), other thinks are “staging/publish” to more then one server (Apache or IIS not DS) by keeping the hole page consistently (if one fail rollback the others / if all ok switch to the new version on all servers), “better” Asset-Managment, more/better RQL documentation (so if we can’t have all features – we can make it), BUGFIXES thats open since v6 :-) Better Flash/JavaScript integration and of cause “Using AJAX inside SmartEdit for better editing” :-) Ok some features are basicly in v10 but quite basics.

    Posted by Bastian | September 18, 2009, 7:41 am
  19. Great news from the Webinar.
    I hope that OT can make the “old” roadmap of v10 just in time.

    Posted by Bastian | September 18, 2009, 7:45 am
  20. I can pretty much concur with Neil and Dennis above (though I was slightly distracted doing work at the time). Biggest thing OT seemed to want to stress was the continuation of both product lines. Biggest issue? How to give all three (V, RD + new product) enough attention each. The idea is great in theory – build a new product, taking the best ideas from the old products and rolling in some new fangled stuff, whilst at the same time backporting these to the old products. In practice – well I guess we will have to wait and see. It does assume that we a) believe what OT says (ie that this wasn’t just an exercise in appeasement and damage control – I mean, really, what else *could* they have said?) b) believe that OT can deliver (not sure history is on OT’s side here) and c) that their plans don’t change again with the next bargain that comes along (again, history not on OT’s side?)

    What do others think?

    Posted by Adrian Mateljan | September 18, 2009, 9:37 am
  21. Yes, we have to wait and see. :-)
    My personal feelings are mixed. The one thing ist what they say, the other thing is what the do. Version 10 is a step forward. (The first real step forward since 3 years.) With this release they delivered most things they promised last autumn. On monday at the usergroup-meeting in Hamburg the will show their detailed roadmap for the next 9 months. Let us look to this details. Which features are still on the roadmap, which one disappeared? (Still moving the backend to .NET?)

    Posted by Christoph Straßer | September 18, 2009, 12:48 pm
  22. Are there any new from the “21. RedDot Usergroup Meeting” on that Topic ?

    Posted by Bastian | September 22, 2009, 11:10 am
  23. Yes there are, some vague answers from OpenText are on Irina Gusevas latest article, which can be found here:

    Posted by Markus Giesen | September 23, 2009, 2:05 am
  24. My personal view to the messages from the Usergroup-Meeting:
    OpenText communicated und discussed issues in a very open way. –> Positiv!
    The roadmap for the “old” technology (former RedDot CMS – products) looks in my personal oppinion relativ disappointing. Yes, they will bring some 10.x – versions in the next years. Yes, they will fix bugs and they will improve the integration between the WebSolutions and other OpenText products. (Artesia, LiveLink, OpenText-Search, OpenText-DirectoryService, …) Our organisation has licensed software from other vendors in this areas, so we won´t participate from this developments. The revolutionary steps from the old WSMS-Roadmap for 2010 disappeared near complete. The Core of the WSMS will be in 3 years the same it is today and the same it has been 3 years before. (With the exception of the PageBuilder which was rewritten for Version 10.) There may come some improvements for the SmartEdit and the AssetManager in 2010. (But this two points still have the status “investigating”!)
    The bottom line, is: Yes you can work with WebSolutions 10 for some more years. But: Do you want to do this? The major shortcommings of this solution won´t change. For real major changes/improvements we have to wait for the content-centric, vignette-influenced/based new technology.

    Posted by Christoph Straßer | September 23, 2009, 9:42 am
  25. have anyone the new and the old Roadmap?

    The last Post from Christoph sound for me to just keep RedDot alive, but not with new “killer features”.

    Posted by Bastian | September 23, 2009, 11:47 am
  26. The old (may 2009) roadmap was linked from http://www.reddotusergroup.org/veranstaltungen/veranstaltungen-466.html but the link had been replaced. For the official new one we have to wait until end of october. (”content-world”) In Hamburg they showed a draft-version of the new roadmap.

    Posted by Christoph Straßer | September 24, 2009, 8:06 am
  27. … and now the definitive word from Marci Maddox at Open Text – she is Director of Global Product Marketing …


    Posted by Richard Hauer | September 25, 2009, 3:23 am
  28. Just in case my previous post did not definitively answer the questions posed here, I have posted a follow-up response at


    We are gathering feature “wish list” requests from customers and partners for the next release in late 2010, so please feel free to send them my way.

    Additionally to specifically answer the questions posed here:

    On the one side there is no plan to merge the code on the other side the significant key features of both system should find together, on which technological structure is that based?
    The Next Generation offering technological structure is still being evaluated. We see benefits in the streamlined, application oriented .NET CMS of Web Solutions and the value of the more robust, proven Java architecture of Vignette. There are 3 main areas we are investigating: 1. Shared services where OOTB content types, templates and design tools for both the .NET and Java Web designers can build the Web sites they need, 2. The editorial and administrative environment that needs to be easy to use, optimized, informative and secure, and 3. The application front end and delivery environment must be scalable, responsive, engaging and support ASPX, PHP, JSP, Portals, Silverlight, Flash, Social, mobile and other compelling dynamic Web application technologies. How we propose to achieve this is still at the early stage. Much of the input from our partners, customers and even fodder in the social realm from our competitors is being taken into account.

    • Where is that ‘pricing journey’ going? How will the price difference between RedDot CMS and Vignette be managed?
    This question presumes that there is a merge of the products which is not the case. Each product will continue to be priced based on its value to the different scenarios it addresses. Any future pricing options are speculative at this time.

    • By all means, does it at this time still make sense to sell, train or advertise RedDot?
    Of course! Though RedDot was rebranded as Open Text Web Solutions a year ago, it is a leading WCM product as identified by Gartner and Forrester, and just rolled out a major release last June, is set to deliver a minor release in December and another in June 2010 with the “wish list” of features going through evaluation now for a late 2010 /early 2011 release. With over 2000 customers using Web Solutions in their daily business, they expect to get new capabilities, platform updates and fixes to their enterprise software and we will continue to deliver on this expectation.

    • Given the fact that for example Gauss just disappeared from the market in a way of ‘The product development extinct, support ends on day X’ and all partners and clients had to switch, will that also happen to RedDot CMS/LiveServer?
    First, all partners and clients were not forced to switch from Gauss to RedDot. We have a number of customers happy with their deployment and getting updated product enhancements based on their direct input into the product lifecycle process. No customer of Web Solutions will have to switch products; Web Solutions and Vignette products will have a long life at Open Text.

    • So, what will happen to the CMS? Which technology will be used for Management Server and Delivery Server?
    Nothing will happen to the CMS, aka Management Server, nor Delivery Server (which together comprise the Web Solutions offering) – they continue to thrive on the architecture that they are built upon today. Should we choose to extract and modularize the application logic of Web Solutions (such as SmartEdit) and include it in the Next Generation offering, it will not impact the Web Solutions product line.

    • Will they be combined into one single product which runs on one server?

    • Would that mean the end of a separated CMS from Delivery system?
    Interesting question. We have seen that the coupling of a management environment to its delivery system is getting closer together as time goes on. More application logic is working its way into the management console and presentation requirements are being driven by the business user. Will the Next Generation product offer a tighter integration or more seamless transition between the two? It is possible; architecture for the new offering is still under wraps.

    • Given history how certain is the proposed timeline for the new product?
    Our goal is to have a first beta product in 24 months. That’s our estimate at this stage and we are continuing to work on the details. Don’t forget, we are also actively working on the roadmaps for Web Solutions and Vignette Content Management, and delivering on new versions of these products, well past the release of the next generation offering

    • How will you create a new product within less than a year time where it took more than 4 years to change the UI to what we have with version 10?
    First, we are not creating a new product in one year. The design for our Next Generation product has been in the works for a good year plus. With the acquisition of new IP from Vignette, we are coming up with new ideas and cool ways to address the WCM system for tomorrow.
    On the UI front, honestly, we did take our time to evaluate over 500 feature requests, went through a rigorous UI design process and validation of the new version 10 product – all for a great result. Could we have gotten it done faster? Yes. But quality was of utmost importance; on equal footing as preserving the project structure as much as possible to minimize impact to our customer’s deployments. Soon to be released Vignette Content Management version 8 will also have a new UI and we will be leveraging the experience from both product updates in the design of the Next Generation release.

    • What guarantee for automated content migration without the need of rebuilding a project from scratch can you give clients which are buying the current version 10?
    First, clients on Web Solutions v10 and Vignette Content Mangement version 8 will have current technologies to carry forward with their projects. We cannot guarantee, nor can any other vendor, that there will not be any changes necessary from one release update to another. We will continue to support 2 major versions back with ease of upgrade top of mind. As we do today, the release notes will identify structural changes and backward compatibility where possible

    Posted by Marci Maddox | September 30, 2009, 8:51 am
  29. Believe it?

    After several years listening to RedDot’ promises I am happy that our company migrated to a open source CMS.

    Protection of investment? haha …

    RedDot is dead, believe it

    Posted by Dirk | November 9, 2009, 10:49 pm
  30. I disagree Dirk, RedDot CMS is not dead and never will be.

    Open Source can easliy lead you nowhere or slow you down a lot.
    It’s about the digital partner or the guys who implement a solution if you do it in-house. Most projects which I have seen going down the drain where based on human errors not on the choice of software.

    Posted by Markus Giesen | November 10, 2009, 4:35 am
  31. [...] Text has a few ones, e.g. RedDot or [...]

    Posted by J. Boye | Vendors kill products and make customers pay | March 11, 2010, 1:00 am
  32. [...] just as vulnerable to web CMS market consolidation as a smaller outfit (the uncertain fate of RedDot since it was purchased by OpenText provides a good example [...]

    Posted by Selecting a web CMS: The most common mistakes in RFPs | March 24, 2010, 2:01 pm
  33. Those reported dead live longer.

    As a former menber of the RedDot an later on OpenText staff, I watched the developments within OpenText with big converns, especially in 2009 when the R&D team was thinned out step by step and the motivation and believe in the future of the RedDot family was below zero.

    What I saw then was a version 10 that was much better than my expectations and – agains all expectations – the RedDot product Family was not replaced with Vignette but lives in coexistence with valuable synergies like social media server for instance. My astonishment grew as I called one of my former OT colleagues from the development team in Oldenburg and heared that the situation in R&D sabilized in the recent months and the teas has found new faith, motivation and the dev team is in a very good mood.

    For the lower-middle-class customers time has come to look for a cheaper system like Sitecore for instance. OpenText has clearly positioned the Web Solutions as an enterprise solution in term of pricing as well as in terms of features and functionality and complexity. It’s not the out-of-the box wcm wonder it was in the past. But for Enterprise Customers, OpenText Web Solutions are still or again an interesting choice.

    Greetings from Vienna,
    Boris Crismancich

    Posted by Boris Crismancich | July 16, 2010, 8:21 pm
  34. @Thanks for your levity Boris.

    Before I dig to the meat of the roadmap, on your point about price points for Small Businesses – keep your ears peeled for a very big announcement that will make Open Text the most affordable enterprise CMS in the market.

    I’ll give you a hint: it’s already been mentioned in the “About Us” page in this very blog, written years ago. More on that gamechanger soon.

    So… (knuckles cracking at the keyboard) I’d like to chime in on this old thread as well. It’s been said plenty of times, but we have already re-written the core PageBuilder of RedDot CMS completely in .NET making it about 80% faster in some instances when publishing and editing content for global, mutltilingual web sites (typical of all of our enterprise grade clientelle)

    This was major R&D investment. Although not visible to the public, our customers using the new version are blown away by the responsiveness. If you’ve been in the software industry long enough, you’ll understand that every so often you have to refactor your codebase to keep innovation at a sustainable pace. This means less flashy, marketable features for a release or two so we can have more cool ones in the future. It’s an investment, and it’s paid off. We now have the following capabilities:

    - out of the box integrated Social Networking (not just blogs wikis and forums but podcasts, galleries, idea management and full blown communities like Facebook) all widgetized and ready go in a sample site (read: plug and play)

    - semantic navigation auto tags your content and makes content relationships

    - full online marketing automation suite that contains email, SMS campaign management – even IVR call center integrations complete with reporting and analytics

    - personalised content recommendations (think Amazon’s “you bought this, other’s users also liked this) by just inserting a few lines of Javascript like Google Analytics

    So….. for all the nay sayers who said we have had no innovation in the roadmap, please check out the Open Text web site and have a look at the innovation first hand.

    Some links


    RedDot is now known as Web site Management and we get most of the high-end goodies in the Engagement suite of products from Open Text (like text mining, who else has this in the WCM space?). This is by far one of the best reasons to bet on Open Text because we are spending $1 billion USD on R&D in the next 5 years.

    I am absolutely stoked about riding the next wave in WCM and Engagement, now that the last generation has come to a close.

    Posted by Cuneyt Uysal | September 10, 2010, 8:42 am

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