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No dots for me anymore. Thanks.

Almost two years ago, Markus and I started writing about RedDot CMS. First, both of us on their own, then together in Markus’ blog. Pretty soon the idea emerged to found a blog specifically about RedDot, as public available documentation and discussion was nonexistent at that time. Soon other developers joined in making the RedDot CMS blog a huge success.

“Quit while you’re ahead”, people say – so do I.

For over 5 years now I’ve been working as a RedDot expert, fiddling around with almost every nut and bolt of that system. Those were quite interesting years and a lot happened to the small software company “RedDot” based in Oldenburg, Germany. First the acquisition by Hummingbird, then the absorption of both of them by Open Text. In my opinion, this was a huge turning point, and not everything is turning to the better:

Giving up the lead

RedDot CMS was once ahead in the game, providing techniques like WYSIWYG editing, e.g. the famous red dot, which made it easy – even for untrained editors – to see, what the published page will look like. RedDot missed out important user interface trends and Open Text continued to do so. Even the smallest Open Source CMS today has features like quick interface response through AJAX and similar techniques, quick in-place editing, drag & drop support, etc. They have clean, well thought out interfaces and most important: They are fully cross-browser compliant. Up to OTMS v10, the CMS had none of this and the recent changes are more desperate efforts to catch up, rather than leading the business.

Heads in the cloud, problems on the ground

The software platform itself is in desperate need of a major overhaul. Big parts are still written in classic ASP (VBScript), if you ever had a look at the code you know it’s really messy. With Open Text, the main goal became to integrate the rest of the company’s software products. Basically, this is just fine but when you look at the roadmap for the next versions (up to 2012), they list 7 (seven!) products/technologies which are about to be stuffed into the system. With the recent acquisition of Nstein, I guess you can increase that number once more.

Besides that, if you saw some Open Text presentations lately, the buzzword machines are working overtime: Instead of talking about Social Open Enterprise 2.0 Web Cloud thingy stuff™, take care of the product foundation you want to base your visions on. Before buzz-talking about Web 3.0, learn to master Web 1.0 first!

Business etiquette

Last but not least, I’m deeply fed up with the way Open Text (at least in Germany) treats their long-term partners in a quite unpartner-like way. Period. I won’t go much into detail here, as this is a long list of annoyances and I don’t want to get personal. But don’t get me wrong, there are still some cool guys there I know from the old RedDot days, I had the opportunity to work with them on some projects and had great conversations and discussions – thank you guys!


So it’s time for me to move on, there are still so many interesting things to explore and new projects to work on. A big “Thank you” to all of you, who read this blog, who contributed and made this blog a tremendous success. I learned a lot, and we definitely have the coolest blog crew around. It really was a great time, guys!


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  1. Goodbye RedDotCMSBlog, it’s been great! This blog is shutting down.

About the author:

Frederic Hemberger Frederic Hemberger lives in Cologne, Germany where he works as a technical consultant and senior RedDot developer. After years of studying the ancient and mysterious ways of content management, he acquired the black belt of RedDot-fu. After teaching many students in the weird ways of the Dot, he retreated to the old misty mountains to meditate. Legends tell that he finally reached the mysterious state of IoRangeNoRedDotMode.


14 comments for “No dots for me anymore. Thanks.”

  1. Noooooooooo…….!

    Posted by Tiffany | April 10, 2010, 8:25 pm
  2. Hey Frederic, best of luck in your future endeavours. It was always insightful to lurk around your google group and blog posts. Many thanks and here’s hoping i too can one day attain .

    Posted by morgan ritchings | April 13, 2010, 2:02 am
  3. Nooo pls…Don’t say so……:(

    Posted by Eyeshoe | April 13, 2010, 8:24 am
  4. sad to see a good guy leaving… :( all the best tough!

    Posted by Heiko Franz | April 14, 2010, 8:42 am
  5. First i thought it was a April-joke, but than i took a closer look at the date. Not the first but the 10th. It is a pity that you leave the OpenText development but I can understand your reasons. Good luck for the future.

    Posted by Ingo | April 15, 2010, 1:01 am
  6. Best of Luck !!!

    May you succeed in everything u do.

    Reddot n we all will miss you n your blogs, Thanks for making us learn Reddot in such a better way.

    Thanks a lotttttttt

    Posted by sharon | April 15, 2010, 10:13 am
  7. Thanks for all the helpful info over the years. Best of luck with your future endeavors!

    Posted by Chris | April 17, 2010, 10:46 am
  8. I appreciate all of the free insights over the years. It will be a shame not to have you as a resouce anymore! Good Luck!

    Posted by William Phillips II | April 22, 2010, 6:19 pm
  9. I am sad to see you leaving RedDot but fully understand your reasons.

    What are you choosing as your new CMS solution?

    Posted by Tiffany (a different one) | June 29, 2010, 3:36 pm
  10. I’m not sure, whether I choose a new CMS solution “for me” at all:
    At the moment, I still work with RedDot/OTMS (well, someone has to maintain all the customer projects), but there are so many other interesting (but totally different) things I’m into at the moment, so you can never know what the future will hold. You’ll always meet at least twice in life. ;)

    Posted by Frederic Hemberger | July 18, 2010, 3:54 pm
  11. Hello Frederic,
    Thank’s a lot for your effort for this community platform.

    I wish you all the best for your new ideas.

    Posted by Frank Leja | November 4, 2010, 10:57 am
  12. I fully understand your reasons. I totally agree with your sentence if you ever had a look at the code you know it’s really messy. :-)

    Posted by Dirk | December 23, 2010, 4:59 pm
  13. … I just tried a search on http://websolutions.opentext.com/

    Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
    Validation of viewstate MAC failed. If this application is hosted by a Web Farm or cluster, ensure that configuration specifies the same validationKey and validation algorithm. AutoGenerate cannot be used in a cluster.
    Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

    Exception Details: System.Web.HttpException: Validation of viewstate MAC failed. If this application is hosted by a Web Farm or cluster, ensure that configuration specifies the same validationKey and validation algorithm. AutoGenerate cannot be used in a cluster.

    Source Error:

    [No relevant source lines]

    Source File: c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files\root\6cc55f50\259a9326\App_Web_tcwf1bbt.0.cs Line: 0

    Stack Trace:

    [HttpException (0x80004005): Unable to validate data.]
    System.Web.Configuration.MachineKeySection.GetDecodedData(Byte[] buf, Byte[] modifier, Int32 start, Int32 length, Int32& dataLength) +289
    System.Web.UI.ObjectStateFormatter.Deserialize(String inputString) +140

    Posted by Dirk | December 23, 2010, 5:02 pm
  14. I hope this blog stays alive for all the thousands of people who will still be looking it up for help and tips !!!!

    Posted by Tiffany not from Germany | March 17, 2011, 3:43 am

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