Crafter CMS: There is a "New" CMS in Town

Sometimes timing is everything and some would argue that I should have written this story weeks ago. Earlier this month, Rivet Logic announced the launch of Crafter Software Corporation, which offers commercial support and licenses for the Crafter CMS open source project (previously known as Crafter Rivet). I didn't jump on the story and CMS Report is probably one of the few CMS news sites that didn't talk about the Crafter Rivet spin off into Crafter Software. The honest truth, I just didn't want to rehash the press release on the day the announcement was made without offering some additional perspective of my own.

It's not that I hadn't heard of Rivet Logic nor their CMS before the spin-off. Numerous companies, including media and retail giants and others in the Fortune 500 as well as major government agencies have already benefited from Crafter deployments. Besides, at a previous Liferay Symposiums I met Mike Vertal, CEO of Crafter Software and Rivet Logic, broke bread with him at dinner, and found that I really like the guy. For a CEO, Mike is quiet and reserved. I was reminded of this after watching Mike at a 2013 CMS Expo panel full of CMS executives each discussing what their CMS has to offer potential customers. I think Mike is quiet because he is one of those people that doesn't believe you have to "sell" your products but instead just inform your client what your products can do and the product will sell itself. Mike isn't a salesman for Crafter Software, he is a believer. I'll have a conversation with a believer any chance I can get.

Crafter Software offers two editions: 

  • Community Edition: Fully featured, free and open source (GPL v3) with community support.
  • Enterprise Edition: Commercial license and enterprise support for a low annual subscription cost.

Crafter CMS provides developers with the foundation for quickly building high-performance, flexible Web and mobile applications. Built as an enterprise Java platform using the Spring Framework, Crafter CMS provides a solid infrastructure that not only integrates well with enterprise systems and deployment infrastructure, but also supports a full-range of presentation-tier technologies including lightweight scripting and REST-based APIs.

Crafter Studio and Crafter Engine, the company’s two initial offerings, work together to deliver superior web content authoring, publishing and personalized content delivery:

  • Crafter Studio, is an authoring and publishing solution that includes user-friendly features for marketers and content editors including WYSIWYG authoring, in-context preview and editing, workflow, integrated third-party analytics and multi-channel publishing. In version 2.2, business users can now graphically create rich website layouts and dynamic experiences with drag-and-drop component placement. This new version also enables easier and faster publishing across all channels, and Enterprise Edition users will benefit from certified releases and support for all major enterprise databases with new support for Microsoft SQL Server and Postgres.
  • Crafter Engine, is a high performance content delivery system that provides developers with the foundation for building web and mobile applications. In turn this enables business users to create engaging, personalized experiences for end users.

“We have seen tremendous commercial demand for Crafter’s modern, open and well-designed solutions in a variety of industries,” said Vertal. “With hundreds of sites now in production and interest surging from major organizations around the world, we knew the time was ripe to spinoff a new company entirely focused on continued development and global support of Crafter.”

“The Crafter CMS open source project was born out of the need to seamlessly connect the world-class content management functionality of Alfresco with enterprise users who need to manage web content and deliver optimized web and mobile experiences elegantly,” said Russ Danner, the project lead for the open source Crafter CMS project at Rivet Logic and an initial employee at Crafter Software. “Since the beginning of the project over five years ago, we have built a powerful solution in concert with hundreds of our enterprise customers who recognize that a new kind of web content platform is needed for this new era of customer engagement.”

Several firms are lining up to provide professional services focused on Crafter-based solutions. In addition to Rivet Logic, early members of Crafter Software’s global partner program include Blue Fish Development Group and Tribloom in North America, along with Sourcesense in Europe.

“We are very impressed with the Crafter products and are excited to be a channel partner. Our clients have long sought a full WCM solution that provides both a great experience for business users combined with robust enterprise-class content management on the back end,” said Jeff Philipp, CEO of Blue Fish Development Group. “Until now that really didn’t exist, but the combination of Crafter Studio, Crafter Engine and Alfresco finally makes that a reality. We know our clients will be enthusiastic.”

"There is a big gap in the open source web content management market, especially in the enterprise Java space,” said Michael McCarthy, president of Tribloom, Inc. “Crafter fills that gap.”