Overview

If you are a Java developer planning to use your Java technical skills to start and run your website, you will be looking for a good Java-based CMS. A content management system, commonly known as CMS, is an application platform that allows developers to create and manage a website along with its content easily.

Open-source Java content management system

Usually, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS are the big three things you need to know to build a website but, then you would need to learn all these languages. CMS platforms solve this problem by allowing you to make a full-fledged website without writing code or learning all these languages.

It is quite easy yet confusing due to the overwhelming amount of open-source Java CMS available. Each offers dozens of features, but some lack major ones, or some are very difficult to use and whatnot. Well, you are in luck. This article explores the top 5 most remarkable open-source Java CMS tools that are available online. These Java CMS options offer various features, including the most important ones that can help you build your complete website, including a properly managed back-end and an interactive front-end.

 

Following are the top 5 open source CMS Java tools you can use to build your website.

1. OpenCMS: The original open-source Java CMS

OpenCMS was Introduced way back in 1999, and it has been an open-source Java CMS platform since 2001. It is one of the oldest open-source Java CMS platforms but one of the oldest CMS tools ever. It is even older than the popular PHP-based WordPress, which was introduced in 2003. Now, this history is not mentioned to prove OpenCMS is obsolete or old. In fact, from a developer’s point of view, it makes it one of the most mature and stable open-source Java CMS with a significantly larger user base which makes it part of this list.

OpenCMS is very simple to set up and maintain. It runs as a Java servlet, which makes its installation relatively easier. It is also compatible with most major databases, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, or MariaDB.

Although OpenCMS is not the most elegant or attractive open-source Java-based CMS, there have been some improvements since the interface was last updated in 2019. Despite that, OpenCMS does not feel modern. From the functional aspects, this causes no hindrance as OpenCMS still works just fine and offers all the features you would need to build your website.

OpenCMS does hold the distinction as a completely free-of-cost open-source Java CMS. Neither is there any pricing model for this product nor any licensing fees that make it the number one choice for Java developers who do not wish to pay for a Java-based CMS.

2. Magnolia: An enterprise-specific and open source Java CMS

Magnolia is an open-source Java CMS primarily designed for enterprise usage. It is a fully-featured CMS designed aiming at Agencies and Startups and provides end-to-end solutions for Web Applications. Some of its notable offerings include version control and SEO management, whereas website Management, Image Editor, and E-forms are also included as common tools found in CMS.

It also offers a completely free-of-cost community version that is surprisingly adequate for producing and deploying a useful website. Along with that, there is a commercial edition offered with additional features that require a paid license.

Magnolia has just one disadvantage that can make many developers change their minds despite being a great free-of-cost option for an Enterprise CMS. When it comes to deployment architecture, Magnolia requires two separate applications to run. One is a behind-the-firewall author instance application, whereas the other is an application for public use. As a result, it creates complexity as well as certain security issues when dealing with data.

3. Enonic XP: The all in one open-source Java CMS

Yet another great option for an open-source Java CMS in Enonic XP. It is relatively a newer CMS first released in 2015. Enonic XP is equipped with its built-in search engine and data management framework. It uses an application framework for coding server logic using JavaScript, and there is no need for SQL or any other database as it ships with an integrated content repository. It is a significant advantage as developers do not require to set up their database.

Since Enonic XP uses the JVM, developers can also code in Java with ease. Enonic XP not only supports web content creation but is also capable of hosting stand-alone web applications designed to run within its framework. Developers can easily create these applications and purchase the ones on the shelves from a well-established marketplace of Enonic XP.

If you are looking for an open-source Java CMS to manage a basic website, Enonic can be the most suitable choice for you. But, considering that Enonic XP is a holistic web hosting management platform designed using all the modern deployment strategies, it is also a great option for organizations and startups that need a CMS to manage multiple websites and web applications.

Enonic XP is completely free to use if you want to run and manage it on your infrastructure. Still, there are paid options available for fully hosted Enonic XP instances along with professional support.

4. Crafter CMS: Best headless open source CMS

Crafter CMS is a unique addition to the list. It is a headless open source CMS built on Java and Spring, with built-in Groovy scripting support. Crafter CMS allows enterprises to easily create digital content that can fulfill the needs of a wide range of users with different requirements. Crafter CMS also has native support for Java/Spring and NodeJS on the server. Being a headless CMS, it allows you to serve content via APIs.

You can use any front-end framework of your choice on top of Crafter’s headless content server. It provides a lot of support to content editors, software developers, and IT operations teams by its significant range of features. With the various powerful APIs offered by Crafter CMS, it gives you services for content, search, profile, and social capabilities for Java Spring without forcing you to learn any other programming language other than Java. Besides its extensive enterprise features, like all the other CMS on the list, Crafter CMS is also open source with a huge community of developers.

A free version of Crafter is available, but if you are willing to pay and want to avail all the features, Crafter Software also offers commercial licensing and enterprise support for self-hosted and various fully-managed SaaS deployment models. It also offers certified builds and patches, developers’ training, tutorials and guides for users, and a certified partner ecosystem. It is all you would need from a CMS.

5. Apache Sling CMS: A reference CMS App built on Apache Sling

Apache Sling CMS is a full-fledged open-source CMS for building and managing your website content. It comes with crucial features such as a rich text editor, a component-driven page builder, Context-Aware Configurations, Resource Mapping, Rewriter, and Resource Merging. On top of that, a full java applications server stack so you can develop integration on your own using Java.

The Apache Sling CMS is a reference implementation of the Apache Sling framework designed as a general-purpose Content Management System. It can easily handle any content, but it proves to be incredibly good for web content management. Thanks to the association with the Sling framework, the Apache Sling CMS offers all the latest features of the Sling framework. These features can be of great use for developers for creating dynamic web experiences with a component-driven editor without learning any other programming language or extensive tools.

See Also: Top 10 Most Popular Java Web Crawling and Scraping Libraries

Another great news for Java developers is that the Apache Sling CMS is based on the JCR (Content Repository API for Java). It provides access to content repositories used in content management systems that can store and retrieve content data and metadata very efficiently.

Wrapping it up

This article provides a concise list of 5 exceptional content management tools to choose from. All five open-source Java CMS tools are well-established options and offer a variety of benefits in terms of usability, features, compatibility, professional support, and cost. They all cover a range of use cases making content management way easier for the user. It depends on what you are looking for. It’s suitable for a fully open-source Java CMS, a simple-to-deploy open-source Java CMS for an enterprise, or a CMS that lets you write and deploy your custom web applications and website content.

Author

Full Stack Java Developer | Writer | Recruiter, bridging the gap between exceptional talent and opportunities, for some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies.

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