Agencies See Advantages to Open Source Content Management Systems

Joseph Marks | | October 14, 2011

Many people were terrified when the Commerce Department first considered moving to an open source content management system for its main website, the agency's new media director said Thursday. made the transition in mid-2010 to a CMS from Drupal -- among the most popular open source communities worldwide. Many other federal sites have moved to Drupal during the past three years, including and

Open source software was typically built for a specific purpose, but designers made its underlying code generally available as a public service. The White House, for instance, has published the code for many of its transparency initiatives. "When we first mentioned [transitioning] here at Commerce, people freaked out," New Media Director Mike Kruger said. "Not because there were specific concerns, but because the idea of open source was that it was run amok, that it could be anything, that it could be some hacker in a basement that built this thing."

As officials became more familiar with open source systems, their security and usability concerns diminished, Kruger said...