Web Design & Development Guide
eZ Publish is an
content management system. It is developed by the Norwegian company eZ
Systems and a growing number of users and developers worldwide. eZ Publish is
available for free download under the GPL licence, as well as under proprietary
licences with commercial support. eZ Publish aims to support the development of
professional web applications in PHP.
The name eZ Publish is pronounced as "easy publish".
Areas of use
eZ Publish supports the development of professional, customized web
applications. Typical applications range from a personal homepage to a
multilingual corporate website including role-based multi-user access,
According to eZ Systems, eZ Publish is used for tens of thousands of web
applications of varying type and size worldwide, among them MIT (specifically
the controller's office), Vogue magazine, NASA, the US Navy DASN and the Swiss
public broadcasting organisation Schweizer Fernsehen.
Further examples eZ Publish-based projects are listed on the
eZ Publish reference page.
eZ Publish is managed via a Web browser, thus additional local software is
not necessary. It also features a rich text editor that allows formatting
content similar to a word processor (e.g. Word). This enables content editing
and contribution without HTML skills. Content management can also be done
through the eZ Publish frontend.
By providing the software for free,
eZ Systems follows an approach called "best of both worlds".
eZ Publish may be used and modified according to the GPL. In addition,
for-fee professional support is available, which includes an automatic
maintenance service (eZ
Network) and a bugfix guarantee. Furthermore, a
"Professional Licence" is available, granting the right to use eZ Publish
under licence conditions different from the GPL. With this model, eZ Systems
strives to combine the advantages of commercial and free software. The company
has received several awards for this business model, including the "Norwegian
Prize for promoting Free Software"
and was named by EContent as one of the 100 most influental companies in the IT
eZ Systems has a network of certified partner companies that perform
application implementations. Currently there are approximately 170 partners
worldwide (as of February 2007,
list). The company employs about 80 people in Norway, Ukraine, France,
Canada and Germany.
According to eZ Systems, its developer community includes tens of thousands of
The eZ Publish functional range targets the quick, professional and secure
realization of web applications. Functional criteria are (besides standards such
as sitemaps, search and printing function):
- a logic for content versioning;
- a media library; and
- role-based rights management.
Furthermore, custom changes can be made to eZ Publish. For this, the system's
architecture provides "Extensions", which are meant to contain individual
functions. This allows for the upgrading of the kernel even after customizing new versions. Finally, there are several hundred
contributions provided by the community. eZ Systems integrates such
contributions into the kernel on a continuous basis. This is done especially to
avoid mixed installations of the kernel and custom plugins, which
could lead to serious problems (e.g. for migrating an existing installation to
new versions of PHP, as such plugins are usually supported unpredictably).
As a LAMP application, eZ Publish is based on PHP. The recommended webserver
is Apache. This makes the software independent from the operation system. eZ
Publish can be run on Windows as well as on different UNIX derivatives.
One of the strictly applied development principles is a clean implementation
database abstraction layer, which enables the use of nearly any common database
by using drivers, thus rendering changes to the kernel unnecessary. eZ Systems
recommends MySQL, but drivers for PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle
are also available. As eZ Publish supports open standards such as XML and SOAP, it can be
flexibly integrated into existing IT infrastructures.
eZ Publish is cluster-ready and enforces the strict separation of information
and design through XML storage of all content. This eases media-neutral design
in terms of accessibility, e.g. for Braille devices or serving WAP browsers and mobile phones.
Future versions of eZ Publish will be based on
eZ Components is a library of standardized modules for speeding up application
development. Among others, there are functions for compressing binary files,
optimizing performance through caching,
connecting to several databases, debugging,
analysis, converting images, supporting email and validating user input.
eZ Components are conceptualized as an alternative for the PEAR project. They
are published under the BSD licence. Nevertheless, commercial support is available from eZ Systems. In
addition, eZ Systems is developing "eZ Platform", which will be a development
environment for PHP 6.
eZ Publish has been criticized for the lack of a built-in WYSIWYG editor and
rather complicated licensing
. With its Online Editor being included by default since version 3.8.1
(June 22, 2006), this has addressed the WYSIWYG editor concern.
- Paul Borgermans, Tony Wood, Paul Forsyth, Martin Bauer, Björn Dieding,
Ben Pirt: Learning eZ Publish 3: Building Content Management Solutions,
Packt Publishing 2004,
- Balazs Halasy, eZ publish basics, eZ press 2006,
ISBN 82-92797-00-9 (Description
External links, references
Web 2.0 for the Enterprise, 8.10.2006]
The MIT controller's office
eZ case studies
press release 10/6/2005 concerning the survey Blue Chips in the
press release on the Norwegian Prize for promoting Free Software],
Introduction: 2006 EContent 100, 15/11/2006
profile of eZ Systems
Interview with members of the eZ Systems board, 16/3/2006
press release on eZ Platform, 22/6/2006