To our Tendenci clients –
Today, we released the Tendenci CMS open source (view the Tendenci GitHub Repository here). Tendenci CMS, or Content Management System, is the software that powers your website. We value you, and all our clients, tremendously and want to make sure we reach out to answer some questions you may have about this announcement and how it affects you.
What Does “Open Source” Mean?
Open Source means that the Tendenci code will be available from Schipul for anyone to download and install on a server to create a Tendenci website. The code is free, but it does require a specific hosting environment and programming knowledge to deploy a site. Open Source also means that other developers outside of our programming team can contribute to the code – build plugins, make changes to the interface, etc. The Tendenci “committers” (lead programmers) will remain gatekeepers of the core code, and incorporate the work of these outside developers as we see the benefit to clients.
What Does Open Source Tendenci Mean for Current Tendenci Clients?
In the short term, you probably won’t notice a difference. Your hosting won’t change, your cost won’t change, and your site won’t appear or operate differently.
Long term – The goal in going open source is to develop a larger ecosystem of developers who can update, add on to, and create websites with Tendenci (outside of the Schipul team). For you, this means more features available in Tendenci that aren’t currently, and the ability to customize your site to your specific needs. This also means that if you decide to, you can host your website internally or have another developer host or make updates to your website without Schipul’s involvement. We will do our best to keep our pricing competitive and maintain excellent customer service to continue providing the most value to those hosting with us.
What About Tendenci 4.0 Websites?
Since 2009 we have been rewriting Tendenci – Tendenci 5.0 – in the programming language Python, a more advanced programming language that gives us greater flexibility.
All Tendenci 4.0 clients have the same set of modules and features. In the past if a client requested a custom feature, we had to either find a way to roll it out to all client sites, or say no. Several features (for instance a searchable database of Attorneys) are not applicable to all clients, but exist on every Tendenci 4.0 site. The latest version of Tendenci works in a different way. Tendenci 5.0 has a Core that include pages, forms, users, events, etc. that apply to virtually all clients. From there we install additional features that are custom to each client using Plugins. For instance, a client may want a Staff module, Video Gallery, or Locations Module depending on the organization’s needs. Things like workflow, interface, and design can be custom to your organization.
Tendenci 5 is the version of Tendenci that we will be taking Open Source.
I Have a Tendenci 4 Site. Should I Upgrade to Tendenci 5?
Web technology changes frequently. We recommend clients consider revamping their website about every 5 years – so you are utilizing the latest technology and your website reflects your brand in the most current light. That being said, upgrading a website is a process and represents a cost, so for some organizations we understand that budget constraints mean a website redesign may not be at the top of your priority list. We aren’t going to stop supporting Tendenci 4, yet long term all of our clients will need to upgrade to keep up with the latest technology. We hope that the additional features of Tendenci 5 & the lower hosting cost as a result of new efficiencies is compelling to upgrade.
The caveat here is that while Tendenci 5 is far advanced beyond Tendenci 4.0 in many ways, there are specific features that are not yet available in Tendenci 5. For a list of Modules that have changed in the new version, visit this help file.
If you are interested in learning more about upgrading to Tendenci 5, please contact our Business Development team at 281.497.6567 ext 700
How Can I Learn More About Tendenci Open Source?
The details of Tendenci Open Source CMS are available at tendenci.org.
Also follow us online to keep up to date with the latest Tendenci Open Source details:
Additional Questions, Comments, Concerns, etc. please don’t hesitate to email us at opensource @ tendenci.org, or post them in the comments below.
Thank you for being a client!