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Cleversafe and Contextual Launch Developer Community Portal on Plone CMS

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Contextual implements Plone CMS managed website for community of developers of the Cleversafe dispersed storage software.

Cleversafe and Contextual Launch Developer Community Portal on Plone CMS

Cleversafe Launches Community Site for Developers


Contextual has implemented the Plone-based website for Cleversafe to provide to its 2,000+ strong software developer community a collaboration portal, that enables interaction among developers on improvements to its software functionality for the company's Dispersed Storage appliances.

Cleversafe wanted to 'walk the walk' when it came to leveraging open source as a value-added service for important business operations, as it relies upon a community of thousands of open source developers to improve its own software that runs on the hardware it sells to customers.

With both companies based in the Chicago, Illinois area, and with Contextual's proven track record of deploying large enterprise Plone-based websites, it was only natural for Cleversafe to select Contextual as its Plone integrator.


Client Needs:

Cleversafe wanted an open source CMS to manage its developer community portal - one that would provide Web 2.0 functionality on its own, but still allow for easy integration with other applications.

Cleversafe required a strong Plone integrator with a proven track record of delivering 'enterprise' websites with demanding performance and scalability requirements, as opposed to implementations only for small organizations.

Some of the specific technical requirements included:

  • Integration with OpenLDAP and Active Directory
  • Web standards and accessibility standards compliance
  • Ability to easily implement cusotm site design from design/brand agency
  • Online discussion forums for developers
  • Weblog for publishing of blog posts from Cleversafe management and developers
  • Integration with FTP server for high-speed downloads of software packages
  • Performance optimization and security of public versus secure/private site content areas
  • Easy management of site portlets
  • RSS feeds for blogs
  • Workflow and permissions management to allow for proper drafting and publishing process


Cleversafe selected the Plone CMS due to its ability to handle high-volume websites with many concurrent logged in users, its fine-grained permissions management capabilities, available add-on products, thriving developer community and support system, its ability to integrate with things such as LDAP and web services (through its built-in support of XML-RPC), and for its ease of use.

Contextual was selected as Cleversafe's Plone integration services partner due to Contextual's proven track record with successful large Plone deployments having special performance and configuration needs, as well as its history of working with Plone since before its 1.0 release.


Contextual delivered the developer portal on-time and within budget and has been a stable partner and provider of support and enhancements to Cleversafe since the 2007 launch of this site, while Cleversafe's community of developers have enjoyed a web portal that lets them effectively collaborate on software improvements, documentation, and to receive information easily through Cleversafe's internal staff.

Other specific benefits include:

  • Integration with existing Cleversafe OpenLDAP and Active Directory to enable Single Sign-On for internal staff
  • Stable and well-performing web portal
  • A standard platform upon which to build other Cleversafe website, intranets, extranets (which have since, also been launched)
  • Secure portal login
  • Easy-to-use Content Management drafting and publishing process (formatting of content, inserting of images, etc.)
  • Improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of site content, through tagging of content and web standards compatibility
  • Cross-link integrity (no 'dead' links)
  • Simple Google Analytics integration
  • Easy and flexible portlet content management
  • Elegant custom site design applied consistently to all content pages through CMS engine
  • Dependable support, community, and upgrade path


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