Migrating from Collage to Cascade Server - What are your options?

Client Case Study

Check out the Sarah Lawrence case study about the College's CMS use and migration from Serena Collage to Cascade Server.

Its been about a year since news first surfaced that Serena was putting their Collage product "out to pasture".  As one might imagine, this created a substantial opportunity in the installed-CMS market, as Collage users are realizing that they need to decide what is next.  During this past year, we've worked with many different organizations and institutions, discussing options for migrating from Collage to Cascade Server.  Even before the announcement was made, we were receiving inquiries from people interested in replacing their Collage CMS.  Over the past year and a half we've signed 7 new clients that previously worked with Collage, and we are seeing the potential for a lot more to come.

So, if you are considering a move to Cascade Server, what are your options?  Glad you asked.  Implementations are like snow flakes; no two are alike.  Of the six clients that we've signed, each of them has a different strategy:

  • Hannon Hill has a services team, which can assist in the migration from Collage into Cascade Server.  We've written a script, which automates the migration of Collage's "Contribution Types" into Cascade Server's "Asset Factories", as well as from WYSIWYG to WYSIWYG.  Some more information about this can be found in one of our previous blog posts.
  • Hannon Hill is not the only team that can assist in the migration from Collage to Cascade Server.  We're currently working with Duo Consulting on a migration for a mutual client.
  • Some of our clients have decided that they would prefer to perform the migration from Serena Collage to Cascade Server themselves.  In this case, Hannon Hill is able to provide the migration script at no charge.  We're happy to provide tips on what we've learned.
  • Making a CMS change does provide the opportunity to start completely over with a new system. Some of our clients are starting over with their content and design, with Cascade Server.

Cascade Server certainly isn't the only option that is out there when it comes to replacing your Serena Collage CMS system.  It is, however, a similar content management product.  What does this mean for Collage customers?  Thought you'd never ask:

  • Cascade Server's architecture and publishing model is very similar to that of Collage.  Replacing Collage with Cascade Server would allow you to use the training that you've already received inside of the CMS.
  • The user interface (UI) for the end user of Cascade Server is very similar to that of Serena Collage's.  This means that organizations do not have to spend the extra time and money in intensive end-user training on a new system.
  • We utilize similar technology to Collage.  Cascade Server is also built in Java, and uses XSLT within the system.  We've also taken it a step further, introducing Velocity templates to the system
  • There are a few key differences to note between the two systems--Collage's interface is Java applet-based, whereas Cascade Server has a HTML standards-based interface. This means there is no requirement to install the Java Virtual Machine or any proprietary software on machines used to access Cascade Server. Cascade Server works anywhere you have a web browser.
  • We're creating a community of previous Collage users.  Customers that have already gone through migrations can certainly provide some "best practices" advice.
  • We have an annual user conference held every September, and a very active (and quickly growing) user community.
  • Cascade Server is upgraded on a regular basis.  In 2008, for example, Cascade Server had 4 major upgrades.  We're dedicated to our clients, and making Cascade Server a better product.

Hannon Hill encourages you to take a "test drive" of the system as a part of your evaluation process.  Further, we encourage you to have Cascade Server downloaded into your own environment.  We're happy to help you get Cascade Server trial for your evaluation, and we'll provide you with all the necessary documentation.