Review: Day Software’s CQ5 WCM

Several gray hairs and “at least an honorary CQ5 developer certification” 😉 graciously extended to me by Day later — I am happy to share my thoughts on Day’s new WCM product version.

Overall, it’s fine. When the Almighty was giving out patience, I was the last one in line. And you need a lot of that patience thing when installing and working with CQ5. It is buggy, it is slow, it is not extremely intuitive and it takes time to iron things out — those things that are supposed to be accomplished with a “single click.”

Top 5 Things I like about CQ5

  1. GUI — it is nice and clean. Very airy, sleek and open. Not that AJAX is any new, Day did a good job with the new interface.
  2. DAM and Web 2.0 aspects
  3. Inline editing with drag-and-drop and Sidekick
  4. The idea of a Quickstart file, esp. as it applies to backup, recovery and customer support hassles
  5. Day’s CQ5 WCM entire technology stack. Many Stone-Age-stuck CMS competitors (and their developers) will be jealous 😉

 Top 5 Things I Dislike About CQ5

  1. GUI — and new browser windows, lots of them. Every single breath you take in CQ5 (or even an intention of such) results either in multiple pop-ups or new windows. Depending on which mode you’re working in, you are doomed to (sooner or later) be buried under a massive amount of browser windows. Not good. That’s why God invented tabs and other clever ways of designing GUI’s.
  2. Until things change, you will not be able to install CQ5 without customer support holding your hand, which can be true with any WCM system. I was lucky to have some help, but, gee, was the process far from how it is described in the documentation. BUT, it was in fact the fastest WCM installation I have ever seen.
  3. Speaking of the devil… Documentation. I’ve suffered through much poorly-written WCM documentation. Compared to competition,  Day does a decent job. However, given the fact that the entire software package ships in a single executable .jar file, it is kinda silly to overburden it with duplicate documents in two formats: HTML and PDF. As far as I am concerned, HTML belongs on the Web. Downsize the docs, the new product is overwhelming as it is. 
  4. Workflow design and user management are a tad convoluted. Yes, you don’t need to design it in Visio or Eclipse and, supposedly, any business user can design a workflow; but it is so granular, yet flexible, it is almost unusable. I like the AND and OR split functions though. User management imho should be less willy-nilly with more structure, thought and BPM rules behind it.
  5. The fact that I didn’t have more time to play with CQ5 before publishing this review.

In general, my initial excitement about CQ5 has paid off. It is much fun exploring new product versions. Esp., when you get a chance to play many user roles from sys admin to end user. Thanks to Day and, esp., to Cochrane for taking me along for the ride. It’s an admirable move for any CMS vendor to allow this type of media access to a hot-off-the-press build. 

Full article on CMSwire: Day Software’s New CQ5 Web CMS Has Arrived [WARNING: This is about the longest darn thing I’ve written since my Master’s degree thesis, stock up on snacks 😉 ]


15 thoughts on “Review: Day Software’s CQ5 WCM

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  4. ОТличная смс правда не без недостатков…Грузит компьютер по полной программе + периодически DAM не работает, restore version периодически выпадает..

  5. stuck developer says:


    did you encounter “server not ready, browser not launched” error message every time you start the cq5?

    the message keep pop up and i need to try for at least 5 hours to start it after getting multiple times the same error message


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  7. Alberto says:

    Hi, i’m a developer with years of experience in J2EE development and now i’m currently working on a big project based on CQ5.2…during the first months i was amazed…now i’m definitely disappointed with this software: packagemanager doesn’t work work correctly (big imports often resolves in errors), user management sucks (works well if you have users added via admin, but not if you have to add them programmatically), users are not reverse-replicated (this means you have to manage reverse replication manually if you have different publishing instances), CRX cannot be shared between different publishing instances, lack of documentation also for some feature that may be very cool (like htmllibrary), CQ instances crash often on Jboss, design components cannot be forwarded with activation processes (so why should editors have a design dialog to open, if they need a sys admin to deploy their changes manually on different publishing instances?), sling makes difficult to manage also POSTs with included files, CQDE is the only editor available (and it is very very unstable), DAM is very very poor, user authentication is a hard task to perform, sling servlet default POST management is usefull only if you don’t need to moderate posted content or if you don’t have to take particular actions on POST (usually on big enterprise portal, you have to do specific tasks on about every POST), you don’t have a MVC but you have to work with jsps without MVC, you have to work with OSGi repository (which is uncontrollable on bundle load orders: do the mistake of uninstall a bundle…how do you recover it?) and JCR doesn’t allow join easily. We are still working on the project, but my beginning joy for the CQ platform has definitely turned to a complete disillusion. What do you still think of that platform?

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  9. Varun says:

    I want to do a certification on Adobe Day Cq5, Can you please guide me from where I’ll get the package to enrol for the certification?

    Thanks, Varun

  10. Valeria says:

    I’m a software developer and I have mainly worked with C# and I’ve worked with CMS such as umbraco and sitecore. Now I’m trying to explore this new CMS which is Java based. and the last time I coded in java as ages ago. Do you think I would be OK with the training course and how hard it would be for me to learn this CMS while I don’t have much Java experience.

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