Regional Austrian energy agen…

Regional Austrian energy agency uses Liferay for its corporate portal

Published on: 24/04/2017

Energie Agentur Steiermark (EA-STMK), the intermediary between Styrian administration, policy, science, economy and customers in the energy sector, has deployed Liferay for its corporate portal. We use it to provide information to our customers, partners, and all other interested people visiting our website, Project Manager Thomas Berger explains. We also implemented an internal area — currently only available to our own employees — that basically serves as a private cloud. People use it for file sharing, to manage their agendas and contacts, and so on.

Liferay is a web portal platform that is mostly used to power corporate intranets and extranets. We started with Liferay in 2016, when we were looking for a replacement for our previous website based on plain HTML and Microsoft Expression Web. The requirements for a new Content Management System CMS) included integration of databases and collaboration, for example.

Scale model kit

EA-STMK choose Liferay because of its effectiveness and flexibility. It's a very powerful tool, Berger explains, with many features and additional apps available. The software is similar to a scale model kit: you pick the apps you want to use, and additional apps can easily be installed or implemented. Obviously, cost was also an important factor in this decision.

Currently we have three or four people with editing rights working on the content, and about 16 users for the internal area. The website attracts 7000-8000 visitors each month.

The organisation did not have any previous experience with Liferay before they started using it. Support for the software is provided by consultancy firm IT-Novum.

Convincing people

Although EA-STMK does not have anything like an open source strategy, Berger has been a Linux user privately for more than ten years. I always try to convince people of the advantages of open source software, and tell them that they at least have to try other options before saying no. Fortunately, we do have other people in our organisation using open source too. They work with packages like GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus and LibreOffice.

The cool thing with open source software is that it generally works very well, that it's free of charge, and that there is a huge community to ask if you have any problems or questions. Sometimes, compatibility with proprietary software is a problem, even though the fault generally lies with the other side.