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by Alan Milligan last modified May 10, 2013 04:56 PM
A vanilla 'classic' Plone skin
Why Plone 4 Zenoss makes amazingly good sense

What's wrong with Zenoss?

Well nothing.  But it is a very frustrating environment compared with modern Zope and modern Plone.  A few years ago when Zenoss was conceived, all of these environments were frustratingly arcane.  However, Zope and Plone have regained a lot of momentum and become very dynamic and reduced many barriers to entry for the uninitiated Pythonista.


Why Plone?

Plone has a lot of infrastructure that would really improve Zenoss.  This includes exposing content types through the ZMI, the Generic Setup/Quick Installer, workflow, advanced dashboard, portlet, and viewlet engine, and much more.  It would of course, with some effort, be possible to port this to Zenoss, but Plone4Zenoss gets us there right now!

There is a vibrant Plone community which dwarfs the Zenoss community in size and prodigiousness.  Plone has been around for a decade, has strong ISV support, and a roadmap well into the future.

The Plone ecosystem is vast in the range and functionality of extensions you can immediately incorporate into your site.  From wiki's and forums to Skype to newsletters and mailouts - fairly much everything asides from network monitoring and management.


Why Last Bastion Network?

We've been doing Python, Zope, and Plone for almost a decade.  We also have vast expertise in architecting and developing arbitrarily complex application suites - Last Bastion Network for example is essentially a Plone-clone of RHN/Spacewalk (and more of course).

We've been doing enterprise packaging and deployment of Zope-based applications for a very long time.  Our underlying packaging and deployment infrastructure has been amazingly well tested in the field. 

We've got lots and lots of proprietry and third-party software that we'd like to deploy in enterprise network management, and it all works within Plone right now.  This is the shortest path to market for us.  Some of the features we're specifically targeting are flash reporting, datacentre project and programme management, and financial, management and cost accounting.


What is Plone4Zenoss™?

Lets start by saying what it's not.  Plone4Zenoss™ is not a fork of Zenoss.  Plone4Zenoss™ is a vanilla Plone site that sits right alongside a vanilla Zenoss zport running in the same Zope application server.  Plone4Zenoss™ knows all about the zport and data mines it using all the usual Zope and Zenoss API's.

Plone4Zenoss™ does stomp on some nasty behaviours of Zenoss and completely opens up it's skins to allow MSP's full access to brand the installation in any way they choose.

Plone4Zenoss™ incorporates our advanced Flash reporting architecture to provide a seamless framework for rich graphical reporting.  In fact we've already implemented a pluggable reporting infrastructure to allow you to add arbitrary reports with member access controls.

With Plone4Zenoss™ you can drop any product from the Plone ecosystem into the server and provide all sorts of rich enterprise content and collaboration functionality.  We already have a huge stack of tried, tested and integrated Plone modules

Plone4Zenoss™ delegates all zport/dmd calls to Zenoss in an iframe.  It provides it's own easily customisable menu bar, but everything Zenoss is being served exactly as normal.

 Check out the screen shots here and see just what your Zenoss could look like.

How can I drink the kook aid?

Well, it's very easy.  We're looking for beta test sites right now.  Simply create an account on Last Bastion Network and get in touch with me (Alan Milligan - my Zenoss community login is milligana if you'd like to mail me, or you can just use the Contact Us form), and we'll get you access to our repositories to download Plone4Zenoss™.