Index of CMS

SunStar Systems CMS

The Original Markdown JAM Stack.

The SunStar Systems CMS is an

  • online,

  • flexible,

  • cost-effective,

  • peak performance

Content Management System and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing and maintaining static website content, potentially with some basic CGI / SSI features.

Here’s the Pitch, IT / Marketing Decision Maker…

What differentiates this product from our competitors is the CMS Technology, and how it allows us to maintain very low operating costs while providing a superior service. We pass the cost savings on to our customers, instead of our C-Suite executives. Give us a call, especially if you are

  • an IT government sector decision-maker with FedRAMP compliance requirements,

  • a technology company leader with a mountain of online product documentation and support sites (potentially offering binary downloads) to curate,

  • a principled High Availability architect tired of dealing with single-points-of-failure inherent in SQL-based LAMP stacks,

  • or really any business-person dissatisfied with the cost structure of any CMS thingy out there, including free offerings bogging down your staff’s time and energy.

It’s time for a sea change in how you manage and deliver your site to your target audience.

The switching costs are trivial in most circumstances: our default file layout and processing logic matches up well with any other static site generator (Jekyll, Pelican, Hugo, etc.). Our extensive experience migrating sites both on to, and off of, the forerunner of this system at The Apache Software Foundation (The ASF) lets us say with conviction: there is no vendor lock-in involved with our offering.

But don’t just take our word for it, see for yourselves what’s typically involved in terms of build system customization by visiting our viewvc source lib tree. Less than 100 LOC to provide the build logic for this website, and it includes sophisticated dependency management for auto-generation of a multilingual SiteMap and all directory indexes (like this portion of this particular page).

The real win is when you realize you have limitless control over which personnel have editorial rights to each resource in your own Subversion repository, and that you never need to perform the cost-benefit-analysis on your editorial changes (or even your editor previews with certain cloud-based products) that our competition expects of you, as you work on your own site in your own fashion. Even your dynamic content is built according to your needs and schedule, not ours.

Go at your own pace, use as many employees / previews / edits / commits / branches as you like, and only pay for what you actually use on our infrastructure. See our CMS Plans for the current deals.

Here’s Why, Full Stack Developer / Content Author / DevOps Guru…

If you are tired of the per-seat licensing and per-CPU-cycle choices weighing you down whenever you need to fix a typo, join us. If you are a regex-equipped lion tamer for decades of accumulated legacy HTML content, or just someone dissatisfied with the other options on the market and how they function at scale, we have something really special to offer you.

Never having to deal directly with a version control system, or even a static site generator, on your own personal computer is up to you. The online IDE is designed and ready for your browser-only workflow whenever you are. In a pinch, even the mobile (browser) interface will get it done, instantly.

Multi-gigabyte source trees are simply no match for it — full site build durations are measured in seconds, not hours and minutes. The system easily sustains over 500 MB/s while processing your sources for full site builds, but given its unique, patent-pending dependency management functionality, it almost never needs to resort to them:

It only builds what you need built.

This technology was first invented in late 2011 by members of the Apache Infrastructure Team. The phrase “JAM Stack“ was coined years later, by a group unaware of our prior art in this space. But the public record is crystal clear, and this new offering by SunStar Systems is testimony to that original legacy and its true open source origins.

The system we created for The ASF has been running on autopilot for the past 6 years. The only issues we had with it from a stability standpoint revolved around ZFS usage on FreeBSD 9.1, which was a work in progress back then. The fact is that this CMS/IDE is just the CI / CD coordination hub for power users on CDN services (or similar), and those CDN’s are where the action is for SLA performance on the JAM Stack. If our CMS system goes down, your ability to modify your live site will be impacted, but the last-mile delivery to your actual site’s consumers is unimpacted thereby. If The ASF’s history with this system is a guide, the likelihood of an unplanned downtime event is relatively remote, especially when compared to the version control system which underpins it.

Once you’ve experienced our CMS/IDE/JAM Stack infrastructure, you will never understand why this type of SaaS infrastructure wasn’t done our way from the very beginning by earlier entrants to this market. Other CMS’s oversimplify their UI to make it accessible to non-webstack developers. Instead, we give you all the rope you can handle, with support for any javascript/css framework you prefer, integrated with a version-control-backed IDE that supports raw web formats with (CodeMirror based) syntax highlighting and code completion:

  • markdown (with integrated real-time HTML previews)

  • html (with django template extensions and embedded javascript/css syntax)

  • css

  • javascript, json

  • image rendering and file uploads in any format you prefer (.ico, .png, .gif, .jpeg, etc)

  • raw directory/file creation, modification, and removal

  • variety of supported server programming languages: javascript, python3, perl7

Want to give it a quick spin to see how fast and easy it is?

This website is self-hosted; all those hot-pink pencil squares at the top right are live. Feel free to poke around and experiment with anything you see! The only thing you can’t do is commit and watch your changes build and deploy; that’s restricted to our personnel for obvious reasons.

Our global Point of Presence (POP) network ensures low-latency connections to both the CMS and the end-delivery websites we host. We are currently on four continents and have a bicoastal presence within the US. And we’re expanding rapidly- next up East Asia!

Feature Comparison Grid

Feature SunStar Systems Netlify+Gatsby GitHub+Hugo
FedRAMP Infrastructure + FIPS compliant TLS Y N N
Browser-Only Workflow (Mobile Friendly) Y N N
Incremental Builds Y Y N
Unlimited Branch Builds Y Y Y (for public repos)
Scheduled Builds of Dynamic Content Only Y N N
Easy 3rd Party Contributor Workflow Y Y Y
No Per-Preview Billing Y Enterprise Only ($$) Y
No Per-Build Billing Y Enterprise Only ($$) Y (for public repos)
No Per-Seat Billing Enterprise Only N Y (for public repos)
WebSite Hosting Y Y N
SSI / CGI / mod_perl registry Support Y N N
Fine-Grained ACL on Source Repo Enterprise Only N N
+500 MB/s Full Site Builds Y ? N
8-64 Way Concurrent Builds Y Enterprise Only ($$) N
TCO < $5000/yr for Enterprise Y N ?
99.99% SLA for Enterprise Coming in Q4 Y N
Serverless Integration Coming Soon! Y N
Choice of Programming Language Coming Soon! N N

Informed consumers should always ask which components of the JAM Stack are covered by SLA, or get written assurance that your SLA provides blanket coverage for the entire stack, including the VCS, build infra, and CMS / IDE portions. You might be surprised by the answers: even GitHub has serious multi-hour outages from time to time, on which many competitors base their entire offerings. Such services with nominal 99.99% SLA’s, which is less than an hour a year of total downtime, clearly have some explaining to do, if you are under the impression your full service stack is under SLA. It’s not, we’re just being up front with you about it.

What we’re offering instead, for 2020, is a best effort to keep our Subversion service online 24x7x365, with primary focus on Continental US business hours, and with a competitive target of having our SLI‘s read favorably when compared to the rest of the market (including GitHub itself, whose SLA’s revolve around response time targets, not the actual duration of downtime incidents). SLA’s are an important ingredient, so Enterprise customers will enjoy our comprehensive 99.99%, which covers everything but the Subversion service itself. Nobody offers blanket availability SLA contracts for their version control service infrastructure; and you should be wary of doing business with someone who does in today’s marketplace.

More on the Product…

It does all this by either interfacing with an svnpubsub-enabled, customer hosted Subversion service, or by using one of ours. It automatically builds each committed change using a lightning fast node.js + Perl 7 build system based on the Hollywood Principle: it calls out to customer-supplied Perl modules to do whatever the customer needs done (don’t worry, there are basic layout templates available that will do all the heavy lifting for you). It also goes the extra mile and instantly distributes the change-sets for the build, atomically, to your live website servers / CDN providers.

REST compliance has its benefits to CMS users. They’ll like the fact that their browser’s Back button doesn’t break the service; in fact it’s an essential component of the Rollback functionality. In an emergency site breakage situation, going back to the bad Commit submission’s result page will provide them with the ability to reverse merge that errant applied change — at the click of a button — and rebuild the site back to a known good state.

We currently provide a basic Django based template system derived from a customized Dotiac::DTL module from CPAN. Support for a Python 3 build system is coming in 2020 Q4 (other languages will follow in 2021). The Apache 2.0 Licensed CMS build system, together with a large collection of supporting modules to take advantage of within that tree, is available on GitHub.


A Few Representative Screen Shots:

IDE View with Farsi (UTF-8).

IDE Editor View.

IDE Editor View (Spanish).

IDE Full Site Build.

IDE Typical Site Build.

IDE Search (those links in hot pink will drop you directly into an editor screen, with the cursor placed exactly according to the matching text).