Magnolia allows German think tank
to spread its message

Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) or The Initiative for the New Social Market Economy is a group that advocates for market-oriented reform in Germany, and spreads information worldwide about the German model of Social Markets. Mainly funded by the German metal and electrical industries, INSM is a think-tank that has no party or other political affiliation. 

The INSM has always wanted technology to play a big role in getting its message out. But its old CMS was inflexible and difficult to use. This was particularly a problem since the content creators are experienced in editing but not in development. Magnolia enabled INSM to develop a state-of-the-art web portal that has allowed it to become a more effective public force for social change.

Industry: Non profit
Country: Germany
Implemented by: Aperto

Why INSM chose Magnolia


Easy to use

The content creaters can easily create and manage new content without any developer help.




User generated content and flexible templating give content authors freedom to structure content in different ways. 



Magnolia allowed INSM to develop and deploy a world-class portal for a fraction of the cost of a proprietary Enterprise CMS.


Open source

Magnolia enables easy development of new features.



INSM needs only two servers to run Magnolia: a publishing server and an authoring server.




Standard Templating Kit

The STK enabled Aperto to develop a state-of-the-art Web 2.0-enabled website for INSM very quickly.


Implementing the INSM web portal with Magnolia Enterprise Edition went much faster than anticipated. Another enterprise CMS would have taken months longer.

The challenge

Looking for a more flexible content management system

INSM's content creators are all experienced editors with backgrounds in economics, social policy or government. However, none of them have significant HTML or CSS skills, and yet it is a core part of INSM's mission to use modern communications technology to get its message of social equality out. The site includes articles with charts, graphs, even video and audio. 

The old CMS didn't make this easy. Often content needed to be custom-coded, as the templates were hard-coded and could not be changed easily. The INSM web properties had also grown considerably since the old CMS was introduced.

INSM knew they were facing a difficult challenge. Import and export between content management systems is more of an art than a science, often involving lots of integration work. Even if that issue could be solved, they still needed a system that could handle the diverse content of INSM and allow for flexible, easy templating. On top of this, many of the available Enterprise CMS systems were so expensive as to stretch INSM's budget. 


INSM's homepage

The STK provides easy to use templates that can be easily modified whenever the content needs special formatting


The solution

A stable open source Enterprise solution

Most of the Enterprise CMS clients INSM evaluated either lacked the functionality they needed, wouldn't have an easy migration path for the content, or were far beyond the budget in cost.

INSM needed to find a CMS system that:

  • could handle a standards-based method of moving data from one CMS to another
  • was extensible enough to handle INSM's needs
  • could scale to enterprise needs
  • was preferably Open Source, to enable easy development of new features

INSM realized that the best approach would be to take a solid, stable, enterprise-class open source CMS solution and implement the 10% extra that it needed. After reviewing its needs and the market, the organization reached out to Magnolia.

Migrating to Magnolia Enterprise Edition

INSM bought Magnolia Enterprise Edition, and the Magnolia engineers immediately got started teaching the developers about Magnolia and getting them up to speed. Over the course of the next three months, Aperto built a world-class web portal for INSM. The project included migrating content from the old CMS to Magnolia and developing a set of templates and related functionality, so that new pages created by INSM could have the flexible layout they needed. Then, they needed to Beta test the new templates and deploy the whole system.

A simple but effective migration strategy

First INSM exported everything in the old CMS to static HTML pages. Next, it manually transfered some of the content to become dynamic pages rendered by Magnolia. The results were a seamless integration of the old content delivered by static HTML pages and the new content generated by Magnolia. Yet it all appears within the same overall design and domain, showing the same style. 

With that strategy, INSM avoided content migration hell, while the editors could concentrate on creating new content instead of worrying about old content.

The result

A more engaging website with less effort

INSM's new portal ensures that content authors can easily structure content in different, yet well defined ways to quickly publish appealing web pages that include multimedia content like audio and video. It also allows visitors to engage with INSM through the commenting functionality available in Magnolia STK.

The time and money saved with Magnolia enabled INSM to focus more on content generation and productivity, improving its ability to accomplish its goals. At the same time, it was able to deploy a world-class web portal for a fraction of the cost and effort of a proprietary enterprise CMS.

INSM's publications

Independent analyst review of Magnolia

Magnolia has earned deservedly high marks for extensibility and integration potential. Few systems can claim to be as open or as amenable to custom app development.

Kas Thomas, J. Boye

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