ArsDigita Community System

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The ArsDigita Community System (ACS) was an open source toolkit for developing community web applications developed primarily by developers associated with ArsDigita Corporation. It was licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL, and is one of the most famous products to be based completely on AOLserver. Although there were several forks of the project, the only one that is still actively maintained is OpenACS.

Features of ACS included a core set of APIs, datamodels, and database routines for coordinating information common to all community web applications, as well as modules such as workflow management, CMS, messaging, bug/issue tracking, project tracking, e-commerce, and bboards.


The ACS was originally written in Tcl to run on an AOLserver web server and an Oracle database. In 2001, the code tree was forked, with the Tcl code base being maintained and refactored by one group of developers, while the product line was being re-written in Java EE.

In 2002, Red Hat acquired ArsDigita. As a result of this, the Java version was renamed "Red Hat CCM", and official support for the Tcl version ceased. However, the Tcl version continued to be maintained by the OpenACS community.

Red Hat CCM[edit]

Although Red Hat continued to develop CCM for several years after its acquisition, in 2004 a decision was made to migrate to a community-based development model.[1] With this decision, Red Hat CCM was again renamed to become Byline, and sources were relicensed under the LGPL.[2]

The last release of Byline was in 2004,[3] and the last commit to the Subversion repository was in January 2005.[4]


Open ACS.png
Developer(s) OpenACS community
Stable release 5.9.0[5] (December 1, 2015; 8 months ago (2015-12-01)) [±]
Preview release N/A (December 1, 2015; 8 months ago (2015-12-01)) [±]
License GNU General Public License

The Open Architecture Community System provides:

  • A set of applications, that can be used to deploy web sites that are strong on collaboration. Some of the applications are Workflow, CMS, Messaging, Bug/Issue tracker, e-commerce, blogger, chat and forums.
  • A sophisticated application development toolkit, that provides an extensive set of APIs and services to enable quick development of new applications. Features include sophisticated permissioning, full internationalization, Ajax, form builder, object model, automated testing, subsites and a powerful package manager.

OpenACS runs on AOLserver and NaviServer with either Oracle or PostgreSQL as its database.

Projects that were or are based on OpenACS include dotLrn, dotFolio, dotCommunity, dotConsult, and Project-Open.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]