SilverStripe is a content management system with a nice looking Web site, excluding the annoying animations, and architecture. If you like Object Relational Mapping, SilverStripe is built on an ORM based framework named Sapphire.
The two things that stand out with SilverStripe are:
- The gallery of Web sites built on SilverStripe
- Object Relational Mapping.
Object Relational Mapping
ORM can be helpful when you need to work on complex data. In theory you use a visual design tool to draw the data and relationships then the tool generates your database. The best design and documentation tools are not connected to Content Management Systems. The few ORM tools connected to CMSs are not sufficient to make large design projects easier.
When you work on e-commerce and similar projects, you usually adopt the data structure within the e-commerce modules because they are built on collective experience. Why design a multi-currency system from the start if experts have already worked on it. ORM rapidly becomes less useful when you can build a modern Web site by plugging in pre built modules similar to building with Lego.
Sapphire is the framework within SilverStripe. You can use Sapphire without SilverStripe but the documentation is almost non existent.
The SilverStripe ORM feature is not enough to put SilverStripe at the top of a CMS selection list. Drupal 7 has a built in tool that gives you the same flexibility. What I would look at is the long term plans for the CMS software and SilverStripe faces the classic problem of long term development depending on a commercial organisation. Will they hit the same problems as Mambo and some other open source projects?