PBworks, formerly known as PBwiki (the company officially announced the name change this week), a provider of hosted collaboration solutions for business and education, announced the launch of PBworks Legal Edition, the first of the company’s market-specific solutions. PBworks Legal Edition applies hosted collaboration to the unique business needs of law firms and corporate counsel. PBworks Legal Edition includes all of the features of PBworks Professional Plus, such as unlimited storage for documents and files, full-text search of document content, Mobile Edition access via Blackberry and iPhone, and 24/7 customer service. The new solution adds complete audit logs of all activity, built-in legal templates that firms can customize for their business processes, and bundled professional services to optimize the rollout and adoption process. PBworks Legal Edition is available immediately at a starting price of $50/attorney-user/month. Licenses for paralegals, legal secretaries, and other staff and clients are included for free. http://pbworks.com/, http://pbwiki.com
Socialtext released Socialtext 3.0, a trio of applications including Socialtext People and Socialtext Dashboard, as well as a major upgrade to its Socialtext Workspace enterprise wiki offering. These products are built on a modular and integrated platform that delivers connected collaboration with context to individuals, workgroups, organizations and extranet communities. People are able to discover, create, and utilize social networks, collaborate in shared workspaces, and work productively, with personalized widget-based dashboards. The company also announced Socialtext Signals, a Twitter-style microblogging interface that goes beyond simple “tweets” by integrating both automated and manual updates with social networking context, expanding the company’s business communications offerings for the enterprise. As with its proven Workspace wiki and weblog product, Socialtext will make all of its offerings available on a hosted ASP as well as an on-premise appliance basis. The entire Socialtext 3.0 trio of products is available immediately on the hosted service, and will be made available to appliance customers starting in October 2008. Socialtext 3.0 profile integration with LDAP or Microsoft Active Directory systems enable rapid population. REST APIs for workspace and profile content are now complemented with a Widget architecture and user interface for the creation of enterprise mashups. Productized Connectors are available with Microsoft Sharepoint and IBM Lotus Connections. You can immediately experience this new release in a free trial at http://socialtext.com/
Vignette (NASDAQ: VIGN) announced significant enhancements to its Web Experience Platform foundation. Vignette’s integrated Web Experience Platform foundation is meant to help organizations quickly manage and deliver targeted content and facilitate user interaction and collaboration with the high performance and scalability required to support large-scale deployments. Vignette Content Management lets users streamline the creation and management of Web content and reduce bottlenecks associated with the delivery and publishing of that information. Enhanced features include friendly URLs to increase search engine site rankings, skip level upgrades to reduce the steps necessary to upgrade from older environments and integration with Vignette High-Performance Delivery (HPD). Vignette Portal allows business users to elevate their brand identity and engage in more personalized Web interactions with key audiences. New capabilities include integration with HPD and Vignette’s recently announced Community product line. Vignette Collaboration helps organizations drive productivity, improve knowledge management and more efficiently direct business processes that require interaction across disparate geographic and organizational boundaries. The latest release features new social computing capabilities including ratings, reviews, tagging and usage analysis. Additional enhancements include improved usability and performance and enhanced support for blogs, wikis and discussion forums. Collaboration also supports auditing and retention policies which enable organizations to more actively manage knowledge relative to compliance.
MindTouch announced that its MindTouch Deki commercial wiki software has received the VMware Certified Virtual Appliance certification. With this designation, MindTouch Deki is deemed compatible with VMware’s entire product line, including VMware Player, VMware Workstation, VMware Server and VMware ESX. MindTouch Deki is a business wiki that installs in minutes, giving corporate workgroups the ability to share information and collaborate almost instantly and securely on their own networks. It is a complete pre-installed, pre-configured application and operating system that runs on any Windows or Linux machine. From small departments to large enterprises, MindTouch Deki runs atop the VMware Player or any product from VMware. It also enables content portability whereby users can move both the wiki application and its content from machine to machine, even to removable storage devices up to 100 Gigabytes. MindTouch Deki is free for the first five users and is designed for on-demand scalability. The free license does not include software updates and fixes, support or certain advanced features, such as Outlook Connector. A full product license (for five users) starts at $995. http://www.mindtouch.com
Atlassian announced the release of Confluence Hosted, a new hosted service to make wiki-based collaboration more accessible for small, mid, or large organisations or groups with limited IT resources. Confluence Hosted is based on the Atlassian Confluence enterprise wiki. Features include: Immediate accessibility with no installation required, Unlimited pages and unlimited spaces, WYSIWYG interface, Ability to store and search across all types of files (PPT, Word, PDF, GIF, etc), Enterprise-grade security and permissioning, and Email and RSS integration and support. Confluence Hosted customers can remain on Hosted indefinitely or they can bring the wiki on-premise at any time. Contegix, a provider of managed hosting applications, was selected to provide hosting services. A free, fully functional 30-day evaluation of Confluence Hosted is available. Its tiered pricing model starts at US$49 per month. http://www.atlassian.com
Dan Bricklin’s Software Garden announced the release of wikicalc 1.0. In Dan’s words: “After over a year and a half of work (part-time), I’m finally releasing the wikiCalc web authoring system as a “1.0” product. This means it has a pretty complete set of features for producing the quality output for which it was designed, has been relatively stable for a period of time, and has a reasonable amount of documentation. People who have held off testing or using the product until this point should now start taking a look. This is the code that will be the starting point for the SocialCalc project. You’ll find the new documentation, and a link to the downloads, on the new wikiCalc Product Home Page. This new documentation includes a “Features” page giving an overview of the product, a news page with an RSS feed, an “If you are new to wikiCalc…” page, and more. The documentation on the website is much more extensive than before. There are separate pages with details about setting up “Edit This Page”, “Live Viewing”, and other technical topics. The product Help files are reproduced, too. It is written from the point of view that many users will be setting up remote-access to hosted versions of wikiCalc. I designed it to be localizable into other languages, and reportedly Russian and Polish are far along, with more on the way including German, Italian, and Japanese. (I used Zbigniew Lukasiak’s rather complete Polish translation to test a lot of the localization code and catch bugs.) One person has written code for parsing and searching the edit log audit trail that wikiCalc keeps. As I fire up the Open Source project with the Socialtext people I’ll include places to post and keep track of these things.”
“There are companies in addition to Socialtext considering providing hosted services based upon wikiCalc. One that sprung up on its own is on the iWoorx website. iWoorx adapted the wikiCalc code to create a portal targeted at business users who use spreadsheets and email daily for exchanging simpler spreadsheets. They added more advanced user administration, cool graphing capabilities, and a “test drive” capability. They let users subscribe to some preconfigured collaborative spreadsheet pages designed for coordinating globally sourced consumer products. You can try their “test drives” without signing up. They are meant as an educational tool to introduce regular business people to the “wiki-ness” of wikiCalc in a portal environment. Seeing wikiCalc integrated with animated Flash graphs (in their “Live ChartLinx” test drive) is really cool and is just the type of thing I was hoping to see from others who took advantage of the open nature of wikiCalc. I’m not involved in the iWoorx project and it makes me feel great to see what others are doing all on their own with my creation. With all of the excitement around the experimentation with products and services lumped under the term “Web 2.0” it’s time for a web spreadsheet engine that is open to all around which to innovate. I chose Perl for the implementation because it is accessible to a wide range of programmers with a wide range of abilities and is easy to get running on almost any system. … There are many important features to be added and many people to bring into the project so that it can flourish. I intend to continue devoting a lot of time to this product. Here’s what will happen next: As I wrote back last June, Socialtext is going to integrate wikiCalc functionality into their wiki system and provide hosting and support to those that want it. They are also funding an open source project around the wikiCalc code so that I can move the product forward as part of a community. This wikiCalc 1.0 code will form the base release to start what Socialtext is calling the SocialCalc project. While the Software Garden release of wikiCalc is covered under the GPL 2.0 license, Software Garden is the author of the entire wikiCalc product and owner of the copyright. There have been no “contributions”. This will change with the SocialCalc codebase. That code will be developed much more in the open and will accept contributions from others (subject to my approval for now) who will hold the copyright to their contributions. My development work on new features will be going into SocialCalc, and Socialtext will be providing a lot of developer time, too, so that is where the future action will be. SocialCalc will be released under a Socialtext Public License that, being based on the Mozilla Public License 1.1, may be more appropriate for some companies who have issues with the GPL. (For users that want code covered under the GPL, this wikiCalc version 1.0 will always be available under that license.) There will be more news about SocialCalc at a later time.” http://danbricklin.com/log/2007_01_25.htm#wikicalc1_0
MindTouch unveiled MindTouch Deki, a business wiki implemented as a virtual appliance. MindTouch Deki is a business software that installs quickly, giving different workgroups in organizations the ability to share information and collaborate with colleagues almost instantly and securely on their own network. MindTouch Deki is a complete pre-installed, pre-configured application and operating system that runs on any Windows or Linux machine. Scalable from small workgroups to large enterprises, it runs atop VMplayer, a free virtual appliance player from VMware. MindTouch Deki enables users to create, edit, share, search and store documents, emails, files and images securely behind a company’s firewall. With an interface that looks and works like a word processor, MindTouch Deki offers a WYSIWYG rich-text editing experience in a web browser. With the Outlook Connector, a user can work in MindTouch Deki and pull all the necessary emails in one place, convert them to wiki pages in one click and share the contents. Every wiki page in MindTouch Deki is stored in XML, which enables content to be integrated into existing web services, knowledge management, web publishing or any standards-based enterprise application. MindTouch Deki is free for the first five users and is designed for on-demand scalability; customers simply purchase more user licenses online when they are ready. The free license does not include software updates and fixes, support or certain advanced features such as Outlook Connector. A full license (for five users) starts at $995. http://www.mindtouch.com
BrainKeeper has released it’s Enterprise Wiki software. The BrainKeeper Enterprise Wiki enables the creation of community, and provides the features needed to manage corporate knowledge. As an example, creating training materials with BrainKeeper reduces the time needed for new employees or contracted staff to ramp up and become effective. These training materials can also be used to answer specific questions, be easily updated as the company grows and expands, and help to capture knowledge gained from outside resources. The features within the Enterprise Wiki are specifically designed and developed to work within established business processes. And getting knowledge out of the system can be done in a variety of ways: a search engine, content tags, shortcuts, and dynamic hierarchies. Free trial accounts are available at http://www.brainkeeper.com.