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Where’s the Content? – Reviewing Content Collaboration Software August 16, 2007

Posted by Jeff in collaboration, Technology.
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In our previous posting, we considered the levels of collaboration.

This document is being used to compare software products that are for content collaboration, in the above definition.  Most of the commercial products listed here were exhibiting at the Enterprise 2.0 conference, though we have been tracking a few before that.

Discussion about Wiki’s

Wiki’s are very hot right now, and are one of the best examples of collaborative content.  Wiki’s are built around pages that anyone can edit, and links between the pages that can be easily created, without resorting to HTML.  Typically the authorship for a wiki is “many”, rather than just one author.  Also, a wiki typically records the entire sequence of changes that are applied to a page, so that there is a history available.

Here is a note from a corporate user, from the Business Week web site.

I’m convinced that any intranet wiki must support article history reverting, user authentication, RSS feeds for each article, WYSIWYG editing, and group privacy (so that article(s) can be kept private to a group and then published later).

The most-used wiki is the wiki software that runs Wikipedia, which is called MediaWiki.  Some of the leading commercial wiki tools include Confluence and Socialtext.

There are a large number of wiki applications, which differ in the following respects:

  • Implementation language (typically PHP, PERL, Java, etc.)
  • Storage mechanism (typically a database, such as MySQL or Oracle, or a wiki could write to the file system)
  • Access control (older tools have few controls, current enterprise-based ones have strict controls)
  • Developer community size (the more popular ones have a stable set of third party add-ons).

A comparison site is at http://wikimatrix.org/

A good example of an open source Java-based wiki is JAMWiki, and MediaWiki itself is written in PHP.

Discussion about Blogs

Blogs have been hot for several years, and keep gaining in importance.  Blogs are built around journals of articles, where the articles are arranged chronologically.  Articles are typically tagged, or given one or more categories.  Blogging sites are commonly used for news and opinion.

Some of the leading commercial blogging tools include: Blogger, Moveable Type, WordPress, and Expression Engine.  Of these, WordPress is actually distributed on an open source basis.

There are a large number of blog applications, which differ in following respects:

  • Implementation language (typically PHP, PERL, Java, etc.)
  • Navigation (some have only strict chronologies, while others have tags, categories, and more)
  • Specialized tools, such as trackbacks and links to other blogs, or tools for controlling the posting of spam
  • Access controls (some are multi-user, some are single-user, etc., with different roles of users)
  • Designer community size (since the visual appearance of a blog is important, a large body of graphically-designed themes are available)
  • Developer community size (the more popular ones have a stable set of third party add-ons

A comparison site is at http://www.weblogmatrix.org/.

A good example of an open source Java-based blog is Roller, Moveable Type is written in PERL, and WordPress is written in PHP.

Discussion about Content Management Systems

A third theme, which is actually the oldest, is viewing the system as a shared repository for content, where the content is typically a Word document or a web page.  Historically these systems were built around a model of a shared directory structure, upon which was added navigation through the content, and user/access management.  They may also have advanced workflow. 

Examples of commercial enterprise CMS tools include Documentum, FileNet, and Lotus Notes.  Many of these have been refined through over 10 years of use.

A large set of web-based open source CMS tools were developed during late 1999 through 2006.  In fact, there were entire O’Reilly conferences on open source CMS applications starting in 2002 or so.  Leading programs include:

  • PhpNuke
  • PostNuke
  • Plone
  • Joomla!
  • Magnolia
  • Liferay
  • Drupal
  • Geeklog
  • CMS Made Simple
  • OpenEdit
  • XOOPS
  • TextPattern

In 2005, eWeek.com wrote:

In addition to being highly effective and capable on their own, open-source portals have served to demonstrate the effectiveness of other open-source technologies, especially the MySQL database and the PHP scripting language. This is clearly illustrated in probably the most popular open-source portal application, PHP-Nuke (www.phpnuke.org), which is easily customized and includes pretty much any feature you would want from a portal, including content and document management, forums, chat, and blogging. PHP-Nuke has spawned additional open-source portals, including PostNuke (www.postnuke.com).

In recent years, most of the CMS applications have added support for blogging and wikis, largely as a set of specific access and navigation policies for the application, since at the core, all blogs and wikis are content management solutions.

One measure of the validity of this category is the printing of books on the various programs, which means that they have stablized enough to be documented.  We have seen, read, or purchased books on Plone, PostNuke, Drupal, Joomla!, and TextPattern.

Another measure of the success of this category is the existence of third-party surveys.  In addition to the O’Reilly conferences, Packt Publishing runs a contest each year, with thousands of votes being cast.

Discussion about Suites

The latest trend is to package multiple tools together into a supported suite.  Basically this can transform a set of low-price, disconnected, and potentially difficult to maintain or support tools into a workable suite.   This can be a very good deal for an enterprise, which allows them to stay ahead of the “self-installation and self-support” model in which business units go off to pick their own tools.  At the Enterprise 2.0 or other recent conferences, there were suites shown by:

  • Spoke Software:  Suite Two
  • Near-Time
  • Jive Software: Clearspace

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluating a social content collaboration tool is a highly individual challenge, as while most programs have very similar features, they may work in subtly different ways.  However, the following functionality has been important to us:

  • Ease of navigation: is it easy to carry out a search?  To categorize or attach tags to content?  To manage long documents?  To find what has been changed?  To find content at specific points in time?
  • Ease of editing: is it easy to create or change content?  Is there a WSYIWYG editor?  Are there structuring codes that make it easy to create lists or links (typical of wikis)?  Is there a spell checker?  Is there a revision history?  Is there a facility to paste content in from Word, maintaining formatting of content?
  • Ease of managing subsections of content: can you organize the wiki into spaces or workspaces, each with different access rules?  Experience has shown that with enterprise wikis, concepts of “spaces” or “projects” are almost always required.
  • Support for standards: does the application use a standard technology stack such as PHP/MySQL or Java/Tomcat/JDBC?  Does the application work on all major browsers?  Does the blog part, if present, support standards such as trackbacks and permalinks? Does the application support linkage to related sites (in the blogging world, this is called a blogroll)?
  • Support for spam management: are postings of comments moderatable?  Is there an automatic spam detector for comments?
  • Support for statistics: is there a way to monitor usage of the application, and is this organized by content object, by search string, by referrals from other sites and by time period?
  • Extensibility and Community support: are there extensions available?  This implies that there is a stable API.  Is there a library of plug-ins, themes, etc. that are useful and reliable?  This shows the presence of a vibrant community around the application.

Socialtext

We used this wiki for inter-participant discussion at the Enterprise 2.0 conference.  It appears to try to stay simple.  The number of navigation and editing operations are rather simple and the ease of use is very good.

You create a page by clicking on a create button at the top, or creating its name as a link, then clicking the link to create the page.

The editing tools are somewhat WYSIWYG, or you can use the advanced editor and enter the structuring text codes yourself.  Socialtext also provides what are called WikiWidgets that place specialized information into your page, such as a date, a user information record, or the results of search of all pages matching a specific tag.  “User defined tags” enable easy creation of personal categories and workflow

Each page has a set of revisions, and each with a change date.  A user has a home “notebook” page. You can bring up a list of recently changed pages, or all pages.

There is an administration interface that supports of the operations such configuring page layout and managing users.  The administrator can also create multiple workspaces, allowing users to:

  • Easily view and navigate multiple workspaces
  • Link to pages in other workspaces
  • Publish content from more private to more public spaces

Socialtext is used by over 2,000 organizations today.

Socialtext provides added flexibility for users to access wiki content from anywhere, anytime – from mobile devices or even when off-line and disconnected from the network – with Socialtext Miki, the mobile wiki, and Socialtext Unplugged, the off-line wiki.

Pricing is between $100 and $1000 per year for an organization.

Atlassian Confluence

This is probably the second-most installed wiki system, and is a very comprehensive system.  Has a large international base, as it is used by over 4,000 organizations from 75 countries.

The interface looks more “busy” than the Socialtext or Clearspace interface, with lots of information about page counts, attachments, etc.  But it works smoothly.  Some of the major strengths of Confluence include:

  • Enterprise security
  • Simple installation and management
  • Attractive, user-friendly WYSIWYG interface
  • Powerful tools for structuring and searching your wiki
  • Professional features such as PDF export and automated refactoring
  • An open API for extension and integration

Like Clearspace, Confluence is built around “spaces”, which are managed collections of pages, which can have their own access control rules, perhaps for each team, department, and project. There is no limit to how many spaces you can create.  Each person can even have their own ‘personal space’.

Confluence is often used in open-source software development efforts, because Atlassian also provides software development and build management tools.  In turn, Confluence is used as the basis for the developer community support sites by major software vendors including SAP.

Confluence is a J2EE-based application, which makes it easy for enterprise Java developers to extend.

Pricing for a hosted installation is $89 per month for 25 users.  The annual price is $890 per year, which makes it a little more than Clearspace.

Clearspace

Clearspace is a product for collaboration.  It can be best thought of as a suite, as it includes concepts of blogs and wiki’s as well as shared content management.  They are currently on version 1.8.  The first release (1.1) came out earlier in 2007, and there have been several point releases since.

While there are hosted implementations of it, Clearspace is designed to be run on your system (in a Tomcat app server with a MySQL database), and integrates quite a few Web 2.0 concepts, including wiki’s and blogs.

While some blog-oriented programs are intended to look good for the readers of the publishing, Clearspace (like Atlassian) seems more focused on providing a working environment for readers and writers.  For instance, it can be thought of as a web-based version of an email client with additional types of content, where that content can be linked together.

Since navigation and organization is critical, Clearspace is built around a content topics tree (called Spaces) that is used to index all of the other pieces.  These spaces are shared among all users.  Within each space, there can be:

  • Blogs (meaning time-stamped documents)
  • Documents (wiki pages)
  • Threaded discussions

In addition to the content topics tree, Clearspace uses tags (which you might know as keywords or categories) extensively to provide rich metadata about discussions, documents and blog posts.  It’s not required that you use a tag or tags, but it’s certainly helpful.

Evaluating the blog aspects:

  • Has a visual editor that allow for generation of rich content.    Has other editing modes that are simpler, including one that uses wiki-style markup.  You can’t actually see the HTML code.
  • Allows attachments to be posted for a blog entry
  • Allows commenting on an entry
  • Allows tags to be applied to an entry

Evaluating the wiki aspects (called documents):

  • Basically these are document with links and revision histories.  The links are indicated in a Clearspace-specific way of id numbers for the objects, such as other documents or blogs.  The approach is something like {label|document:id=456}.
  • Doesn’t have a way to find objects that refer to this object, which is a typical wiki feature.  The facilities to find what has changed recently is a fundamental part of the Spaces management, and applies to blog, wikis, and more.

Evaluating the discussion aspects:

  • Each discussion object is a message thread with messages
  • Has messages that are responses to other messages
  • You can mark a message as specifically a question.  This way it stands out when the set of pending discussion threads are shown.

Clearspace has a pretty sophisticated access control mechanism which is connected to the concept of spaces.  Each space can have different access rules, as with Confluence.  Spaces are created and managed by administrators.

Clearspace’s visual appearance can be changed using themes.  There is a theme development toolkit provided, and themes are expressed in FreeMarker files (these have an extension of ftl).

One interesting part of Clearspace, which is beyond supporting content collaboration and moving into relationship collaboration, is that each user gets a score for being part of a reference, or for answering questions posted using the discussion facilities.  This allows you to determine who are the main information sources in the organization.

There is an evaluation site at http://eval.jivesoftware.com/clearspace/index.jspa

Pricing (not hosted) is free for 5 users, then $29 per user per year, for a minimum of 25 users.  For 25 users that would be $750.

Clearspace X is a related product designed for external collaboration.  A blog entry from the company described the differences between Clearspace and Clearspace X:

When Clearspace was under development we realized that trying to force a single product into two very different use cases was a bad idea. Since Clearspace and Clearspace X serve different purposes, and have a different set of users and buying criteria, we decided to give them each their own focus.

Clearspace is focused on giving people inside organizations a place to “get work done” that breaks down silos between groups, gives everyone a voice and recognition, and keeps people in the loop.

Clearspace X, on the other hand, focuses on providing a full-featured online community solution where the needs are around customers getting support, providing feedback, sharing ideas and connecting with other users.

This distinction allows our development teams to focus on solving specific business problems instead of worrying about how one product must “boil the ocean” by solving everyone’s needs.

Liferay

This is a comprehensive content management tool.  Has a portal with events, blogs, wiki’s, and calendar.   It is all Java-based and available open-source.

Magnolia

This is an open-source CMS, which is a Java-based portal.  It was developed in Switzerland, and has a large open-source community.  There is an open-source, community edition as well as a supported enterprise version.

The latest release is 3.0.3, in August 2007.

Drupal

This is an open-source content management package that calls itself “Community Plumbing”.  The term is based on the name, where “Drupal” means (water) droplet.  The conceptual model is that a community is organized by a set of information flows through the network, and Drupal is the set of pipes in that network.

Drupal has been used for the following:

  • Corporate websites, portals, intranets, and extranets.
  • Small business websites
  • Non-profit and organizational websites (e.g. school and church websites)
  • Government applications
  • Personal or family homepages
  • Community-based portals
  • Magazines and newspapers

On a more pragmatic basis, Drupal is a CMS, somewhat like PostNuke, written in PHP and using a MySQL database.  One of its strengths is the ability to extend it to new types of content, through the writing plug-ins and modules.  Out of the box it supports Stories (like blog entries), Pages (static pages of content), and Polls (objects that can display choices and tabulate results).  There are a variety of display themes available.

From a developer perspective, Drupal has been widely adopted, and is considered to have a better-organized API than other similar programs.  Hence there are hundreds of plug-ins and modules available.  In addition, some companies (see Bryght, below) have taken Drupal as the basis for their customized community building services.

Joomla!

This is an open source content management tool, similar to Drupal, Magnolia or Liferay.  Being open-source and based on PHP and MySQL has meant that it is easy to install, and hence Joomla! claims to have the largest installed base.

Joomla! is used all over the world to power everything from simple, personal homepages to complex corporate web applications. Here are some examples of its use, which is basically the same list as for Drupal:

  • Corporate websites, portals, intranets, and extranets.
  • Online commerce
  • Small business websites
  • Non-profit and organizational websites  (e.g. school and church websites)
  • Government applications
  • Personal or family homepages
  • Community-based portals
  • Magazines and newspapers

Joomla! can be used to easily manage every aspect of your website, from adding content and images to updating a product catalog or taking online reservations.  It provides support for managing images, conducting polls, and more.

Geeklog

Geeklog is a weblog powered by PHP and MySQL. It allows you within minutes to set up a fully functioning dynamic website, and has many features to get you started. As of Geeklog 1.4, these features are:

  • User-system, allowing members of the public to register for your site and submit stories.
  • Comment system, allowing users to comment on posts made to your site.
  • Block system, allowing you to put information anywhere on your site.
  • Plugin system that allows you to extend Geeklog, without having to code any new PHP.
  • Theme system that allows users to select what layout they want to view.
  • Excellent security model that allows you to give users control over certain aspects of the site with no need to worry.
  • Site Statistics that show you the most popular areas of your site.
  • Link system that allows users to add links to the site.
  • Calendar System that lets you and your user add up-and-coming events.
  • Allow users to email stories to their friends.

CMS Made Simple

This package is slightly more recent than some of the others, and is currently on release 1.2.  It appears to focus on simplicity and quick use, but offers all of the typical content management tools such as files, timestamps, categories, menus, themes, etc.  Their roadmap calls for building out the event management and workflow portions.

Some of the comments provided by users indicate that they got more done in an hour with CMSMS than a day with other packages.

OpenEdit

This one is different in that it uses the file system, not a database, and it is written is Java, while most other open source CMS packages tend to be written in PHP.

The integration of the WSYSIG editor seemed particularly powerful.

XOOPS

XOOPS is an acronym for eXtensible Object Oriented Portal System (it is pronounced ‘Zoops’). Though started as a portal system and was derived from PHP-Nuke, XOOPS has become a complete Content Management System.  It has administration tools to easily create dynamic websites, and has a number of outstanding features.  It can support small to large community websites, intra-company portals, corporate portals, weblogs and much more.

A minimum install might use the News module only. For a medium site, modules like News, Forum, Download, Web Links etc allow for creating a community with members and visitors.  You can also develop your own modules, and use XOOPS’ uniform user management system to seamlessly integrate your modules with the whole system.

The current release is XOOPS 2.0.17.1, which was released 2007/10/16.  It uses PHP with a MySQL database.

TextPattern

TextPattern is a web application designed to help overcome the difficulty of publishing content such as blogs and news across a community, including the organization of such content into sections and pages.  It has tools to simplify the production of well-structured, standards-compliant web pages.  It has been compared to a slimmed-down version of Drupal.

Two of the most powerful facilities within TextPattern include Textile, which is a structured markup language similar to that used in most wiki’s, and another set of markup tags that provide rendering and formatting instructions to the engine.  The latter allows for the construction of quite powerful themes for page organization.

TextPattern is provided in a free, open source basis, and is currently on release 4.0.5, released during Summer 2007.

Alfresco

Alfresco is a free software / open-source, open standards, enterprise scale content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems.  Its design is geared towards users who require a high degree of modularity and scalable performance.  Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing webapps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and jBPM workflow.  The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology.

The current release is 2.1.

MediaWiki

This is a wiki application initially developed for the Wikipedia encyclopedia.  Today it has also been deployed as an internal knowledge management solution, and as a content management system.  It is used in several high traffic websites, including ones at Novell.  It has been adopted by a huge number of university and social organizations, and is considered to be the most deployed wiki today.  Features include:

  • Themeable Look and Feel
  • Editing tools including generation of sections, TOC, etc.
  • Navigation and Structure facilities, including namespaces, “what links here”, and categories
  • Special pages, including “recent changes” and “all pages”.
  • Content Diffs and Revision History per page.

MediaWiki is written in PHP, and can use either the MySQL or PostgreSQL relational database management system.  Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, MediaWiki is free software.  The current release is 1.11.0, released on 10 September, 2007.

MediaWiki has a comprehensive data model for wiki content, including categories, revision history, and user profiles.  Its user interface can be changed by installing different ‘skins’ which are similar to ‘themes’ in other content collaboration applications. 

Content in MediaWiki is organized into ‘namespaces’, which are similar to the ‘spaces’ concept discussed above.  However, the namespaces are intended to divide content (the main namespace) from discussion about the content (the “Talk” namespace).  Since MediaWiki was developed and is typically used outside of enterprises, there is less emphasis on creating namespaces for different departments, groups, projects, etc.  Further, there are fewer administrative tools to create and manage the namespaces, and less integration with access control rules. 

Since MediaWiki is open source software, there is a large community of developers for extensions and add-ons.  For instance one group has addressed the limitation that MediaWiki doesn’t have true WYSIWYG editing, by showing how to integrate the FCKEditor plug-in.

As an example of the broad use of MediaWiki, it was selected as the basis for the community and developer support part of the WordPress.org site.  In this case, a custom skin was created that preserves the look-and-feel of WordPress, but the underlying engine is all MediaWiki.

JAMWiki

One of the best examples of a Java open source wiki tool is JAMWiki.  The current release is 0.6.2 and was released on November 26, 2007.

  • Offers many of the features of MediaWiki
  • Setup is quick and easy – no external database is required!
  • Supports almost any application server running JDK 1.4 or greater.
  • Licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)

There is a test site at http://jamwiki.org/wiki/en/Sandbox.  We were able to figure out that site and the editing conventions very easily.  It matches traditional wiki’s well.

The organization of the source code is as a servlet and a set of JSP’s.

The database support is HSQL.  Interestingly, the wiki for the Eclipse community site is based on something else, written in PHP.

PHPWiki

This is an open source wiki that is written using PHP and MySQL database. This implementation has multiple storage backends, dynamic hyperlinking, themeable appearance, scriptable by plugins, full authentication, ACL’s.

The current version is 1.3.14, released July 1, 2007.

Wikispaces

This is a simple free wiki site, located at http://www.wikispaces.com/.  They offer hosted wiki solutions, with a free version supported by advertising.  Wikispaces is great for any kind of group website. It’s for families, classrooms, sports teams, community groups, book clubs, fan clubs, party organizers, wedding planners, and more. 

The paid service levels are $50/year and $200/year. The paid service offers more features, including custom themeing and domains. 

PBWiki

This is a simple free wiki site.  The URL is http://www.pbwiki.com/.  Their theme is “Make a free wiki as easily as a peanut butter sandwich”.

According to the company:

We launched PBwiki in June 2005.  Within 48 hours, we had over 1000 wikis created.  Today we have over 150,000 wikis and millions of pages of user-created content.  From university professors to gamers, fashionistas to entrepreneurs, PBwiki users are creating the future of sharing information and creating communities.  PBwiki, Inc. is based in San Mateo.

The company offers free wiki sites (which do include advertising), but they really want you to upgrade to their paid service with more features.  The rates are between $10/month and $100/month.  The highest service level has locking, traffic statistics, customization, CSS, etc.

Moveable Type

This is one of the oldest blogging tools, and was developed by Six Apart, Inc.  It is now on version 4.0, which came out during summer 2007.  Moveable Type is probably one of the most-installed systems.  The most important features include:

  • Support for unlimited blogs
  • Flexible static and dynamic PHP publishing
  • Standalone pages for powerful content management
  • Built-In Asset and File Management
  • Easy-to-use, extensible interface
  • Customizable templates
  • Customizable roles
  • Powerful Templating Language
  • Activity Feeds
  • Pluggable architecture

Even non-technical users can extend Movable Type through the enormous collection of plugins. Movable Type pioneered the idea of plugins for web applications, and MT4 provides more power than ever to plug-in developers.

TypePad

This is a hosted blogging service based on Moveable Type, and is run by Six Apart, Inc.  It has a fee of about $5/month and up.

WordPress

WordPress is a leading blogging system, or “Semantic Personal Publishing Platform”.  WordPress supports postings, which are time-organized, and pages, which are not time-based.  Because of this flexibility, there are entire sites run completely through WordPress.

It is distributed as open source software, and hosted in lots of places.  It was developed by Automattic, Inc.  The user community is huge, as this is one of the most-installed blogging systems.   The developer community is quite active, and there are hundreds of plug-ins and themes to add into WordPress.

WordPress is a free open source license.  Uses PHP and a MySQL database, and can be easily administrated and customized.  It is currently on version 2.3.1, released in October 2007.  WordPress is one of the most-used blogging tools, and gained popularity because it was easy to install and use.  Features include:

  • Static pages as well as posting of blog entries
  • Tags and Categories
  • Searching
  • Large library of pre-written Themes
  • Image and upload management
  • Image Resizing and Thumbnailing
  • Pagination
  • WYSIWYIG Editing
  • Roles for Access Control
  • Statistics facility
  • Extensibility through plug-ins

Blogger

This is another of the oldest blogging tools.  The company that produced it is now owned by Google.

ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine is a flexible, feature-rich content management system that empowers thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies around the world to easily manage their website.  Its features include:

  • Multiple Weblogs/Site Sections
  • ExpressionEngine supports an unlimited number of weblogs
  • Custom Entry Fields
  • Search Engine Friendly URLs
  • Custom Statuses
  • Multiple Categories
  • RSS and ATOM Syndication
  • Moblog Publishing
  • Relationships
  • Entry Versioning
  • Multi-Entry Editing
  • Entry View Tracking
  • Ping Servers
  • HTML Formatting Buttons
  • URL Titles
  • Sticky Topics
  • Future Entries / Expiring Entries
  • Pagination
  • Article Pagination
  • Image and File Uploading /Browsing
  • Image Resizing and Thumbnailing

ExpressionEngine is built around a powerful templating engine, and as such it appears to be similar to TextPattern.  It also appears to be the most complete system that we have seen, as it even includes a wiki module and a taxonomy module.  It comes with 22 add-on modules and over 100 plugins.  The cost is $99 for a personal license, and $249 for a commercial license, plus an additional amount for the Forum module.  The current version is 1.6.1, released November 13, 2007.

Blogger

This is another of the oldest blogging tools.  The company that produced it is now owned by Google, and Blogger-driven hosted blogs are available for free.

Yahoo 360

This is Yahoo’s blogging tool.  It is integrated into the Yahoo personalized experience, which means that it shares logins, but it also means that you see Yahoo advertising on each page.  Also the pages appear more cluttered than the simpler designs of Moveable Type and WordPress.

Suite Two

This has SocialText and Movable Type bundled together.

Bryght

This is an example of a company that offers a hosted solution for community-building, using Drupal as a base software platform.  They handle all of the technical and packaging aspects to make it easy for adoption.  They appear to have some special plugins and tools beyond those directly in Drupal, and also contribute to the Drupal community.  Current rates are $19.95 per month for unlimited users.  Examples of organizations using Bryght include Placeblogger.

Plone

Plone is another leading open source content management system.  It has been around slightly longer than Drupal and Joomla!, and is based on Zope technology.  Most of the standard Plone navigation is through folders that are set up like a file system, but you can also assign tags and search for content.  You can configure the presentation theme.

In addition, Plone has configurable business processes for workflows and more, while many of the other systems profiled here have simply a draft/publish flag on the content objects.  The workflows can define review and approval processes.

Kavi

Kavi was far ahead of its time, having a hosted community-building service offered back as early as 2000.  They focus on the needs of communities that are defining standards, such as the W3C and related groups (DMTF is a client of Kavi).  Their technology predates most of the PHP-based systems, and they chose to base their system on Zope and Python, just as Plone is based on Zope and Python.

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Comments»

1. Yuen-Chi Lian - May 10, 2008

Thanks a lot for writing a high level review on all different wiki products. This page is useful for making quick decision to short list some wiki products.

2. warrengonline - January 6, 2009

Thanks for this run down of all the different CMSes such as ClearSpace and Joomla. My company trying to push toward ClearSpace AFTER I have configured all the accounts in Joomla and usbwebserver makes this oh so easy to use, move and backup! Thanks!

3. meta trader - July 9, 2009

Nicely written content and knowledge – I have bookmarked your blog.


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