Novell's Pulse enterprise 2.0 suite goes beta next week

BrainShare attendees will be the first ones to get access to the social networking and collaboration suite

Novell is ready to begin beta testing its Pulse enterprise social networking and collaboration suite.

Attendees at next week's BrainShare conference will be the first to get access to the beta preview version of Pulse, which Novell plans to launch in final form in the second half of this year.

[ Novell's Pulse suite is integrated with Google's new Wave application. | Discover what's new in business applications with InfoWorld's Technology: Applications newsletter and Killer Apps blog. ]

"We'll provide them over the course of the following weeks, in a controlled manner, with an account to the Pulse preview system and give them five invites for colleagues," said Ken Muir, chief technology and strategy officer of Novell's Collaboration Business Unit.

The idea is to give customers a chance to try out Pulse and provide feedback to Novell as the vendor prepares the general-availability version of the product, he said.

Pulse lets co-workers collaborate on documents in real time and set up employee profiles, while giving IT staffers administrative controls to establish usage policies and security safeguards.

In addition to having static information about employees' areas of expertise, the profiles also let them post status updates and broadcast other action notifications to their co-workers.

Pulse will also feature a unified inbox, as well as integration with Google's Wave application, which combines features from e-mail, instant messaging and document collaboration.

Like similar products from IBM, Microsoft, Socialtext, NewsGator, Jive Software, and others, Pulse aims to adapt popular Web 2.0 services and applications, like microblogging and social networking, to a workplace setting for collaboration.

Novell plans to offer Pulse both as a cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) suite and as on-premise packaged software.

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