Facebook for the enterprise to launch from third-party ISV

A Facebook overlay accesses organization's security infrastructure

WorkLight, a Web 2.0 application developer, announced today WorkBook, a Facebook overlay targeted to Facebook users in a corporate environment.

WorkBook, a Web 2.0 application that works with WorkLight, the company's on-premise server software, uses the Facebook application to facilitate corporate communications and knowledge-sharing in a secure environment.

"People use their regular Facebook profile. But when you install WorkBook, it creates an application that asks users to authenticate themselves against a company directory and the company authentication engine," said David Lavenda, vice president of marketing and product strategy.

The Faceboook application appears along with the list of other third-party Facebook applications. After a user clicks on WorkBook, however, the organization knows who the user is and gives the user all of his or her access controls and roles.

There is no new layer of security required, Lavenda added.

With the recognition that social networking can facilitate sharing of information and communications in a business environment, especially for a global company, a number of organizations has tried to implement homegrown social networking applications without much success, according to industry analysts.

The goal, not dissimilar to a corporate portal, is to keep employees apprised of company information and allow workers to expand their knowledge base by being able to contact certain remote employees within a large company who may possess skill sets required to complete a project.

WorkBook, however, leverages a popular program that many workers may already be familiar with and feel comfortable using, Lavenda said.

It will allow users to search for coworkers by name, location, department, project, or by area of expertise and connect with them using the usual Facebook capabilities.

The WorkLight server connects to enterprise systems and the security infrastructure and exposes the information to Web 2.0 applications, in this case WorkBook.

The application is available now in limited release and will be generally available in February 2008.

Licensing starts at $10 per user, per month with volume discounts available, Lavenda said.