JotSpot: Wikis without code
Hosted service provides a near-perfect wiki platform
Even in beta, the JotSpot hosted service epitomizes a near-perfect wiki development platform. It’s a great solution for all types of collaboration, from updating documents and managing projects to full-blown intranets or extranets. Not only is JotSpot far easier to use than your average wiki, it also includes more functionality than most.
For starters, there’s no need to learn a specialized markup language; the included rich-text editor handles the underlying formatting and coding. Plus, linking to another page requires nothing more than typing that page’s title, although more advanced users can switch to XHTML or WikiMarkup modes.
Integration is another strong point. For example, every page has an e-mail box for contributing content; incoming e-mail is automatically attached, indexed, and archived. Word and Excel files are also indexed for search purposes. Plus, as does any elaborate content management system, JotSpot provides revision control and very good permissions, allowing you to roll back to previous versions and to specify which users are allowed to read and update specific pages.
One typical criticism of wikis is that they’re basically unstructured data and pages. What distinguishes JotSpot is that it allows you to go from a free-text wiki to a custom application with as little as two lines of code -- not to mention the wealth of pre-built applications that come out of the box.
In a few minutes, I created a form using simple scripting. In about the same time, I built dynamic tables with drop-down menus for displaying and updating data. And, with JotSpot, you’re not limited to using your own information. I had no trouble displaying a map from MapQuest, a Yahoo News search result, and even a view of Salesforce.com data in my pages.
JotSpot’s application gallery takes this process to the next level. Need a help-desk or CRM solution? Just browse the library, click the Install button, and it’s loaded into your wiki — to be used as is or modified. Except for a few editing features that weren’t yet operational, JotSpot looks to be a tough service to beat if you’re creating applications around wikis.
Cost: To be determined.