Wikis evolve as collaboration tools

Latest offerings get users swapping knowledge quickly

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I also liked the way TeamPage simplifies getting around. The navigation pane provides one-click access to different projects, sections (such as issues), and also let me sort by labels.

Another high point is how truly easy and quick it is to publish content and comments: Just click on an Add button and post using the Web-based WYSIWYG editor (e-mail, RSS syndication, or an Instant Publisher client are other content-creation options). File attachments are managed through WebDAV (check-out, lock, check-in, version control). When I hovered over a posting, an AJAX-style menu appeared that let me perform all sorts of actions, from editing and commenting to adding labels.

Traction 3.7 added a Wikipedia-style display for spotting differences between any two page versions. This really helps when a workgroup must edit and review articles. Further, a rich-text comment form let me quickly create threaded discussions on full articles or even specific paragraphs.

Beyond the system-generated filtered views, TeamPage has abundant ways that I used to manage content personally. To begin, Traction’s unique Collector let me group (bookmark) articles and comments for later recall or immediate action. Further, I inserted widgets within the text of articles; these objects create mashups of links and content from any Traction query, and they show text and graphics from any external source (perhaps a live weather report for any ZIP code). Traction ships with a live widget that recognized the text pattern of a UPS Click for larger view. tracking code and turned it into a live link. Enterprises can program Traction to recognize, say, invoice numbers or a customer number and link to a CRM system.

02TCwikiTract_Dsh_Menu.gif
Beyond the system-generated filtered views, TeamPage has abundant ways that I used to manage content personally. To begin, Traction’s unique Collector let me group (bookmark) articles and comments for later recall or immediate action. Further, I inserted widgets within the text of articles; these objects create mashups of links and content from any Traction query, and they show text and graphics from any external source (perhaps a live weather report for any ZIP code). Traction ships with a live widget that recognized the text pattern of a UPS Click for larger view. tracking code and turned it into a live link. Enterprises can program Traction to recognize, say, invoice numbers or a customer number and link to a CRM system.

TeamPage’s many communication conduits worked effortlessly. I exported entries or content collections to Microsoft Word and PDF. RSS and Atom feeds are standard. Moreover, TeamPage will notify users of new content or comments through a Jabber instant message. An automated Executive Summary e-mail digest keeps each user informed of new postings. Yet what I found most useful was the Email Out function. It let me collect articles; compose a message in Traction; create a distribution list from Traction users, LDAP, or Active Directory; send the articles; and post the message to Traction.

Traction’s journaling system, mirroring Click for larger view. wiki and blog technology, turns out to be far more. Especially appropriate with large projects, TeamPage provides information in the necessary context for many audiences by providing exceptional security and permissions.

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Traction’s journaling system, mirroring Click for larger view. wiki and blog technology, turns out to be far more. Especially appropriate with large projects, TeamPage provides information in the necessary context for many audiences by providing exceptional security and permissions.

After reviewing these four products, they clearly fit in different strata. All have the bedrock of usability and fast setup. What’s more, they work like the Web, so groups can share information and collaborate without much learning.

Socialtext, then Near-Time, offer wiki collaboration, team Weblog publishing, search, simple file management, and some personalization. Atlassian Confluence moves up a layer with better content organization and extensibility. Traction TeamPage clearly placed above the others with its superior ease of use and query ability that presented each user with just the knowledge they need.

InfoWorld Scorecard
Performance (20.0%)
Ease of use (15.0%)
Security (10.0%)
Management (15.0%)
Features (20.0%)
Value (10.0%)
Scalability (10.0%)
Overall Score (100%)
Atlassian Confluence 2.2.10 9.0 8.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.0 9.0 8.8
Near-Time (Release 6837) 9.0 8.0 8.0 9.0 8.0 9.0 9.0 8.6
Socialtext 2.3 9.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 9.0 9.0 8.4
Traction 3.7 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0
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