Silk, Open Source Collaboration

This is the first I have heard about open source collaboration software. This is an area ripe for such a solution as many of the competitive options are so expensive. Silk could become a killer app like Asterisk.

New open-source collaboration software, Silk, aims to increase productivity and decrease operational costs across organizations

By using Silk companies can effectively organize large quantities of information through one central and open platform delivering the "context for collaboration"

SAN DIEGO, CA – June 22, 2005 – Akiva Corporation, the premier provider of enterprise-wide open collaboration solutions, today announced the first commercial release of Silk This software, which has been available in beta release since late 2004, is the first comprehensive open source collaboration solution built to demanding enterprise J2EE software standards. Addressing a growing need for an open, standards-based, platform for enterprise collaboration the open source project is attracting attention across a broad range of industries including manufacturing, financial, technology, health, government and education. This open source software can dramatically lower the total cost of ownership when compared with other major proprietary collaboration frameworks.

"Large enterprise users tell us they are in need of a viable open alternative to the leading proprietary collaboration platforms," said Eric Olinger, Akiva CEO. "It is not primarily a cost issue as much as an innovation and openness issue. Most of the innovation in collaboration (blogging, wikis, etc.) is happening in the open community, not in software vendor R&D labs."

Silk is designed to provide seamless integration of collaborative applications such as email clients, IM programs and meeting applications while providing a centralized web portal into an enterprise’s content and the collaboration surrounding it. As a framework for "collaboration enabling the enterprise", documents and applications are presented along with the related collaboration such as participants, discussions, surveys, meeting notes and emails. This presents team members with a complete picture of the status of projects and provides the context for smart collaboration. Within this context, team members have immediate access to the information and collaboration tools they need rather than searching through "islands" of various collaboration applications.

Silk competes functionally with applications such as IBM’s WorkPlace framework and the Microsoft Sharepoint technology. "By leveraging the advantages of a truly open development process, Akiva is confident that the product will be able to meet or exceed the capabilities of these closed architectures within the next 12 months," said Steven Niles, Akiva CTO. Silk is built on industry standard technology (J2EE, JBOSS, MySQL and Linux among others) and is being distributed under the GNU Public License (GPL) — the most popular open source software license. As of today, the same software is also available under a commercial license, along with support, from Akiva for enterprise customers.

Silk’s basic features include:

Web and/or Email based threaded discussions
WebLog publishing (Blogging)
Collaborative content publishing (Wiki)
File sharing (via web and/or WebDAV)
Document versioning
Polling, Voting and message ratings
User rankings and profiles
User home pages and subscription
Collaboration viewed in context of documents & applications
User presence/location and message routing
XMPP Based IM and Text chat support
RSS support
JavaBeans and Web Services (WSDL/SOAP/XML) API access
Integrated Help and online documentation
Major J2EE application servers and databases supported
LDAP support

Features to be developed over the next 6 months:

Shared calendars & schedules
Comprehensive integrated meeting supportWhite boarding
Desktop sharing
Application sharing
 VOIP/PBX Integration
Online Surveys
Usage Reporting
Collaborative Workflow
Content Management
Java Portlet Specification (JSR 168)
Peer network management

About Akiva Corporation
Since 1998, Akiva has been an innovator of collaboration software and services that help organizations transform ideas into results. Akiva’s technology and services enable enterprises to organize and implement ideas from employees, customers, partners and suppliers to dramatically improve business performance through rapid innovation and reduced expenses. The company is the lead developer of Silk, the first "enterprise class" open collaboration platform and provides support, professional services and commercial licensing of the solution for corporate, government and educational marketplaces.

Based in San Diego, Akiva’s growing client list includes such notable organizations as A.T. Kearney, Bank of America, the University of California system and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

  • Andrew Hansen
    June 24, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    I will be watching this.. Great tool.

  • puppy
    November 28, 2005 at 7:26 am

    I came to know about this silk tool recently. I have seen in a page that within six months some new features like workflow etc are going to be added into this tool. Can I know when this new version of Silk is going to be released.

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