Industry Updates

WWPYCBW: Technology (August 6, 2008)

Contents at a Glance
– Chandler Server 1.0 Ships
– Central Desktop Database API Enhancements
– Alfresco and SharePoint
– Sharing in Chandler Server

Chandler Server 1.0 Ships
The Chandler Project people shipped Version 1.0 of Chandler Server, the server component of its revolutionary information management product.

Chandler Server is a server and Ajax web UI for managing and sharing calendars, events, and tasks. It implements open data standards including CalDAV, WebDAV, Atom, and Atompub.

I hope to write more about Chandler some time (eg, post-book), but for the meantime I am impressed on two levels: (1) they have kept going when it looked like they would fail, and (2) what they’ve built encapsulates some very interesting ideas. More to come from me … but just not yet.

Central Desktop Database API Enhancements
Central Desktop has introduced new capabilities, including a database API for linking with other applications and services. Other new capabilities are time tracking, and support and help desk applications.

Workers can integrate third-party data into Central Desktop workspace databases; automatically update Central Desktop databases from these apps; query and export custom data sets from Central Desktop databases; and import custom data sets into Central Desktop databases. The time-tracking application helps workers from all fields track the amount of time spent on a task and create timesheets and reports by user, by project and by date. Timesheets and reports can be rolled into external billing applications.

I continue to be impressed with the strong capabilities that Central Desktop has and is adding to its service offering. Apart from the immediate functional benefits to be gained from the database API, the greater tie-in between Central Desktop and other tools will make it more and more indispensible to the team and group that has invested the time and resource to make the linkages. This has lock-in implications, so keep up the strong run of innovation please!

Alfresco and SharePoint
Alfresco released the beta 3 of Alfresco Labs 3, which provides an open source repository that can be used with SharePoint.

Alfresco Labs 3 is the first ECM product to implement the SharePoint protocol and provides users with the same access from Microsoft Office, while giving companies the freedom of choice in their hardware, database, operating system, application server and portal products. Customers will experience the best of both worlds providing workers with an easy-to-use content management and collaboration tool that is integrated with Microsoft Office while lowering overall IT costs and increasing return on existing investments.

Microsoft released the SharePoint protocol as part of its compliance with the European Commissions’ decision issued on March 24, 2004. Alfresco is the first ECM system to implement the Microsoft Office and Windows SharePoint Services protocols as a compatible server.

See also Glyn Moody and John Newton (Alfresco CEO).

This makes for interesting times for SharePoint customers, giving them new options. Alfresco also talked about a new social computing platform that it’s working on. This move is fodder for some serious thinking.

Sharing in Chandler Server
Travis outlines how to share a collection of stuff using Chandler Server. In essence it’s about using CalDAV for sharing calendar information, and Atom for sharing the other things.

Adam and Zed are coaching their sons’ soccer team, the Beagles. Adam has been using Chandler at work, and creates a new collection to help with the mountain of organization that will need to take place. He has published this collection to and would like Zed to give him some feedback on a proposed practice schedule.

After logging into the Hub Web UI, Adam clicks on the pulldown arrow next to “Soccer” to bring up the collection sharing dialog.

When Zed gets the link he can paste it into his favorite web browser and instantly review and edit Adam’s practice schedule. What’s more, if he wants to start using the Chandler Desktop client, he can use this link to subscribe to this collection there.

This is a very common need, both across the enterprise and consumer market. Will be interesting to see how this works when I finally get a chance to test it out.

Categories: Industry Updates