I am pleased to announce that the second beta for Liferay Social Office is now available for download. This product is the result of a close collaboration between Liferay's product and engineering teams and our awesome community. What's unique about Social Office is that we had the chance to speak with folks on the business side who were more concerned about ease of use and productivity than about opening up possibilities through specific technologies. In other words, a lot of our Liferay Portal community members get excited about WSRP, JSF, ServiceBuilder and our Asset API, whereas our Social Office community was keen to answer questions like, "Will this tool help my teams work together more efficiently?" or "Can I use Social Office in the context of my existing applications?"
The result is a product that is built using Liferay Portal but specifically targets the business end-user. Social Office is designed to enhance the way you work, bringing your colleagues into your sphere of productivity without being intrusive or forcing you to learn difficult new tools.
I also want to acknowledge an incredible engineering team that has helped fulfill the vision for this product with a result that's functional, intuitive, and easy to use: Ryan Park
and Peter Shin
were our star engineers with additional assistance by Brett Swaim
, Nate Cavanaugh
and Brian Chan
. Thanks to the entire Social Office team for a spectacular job!
Version 1.5 of Social Office offers new capabilities, including:
Contacts help users keep track of people both inside and outside the organization. The contact list automatically adds colleagues that share Site membership with you and allows users to email an entire group of Site members automatically.
New Contact List in Social Office 1.5
Contacts: Select one of your Sites and email all its members with one click.
With tasks, you can create and assign tasks to yourself or your contacts, and you can also track tasks and completion status.
Task Management: Social Office lets you assign and receive tasks and document your progress.
Users can now view all calendar events from all of their Sites in a single place on their Home page.
A simple weather module has been added to the personal Home page near the calendar so that users can prepare for upcoming events.
Each user can fill out their own online resume-style profile that can help members discover expertise in the organization. Users can enter project profiles, add searchable tags, and fill out personal contact information.
Profiles: Social Office gives enterprises a LinkedIn-style experience for internal use.
Includes Bookmarks, RSS Feeds, Recent Documents and a listing of the Site's calendar events for the day.
Improved Related Content
Sites in Social Office automatically display related documents, forum threads, blogs, wiki entries, and users based on the tags found on the content currently being browsed.
Search across all Sites on the server or within a specific Site. Social Office's federated search combines results from all types, including documents, forum threads, blogs, wiki entries, events, and users.
Search: Social Office features an improved federated search interface that's easier to use.
These are in addition to the existing 1.0 features: Documents with MS Office integration, Calendar, Blogs, Wikis, Message Boards, Mail, Chat, Activity Tracking, Friends, Announcements and Invitations, which you can read about in my previous blog
What's in Store
We'll be tentatively offering an Enterprise Edition of Social Office in the last quarter of 2009 and starting a new Community Edition with Social Office 2.0.
We also have an Early Adopter Program
in progress allowing participants to provide focused feedback on the product to improve the current version and influence the roadmap for version 2.0. We've already come up with requirements and some wireframes for a number of new features planned for 2.0.
Meanwhile, the feedback on version 1.5 has been very positive:
- "This is a fantastic product and we have had a great experience so far."
- "Works like a dream and that it looks really good and clear!"
Stay tuned for more developments and feel free to evaluate
the latest version and tell us what you think!