samepage_logo_2009.jpg
Between the release of SamePage v4.2 and the release of v4.3 in June it was almost a year. This week, and only three months later, it has released a full fledged community edition that is free and contains the majority of the functionality of the enterprise 4.3 edition.

It’s not entirely clear why eTouch (news, site), which makes SamePage enterprise wiki, has decided to do it now, but community editions have traditionally been used to get clients in first, before getting them to upgrade to paid enterprise editions.

In this case eTouch says it is enabling a list of named target groups -- including SMBs, students, research groups and small groups within enterprises -- to use a full version of SamePage, albeit without support.

For support, and presumably to get the most out of SamePage, users will eventually have to upgrade to the paid enterprise edition, or change products completely, something most software users are not all that willing to do.

But that’s business and there’s no harm in that. While companies will have to contact them to get a price on this, the on-demand version costs US$ 100/month for users and US$ 400 for 100 users.

With the CE, users will also be able to scale their deployment as needs grow and will be able to access the knowledge base to work out bugs and deployment issues, so even with the CE they won’t be entirely alone. 

Community Edition and v4.3

So what is it users will get if they sign up? In effect, all the functionality of v4.3, just without that support. But even without the support that’s quite a lot.

The principal upgrade that users got with SamePage v4.3 over v4.2, which in itself came with customized dashboards and support for Office 2007 and analytics, was Windows Explorer-like views with WebDav support.

With v4.3's Explorer view, users can navigate through projects and pages, locate items quickly and manage attachments seamlessly in a familiar user interface.

The WebDAV support element enables them to edit attachments without explicitly downloading them, creating a simpler environment for collaboration and document management.

The overall result of SamePage 4.3 was a simpler environment for collaboration and document management that came with plug ins geared to existing customers and new users who wanted to deploy the software as an enterprise knowledge management tool.

Other enhancements focused on knowledge management and general usability and security features including:

  • User filters on notifications and digests
  • Watch news items and threads
  • Plug-in output in email/PDF
  • Creating pages via email
  • More intuitive page permissions

In addition to this, at the time of the v4.3 release eTouch was also in the final stages of testing for a completely revamped web-services layer that will allow SamePage to be easily embedded into any portal or web application for a seamless user experience.

Even without the support, these features alone -- and there are many others -- make this worth a trial, if nothing else. And even if you do have to upgrade, just shows that really what they say is true, you get nothing for nothing!