zAgile, a US company that specializes in information integration across teams, tools, and applications, has announced the general availability of their Wikidsmart application, Wikidsmart for Confluence. According to zAgile, it turns Confluence into a semantic wiki so that you may contextually capture information in a structured way.
The developers also say this application will turn an enterprise wiki into an information collaboration dashboard offering the following capabilities:
- Delivering structure to a company’s wiki
- Semantic capture of information within the wiki
- Deep interoperability with other applications and tools
- Exposure of information from other tools and applications
- Smart search across all tools and applications.
The problems with Wikis . . .
Wikis provide an easy way for companies to produce and organize content -- creating very effective central repositories, often used for cross-departmental collaboration and information exchange. However, problems arise when all this statically organized content becomes unwieldy in terms of maintenance and more importantly, access.
Users waste considerable time in wildcard searches across all this content, repetitively navigating complex hierarchical page structures and constantly maintaining links across wiki pages to keep the content credible and current.
Addressing the problems using semantics
Semantic capabilities, though, make wikis a dynamic application. Addressing the problems mentioned above, they allow for content to be 'semantically' annotated with the annotations stored in semantic repositories.
The meaning, therefore, is captured in a machine-processable way and is more directly searchable, shareable and accessible across applications, not just from within the wiki itself.
It allows users to enter content in a consistent and contextually organized fashion, generate pages of inferred wiki content, automate wiki page and link maintenance and find information with context-sensitive navigation and search.
Integration with other applications
The zAgile infrastructure also provides a foundation for information integration with other applications in the enterprise. It turns a wiki into a structured content repository, and with connectors to other tools and applications, extends the users reach to information throughout the organization.
With zAgile, the user can:
- Capture content in forms, thereby ensuring data entry consistency
- Integrate wiki content with other systems and vice-versa, to remove manually creating and maintaining content updates
- Turn the wiki into a knowledge repository, to intelligently query information across your various applications and tools.
These forms are customizable and extensible and they allow users to be guided in how to enter content. In addition, since the information is captured in a structured way, the content may be easily queried in the future.
Extensible ontologies for the software engineering domain are included and zAgile provides professional services for ontology development for other domains including CRM and ERP. Other ontologies from third party providers may be used as well.
Connectors are currently available for Jira, Subversion and Perforce, and others will be added by zAgile and its open source community. Wikidsmart is available for download and licensed under the open source AGPL v3.