Social media and content management (ECM and WCM) is a hot topic as of late. Vignette (news, site) played in as well and released the updated Vignette Community Applications 7.1.

This social media solution targets organizations looking to engage with internet audiences and spice up their online presences with communities, social interaction and collaborative communication.

As organizations slowly warm up to social media and strategize around them, Vignette aims to provide a comprehensive solution that is user-friendly to both the CMO and the CIO who realize they need an enterprise-wide social media platform.

Vignette Community Applications 7.1 is one of the components of VIGN’s Social Media Solution and provides tools to support web 2.0 initiatives like blogs, wikis, forums, ratings and reviews. Vignette says that consolidation is the biggest advantage of this solution, as you no longer need separate plugins to things like Flickr or YouTube.

Vignette Community Applications 7.1 Features

Site Creation

Using this solution, companies can use the wizard-driven tool to create unique social sites and apply different skins/templates to them. These sites combine microsite features and social-centric apps.


Sample Site Built in Vignette Community Applications 7.1

In this suite based on version 7.0 that came out mid-2008, Vignette is providing a slew of popular social apps in one platform: user-generated events, ideas management, photos, calendars and events, community spotlight and the sharing of multimedia assets including videos and podcasts.

Recommendation technology can be used in conjunction with the analytics package to find the most popular blog posts or topics. In addition to that, techies can create a widget to update content in real time, and then promote that widget to traffic-driving sites like Yahoo!

Video Management

Continuing to gather the acquisition fruits, Vignette offers video management with embedded editing capabilities, so you can edit out a snippet of a video file and only post this snippet on the web. Comments, ratings and third-party application embeds are also part of the deal.


Ideas Management

This is where the inbox concept goes social. Ideas sharing and embedded slide presentations are the tools Vignette is proposing for better employee collaboration in an intranet environment, for example.


While there is no direct integration with the popular SlideShare app, you can still embed your SlideShare preso’s into Vignette pages.


The entire Vignette Community Application 7.1 engine is comprised of several moving parts. On the presentation layer you have Vignette Portal. On the portal side, you have an aggregation of JSR-286 portlets. There are 78 of them shipped with the license, and you can add more. MOSS integration is also possible, as Vignette continues to enamor SharePoint.

The social media engine is separate. Vignette’s WCM system part is yet another separate bit that is not integrated with the social media engine.

The whole architectural design may sound a bit clunky; but, surely, those already working with Vignette are used to this approach. If you don’t already use Vignette Portal, you will need to buy an extra license; although, a limited portal license is included. This is the reason they’re called “modular products,” and it is up to you what to choose.

Permissions and Moderation

Permissions can be set at two levels: site and community. The admin level allows to manage various moderation permissions, which are separated on the comment and content sides.

As far as workflow integration goes, it is not out of the box but possible -- if customers want to extend each social app to the native workflow engine, or to any specific workflow they already have in place.

For inline editing capabilities you would need to integrate with the WCM platform.

How Much?

Vignette Community Applications is sold via a perpetual license with a base fee of US$ 50,000 plus a one-time fee based on the number of peak server calls expected.

Vignette Community Applications with up to 500,000 server calls is priced at US$ 85,000 plus the usual 20% maintenance. Server calls represent a user contributing to the community: rating, posting a blog or uploading an item. Reading a blog or otherwise consuming information does not count as a server call.

This package includes blogs, wikis, forums, slides, ideas, ratings, tags, video, a limited license of portal and IDOL Search. The actual video services would be extra cash, depending on number of uploads and downloads.

Responding to Market Trends

Vignette says that coming up with this release is a timely fashion, as they see a trend (just like in case with the WCM market in the ‘90s) of every organization wanting to engage social media but not being sure on how exactly to do it. Simply playing with Twitter and Facebook is clearly not gonna do it.

Autonomy Interwoven, Vignette’s competitor, has some wiki and blog functionalities, and Vignette sees an opportunity to deliver an overarching social media package to allow organizations to hear the “outside voices” (no, not the voices in their heads) from the online communities.

We’ve recently covered other vendors on the crossroads of WCM and social media, if you care to compare -- EPiServer and Day are among them.

Curious to learn more about Vignette’s offer? Check out the site and Vignette’s booth at Web 2.0 Expo taking place March 31 -- April 3 in San Francisco, California. Gerardo Dada, Vignette’s senior director of product marketing, is scheduled to present a session at the conference called “The Social Media Trilogy: Three Vital Components for Building a Successful Online Strategy.”