The latest version of Ingeniux's social software, Cartella, has been released. They call say it has "the power of a portal with the simplicity of an app." What does than mean exactly? Read on to find out.
Cartella Offers Business Ready Apps
Some know Ingeniux for its XML based web content management platform (we reviewed Ingeniux v7 here), but the Seattle-based business software provider also develops a strong social business software offering known as Cartella.
Cartella is built on the same open .NET MVC technology that the Web CMS is, and it has a public Web Services API essentially making it a chassis for MVC Apps (we'll show you that in a little bit).
Instead of simply offering a standard social software platform that organizations must implement and then customize, there are three "business ready" apps (or editions) you can use out of the gate: Intranet Edition (seen below), Extranet Edition and a Community Edition. Of course, you can also customize these.
Cartella's Social Business Use Cases
The Intranet and Extranet editions are very similar and we'll look at the capabilities you can get with these, but there's another interesting use case for Cartella which David Hillis, VP of Business Development for Ingeniux told me about -- centralized identity for websites.
Cartella Intranet Edition
A number of Ingeniux customers use Cartella as an identity warehouse, or what you might consider membership management. Cartella LiveSync connects to Microsoft's Active Directory, LDAP and other systems for identity and profile information. Once you connect these identity providers, you can then manage access to all your website and apps through Cartella itself.
Like the Ingeniux Web CMS, Cartella has a very extensive permissioning system that gives you a wide range of ways you can apply permissions to content. Once you configure what's allowed at the Admin level, users can then apply permissions to some of their own content, sharing it with other internal employees or with external people they might be collaborating with. Permissions also involve specifying what users can see and work with.
Cartella 4 Architecture
As you can also see from the architecture diagram above, Cartella can connect to many different content repositories to aggregate files and web content into a single location. It's the .NET Web Services API that enables you to build apps or modules in Cartella.
We see this in Cartella through a Time Tracker Module that comes with the Intranet Edition. It's a great example of business processing modeling, says Hillis, where you can connect with an external application, pull in some data, then allow more data to be added in the app and have the external application get updated. See an example below.
Cartella comes with a visual module builder that supports the creation of new modules that can build out the data through connections with other systems, like Salesforce, Dynamics CRM or others.
Intranet -- Projects/Reports
All the Bells & Whistles for Social Software
Cartella offers all the standard functionality you expect in social software today and then some. You can start with Workspaces, or departments (which Hillis referred to as "folios") with functionality for managing and collaborating on documents, forums, calendars, blogs, activity stream, profiles and so on. New in Cartella 4.0 is the ability to create sub-workspaces (or communities), as well as customizable notifications through email and other messaging. This customization includes look and feel, in addition to functionality.
Cartella Intranet Profile
Another key enhancement in Cartella 4 is its search capabilities. Users can integrate taxonomy categories, content types and other filters into the search quite easily, offering faceted search. If there's federated content, then metadata from the content is included in the search, adding to the different facets you can search on. And, of course, there's also full-text search.
Cartella 4 - Intranet Search
Cartella also has a pretty nice Video Module that offers HTML 5 payback (and gracefully degrades to Flash based on the device being used). A number of different formats are supported when uploading a video, which is then formatted for the proper device when it's viewed. What this means, is that Cartella is mobile friendly for videos.
The player is also fully skinnable, as is the entire Cartella platform, to customize the look and feel for a particular organization.
For those wondering about images -- there are DAM features, including the ability to bulk import, adjust the images, show a photo gallery, etc...
Which leads me to the next key point about Cartella -- mobile.
Mobile Experience Delivery
Cartella is fully mobile optimized following a responsive design approach. It includes built in device detection and device targeting. It also offers out of the box HTML 5 adaptive mobile views for both tablets and smartphones.
Ease of Use & Flexible Deployment Models
The Cartella UI is clean and makes it fairly easy to find your way around. Hillis stated that the company takes a bottom up approach to the user experience, emphasizing every day use cases of content creation and engagement. It's really built for everyone and because of that, it seems simple, but has some enhanced capabilities that take it to more advanced levels.
The permissions model, the ability to easily turn functionality on and off with the click of a button, the integration with identity management systems are all things that catch my attention -- functionality that I also saw with the Ingeniux Web CMS.
Catella is generally sold as a SaaS offering, but is also available as an on-premises installation. Hillis said that 70% of their Cartella customers have taken the SaaS route.