Jahia Wise Preview: Versatile, Streamlined Document and Social Collaboration FunctionalityAt the end of this month Jahia will introduce a new open source solution called Jahia Wise that combines document management and social collaboration. Easy to use, it has all the functionality required to enable workers to integrate all their information sources and populate their websites or intranets with enterprise content.

Jahia already offers a number of solutions for working with data (including documents), but this solution is designed to make it easy for business users to share documents, exchange them, work on them collectively, and ultimately publish them in a controlled and ordered fashion.

Jahia Wise has been doing the rounds of some of the tech shows, particularly in France. Recently, Elie Auvray CEO of Jahia and Anne de Forsan, director of Communications, sat down with CMSWire and gave us a look at the new product.

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Jahia Wise: Gallery View
 

Jahia Unity, Jahia Wise

Jahia is keeping some of the functionality under its hat until the product launch, because, Auvray says, some things are unique and well, why give competitors a chance to pre-empt you?

But that’s all by-the-by. When Jahia Wise is released it will have been in the works for about a year, according to Auvray. The driving principal behind it, he says, is the same principal that drives all Jahia’s other products -- notably, unity.

Expanding on the concept of unity, he pointed out that Jahia has, as its driving principal, the delivery of agile open source technologies. This delivery pushes enterprise application convergence as far as it can possibly go by pulling together web, search, document, social and portal technologies.

And Jahia has already managed to achieve this, he says, with some of their other products -- like their content management system eXtended Content Management (xCM), their visual experience builder Jahia Studio, their content core platform and a number of other JahiApps (Jahia applications).

When it comes to enterprise collaboration and document exchange, companies expect more and more integration with the information they share online on their intranet or website. Many solutions on the market are cumbersome, complex and costly -- especially in terms of integration.

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Jahia Wise: Secure Collaboration

Jahia Wise Evolution

Jahia Wise offers an alternative to this complexity, Auvray says. It is the first time that Jahia has produced a product focused entirely on the document, file sharing and social collaboration market. It is a completely new product, based on the same underlying platform as xCM is, but has evolved to ensure that the distribution of content across the enterprise is easy and intuitive. To do that it comes with numerous modules and packages.

While Jahia Wise can work as a complementary product to the core platform, it does have a separate installer, which means that it can also be set up and run independently of the core platform for enterprises that are looking for a distribution platform on its own.

It evolved in this way, Auvray says, because when they went looking at distribution management systems they saw a wide range of products that can manage a wide range of content. However, they also found that once an enterprise started building an intranet based on existing company information, located in different silos, the nightmare of integration began.

He specifically cites Alfresco in this regard. While it works well as a document management system, once you want to take content from other channels to use on company’s websites or intranet, it becomes extremely difficult to operate from an interface that is complicated and counter-intuitive.

Jahia Wise Streamlining

There is also the issue of functionality and what is required to carry out social and business tasks that enterprises are looking for at the moment.

He says that when they consulted their clients, Jahia was told that between 60% and 70% of the projects that users were working on used the same features for managing documents as they do when they are managing media assets on websites.

But they also found that when they went shopping for something that would help them manage their social business, they were landed with systems that were top-heavy in terms of functionality -- that is, much of the functionality is never used -- as well as being expensive to install. Here he cites Jive and SharePoint.

So Wise aims to deal with all these problems by streamlining the functionality to what users actually use while at the same time maintaining the Jahia versatility and simplifying the front end so non-technical users will have no difficulty using it.

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Jahia Wise: JahiaS ecure Gallery Collaboration

Jahia Wise Functionality

After a run through of what is coming up in the release, the interface is one of the really strong features. Built using clean fonts, sharp graphics and clearly laid out spaces, it is also easy to use and intuitive for any one that is currently using an intranet in the enterprise at the moment.

From the home page it is easy to create new spaces (essentially a workspace), and search all authorized spaces from the home page.

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Jahia Wise: Creating Space with Menus
 

From the home page it is also possible to create documents, and to enable users to work on them collaboratively. This also includes the ability to use collaboration and sharing tools -- wikis, blogs, forum, votes -- and link all that to related documents. Uploading documents is also easy.

And with mobile devices taking over the workplace it will also offer strong mobile functionality.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line in terms of functionality Auvray says is that nowadays document sharing and document management are essential and expected, and not just the desirable applications that they would have been even a couple of years ago.

Wise, he says, is a ready-to –deploy solution. Built using Jahia Studio it can be used with all other Jahia tools, giving users the functionality of web content management, document management, a portal and a social collaboration tool unified and accessible through a single interface.

Jahia Wise will be available as of end of October. Between now and then Jahia will also release Jahia xCM v6.6.1, which provides, among other things, key functionality for Wise. More on this on these key dates.