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If you want to get involved with the Interactive Knowledge Stack(IKS) Early Adopters program then now is probably a good time to start looking at your options.

The Interactive Knowledge Stack, or IKS (news, site) has just announced details of how it intends to proceed with its prototypes: an Alpha Version available between July and September this year and a Beta Version -- which you could be a part of -- targeted for April to June next year.

The Alpha version is being made available for validation principally to IKS’ core consortium, a group of seven research partners and six industrial partners. Validation of the Alpha version will be carried out by the industrial partners of this group so you won’t be able to get involved in that.

However, the Beta version will be made available to participants of the Early Adopters program with grants of between €5000 - €7000 to help participants.

Semantic Search And CMS

In case you missed it, the IKS project started at the beginning of 2009 with the idea of creating semantic features for open source content management companies to benefit small to midsize businesses.

Sponsored by the European Union and partnering with several universities, research outfits and software companies, it will use the upcoming workshop to gain ideas and insight into what users want.

The €6.5 million project will then convert those lessons and information into the Interactive Knowledge Stack. This software stack of techniques, components and specifications will help existing and future CMS products work with semantic search, as and when it becomes a requirement of CMS tools.

Early Adopters Program

So if you’re interested in the Early Adopters program this is what you do. You outline your firm’s interest to John Pereira (john.pereira@salzburgresearch.at) who organized the first two IKS workshops in 2009. You will then be asked to enter an evaluation contract. The evaluation contract works as follows:

  1. One of your technical staff attends a dedicated workshop where the concepts and workings of the stack will be explained -- the first one is in Salzburg, Austria, in the second half of June.
  2. You use specific IKS components of your choice depending on where your firm's technology needs are, and you will integrate them in your current CMS technology.
  3. IKS will conduct structured interviews or ask for a brief evaluation report to help develop the final version of IKS which will also be open source and which will also be open for evaluation.

The scheme is open to about 40 content management firms, open source or not, with each grant worth approximately one person’s month of effort as outlined in the conditions.

As one of the participants from the CMS community remarked at the first IKS workshop last year it is the first time that the representatives of different open source CMS platforms talk about tackling technology issues jointly.