A Development Platform for Collaborative Enterprise Applications

3 minute read
Barb Mosher Zinck avatar

A Collaboration Platform Developers Can Sink Their Teeth Into
MindTouch (news,site) is all about the enterprise. This open source collaboration platform is all over connecting enterprise applications, web services and Web 2.0 applications for teams to work together fulfilling business objectives.

But MindTouch has decided it wants to go just a little bit farther. They have announced MindTouch 2009 -- a new developer platform for social collaboration and communities. And to go along with that, a bi-directional message bus that extends their collaborative capabilities even further.

MindTouch 2009 -- A Developers Platform

MindTouch 2009 is a development platform designed to assist developers in quickly creating collaborative solutions that involve any number of enterprise applications or web services.

Developers now have integration between MindTouch's scripting language (DekiScript) and Javascript enabling them to create rich internet applications (RIAs). The integration of the two scripting languages is done using JEM (JavaScript with Events and Messages) technology.

In addition to the ability to develop RIA applications, MindTouch 2009 also offers a Front-end Plugin Architecture. This allows developers to modify the MindTouch front-end without worry about breaking compatibility when upgrades occur. Using PHP developers can add features or services such as file lists, image galleries and RSS feed creation.

To add icing to this cake, MindTouch 2009 also offers MetaData Management by providing access to local data stores with properties stored as key vaue pairs. These key value pairs can be added to files, pages or users giving these assets structured metadata. Using the MindTouch API, developers can then access this metadata to write applications either in MindTouch or in an external application.

Want some sprinkles with that? We particularly like the Office document editing and write back capability. No more need to save a local copy of the document on your desktop. But you may get off on the advanced permissioning system, the updated revision comparison or the enhancements to the Control panel that provide better deployment administration.

Take a five minute tour of MindTouch 2009:

Watch the short video below to learn everything you need to know about MindTouch 2009

A Bi-Directional What?

Want to know what's happening when a change is made within MindTouch 2009 or one of the many enterprise applications that can be plugged into it? Use the new a bi-directional message bus.

Learning Opportunities

MindTouch refers to it as a switchboard and it enables you to setup notifications using a number of delivery methods including email, mobile device, Twitter or a WordPress blog. You decide what you want to be notified about -- a page change, new user added to the system, new files added or deleted, it's up to you.

Don't forget it's bi-directional. This means that if you make changes to something outside of MindTouch 2009, that change can be sent to MindTouch -- of course the two applications must be integrated in some way.

The example provided is updating MindTouch and having a WordPress blog updated accordingly. Or updating the WordPress blog and having MindTouch updated. Bi-directional -- it's a beautiful thing for us lazy folks.

And A Couple Added Bonuses

MindTouch 2009 also offers auto-complete suggestions when adding tags to content and instant page associations -- no more waiting for the search to index the new pages. 

Let's not forget that MindTouch is open source, at least at its core -- additional services and tools start at US$ 2000.

Are they on the right track? Giving developers all this capability and flexibility? As social computing solutions start to become more commoditized, it is good to see that some vendors leave room to grow.


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