Friday, May 24, 2024

The Next Wave in Collaborative Software

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SAN FRANCISCO – The winds of change are blowing through collaborative software, and they’re blowing pretty hard. Here at the Office 2.0 conference, Adobe Systems and Joblogs previewed their approaches, which are strikingly similar.

They both offer real time collaboration. Both use mash-ups and provide ease of use well beyond today’s collaborative systems, which Joblogs founder Steve Ireland described as “workspace 1.0.”

Both are aimed at the enterprise and seek to provide context around the user’s workspace, doing mash-ups (define) of contact databases, e-mail, calendars, photos, and task lists, although Joblogs’ application also offers blogs.

That offering of context around the workspace is in line with management consultant Dave Allen’s system of getting things done, known as GTD.

Adobe’s (NASDAQ: ADBE) offering is code named Genesis, and is a project in development, while Joblogs’ product was launched at the conference. The idea behind both is similar — they let business users access and work with all the different types of information and applications they need in one desktop workspace, delivered in software as a service (SaaS) (define) form.

However, Genesis will be more of a platform as a service (PaaS) like Salesforce’s (NYSE: CRM) when it is delivered, while Joblogs is a workspace in and of itself.

“Genesis will provide the framework, but lots of content will come from ISV (independent software vendor) partners and independent developers,” Adobe group product manager, corporate development Matthias Zeller told “ does the same thing but restricts development to Salesforce applications.”

Genesis is written in Adobe Flex, a collection of technologies from Adobe for developing and deploying cross platform rich Internet applications (RIAs) based on Adobe Flash.

That will make it easy for users to pull in data from other vendors’ applications into the workspace because “many of the major software vendors, such as Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and SAP (NYSE: SAP) are developing Flex UIs for their applications and we can consume these easily in Genesis,” Zeller said.

Adobe’s workspace will be a Flex application based on Adobe Air, a cross-operating system runtime that lets users build and deploy RIAs on the desktop using HTML, Ajax, Flex or Flash development skills and tools.

Unlike Genesis, Joblogs is totally based on HTML and does not use any Flash whatsoever, Joblogs’ Ireland told It has three key applications — contacts, blogs and activities.

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