Blogs, wikis find a home in the enterprise

Blogs and wikis have moved past the flashy tech bling phase and are now settling in as core elements of the enterprise collaboration infrastructure. Two enterprise content management vendors are helping drive this evolution, bolstering their platforms with security and auditing functions designed to preserve the sparkle of blogs and wikis while making the content safe for the enterprise.

Stellent next week plans to introduce new features in its Universal Content Management application that lets companies build blog and wiki sites on top of the Stellent Multi-Site Management platform, a Web content management framework. The company's UCM app gains a wiki linking feature, which uses double brackets to automatically create new wiki pages, and templates and workflows for wikis and blogs.

The informal knowledge and project management dividends that blogs and wikis are delivering to corporations are being tempered by the significant security threat posed by consumer and open source tools, according to Andy MacMillan, product manager at Stellent. Most existing tools lack corporate requirements for directory integration, content-level security, and audit capabilities, he said.

"Corporate users want to use [blogs and wikis] but there are concerns about security, management, and compliance. Building it on top of mature web and enterprise content management, those concerns go away. You're just building another type of web site," he said.

Stellent's blog and wiki functions include LDAP and Active Directory integration, single-sign on, permission-based user views, a workflow engine, records management and auditing, content reuse, and tagging via a metadata engine.

UCM also is gaining expanded RSS support, which will let users subscribe via an RSS feed to intranet, extranet, and Internet content managed by Stellent UCM.

SaaS (Software as a Service) ECM vendor iUpload last week released its Enterprise Blogging Suite, which combines blogging, wiki, and ECM tools with functions such as security, workflow, compliance, and app integration.

The service also includes iUpload Express, which provides an implementation road map and best practices designed to get newbies up and running quickly with blogging technologies. Along with these helper tools, iUpload Express delivers the baseline functionality of the iUpload Enterprise Blogging Suite, with multiple blogs, wikis, discussions, aggregated, group views of blogs, and visitor submissions.

Also included in iUpload's Enterprise Blogging Suite is CRM integration, customizable approvals, content reusability, granular security and permissions, and versioning and compliance reporting.

Today's ECM systems manage an increasing number of media types, such as e-mail messages, IM, and scanned images, according to Maurene Caplan Grey, founder and principal analyst at Grey Consulting.

With the addition of blogs and wikis to the menu, ECM products and services are "following the natural maturation that needs to occur for a market to morph so as to remain viable," she said. "Blogs and wikis are merely two more types of media that hold content."

Blogs and wikis currently are receiving the same type of hyped attention that IM did several years ago, she added.

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