AJAX-based collaboration

GCN Insider | Trends & technologies that affect the way government does IT

We don't usually take a meeting with a software vendor who doesn't have amazing new features to tout. But we wanted to hear from Baltimore-based CollabraSpace (www.collabraspace.com) about the latest version of its CollabraSuite online collaboration tools.

Chris Murphy, the company's co-founder and vice president of engineering, was quick to point out that CollabraSpace 5.0 doesn't sport many new bells and whistles. Like previous versions, this one offers a standard list of tools, including webconferencing, white board, instant messaging and presence awareness. What's unique about version 5.0 is the platform. The company has built it around an HTML-based AJAX interface (previous versions depended on Java). 'This way it can be skinned, styled and blended into other applications,' Murphy told us.

By offering online collaboration with as little client software as possible, Murphy feels the company has achieved 'contextual collaboration,' which is to say ad hoc, just-in-time collaboration from wherever they happen to be working. 'People don't collaborate for the sake of collaborating.' [For more on AJAX in government, see < href="http://GCN.com">GCN.com, GCN.com/704.]

Last month CollabraSpace previewed version 5.0 at BEA World in San Francisco. BEA Systems (www.bea.com) of San Jose, Calif., offers CollabraSpace under its own name for integration with its popular WebLogic portal software.

CollabraSpace has made most of its government inroads in the intelligence community, where the National Security Agency and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are users, according to Murphy. The Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments are also CollabraSpace customers.

Read more about technology news and trends at the GCN Tech Blog, www.gcn.com/blogs/tech.

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