Open Source Business Social Software
Two projects I’ve been looking at this summer show just how far the Open Source world has come with respect to social business software. Eureka Streams, which is a new open source project sponsored by Lockheed Martin, and based on the Open Social standard, and Drupal Commons, a project sponsored by Acquia and based on Drupal. Both offer a compelling feature set by leveraging existing platforms but with a focus on the needs of the collaborative, knowledge seeking business employee. Both also now have videos, feature tours, and communities of participation growing around them, so you won’t have to go it alone.
Eureka Streams, which was announced in late July, is built on the Open Social standard and Apache Shindig. The focus is clearly on (as the name “streams” implies) lowering the barrier to information sharing, in the style of microblogging (think twitter, status.net, and yammer, but also tumblr, posterous, and xxxx). As Ostatic’s coverage put it:
Visually, Eureka Streams is a combination of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Personal profiles let workers to put a face to a name, which is particularly useful for making remote workers feel connected to each other beyond a disembodied voice on a conference call. Plugins allow for real-time sharing of business-related information, including the ability to share articles from Google Reader and import bookmarks from Delicious. Powerful search features help employees network and connect with other professionals within the company.
The video (below) shows the polish Lockheed Martin’s put on the framework, which I’d say competes well with any proprietary platform from a design and usability perspective:
There are many more videos on the Eureka Streams site, showing off various pages and their functions.
Drupal Commons, announced back in April and released at 1.0 in the beginning of August, is built as an install profile for Drupal, leveraging that platform’s legendary strength as “community plumbing” and community contributed modules long familiar to Drupalistas building social sites.
In this video Jay Batson of Acquia walks through a preview release:Also worth checking out are DrupalRadar’s First Look and Review, and Jay’s other videos on the Business Value of Drupal Commons and the Features of Drupal Commons.
Finally, you can try it out yourself by joining the Drupal Commons community and checking out some groups there which match your interests.