Late last week we (Jive Software) released version 1.1 of Clearspace, our commercial community and team collaboration product which includes blogging, discussions and wiki documents. As an aside, we offer free Clearspace licenses to Open Source projects and it’s also free for teams of up to five people.
!http://www.igniterealtime.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/avatars.gif!This release builds on the Openfire integration that shipped with version 1.0. One great new feature is the ability to see real-time presence information for users (pictured on the right).
On the back-end, Clearspace connects to Openfire using the external component protocol, then is able to query for presence data using a set of[ ad-hoc commands|http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0050.html]. Although we’re still polishing up a lot of things about the way the integration works, Clearspace serves as a great model for how a web application can leverage XMPP for presence and messaging.
The unification of Openfire and Clearspace is a trend you’ll see us continue strongly for two reasons:
Real-time features will be an important way that we differentiate Clearspace from competitors (the “secret sauce”). We believe it should be easy and seamless for a user to move between real-time and non real-time collaboration and have many innovative features planned to make that possible.
Unification is an important way to leverage the Open Source investments we’ve made in Openfire and Spark. Yes, we still believe that a hybrid Open Source strategy is good for both business and the community (see our philosophy). One of our not so secret hopes is that our commitment to Open Source and open standards will be enough to convince you to try out Clearspace at your company as an alternative to Microsoft’s clumsy Sharepoint product. Or, consider Clearspace as a replacement for the wiki that started with good intentions but quickly grew into an unmanageable rat’s nest. You know it’s gotten bad when the engineers are frustrated and the business folks won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.
Ok, enough advertising. But we’re pretty proud of the release and it’s hard for me to reign in my enthusiasm.