Traction Digs In for Enterprise Wiki Control

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-06-04 Print this article Print

The vendor's designs on moderation tools will help Traction gain share on Socialtext, Confluence, Jive and IBM.

Traction Software is one enterprise social software provider that doesn't get much attention in the sea populated by Socialtext, Jive Software and Awareness .

Traction has been nondescript because unlike its rivals it lacked profiles, which as sure as wikis inspire collaboration are becoming increasingly requisite for enterprises looking to bring the Facebook look to their tools.

Aiming to remedy that void, the company released its new blog and wiki platform TeamPage 4.0, which adds personal profiles to the suite's wiki and blog tools to help corporate customers work better with customers, sales partners and suppliers.

The new software includes personal profile pages that gather content by author, as well as page templates and forms to facilitate blogs and wikis by new users. Personal profile pages in TeamPages 4.0 display views of that author's contributions to all workspaces that are visible to the given reader.

Noting that Traction is behind Jive, Socialtext, Confluence and IBM Lotus Connections in this vein: CMS Watch analyst Tony Byrne told eWEEK: "With its relatively new 'profiles' dimension, Traction is trying to kill two birds with one stone: make people a viable object in the system and enable personal blogging. It doesn't really succeed at either as well as most other products at this tier."

Indeed, Traction is playing in an increasingly competitive market for business wiki software, but one of the competitive differentiators is TeamPages' ability to let users see multiple wiki pages at the same time, while others offer page-at-a-time viewing.

Another area where the more discerning enterprise users will take pleasure in TeamPages 4.0 is in the software's enhanced moderation tools.


Unlike most of its rivals (Jive's Clearspace excepted), Traction uses moderation to help business managers control new content from users they don't know. Such tools are important for businesses that require more insight into how content was created and by whom.

Moderation tools in TeamPages 4.0 lets users view and search the content in draft or published mode. New workspace permissions grant rights to read, edit, reject or publish drafts to any individual or group to support collaborative editing while keeping the "latest stable" state available until consensus is achieved.

Members of the groups participating in draft discussions see all of the draft history, discussion and content of any draft version, while groups who are not party to the draft discussion can only see the history and content of published versions.

David Rendall, a manager in the IT department at the National Health Service in the United Kingdom said the moderation feature is proving useful.

"I use Traction groups to define who can post to a project [publishers]. The publishers can see unpublished drafts, but non-publishers and visitors can't. This makes it easier to work collaboratively and to fine-tune your posts before letting everyone else see them."

The suite's new wiki page name history feature shows users how a page name has been assigned to pages, removed from pages and reassigned. A new page name management tool lets users filter by permission the display of incoming links.

Traction's moderation model is synchronized with the TeamPage 4.0 page name and page history model to support "fearless refactoring," or search and link navigation using names, links and content of draft wiki pages prior to publication of that set of pages as the "latest stable" version.

These moderation tools create what is essentially an audit trail that shows a great deal more than the edit history in most wikis. Now that's what we call control.

Traction is also now offering annual subscription pricing for its TeamPage Server software, as well as a new TeamPage Workgroup configuration for smaller groups or businesses.

The TeamPage Server supports an unlimited number of blog and wiki workspaces for $7,500 a year while the Workgroup offering supports up to 10 active blog or wiki workspaces on the same TeamPage Server for $3,750 per year.


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