By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2004-09-20 Print this article Print

Several products let businesses tap content syndication as a means to foster communication and collaboration. One of them, Traction Software Inc.s TeamPage Weblog system, has recently been updated with features that extend its reach and make it more efficient for enterprise use.

TeamPage 3.5 adds support for WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) and the Atom content syndication format (along with RSS formats), making it easier to syndicate content and share files.

TeamPages content control and delivery capabilities—via e-mail, RSS, Atom or within a TeamPage site—make the product an ideal platform for simplifying workflow for a group working on a common project. TeamPage 3.5 is priced at $4,995 for sites with as many as 15 named users and five "projects." The system allows unlimited visitor access.

eWEEK Labs tests show that TeamPage 3.5 is easy to set up and implement. TeamPage 3.5, which will be available next month, runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X platforms. We tested the application on a Dell Inc. four-way PowerEdge server running Windows 2000 Server. In the Windows environment, Traction can be run as a service.

Using the products interface tools, it was easy to post and classify content on our test intranet site. Once the content was published to the intranet site, users could add comments.

TeamPage 3.5 does a good job of segregating content according to what the product calls "projects." For example, if an organizations engineering group wants to comment on an article posted to the intranet, members can publish their comments so that other groups, such as marketing or sales, cannot see them.

IT administrators can delegate granular access controls, giving members of groups or individuals permission to write, edit, erase or reclassify data.

Click here to read Labs review of another Weblog system, Six Aparts Movable Type. When we configured the intranet, RSS and Atom feed links were added directly to the home page. TeamPages new WebDAV functionality also was automatically added to the site, which allowed us to easily create shared folders on our TeamPage servers and upload files to them for sharing. TeamPage offers basic document management capabilities via a check-in/check-out function.

A pluggable authentication model allows TeamPage 3.5 to authenticate users through LDAP, Active Directory and other directories. We used Active Directory to authenticate users, a process that worked smoothly.

Traction Instant Publisher 2.1, a free option, makes it easy to take Web site content and publish it on an intranet, but it works only on the Windows platform.

Using Traction Instant Publisher 2.1, we could grab content, including images, from Web sites. A screen capture utility is also included for quickly copying and pasting content from PDF files and other programs.

TeamPage 3.5 can be configured to send newsletter-style e-mail updates to project members; during tests, we could easily highlight updated content and tailor the newsletters to the needs of recipients. E-mail can also be used to post content to an intranet site.

TeamPage 3.5 gives users the ability to collect articles into a single page and then send the page to other members. A PDF can be created for distribution of this content.

A search engine is integrated into TeamPage 3.5, which made it simple during tests to find specific articles and comments throughout a site. In addition, TeamPages integrated calendar made it easy to "roll back time" to see older content on the site.

Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at henry_baltazar@ziffdavis.com.

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