IBM is throwing more weight behind blogging as an enterprise collaboration application with two upcoming versions of new blogging tools as part of its Workplace collaboration platform.
The Armonk, N.Y., company is previewing a blogging tool on its AlphaWorks developers Web site, where it is a free download, while also introducing an application development component for blogging in the upcoming Workplace Designer 2.5 release.
The Weblog Preview includes integrated search, security and predefined user roles, plus application templates and a single point of control for administration of Weblogs and other Workplace components.
Bloggers who use the tool will be able to maintain a list of favorite Weblogs on their blog, with links to either external or internal blogs. In addition, the Weblog Preview provides both an Atom and an RSS syndication feed format so that readers can subscribe to their favorite blogs in their feed reader of choice. Other features include rich-text editing, comments, support for perma-links and archiving.
IBM already offers blogging capabilities within its flagship Domino collaboration product. Richard Schwartz, principal of RHS Consulting Inc., has used the Domino tool to publish his own blog for the last two-and-a-half years, one of more than 100 publicly accessible blogs built on Domino. Schwartz said the Workplace blogging tool announcement was about more than gaining feature parity with Domino.
"I think [blogs] are an industrywide trend, and IBM is making sure that all their collaboration products are keeping up with the trend," said Schwartz in Nashua, N.H.
"I believe that bottom-up collaboration via blogging can be a strong complement to centrally managed enterprise collaboration and knowledge management technologies that are already in use in many enterprises, and at a low incremental cost," Schwartz said, noting that both Microsoft Corp.s future version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, and the upcoming "Hannover" release of Notes will also support RSS.
Smaller vendors that are also developing enterprise blogging technologies include Traction Software Inc., in Providence, R.I., Socialtext Inc., in Palo Alto, Calif., and Six Apart Ltd., in San Francisco.