Collaboration, Content Management Take Comdex Stage

Software developers looking to make some headway in the white hot collaboration and content management spaces will be showing off their wares at Comdex.

Software developers looking to make some headway in the white hot collaboration and content management spaces will be showing off their wares at the Comdex show in Las Vegas this week.

Virtual Design Network will debut a new version of its hosted collaboration service, Interactive Networks Inc. will show off both a secure instant messaging platform and a low-cost content management platform, and Equilibrium Technologies Inc. will announce a digital asset management add-on for Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server.

Virtual Design Network, of Portland, Ore., will announce new features of its Virtual-WorkSpaces hosted collaboration service, including an updated user interface; a 3-D viewer, typically used in the engineering and architecture spaces; and synchronization with Microsoft Outlook, including importing and exporting of contacts, e-mails and appointments.

The Web-based service provides multipoint videoconferencing; calendaring and scheduling; file sharing and mark-up; application sharing; data transfer; and real-time viewing of over 260 file formats, including AutoCAD drawings, project planning documents, live and recorded training videos, and other graphic-intensive files, Virtual Design Network officials said.

Virtual-WorkSpaces is available now. Pricing is $250 per seat per month plus a $250 setup fee.

Interactive Networks, based in Montevideo, Uruguay, meanwhile, will announce new platforms for content management and instant messaging, MasterWeb and Instan-t 3.0, respectively.

MasterWeb is targeted to small and medium-size businesses looking for a low-cost content management solution. It features automated management of images and form processing, plus centrally administered security and workflow management. Pricing starts at $995 for one site with five contributors.

Instan-t, meanwhile, lets users set up their own corporate IM network that can interoperate with all of the major public networks, including AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ. It features 128-bit encryption within the network, a customizable user interface, content and services integration, such as scrolling stock quotes, news and search, centralized auditing and logging of messages, and integration with any directory.

Equilibrium, of San Rafael, Calif., is adding digital asset management capabilities to SharePoint Portal Servers search, document management and collaboration environment with its Equilibrium MediaRich Server for Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server.

MediaRich Server helps manage digital images within SharePoint, generating thumbnail previews during search results and adding zoom and pan, automated image editing, and conversion and delivery for one or multiple images, Equilibrium officials said.

Users can create images in the file format, size, resolution or color space needed for Web, print and wireless applications and can automate the batch processing of images to speed production, officials said.

MediaRich Server for SharePoint Portal Server is available now, priced at $4,299 for a five-seat license.

Also at Comdex, Interact Commerce Corp. will demo its popular Act! contact management application for the Palm OS.

Act! for Palm OS can synchronize over 60 pre-defined fields and 15 custom fields and store multiple addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, Web sites, and other information for each contact.

It can also keep date and time-stamped notes on each contact and automatically create and view contact histories to track every activity that has taken place with those contacts. It provides "one-tap" access to view notes, histories, activities, sales opportunities and group memberships, directly from the contact record, Interact Commerce officials, in Scottsdale, Ariz., said.