I have written about eXo, the user experience platform-as-a-service (UXPaaS) company that supports developers, several times before (for example see: Benjamin Mestrallet, eXo CEO, Looks at the Social Enterprise and eXo Expands its Cloud IDE Cloud-based Development Platform). Recently I spoke with Patrice, Lamarque, VP of Products, to catch up on their latest moves. We discussed two main things: the release of Codenvy and eXo 4.0.
We started with eXo 4.0. It is an open source, enterprise-class, social collaboration platform. There are several goals with this release. First, eXo want sot make social collaboration a utility so IT can easily embrace all collaboration within a single platform. They want it to be simple and affordable, as well as business centric. These means there are application connectors in place through APIs to make it enterprise ready so the total cost of ownership remains low. Standard APIs such as JCR or CMIS are complemented by a set of APIs to program against your organization model, spaces, activity streams, polls, posts, wikis and more. For example, you can access Sugar CRM content within eXo. In addition, Sugar CRM activity can show up in the eXo activity stream and acted upon without leaving eXo.. Finally, they want it to be user oriented with an intuitive interface to foster engagement and adoption. The home page is seen below.
Features include: document management, portal, calendar, mobile capability, forums, answers, dashboards, wiki, spaces, tasks, and social networks in a cloud-based offering. The social features include: user profiles, connections, and activity streams. The Spaces feature allows you to create collaboration workspaces for teams or projects where you can share documents, tasks, events, wikis and more. Spaces can be open or closed, private or public and space administrators can manage members and the applications that are available. You can see a sample Spaces screen below.
The Dashboard feature allows each user to create their own customizable dashboard. Gadgets help to track metrics, feeds, status and analytics. The product has a large set of gadgets but you can also install any open social gadget. A large set of gadgets are also available online. The dashboard is available through the mobile applications. The Tasks feature allows you to capture work items super easily as tasks. Tasks can be created from anywhere, anytime. They can be scheduled in your calendar and reminders will be sent to you. You can also track other people’s tasks via activity streams. You can develop gadgets and REST services and deploy them in the platform.
With the Documents feature you can upload files easily, preview them, share them and edit them remotely via WEBDAV. Advanced document management capabilities are available such as versioning, metadata, advanced search and digital asset management. You can also build accessible websites with different content types and site structure. A powerful back office lets you classify, search and publish content very easily. A sample document management screen is seen below.
Based on the open source GateIn portal framework, eXo Platform has all the flexibility of an enterprise portal framework: portlets (JSR 286, WSRP), gadgets (OpenSocial) and content can be aggregated in a secured and customizable way. A powerful graphical user interface composer that requires no technical skills allows you to compose portal pages by picking up a layout and pulling in apps and content.
There is also Unified Search coming soon. It will allow you to search any type of content using a single interface, including documents, events, tasks, posts and articles. Any content can be found with the clear and powerful search application. A quick search-ahead helper field shows the most relevant results and a more advanced search with advanced filtering lets you go further.
If you already manage user accounts in an enterprise directory such as Active Directory or Open LDAP, eXo Platform can integrate with it for authentication or user profile attributes. Advanced capabilities even let you use groups in eXo or leverage several directories at the same time. The eXo Platform works with your single sign-on system thank to its support of solutions like CAS, JOSSO and OpenSSO, and its support of standards like SAML. The eXo Platform is built using enterprise-standard tools such as Java EE, WEBDAV, CalDAV, JCR and CMIS to maximize its interoperability within the applications already available within the information system.
There is strong mobility support with native iPhone, iPad, and Android apps integrate easily and securely with your eXo instance. Below are some sample mobile interfaces.
There are a variety of pricing options including a freemium option. I think that eXo has put together a compelling offering for enterprises of all sizes to engagement in social business. The eXo 4.0 platform will be released at the end of April.
We also discussed Codenvy, a spin off from eXo that has received $9M in funding. Codenvy was announced on February 26 and it is the business now handling their eXo Cloud IDE offering. It was started with the objective to make developers more productive in building and deploying cloud-based apps. It targeted the Java environment and has support for a wide range of PaaS environments, including Red Hat OpenShift, Salesforce Heroku, CloudBees, and VMware Cloud Foundry. eXo Cloud IDE has exceeded their expectations so they created this new business unit to handle its growth.