During this time of slowdown, organizations are looking for free (not necessarily open source) software - especially those to help increase productivity and lower costs. In this article, we will talk about one of such free software called 'Cyn.in' which can be used for collaboration, managing your electronic documents, images, and maintain proper work flow. This software offers a number of collaboration tools such as blogs, micro blog, discussion, wiki, etc. A desktop client is also available for Windows, Linux and Mac, which gets installed on the system and does not require you to visit web pages regularly to keep yourself updated. For example, whenever someone uploads a file or puts a comments, the user will just receive a pop up, and then he can visit the site.
Now let's see how can you deploy this collaboration software into your enterprise and work things out.
Applies To: Enterprises
Price: Free (Community Edition)
USP: Learn how to use cyn.in in your enterprise
Primary Link: www.cyn.in
For installing cyn.in, you have two options available: download the software for the desired platform, which is a real pain or download the VMware appliance and run it on VMware player. The second option is better because it not only requires lesser installation time but is also easier to manage. The hardware required on the VMWare player is atlest of 1 GB, but the resource requirement may increase depending upon the number of users you have in your enterprise. So just download the VMWare image and play it on the VMWare player, and your cyn.in is up and running.
Once the VMWare appliance is up and running, it will notify you with its IP address. So just type out the address on your web browser with port 8003. This will open up the login page, the default username and password for cyn.in maintenance page is 'admin' and 'password'. After you login, you will be greeted with an initial configuration wizard. In the first step, it asks you to change the password, so specify a new password of atleast 7 characters. Next is the notification section. Here provide mail relay server's address, and the email address from which mail will be sent. In the next step, provide the hostname, IP address -in case you are using static IP, else select 'Obtain hostname from DHCP'. Also provide the DNS address if you want to use, else it will be obtaining the DNS from DHCP. If you are using any proxy server, then specify Internet proxy server address in the next step, and click on 'save'. Now you are done with the initial configuration and your cyn.in is ready to roll. After the configuration is done you are automatically navigated to the status page of the system. The status page shows you the status of your system including the services that are running on it. 'Collection tool' is an option that collects all the diagnostic information of the appliance, which helps a lot in troubleshooting. With the update option, you can update the appliance through Internet or through any media if available. Or you have also the option of scheduling the update of the appliance.
After the installation and configuration part is over, you have to configure cyn.in to suit your enterprise needs. As there is no standardized business need, one always requires to modify such solutions. Now open up the cyn.in site from your Internet browser by simply typing out the IP address of the appliance. For logging into the site, a default user with administrator privilege is already created, so provide username and password as 'siteadmin' and 'secret' respectively. Once you are logged in, you are automatically taken to the home page. Where a pictorial online representation of your organization is shown, for example you will be having wiki, blogs, events, images, etc.
|The home page of this suit lets you view all the items linked to your enterprise at one glance.|
Once you have setup this suit, its time to add user to it. For adding up new users, click on the settings' drop down button on the top corner of the page. Now select the user management option, click on the 'Add new user' button, and then provide the email address and username of the user, and click on Register'. Once the user is created, a email will be sent to him with a link, requesting him to set a new password and active himself on the site.
|Under the 'All updates' tab, you can view all the recent changes such as, files uploaded, blog or wiki entry, status change, etc.|
For deleting any user from the site, navigate to the user management page, as specified above. Type out the username whom you want to delete, or you can also choose the option to list all the users. Once you locate the user, check the remove user option and click on 'Apply changes' button.
Also for granting or managing different kinds of permissions to different users, navigate to the user management page and then, search for the user or list all users. Check the 'checkbox', under the respective policy, the user fall upon and then click on apply changes.
|From the appliance maintaince page, you can remotely restart the system or even schedule the system's reboot time.|
You also have the option of adding new components to the site or to remove the components that you don't want. For example, the cache setup component helps you in getting things faster. For example, if a particular page is requested repeatedly, the page can be cached and served to the client faster. Even if the cached page contains dynamic content. For installing this component, click on the setting drop down button and then select the site 'Setup' option. Apart from the add-on product option you will find lot many other options in this section such as, configuring mail, calendering, site, language, errors, HTML filtering, etc, In our case, click on the 'Add-on' product option. Check the 'CacheSetup' check box and then click on the 'Install' button to install this component.
|Under the security settings, you can enable or disable features like self registration, user folders or displaying any other info.|
To remove the components you don't want is pretty much similar to adding components. On the right side of the available components, you will find the list of components that are already installed. So just check the 'checkbox' of the component that you want to remove and click on 'Uninstall'.
For example you have started a project to be continued for 3 to 4 months. So if you can provide a separate work space to the people who will be working on the project, it will be more organized and efficient. It is very much similar in case of cyn.in spaces, here you create space for such kind of work. Each space has it own manager, viewer, contributor or member.
For creating space in cyn.in, first navigate to the home page. Click on the 'New' drop down button on the top of the web page, and select 'Spaces'. Now provide a title to the space, that will be created and a brief description of the space, and then click on 'Save'. Once the space is created, you will be automatically taken to the new space created. The newly created is similar to the main space, hence users will hardly find any difficulty to use it. Moreover, in cyn.in you can create as many number of spaces as you want, and within that space you again can create spaces.
|After you have created any item, you can specify users who can view or edit the same.|
Cyn.in provides you criteria based filtering option, which helps in viewing only the content that matters to you. Views can be created based upon some predefined rules and authorization of the user who will be using the view. Views are always up to date, it is not that you always have to run the view to see the results.
For creating smart view, first navigate to the home page. Click on the 'New' drop down button and select 'Smart view'. Give a title or name to the view you want to create, and then provide a brief description about the view. Next, in the body text write the details about the view, such as what does it do, what are the criteria and so on. Next check the limit search result checkbox in case you want to limit the search to 10 (say for example) else leave it. Next check the display as table check box and then select what field it should display in the columns, for example title, creation date, end date, category, location, etc. After you have selected the fields that should be shown on the table, click on 'Save'.
Now to set criteria for the newly created smart view, click on the 'criteria' option. Now select the field, on which filter will be imposed from the 'field name' drop down list. For example, we have selected 'Creation date'. Now select the criteria type, we have chosen 'date range' for this example. And then click on 'Add criteria' button. Now on the criteria details section, specify the start and end date and click on 'Save'. Now to use the view, navigate to the home page, click on the 'View' option and then select the view that you have just created. It will show all items that are created between the start and end date specified by you.