by January 1, 2009 0 comments

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 ‘’ 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.

Direct Hit!

Applies To: Enterprises
Price: Free (Community Edition)
USP: Learn how to use in your
Primary Link:


For installing, 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
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
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 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

What’s next?
After the installation and configuration part is over, you have to configure to suit your enterprise needs. As there is no standardized business need,
one always requires to modify such solutions. Now open up the 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.

User management
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.

Add/Remove components
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 spaces, here you create space for such kind of work. Each space
has it own manager, viewer, contributor or member.

For creating space 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 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.

Smart Views 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.

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