Social Networking With Jive's Social Business Software

Jive's Social Business SoftwareAt first, the concept of using a social networking application in a business environment seems like a time and money sinkhole. At first.

But if you stop and look at the current typical business environment you will quickly realize that many companies have exactly that. With one big difference — they're using separate applications to accomplish the work.

Jive's Social Business Software (SBS) application rolls many of these typical corporate applications into a single, well-organized and integrated platform. SBS allows you to contact others, collaborate on work products (such as documents, spreadsheets, etc.), and participate in threaded discussions, among other things.

Given that most office workers already use email and IM's to perform their daily work, this keeps everything integrated and trackable. Want to find out what was communicated in a work group's analysis of a problem? Simply search for the thread in that group. Need multiple "desktops" to track work for a got it. Need to collaborate with others in disparate locations and time zones without losing information? Simply set up a work group and invite the others to work in it. Now you can track everything as it's being done. Need IM? It's got that. Group chat? Yup. Video? Maps? RSS feeds? Yes, yes, and yes.

SBS is, in essence, a social networking system re-tooled for the business environment. I've been working with it for the past couple of years and have found it to be a well-written and mature package. It's a nice looking system with a wide variety of features.

Many customers will want to add customizations for their specific environment. Jive has implemented a nice plugin architecture to allow customers to customize the system. Currently, about 85% of integration needs can be accomplished via plugins. With upgrade paths for large systems always being an issue, this means that the customizations can be kept separate from the core system. With that in mind you can implement a vanilla installation and upgrade it easily. The only testing would be that of your customizations to the new upgraded platform.

The back-end Java architecture is relatively well thought out and implemented. The documentation and training are also decent. Some of the basic skills needed will be: J2EE, Freemarker Templates, SQL, Spring, Acegi, Tomcat, XML, Maven, Ant and Javascript.

Now the downsides. It's a large system and it will take developers new to the system a while to get their bearings. I recommend taking the class. It will give you a nice foundation in what is going on. After that you will need to just dive in. If you already knew Ant and Maven you will be ahead of the game.

Here are some basic resources if you're interested.

Jive's web site:

Support community:


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