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Tibbr 4 Adds Enterprise Social Graph API, App Market

Tibco's enterprise social network reflects company's heritage in enterprise application integration and business intelligence.

Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Tibbr will add an Enterprise Social Graph API and an apps market in its next version to broaden the appeal of Tibco's enterprise social networking platform.

Tibbr 4, which was announced Wednesday at Tibco's Tucon user conference in Las Vegas, is slated for availability in November.

Ranked by Forrester Research as one of the leading enterprise activity stream software products, alongside Chatter and Yammer, Tibbr builds on Tibco's strength in integration technology. The new release also includes an overhaul to user profiles, making them significantly more attractive and able to include components from external apps such as Box or other social networks, such as LinkedIn. "People are the new API in business software and we believe this is at the core of a new and evolving human enterprise," said Ram Menon, president of social computing at Tibco.

[ Confused? Read Sorting Out What Social Software Products Really Do. ]

"Like every enterprise social vendor, we initially thought social profiles were just whatever was sitting in enterprise HR systems, plus a few paragraphs" for self description, Menon conceded in an interview. Now, in addition to being able to incorporate external apps like Slideshare presentations, profiles can incorporate a Klout-like influence score keyed to the context of work, he said. In other words, users will get more credit for social network activity that's relevant to their jobs, he said.

Some of the information display technology in this release also incorporates what the company has learned about analytics and business intelligence with Tibco Spotfire. A new Tibbr Insights feature displays a quick overview of activity that's relevant to the user's work in a colorful format that looks like it could be a Wired magazine layout, with headlines appearing in boxes proportional to their importance. "We've recognized that social discovery is not going to happen in a spreadsheet or a graph or a pie chart," Menon said in an interview.


Tibbr Insights shows social network activity in a brightly colored layout.

In addition to integrating out to other applications, Tibbr is releasing a new set of APIs for other applications that want to access the enterprise social network and its components, such as user profiles. These include JavaScript APIs for integration at the browser level, as well as REST APIs that can also be used for server-to-server integration. In building an attractive App Market environment for developers, Tibbr is years behind Salesforce.com with its AppExchange.

However, Sriram Chakravarthy, VP of products and engineering for Tibbr, said he is ready for the challenge. "When it comes to seamless connectivity at the developer end of the experience, as well as making it seamless on the user end, we believe we can do that better than anyone out there," he said.

Tibbr may not be for everyone, however. In a Coca-Cola case study for Chatter presented at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference, Tibbr failed the taste test when pilot users were exposed to both solutions.

Perhaps that really is a matter of taste. At the Tibbr users conference, Schneider Electric will be talking about why it recently removed "one of the largest Chatter implementations and replaced it with an 80,000-seat implementation of Tibbr," Menon said. "I think the bottom line is that, probably more than at any other time, customers have a choice."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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