OpenText Portal Adds Custom Social Sites

Users can mashup content from SharePoint and OpenText ECM Suite for use in intranets, extranets, Web sites, and enterprise content management systems.
OpenText today released portal software that allows customers to create flexible and personalized social-, content-, and customer-centric sites.

The portals, available as part of the developer's OpenText Portal 8.1.1 software, let users mashup content from Microsoft SharePoint, OpenText Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Suite, and other sources, into one flexible and personalized interface for intranets, extranets, and customer-facing Web sites, according to OpenText. OpenText Portal, formerly Vignette Portal, lets business users travel across different applications, creating and managing folders and documents within their workspace, thereby enabling them to become more productive since they don't have to open and close various programs.

"Combining complementary technologies from OpenText and Microsoft provides the ability for our customers to create composite mashup applications and views based on a blend of SharePoint 2010 and OpenText content," said Kim Akers, general manager for global partners at Microsoft, in a statement. "The result is increased user productivity, by contextually delivering content from multiple silos into a single source."

OpenText ECM Suite 2010 -- unveiled in September -- addresses 90 products and modules, spanning an array of issues such as compliance, business process management, and portals, as well as integrated mobile support and enterprise information archiving. The developer incorporated secure social media capabilities including wikis, forums, and discussions, and users can engage in microblogging, follow coworkers, share content, and locate subject-matter experts. OpenText Pulse gives employees a view into colleagues' activities, making them more productive and simplifying collaboration via Facebook-like status updates.

The developer took the wraps off three new portlets: An activity feed, navigation, and federated search portlet.

OpenText's activity feed portlet gives users access to OpenText Pulse's social collaboration tools, designed to help colleagues stay current on associates' activities, availability, and expertise. Employees easily can communicate changes to projects, timelines, and bottlenecks, according to OpenText.

With the navigation portlet for Content server, workers receive a snapshot picture of the content they are working on, one that spans multiple repositories. This streamlines users' access since they do not have to search for information and documentation across multiple sites, the developer said.

Lastly, employees can use the federated search portlet to submit either basic or advanced searches across multiple content server file systems, databases, or applications to locate search results in one view, said OpenText. The company also released navigation and federated search portlets for Microsoft SharePoint. With the navigation tool, users can steer across one or more SharePoint instances to complete the most common document-management tasks, as well as configure filters and view across lists, sites, and site collections. With the federated search portlet for SharePoint, users can conduct basic or advanced searches that span multiple SharePoint instances, content server instances, file systems, databases, and custom applications, and see the results in one customizable view.

"The release of these new portlets highlights OpenText's ability to deliver content-centric sites through powerful content aggregation and to give users instant access to critical business applications, processes, and information," said Lubor Ptacek, vice president of product marketing at OpenText. "OpenText Portal provides a highly scalable and efficient means of aggregating content and applications for use across a variety of initiatives inside and outside the firewall."

OpenText itself has been aggregating, announcing plans on Feb. 2 to acquire Metastorm, a provider of business process management, business process analysis, and enterprise architecture software for $182 million in cash.

The developer's good news continued Monday, when it disclosed it had won a two-year contract with the National Archives in the United Kingdom. The deal, whose terms were not disclosed, includes options to extend it for two additional one-year periods.

"The exponential growth in digital data volumes presents a challenge to any organization; but it places particularly huge demands on public sector organizations. Without effective data management systems in place, digital information can become incomplete, unavailable or unusable over time. If government bodies cannot guarantee access to this data, it can have a serious negative impact on service provision to the public - and also threatens their ability to operate legally," said Stephen Walsh, OpenText's senior account manager for central government, in a statement.

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