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Enterprise Buddypress

  • Avatar of Gezan
    Leah
    Participant

    @gezan

    I’m lurking possibilities for using/develop BuddyPress, not only as a social system, but as a business tool. With business I mean having access to tools like:

    project/customer -areas/wikilikes

    document management/collaboration

    Some good proprietary systems mixing social and business functionality are:

    PB works

    Socialtext

    Jive SBS

    But there are nothing comparable in Open Source. Efforts are made but I think they generally fail in either to geeky tech/non-ui or lack of functionality. Not to mention an active community. So what I see here is a great potential for BP to fill that gap.

    While I know BP is just above v1, I’m very curious if anyone else is thinking along the same lines or maybe already doing some work on this.

    Thanks G

    Edit:

    oh, just missed the previous post on a group wiki. that’s something!

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • Avatar of Jamie Marsland
    Jamie Marsland
    Participant

    @jamesmarsland

    I agree. We are doing a number of Stakeholder Engagement programs with Local Government in the UK. The #1 driver for our customers is improving communication throughout a geographically diverse workforce. Local Government is awash with failed intranets/collaboration websites, with ms sharepoint the most common platform. There is big opportunity to build discrete tools like you say (project management/document management etc) on top of wordpress, buddypress. Buddypress will win because it’s focused on engagement not transactional processes. Getting the community engaged is the real challenge and Andy P and the wordpress team naturally understand that.

    I’d say that BuddyPress is a ways away from being ready for enterprise. No privacy / security settings and no collaboration features or document management. Privacy is coming… but I imagine that collaboration features are a long way off. Altho’ there is an active thread currently about someone trying to wedge MediaWiki into BuddyPress groups. Which would help.

    Yes, there are a TON of intranet solutions competing in the Enterprise space now. Basically Wiki’s and document management within a social context… rather than a document context. Much more engaging. Everyone is trying to create the winning “Facebook for Enterprise”. PB Works, Jive and SocialText are just a few. PB seems not to be in the same league. SocialText is ugly and awkward on a lot of levels. And it’s written in Perl for pete’s sake. I’m not sure how they got so much mindshare. Jive on the other hand is spectacular. Amazing application. Well worth the piles of cash they ask for it (to enterprise anyway).

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    I agree that a stock install of BP does not currently offer a sufficiently robust suite of tools for the enterprise. That will come in time via core enhancements and 3rd-party plugins.

    I’m currently developing an enterprise-level, collaborative community site using BuddyPress as the foundation. So, it can be done—but not without a lot of work. For my site, I am coding a proprietary component that will be the main workhorse of the community.

    By the way, my BuddyPress Privacy Component is available right now. Although it is still in Beta, it is very solid and much further along than what most people expect in a Beta release. You can grab it here: http://jeffsayre.com/buddypress/

    Avatar of Gezan
    Leah
    Participant

    @gezan

    Well, I’m not especially fond of the word enterprice but since english is not my native language, thats what went into the title. It’s all about usefull tools in a social context and the Privacy Component is a important part of it. Looks good from what I’ve read and I will definitely check it out.

    Would you elaborate on your proprietary component? Sounds interesting to say the least :)

    Yes, what is this “proprietary component”? Or is that information proprietary? LOL. I assume it centres around collaboration and / or document management perhaps?

    Jive even has simple project management built in… which is pretty cool. It’s not MS Project by any means… but it would suffice for most simple projects.

    Avatar of Jamie Marsland
    Jamie Marsland
    Participant

    @jamesmarsland

    I think it depends how you define enterprise software.

    In my experience working with Local Authorities in the UK, BP will be more than adequate to improve communication internally and externally. We are doing projects with Local Authorities/social care/health in the UK where out of the box BP would be 200% better than what they currently have. There key drivers for our customers are flexibility, speed, departmental control.

    They normally aren’t looking for project management, document management as they already have expensive process driven software systems in place that are controlled by corporate IT. When we pitch we are not pitching that BP will do everything, indeed i would argue that it shouldn’t do document management, that’s not it’s strength. It should focus on improving the things it does really well.

    By document management I don’t mean something big and hairy like Stellent. I don’t think any Intranet would ever replace such a system not should it necessarily try. All I’m thinking is that in any kind of “Enterprise” solution, Groups should be able to do some level of collaboration on simple documents as well as offering basic downloads. How many times per day is the HR Department asked for a Benefits Claim Form for instance? So I’m just talking about commonly requested documents for employees. Not a massive database of Specs or Material Safety Data Sheets or what have you.

    Another beneficial feature for enterprise would be the Jive concept of “Spaces”… which are nothing more than collections of groups. So your Head Office “Space” could have an IT Group, Service Desk Group, HR Group, etc.

    But of course… depending on your needs… BuddyPress could work right now. “Enterprise” generally means decently sized corporations however… and in that space… privacy, security and some level of “document management” (as least having a small downloads area in each group) are essentials. Most of this is already in the BuddyPress roadmap. I think that in a few years… BuddyPress may well give products like Jive, Telligent, SocialText and other “Facebook for Enterprise” apps a run for their money.

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Yes, what is this “proprietary component”? Or is that information proprietary? LOL. I assume it centres around collaboration and / or document management perhaps?

    Haha!

    Yes, can I sound anymore stuck up than throwing around the term proprietary on an Open Source software forum.

    To answer your third question first, yes.

    As to your first two questions, I can only give you the most nebulous of details at this time. The component I’m working on is very specific to the site. It will be the primary collaboration and project management engine. So, it will not be something I will make available to the community. Besides, with the exception of using this component to become a direct competitor, it will not have any value to anyone else.

    Avatar of Peterverkooijen
    peterverkooijen
    Participant

    @peterverkooijen

    To me the biggest barrier to more professional use of Buddypress is the lousy member/user management. Everything is based on username/password. There isn’t even a built-in way to get people to sign up with their real name, first name + last name. There is a required custom field for “Name”, but with the way the sign-up form is structured new users are almost encouraged to enter a garbage name – lowercase, one word anonymous nickname bs.

    After lots of painful hacking in core files I now have a form with one Real name field on top. My custom code in the back splits the real name and stores it in various places in the database, so at least I have synchronized data in wp_usermeta etc. Buddypress does none of this out of the box and in general BP developers don’t seem to see this as a problem. But the one field for real name still doesn’t really force new users to enter a full two-part name.

    In a previous version of my site I did have separate first name and last name fields. I NEVER had people sign up with cutesy one name names. Sure, you can create custom fields in xprofile, but synchronizing the input with all the other username, nickname, name etc. fields in the datebase and integrating them with other member management scripts businesses will have on their server requires serious database and php programming skills.

    Avatar of Andy Peatling
    Andy Peatling
    Keymaster

    @apeatling

    The name field was previously split into “First Name / Last Name” fields, but this is an issue for internationalization. In future versions it may be possible to apply rules to profile fields that will determine the content allowed.

    Avatar of Andy Peatling
    Andy Peatling
    Keymaster

    @apeatling

    Also, BuddyPress will automatically synchronize profile fields with the WP profile fields. Check the function xprofile_sync_wp_profile()

    Avatar of MrMaz
    MrMaz
    Participant

    @mrmaz

    The software that will win out in the race for enterprise collaboration is a combination of all applicable web services that have an API that allows them to be easily mashed-up. Social media/networking/collaboration software should be glue not paper.

    No software can be all things to all people, but if you create a platform where the CTO of a small company can pick and choose from hundreds of online apps from multiple sources and easily mash them up, then it will hit the stratosphere (although not sure how to profit from this). The key word here is “easily.” I am not talking about plugins, I am talking about marrying separate applications.

    I don’t think this will ever hit the huge corporations though, because of all of the privacy regulations and security issues. Small firms with small budgets will be willing to take the risk, I think.

    I agree with a lot of what David Lewis said, but my description would be that most open source collaboration software has a very “huge” and/or clunky feel to it. I want something that feels “light.”

    Avatar of Peterverkooijen
    peterverkooijen
    Participant

    @peterverkooijen

    The name field was previously split into “First Name / Last Name” fields, but this is an issue for internationalization. In future versions it may be possible to apply rules to profile fields that will determine the content allowed.

    That is such a silly argument. 90 percent of the civilized world uses firstname + lastname. Why make life difficult for the rest of us just because theoretically a few places in the world use only one name or three names or whatever? Why not let them hack a workaround it?

    My issue with this is also not just about that field, but more about what it says about Buddypress’ priorities. If you want to register members in your company or sports club with name, address, phone number, etc. there is no easy way to do it, you’ll have to hack core files and later you’ll have to use custom functions to retrieve the data from several different tables in the database.

    Also, BuddyPress will automatically synchronize profile fields with the WP profile fields. Check the function xprofile_sync_wp_profile()

    No it doesn’t. Version 1.0 only added first name and last name to wp_usermeta if a user updated his account data after signup. You couldn’t count on the data to be there for every member. I had to write a custom function, based on xprofile_sync_wp_profile, to force that synchronization to happen upon registration.

    Avatar of Bowe
    Bowe
    Participant

    @bowromir

    Maybe it would be a very good idea to share that knowledge Peter instead of telling us how bad it currently is.. You could write a tutorial for other users who run into the same problem as you, or maybe it can be added to the core in a next release?

    Avatar of Peterverkooijen
    peterverkooijen
    Participant

    @peterverkooijen

    @Bowe, I’d posted my solutions here and in a whole series of threads. I can’t solve the issue though. It depends on core architectural decisions.

    Avatar of Gezan
    Leah
    Participant

    @gezan

    To get back to start there is an excellet initiative from D Cartwright with Group Wiki Plugin

    As for document management; any glue on google docs?

    Not very management but Etherpad is nice. Also just open sourced.

    Avatar of idotter
    idotter
    Participant

    @idotter

    I’m currently working on a project which has the goal to set up a social network for staff members at a university. I would really appreciate to hear about your experiences … which plugins do you use, which funcionality do you offer …

    Avatar of danbpfr
    danbpfr
    Participant

    @chouf1

    As long as a WP(MU) install “need” some files setted to 777 and some plugins too, it’s not possible to think seriously for an extended use of BP in entreprises. This security point is an absolute condition in many case… even on intranets.

    Server power and space is the second important point.

    As consultant and/or co-worker for several “big” BP projects in the past mounth, i can say today that the “community” part of the software is the least attractive to most decision makers. Why ? Because as soon as they hear about “comming together”, “sending message”, “sharing…” their personnal warnings are turning red: the workers “can” foment a revolution or something else in our enterprise ? So, these people want to be “à la page”, “facebook sensitive” and in the same time, do all to stay in their middle age. This is probably in relation with an old european mentality or a subtle french touch. But it’s like this (more or less) here.

    As an example of a quasi standard usage of a BP 1.1.2/3, a very recent project now online: view here . (Sorry it’s in french). After a few days, the site register over 500 subscriber. Expected members: 20 000. Only some slug and filter tweaking and 1 or 2 plugin (sorry, don’t rememeber all the details yet)

    EtherPad is now closed to new subscriber.

    http://etherpad.com/ep/blog/posts/google-acquires-appjet

    Avatar of idotter
    idotter
    Participant

    @idotter

    @ Chouf1 I see your concerns in terms of access rights os some directories (safety) but what you mentioned below that isn’t a technical “problem”, it’s more a human behaviour … In my opinion there’s a big potential in Social Networks in enterprises …

    Avatar of danbpfr
    danbpfr
    Participant

    @chouf1

    ;-) Idotter do you really think that server support has to do with human behaviour ?

    I’m not sure that a system manager will applause when he read, for example, wp-settings.php file !

    Also i’m not sure too, that a UNIX admin who read wp-admin/class-ftp.php would speak of “a big potential”… when he sees 0777…

    This is WP stuff, ok, but BP depends on it.

    For me, a good project, is not made of perfect future expectations, but is first constructed on solid realistic present.

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)

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