Summary:

There is no shortage of small team wiki and collaboration platforms available to us as Web Workers, and we’ve certainly covered our share of them here. While feature sets and functionality certainly vary between products and services, it seems that most systems assume that because our […]

Traction LogoThere is no shortage of small team wiki and collaboration platforms available to us as Web Workers, and we’ve certainly covered our share of them here. While feature sets and functionality certainly vary between products and services, it seems that most systems assume that because our teams may be small, our needs and requirements are as well.

Do we really need to forgo the functionality that we are really looking for when choosing a small team solution? Traction Software says “no,” and they are offering up TeamPage5, a free 5 user version of their Enterprise TeamPage workspace system, as proof.

Traction’s TeamPage was one of the first blog and wiki products to reach market with their 1.0 release in 1999. It is a mature system that has garnered good reviews, and their prior release was awarded Best Enterprise Wiki in the InfoWorld 2007 Technology of the Year Awards.

TeamPage uses a familiar Project metaphor, with each space having its own permission structure. It incorporates all of the standard features you would expect from a wiki / blog like linking, journaling, edit history, tagging and categorization, threaded comments and moderation. It’s the advanced features that make it stand out though. The collector lets you bookmark articles within the system for later reference or action while the ability to view the site in draft view lets you prepare multiple pages before content is published.

Traction TeamPage is a complex system with a comprehensive feature set, actually doing far more than I can cover here. Even common features seem to have an extra layer of functionality designed to make the system more powerful.

For example, TeamPage takes a common feature like tagging and then adds a tremendous amount of functionality to it. Instead of just being an organizational tool, tags are also time based so they can be used for building custom workflows. Track newly tagged items like to do assignments and status, bug priority changes – any combination really. In conjunction with the permission system, tags can be used to pull and aggregate content from across spaces while still maintaining and adhering to your access rules.

The advanced features do add an extra layer of complexity though. That isn’t to say that TeamPage5 is hard to use but there is a learning curve, and some serious thought and planning is recommended to set up a system that can fully take advantage of its capabilities. The challenge for Traction is to balance a very powerful feature set with ease of use, and for the most part I think they pull this off.

Even though it is marketed as an Enterprise Wiki, the system isn’t inherently enterprise. It doesn’t require extensive infrastructure and has a low to moderate bar for deployment. It is Java based with modest system requirements. I was up and running with a local installation and slightly modified base journal in about an hour. Obviously additional configuration and customization can add significant time to that based on your needs. The free TeamPage5 version is great for small teams and can be upgraded to a full server license as your needs grow.

If you’re looking for a powerful collaboration system and are willing to put in a bit of thought and effort to define how it will best be used, TeamPage5 might just be a good option for you.

The free Traction TeamPage5 version supports 5 projects / spaces and 5 named users. Support is provided via an online forum and knowledgebase or additional paid support is available. Upgrades to a full TeamPage license vary based on license type and number of named users.

Are your Wiki needs being fully met by your solution? Is TeamPage5 a contender for you?

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