OpenSocial: "Social Content" Meets ECM?

By Cheryl McKinnon posted 08-03-2011 08:01




Whether we talk about Systems of Engagement, collaboration, next generation intranets or Enterprise 2.0, organizations are recognizing the growth of social business applications. New forms of micro or componentized content are being used inside enterprise. But are we ready to start managing it? 

OpenSocial, an open API first launched by Google in 2007, is a standardization effort that deserves a bit more attention from ECM practitioners. Often perceived as a consumer web specification, in fact OpenSocial is finding a place inside enterprise collaboration platforms. The ability of OpenSocial to present small, granular packages of content in a "gadget" makes it appealing to organizations seeking fresh approaches to business collaboration. 

With serious support from enterprise software vendors such as Jive, SAP, SocialText, IBM, Nuxeo, Atlassian and others, OpenSocial is being adopted by organizations who need to bridge social content and corporate content management systems. Just as CMIS has accelerated its adoption across ECM applications due to developer contributions to the open source Apache Chemistry project, so is OpenSocial finding critical mass with the open source Apache Shindig project. Shindig streamlines the creation of OpenSocial applications. It provides a reference implementation that can be used by developers, simply by downloading existing code. As collaborative efforts, open source projects such as Shindig and Chemistry include contributions from software developers working for vendors, consultants and end user organizations alike.

Noted Social Business analyst and ZDNet blogger Dion Hinchcliffe recently provided an update on the OpenSocial 2.0 roadmap. This new version of the specification is due in late 2011. New features planned for OpenSocial 2.0 include embedded user experiences (allowing user interaction with content from external services), better support for Activity Streams, support for mobile experiences, support for OAuth 2.0 (better unified identity authorization across applications), and more open search capabilities (designed to prevent social applications from becoming new corporate information silos).

Enterprise content and social content can be bridged using open and interoperable specifications such as OpenSocial and CMIS. Next-generation intranets and portals are in production today using these lightweight, "mashup" approaches to collecting, organizing and delivering corporate content. Today's new era of social business is defined by the principles of engagement inside and outside of the firewall, by harvesting content and knowledge from the experts who hold it, and by reusing and sharing tools and tidbits. Technology platforms that adopt standards, APIs and specs that are built openly and collaboratively will increasingly find a place inside like-minded enterprises.

#enterprise2.0 #CMIS #ECM #OpenStandards #SocialBusiness #OpenSocial #OpenAPIs #Collaboration