For those of you who don’t know Joomla, it is an open source content management system. You can read more about it (and my review of it) in the Buyer’s Guide. I have used Joomla for years in building everything from company websites, intranets and social networks. I wanted to discuss how you can utilize some of the addons (known as components, modules and plugins) for Joomla to develop an Enterprise 2.0 environment that you have complete control over.
Firstly, you’re going to need someone on staff that knows Joomla inside and out. When something goes wrong you’re going to need someone with the expertise to set everything right. Secondly, you’re going to need to know if Joomla will fit well within your architecture requirements (bandwidth usage, database usage, scalability, etc.). Thirdly, if you decide to go the Joomla route, don’t blame me if you fail. I’ve done small company implementations of the systems I’ll be talking about, it may not meet your needs (but it certainly has some great selling points).
Here are your options for your Joomla installation by E2.0 component:
A Social Network:
JomSocial or Community Builder
I prefer JomSocial and they’ll be going GPL licensed in the next version so the proprietary nature isn’t as much of a scare in implementation. Community Builder has a longer history with the Joomla platform, but it can be clunky if you don’t know what you’re doing. With JomSocial, you’ll get a lot of functionality right out of the box, Community Builder, you’ll probably want to edit some CSS code. JomSocial costs around
JomWiki (from Azrul.com), MediaWiki (with MediaWiki bridge) or DokuWiki (with JFusion).
I prefer Azrul’s JomWiki for ease of integration. The problem with the other two options is that they are bridges to externally installed open source software which makes enterprise search more difficult. My hesitation with JomWiki is that it isn’t one of Azrul’s primary products so the risk is that it stops being externally developed. This one’s up to you, JomWiki is relatively easy to set up, just write a piece of content as a welcome page for the Wiki and then add some wiki links with the ‘wiki link’ button.
ProjectFork or (maybe) TeamLog
Yes, I like project management systems, PMS don’t get much love from the E2.0 community but I think they’re incredibly useful. In this arena I like ProjectFork leaps and bounds over all the rest of the platforms available (the exception is YooTheme’s TeamLog which will have a new version soon and may be competing for my attention).
Blogs and Joomla have always been difficult to successfully implement, why there’s no true blogging component in the Joomla core is beyond me. The best blogging component I’ve found is the MyBlog component, it’s easy to set up and template and ridiculously easy to use. You can add in all of the sidebar elements as modules, you’ve just got to search them out in the extensions.joomla.org website.
There’s a decent delicious addon for JomSocial that I’ve been using, but nothing much beyond that at this point.
MyBlog will create RSS feeds from your blog content. There is an RSS reader built into the core of Joomla but it’s not all that flexible, I think you’d be better off looking at some of the RSS aggregators available on the extensions.joomla.org website, none have really gained any form of dominance and I’ve done implementations of nearly all of them for testing, you’ll have to look them over yourself to see what will be best for you.
Mashups (as loosely defined)
You can connect some of the components I’ve discussed here, most run through JomSocial as addons. For instance you can connect ProjectFork and JomSocial together which is nice.
JomSocial has a great private messaging system built into it. If you use ProjectFork as well, I’d suggest you turn off the private messaging in that component.
#socialnetwork #yootheme #jomwiki #communitybuilder #jfusion #joomla #projectfork #myblog #mediawiki #teamlog #dokuwiki #azrul #jomsocial
I think that’s all the advice I can dish out in one post. If you choose Joomla as a base for E20, best of luck!