I had an update from Jeffrey Walker of Atlassian about today’s joint announcement with Microsoft at O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Summit: Microsoft is partnering with a few Web 2.0 innovators including Atlassian (which is a pretty big vote of confidence since Atlassian is Java-based) in order to position SharePoint as a social computing platform. As part of this initiative, Atlassian is releasing a SharePoint connector/plug-in for their Confluence enterprise wiki product that provides for single sign-on to both product, and provides two pretty interesting capabilities: federated search and content sharing.
Every customer that I deal with has multiple content repositories of some sort — most of them including some amount of SharePoint — so the issue with bringing in any new content repository such as an enterprise wiki is that users will need to search in multiple locations to find information. The Atlassian plug-in allows for federating a search across Confluence and SharePoint repositories, regardless of where the search originated, while respecting each product’s security.
The second major capability of the plug-in is to allow content sharing. From the SharePoint side, this allows Confluence pages to be embedded into SharePoint pages, including in combination with other SharePoint content. From the Confluence side, you can link directly to SharePoint content, which is a bit lighter-weight integration, but allows for things such as a single click to edit an Office document that is stored within SharePoint.
This plugin is available today in beta for free (assuming that you already have Confluence and SharePoint, of course), and will become a for-fee plug-in when it reaches version 1.0 at some point in the future.
The other Enterprise 2.0 vendor included in this latest Microsoft initiative is NewsGator, although I don’t know much about their part except what I read in the Microsoft press release:
NewsGator, a leading RSS company that helps individuals and businesses improve the way they access information and communicate, today announced the general availability of NewsGator Social Sites. NewsGator Social Sites is a collection of site templates, profiles, Web parts and middleware that will enhance the social computing capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows