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University Web Developers

Have content management systems started to integrate real-time collaboration technologies?

With Google Documents,EtherPad (PiratePad Demo), SubEthaEdit, Gobby, and MoonEdit (to name a few) defining real-time collaboration in our productivity applications (e.g. text edit, word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, etc...) I would like to know if anyone has started to see real-time collaboration technologies being integrated into their content management system? I proposed a similar question to my content management system community to see how traits from existing real-time collaboration cases could be brought into our application. From our university perspective we are well-versed with Google Docs; therefore, we can visualize how our content management system could benefit from similar features.

Let me know if you have seen a content management system implementing real-time collaboration features.

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In short, no. Off the top of my head, I don't know of any CMS that's doing this as part of the implementation. Generally, workflows within a CMS don't tolerate asynchronous development well, usually out of a need for data integrity and versioning. It would seem, at least on the surface, that if something needs real time collaboration, you would do that out of band prior to bringing it into the CMS. Not sure what the advantage would be having it there natively to start with. That said, I wrote a plugin for dotCMS that included access to CollabEdit, but not as part of the actual CMS processes - it was for assisting in support of users.

Ultimately, it's about solving the right problems. A CMS isn't really meant to be a real time, multi-user collaboration platform. It's a data warehouse. And in almost any case where you need to solve a problem with that kind of collaboration, the root of the problem isn't something that requires a CMS to solve - it's a project management or communication problem.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. How was the CollabEdit implementation received amongst users?

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