Martin Böhringer @boehr
Lutz Gerlach, Ph.D. @LutzGerlach
Stefan Hauptmann @StefanHauptmann
Marcelo Pham @marcelopham
Page | 2
Enterprise Microblogging is a quickly evolving
market. This study provides some guidance
through the jungle of tools and vendors. Beyond
21 contacted vendors we finally could include 11
tools in our comparison. Business-ready («Plug-
and-play») tools will be featured in this study.
The study provides comprehensive fact sheets
for each tool and a review from our vendor-
Page | 3
Enterprise Microblogging is a quickly evolving we aim at providing an updated guidance
market. As researchers, it is fascinating to see through the jungle of tools and vendors.
how these small Twitter-like applications can
Our focus is especially on enterprise. This is
help companies to better collaborate and share
why we did not include Twitter clones focusing
their information through short messages. So
on non-business use cases or half-ready
yes, based on different case studies and
projects conducted by us over the last two years
we strongly believe that Enterprise Following these criteria based on 54 initially
Microblogging is a great approach and should found microblogging tools we identified 21
be included in every company's IT infrastructure. business-ready vendors which have been
contacted and invited to be part of our study.
However, choosing the right tool is anything but
Eleven vendors featuring big names (i.e.
easy. Many vendors jumped on the train and
Socialcast, StatusNet [former laconi.ca],
there are huge differences in quality. The last
Socialtext) could finally be included in the study
comprehensive analysis of the market dates to
process, 2 did not want to be included and 8 did
2008 (Laura Fittons "Enterprise Microsharing
not respond to our messages.
Tools Comparison"). The market landscape has
changed significantly ever since this time and
While most of the latter were small vendors guidance and some hints for what tool to Page | 4
where sufficient support/sales power can be choose.
questioned, this group also includes Lotus
Nobody is perfect. So if you discover errors or
Connections (OK we did not really expect to get
want to add your opinion please post it on
a quick answer from IBM), Present.ly and
Twitter using the hashtag #EMS10. We will
Yammer. We truly hope to be able to contact
monitor this tag and get back to you. We would
these last three companies to include them in
also like to invite companies which might have
our next update of the study. Until now we have
been forgotten in this version to send us a
to conclude that choosing a vendor who does
message. This is the first issue of our study and
not react on emails might be a bad choice for
we are going to update it on a regular basis.
such a mission-critical application like Enterprise
Every participant filled a standardized
questionnaire including information on the
vendor, software functionality, technology and
pricing. We do not choose a 'winner' as we are
convinced that there are manifold use cases out
there with each having its own requirements.
However, there is a subjective review of each
tool by our team which is aimed to give you
Page | 5
Communote is a good choice for project Cyn.in comes with lots of functionality and a
management or other scenarios with smaller special bonus: it is available as open source
group sizes. It has strong filtering features and is Community Edition. If you are planning to use a
built with J2EE technology. collaboration suite including microblogging and
maybe are planning to develop your own
extensions, this could be for you.
Co-op is a very lightweight microblogging tool
with a simple UI. Due to its lack of following-
functionality, we would suggest using it for Elgg's microblogging functionality is quite basic
smaller team sizes. until now. However, if you are interested in a
whole collaboration suite this could be for you.
Elgg is established open source software for
Cubetree is a good choice if you need a many years and there are lots of programmers
collaboration suite including wikis and blogs. If and ready-to-go plugins out there.
you only want to use microblogging, it could be
too large for you.
Page | 6
ESME is still under development and until now StatusNet is an easy-to-use microblogging tool.
especially the front-end does not seem to be Due to its Open Source licence you can
enterprise ready. However, the interesting point customize it to your needs. Judging from the
with ESME is its background architecture, which code base its technology does not fit enterprise
allows you to integrate other tools and class requirements yet. However, StatusNet is in
processes. Judging from the technical potential, heavy development and we expect more robust
ESME is a very promising project. versions soon.
Socialcast has everything you expect from an Socialtext is a big player in the market of
enterprise microblogging tool. We especially like collaboration tools. While its microblogging did
its Social Business Intelligence approach, which not have many features until now, it seems to be
allows you to monitor your information flow. under heavy development. Socialtext could be a
very interesting option for you if you want a solid
and secure product from an industry leader.
Page | 7
Wordpress P2 is a nice Open Source solution if Our 11 enterprise microblogging software tools
you want to quickly supply a microblogging each have their strengths and weaknesses. It
solution for small project teams. We would not heavily depends on your use case which one is
recommend it for larger scenarios or long-time the best for you. On the next page you find our
deployments. comprehensive comparison matrix including 58
Yonkly is another microblogging application
which supports all basic functionalities. It also
has a Community Edition for those wanting to
modify the source code. Yonkly does not have
an explicit focus on enterprises, which could be
a drawback for professional scenarios.
General Information Communote Co-op Cubetree Cyn.in Elgg ESME Socialcast StatusNet Socialtext Signals Wordpress P2 Yonkly
Web page http://www.communote.com http://www.coopapp.com http://www.cubetree.com http://www.cynapse.com/cynin http://elgg.org/ http://incubator.apache.org/esme/ http://www.socialcast.com http://www.status.net http://www.socialtext.com/ http://www.p2theme.com http://www.yonkly.com
Sales contact Jens Osthues (@jeos) Danny Wen (@dannyw) firstname.lastname@example.org Romasha Roy Choudhury (@romasha) - Anne Kathrine Petteroe (@yojibee) - Evan Prodromou, (identi.ca @evan, twitter @evanpro) email@example.com (@socialtext) - Emad Ibrahim (@yonkly & @eibrahim)
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Company name and headquarter Communardo Software GmbH, Dresden (Germany) Iridesco, LLC, New York (USA) Cubetree Inc., Redwood City, California (USA) Cynapse (India) Open Source, developed by Curverider ESME is an Apache Incubator project Socialcast, San Francisco, CA (USA) StatusNet, Montreal, Qc Canada Socialtext, Palo Alto, CA (USA) Open Source, developed by Automattic Inc., San Francisco Yonkly Inc., Virginia (USA)
Capitalisation Private Corporation Private Corporation Private Corporation Private Corporation Open Source Community Open Source Community Private Corporation, Venture Capital from True Ventures Venture Capital from Montreal Startup and Innovia Capital Venture Capital Open Source Community Private Corporation
($1M) and angel investors ($400K)
Where does the data come from? Vendor Vendor Vendor Vendor EMS10 team Open Source Community Vendor Vendor Vendor EMS10 team Vendor
Self-hosted version available?
Part of a suite?
Number of known customer systems - 5000 Hundreds of company networks 1200 - Since ESME is open-source, anyone can download it. We Several thousand - 5000+ - 3700
know of at least three different installations at customer sites
Link to demo or video https://www.communote.com/microblog/global/ http://coopapp.com/signup https://www.cubetree.com/site/tour http://www.cynapse.com/cynin/live-demo-details http://demo.elgg.com/ http://esmecloudserverapache.dickhirsch.staxapps.net https://demo.socialcast.com/ http://status.net/create-a-site http://p2demo.wordpress.com/ http://www.yonkly.com/tour
Language support English, German English English with western language support in Q110 43 Languages Several languages including English, French and German English and partially in Chinese English, all Latin Character languages English and partially support of other languages English, Italian, and Japanese English and partially support of other languages English
(full text, users, tags, time) (Live quick search, Full text search that searches within (fulltext, tag based, users) (Keyword, full text, users, tags; faceted search by (postings, profiles) (fulltext, tag) (full text, users, groups, tags)
documents, User based search, faceted search, tags search message type, category, attachment)
and advanced search)
(time, user, tags, blogs) (faceted filtering with user, date range, tag, content (user, tag) (Time, flagged messages, mentions, message type, (all vs. followed, activity type (edit, comment, signal, (Plugin)
type) category, attachment) etc)
(for pages/people only, coming soon for Signals) (Plugin)
(multiple uploads, also permitted for comments) (via wiki integration) (Plugin)
Number of characters per posting unlimited (specified by admin) unlimited unlimited 140 140 unlimited unlimited (specified by admin) 140 140 unlimited unlimited (specified by admin)
(#hashtags, 'classic tagging') (classic tagging) (#hashtags) (hashtags) (classic tagging) (#hashtags)
(as well as a UI for addressing for those that don't know
(users, blogs) (users, topics) (users, groups, and custom streams with topics,
View: Threaded discussions
View: Chronological order
(Line breaks supported)
(shorten link view) (own) (ur1.ca) (Plugin) (tinyurl)
Administration and security
(by groups) (by groups) (by groups) (by groups)
(logo) (branding) (dashboards) (startpage of users can be designed by widgets) (Color and logo) (hosted version) (Desktop client UI)
(trending topics) (dashboard view and admin view) (graphical statistics: content types, highest collaborators (JMX) (Social Business Intelligence® suite of analytics that (usage, monthly trending, most active signalers) (trending topics, list of search terms)
RSS / Atom Feeds
(microblogs, filter, search) (search, filters, microblogs etc.) (blog posts) (import and export) (tag, authors, search)
Widgets (for integration in other apps)
(Microsoft Sharepoint, Atlassian Confluence) (Sharepoint Web Parts) (Sharepoint, Lotus Connections)
(Windows Sidebar Widget) (Dedicated Adobe AIR based desktop client) (Adobe Air based)
(web based) (iCo-op) (web UI)
Other Mobile client
(java e.g. for Blackberry) (view for mobile application) (All mobile clients which support laconica also support (Blackberry client) (web UI) (Blackberry Client)
(only through email gateway)
(for enterprise solutions only)
(via James Mailet)
Costs 0 - 1 € per user per month Free 0 - $5 per user per month $499 /month for unlimited users - - Free Free $0-$6/user/month - $0 - $24.95/month
Pricing in detail free service for up to 10 users, volume discount on request - different editions available Amazon Web Services based Infrastructure with Dedicated - - SaaS usage is free for an unlimited number of users, Support and Maintenance subscriptions and Professional http://www.socialtext.com/products/pricing.php - http://www.yonkly.com/plans
http://www.cubetree.com/site/pricing, Discounts available EC2 appliances (virtual servers) in the cloud. including administrative controls and data ownership. Fees support and customization services
over 500 seats http://www.cynapse.com/store/cynin-on-demand incurred for SaaS directory integration, Service Level
Agreement, and Social Business Intelligence®.
Licence commercial licence - - Open Source Community Edition (GPL v3), Open Source (GPL v2) Open Source (Apache 2.0) Commercial licenses Open Source (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0) Appliance Open Source (GPL) Open Source and Commercial Licence
Commercially On-Premise Edition starts at $6250/year for
Licence in detail http://www.communote.com - - Commercial Edition comes with Certified live security - - Annual fee applies. Priced per deployment for an unlimited - - - http://www.yonkly.com/buy
updates and upgrades for the entire appliance stack. number of users (no per-user pricing). SMB package
http://www.cynapse.com/store/cynin-on-premise-appliance available for companies with <500 employees.
Technology Java, PostgreSQL Ruby on Rails Ruby on Rails Python, Zope Application Server Object Database, multiple PHP, MySQL Scala (uses the Lift framework), can be deployed in any Ruby on Rails, MySQL PHP, MySQL - PHP, MySQL ASP.NET MVC (C#)
clustering and load balancing options for high performance J2EE container (Tomcat, Glassfish, Jetty, etc).
API JSON API available on request, to be released in future
Twitter API support planned for future version
Supporting other APIs and protocols OpenSocial Widgets XML-RPC
(RTF) (via email or comma delimeted data file) (XML/RSS/WebDAV/Others) (only via database tools) (XML, SQL exports for users and data, XLS and JPG (XML)
exports for Social Business Intelligence®)
(MS Active Directory, Open LDAP) (plugin)
(but LDAP, Confluence & Sharepoint User integration) (SFDC and custom integrations possible) (LDAP, ticket cookie e.g. Cynapse.com) (open id) (OpenID) (but LDAP integration) (plugin)
(daily with auto rotating 10-Prior) (plugin)
(SSL 256 bit) (https) (SSL/https/VPN) (SSL) (SSL)
What makes your tool unique? strong business focus, providing licence for installation Co-op links up with our time tracking tool, Harvest, which People centric social collaboration suite with the most Cyn.in is the only free open source software that enables - Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment (ESME) is a Socialcast is truly designed for the Enterprise, featuring the - Socialtext Signals can be used standalone, but is also part - white label, flexible, open source, self-hosted or SaaS, slick
behind the firewall, integration toolkits for enterprise enables seamless time tracking with updating. complete app and rich feed. unified collaboration for the enterprise, out-of-the-box. secure and highly scalable microsharing and best interface, powerful analytics, and integration with of the larger Socialtext collaboration platform which UI, multiple photo uploads, integrates with flickr,picasa,
portals, providing consulting services. micromessaging platform that allows people to discover legacy systems. includes dashboard, activity streams, wikis, blogs, online facebook, twitter
and meet one another and get controlled access to other spreadsheets
sources of information, all in a business process context.
Our focus is integration in processes.
What is your vision of your tool in 2 years? implement other "signals" e.g. from production and We will continue to ensure that teams have access to a Changing the way companies communicate by making all Cyn.in will become the defacto collaboration, - In 2 years, we wish to have numerous collaborations with Socialcast will provide powerful activity stream servers for - Expanding the capabilities of Signals in conjunction with - API, mobile & desktop clients, file attachments,
financial data, full integration in business communication *super-simple* tool which will help them collaborate in real- business processes social. communication middleware system for businesses and other tools / associations / organizations (regardless of the Enterprise, socializing data from across the company & the other events in the users activity stream. import/export,
environment, time with each other while minimizing distractions. institutions whether they are open-source or commercial) to allow employees in real-time
enterprises to fully utilize the full potential of the socially-
What else should we know about you? Communote [www.communote.com] is an enterprise Co-op is a product of the team which built Harvest, a Cynapse Rocks - Although ESME was associated initially with SAP, our Socialcast is the real-time conversation system designed - Socialtext is the original Enterprise 2.0 company. We've -
microblogging platform with strong business focus offering leading time tracking and invoicing web application. community has now grown to include a variety of other specifically for the Enterprise. More than just been ranking in the Gartner visionary quadrant 3 years in a
features like team & topic orientation, superior tagging and individuals from different organizations. This breadth microblogging, Socialcast powers the information flow of a row.
retrieval, partner integration, enterprise authentication, combined with the standardized structure of the Apache company across geographic boundaries, corporate
access control, secure SaaS and inhouse-installation. "way" provide with an excellent foundation for success. divisions, and employee roles. It provides a peripheral
Besides mobile access from blackberry, iPhone and Android vision system for employees while giving leaders access to
smartphones, Communote provides integration toolkits for real time information from the front lines.
enterprise portals, e.g. Microsoft SharePoint and Atlassian Our goals are to enable real-time conversations with
Confluence. context, help people connect easily to build relationships,
Communote is focused on the needs of German and enhance processes and support business objectives.
European enterprises providing consulting, integration and We achieve this through Enterprise Integration: On-premise
installation for microblogging behind the firewall. deployments, robust API, multiple data input sources;
Workflow Integration: Desktop application, Sharepoint
integration, Outlook and Lotus Integration; Analytics: Social
Graph analysis, measuring insights/trends, identify
opportunities; and Mobility: iPhone and Blackberry apps,
email and IM integration.
Socialcast boasts a strong feature mix to drive business
value. We offer threaded, rich streams with filtering to
promote conversations, custom topic and people/subject
matter tracking, idea generation for all employees, mobile
accessibility (likened to “Sharepoint in your pocket”), and
Social Business Intelligence – the first social organizational
analysis product on the market.
EMS10 team comment
Communote is a good choice for project management or Co-op is a very lightweight microblogging tool with a Cubetree is a good choice if you need a collaboration suite Cyn.in comes with lots of functionality and a special bonus: Elgg's microblogging functionality is quite basic until now. ESME is still under development and until now especially Socialcast has everything you expect from an enterprise StatusNet is an easy-to-use microblogging tool. Due to its Socialtext is a big player in the market of collaboration Wordpress P2 is a nice Open Source solution if you want to Yonkly is another microblogging application which supports
other scenarios with smaller group sizes. It has strong simple UI. Due to its lack of following-functionality, we including wikis and blogs. If you only want to use it is available as open source Community Edition. If you are However, if you are interested in a whole collaboration the front-end does not seem to be enterprise ready. microblogging tool. We especially like its Social Business Open Source licence you can customize it to your needs. tools. While its microblogging did not have many features quickly supply a microblogging solution for small project all basic functionalities. It also has a Community Edition for
filtering features and is built with J2EE technology. would suggest using it for smaller team sizes. microblogging, it could be too large for you. planning to use a collaboration suite including suite this could be for you. Elgg is established open source However, the interesting point with ESME is its background Intelligence approach, which allows you to monitor your Judging from the code base its technology does not fit until now, it seems to be under heavy development. teams. We would not recommend it for larger scenarios or those wanting to modify the source code. Yonkly does not
microblogging and maybe are planning to develop your software for many years and there are lots of programmers architecture, which allows you to integrate other tools and information flow. enterprise class requirements yet. However, StatusNet is in Socialtext could be a very interesting option for you if you long-time deployments. have an explicit focus on enterprises, which could be a
own extensions, this could be for you. and ready-to-go plugins out there. processes. Judging from the technical potential, ESME is a heavy development and we expect more robust versions want a solid and secure product from an industry leader. drawback for professional scenarios.
very promising project. soon.
Page | 8
Twitter's success evokes many other attempts to
develop tools and introduce services for
With ESME, elgg and Wordpress P2 we
Microblogging. Some are more ambitious than
included in the study what we found to be the
others. Hence, it is not easy to monitor them all.
most active and enterprise-ready open source
In this section we give some information about
projects related to microblogging. Next to them,
those tools that we did not include into our
there are a lot of other projects which might be
study. As there is a lot of motion in the field of
useful for you in special use cases or technical
Microblogging we assume that some of the
following tools may, in future versions of our
survey, move up to our well investigated
Buddypress is an assembly of themes and
plugins for Wordpress MU (Multi User version)
that enables social networking features.
Page | 9
Jaiku, a Microblogging environment developed
and introduced by a Finnish company, is now
Another collection of themes and plugins for
part of Google. "The service is maintained by
Wordpress. The developing community seems
volunteer Google engineers on their spare time",
to be rather inactive as the last version dates
says Google. It remains to be seen whether this
from March 2009.
service is sustainable
is-now-open-source.html Rask is another theme for Wordpress that
http://code.google.com/p/jaikuengine/ enables Microblogging.
Jisko is still a beta. There is a service as well as
an open-source version that can run behind the
firewall. It also interfaces with Twitter and Yet another Wordpress theme. It restricts posts
Wordpress. to 140 characters (like Twitter). Compatible with
http://jisko.org/ iPhone browser.
Page | 10
Trillr is a development by the German Content
Management vendor CoreMedia. Interfaces with
Twitter. During our research process we discovered a
number of interesting tools which deserve to be
discussed here. They did not fulfill our
requirements for study but they show some very
interesting developments and concepts.
A small Open Source microblogging tool created
Akibot provides semantic analysis of tweets in
an enterprise environment and interfaces with
enterprise applications. Could enable
microblogging-based artificial intelligence.
TypePad Motion is a Microblogging
environment, developed by the professional
blogging vendor Six Apart. It is free and open-
source. Similar to Twitter, it allows to publish
Edmondo is a microblogging service especially
and subscribe («follow»).
designed for teachers and students.
Page | 11
Snipia is an enterprise microblogging tool with Something to watch: Salesforce Chatter could
nice ideas like task management and integrated combine features of Activity Streaming and
polls. Microblogging to combine collaboration and
Socialwok is a collaboration tool running in the
Google Cloud. They have really cool integration
Google Wave, SAP’s 12sprints and Flowdock
scenarios with Google Apps.
are not really microblogging tools. Their focus is
http://www.socialwok.com/ real-time collaboration and decision making.
Still, they could be useful for some scenarios.
Open Atrium is a Drupal-based collaboration http://www.12sprints.com/
platform featuring blogs, wikis and
microblogging. Microblogging comes as simple
shoutbox till now.
Page | 12
Step 1 (October-November): Establish selection The original list of 21 identified Enterprise
criteria and develop data sheet Microblogging tools reads as follows:
Step 2 (November): Identify Candidates (N=54)
and select enterprise-ready tools (N=21)
Step 3 (November-December): Send "Call for
Participation" notes to these candidates
(including 2 reminders after 7 and 14 days)
Step 4 (November-December): Give access to ESME (included)
standardized Data Sheets via Google Docs Heart of Co. (no response)
Step 5 (January): Data analysis and survey HeadMix /Work Simple (no response)
writing Lotus Connections (no response)
Obayoo (no response)
Presently (no response)
Socialtext Signals (included)
Rypple (did not want to be included) Page | 13
Staction (no response)
Wizehive (did not want to be included)
Project lead #EMS10
Wordpress P2 (included)
PhD student at Chemnitz
Yammer (no response)
University of Technology
Contact for questions
YoolinkPro (no response) regarding this study:
Senior Researcher Chemnitz
University of Technology
and #ubimic Laboratory
Page | 14
Bachelor student at Chemnitz University of The authors are vendor-neutral. The core team
Technology including Martin, Lutz, Stefan and Antje is
associated with Chemnitz University of
Technology (Germany). Marcelo is associated
CEO of cm|d - corporate
mind development with Akibot (which has been featured in the
"Exots and Promising New Arrivals" section)
University of Technology helped us with language lecturing in the English
edition of this study but did not have influence
development.de on the study process.
http://www.cm-development.de The core team initiated and contributed to the
#ubimic initiative, a research project around an
approach called "Ubiquitous Microblogging". In
Editor of the study's English #ubimic we work together with 2 vendors
version featured here: Communote and ESME. Again,
they did not have influence on the study process
Head of Akibot
and the results.
Page | 15
Please find further publications and presentation #ubimic initiative
on Enterprise Microblogging at http://ubimic.org C/O Professur für Wirtschaftsinformatik II, Martin
(#ubimic website). Böhringer
Thüringer Weg 7