eXo To Offer Cloud-Based 'Intranet-as-a-Service'

eXo, the French company best known for its GateIn-based enterprise Java portal, on Monday released a free public beta of eXo Cloud Workspaces, a new social "intranet-as-a-service" solution.

The new service is designed to "bridge the gap between social networking features and enterprise requirements," the company says, and enable teams within organizations to set up complete cloud-based social intranets quickly.

"In between those public cloud services that are kind of popular, but lack features, and the big [commercial] social intranet offerings that are more enterprise oriented, there's a gap," said Benjamin Mestrallet, eXo's founder and CEO. "And that's where we have positioned Cloud Workspaces."

Mestrallet said he believes that the adoption of social enterprise technologies ('s Chatter, for example) have created a kind of power struggle between end users and IT. His company's new intranet-as-a-service solution removes that tension, he told this site, freeing users to "self-serve in the cloud," while allowing IT to maintain centralized access to enterprise information "with the opportunity to scale horizontally, either on-prem or in the cloud."

"The enterprise has always loved customization capabilities and flexibility in distribution," Mestrallet said. "And that's what we're providing here."

The list of features in the new Cloud Workspaces service includes: document management (sharing, tagging, storing and version control), collaboration apps (wikis, communities, group calendars, etc.), internal social networks and native mobile apps (iPhone, Android, etc.).

Cloud Workspaces is built on eXo Platform 3.5, which the company bills as the first integrated environment for building modern Java apps with such features as content management, collaboration and social intranet capabilities. The eXo Platform comes with a Web-based IDE, a portal framework, collaboration tools, an enterprise content management system, a knowledge management solution, and a set of enterprise social networking capabilities. The core platform is architected on the GateIn portal framework, an open source project developed jointly by JBoss and eXo. The company describes it as "a cloud-ready, multi-tenant platform that provides tools for building cloud- and data-center-based social intranets, customer extranets and transaction-oriented Web sites."

"As an organization grows, an intranet created in eXo Cloud Workspaces can be migrated from the public cloud and deployed to eXo Platform 3.5," the company explained in a statement, "where it can scale to enterprise size as an on-premises or private cloud-based solution."

Also co-headquartered in San Francisco, eXo recently began describing itself as "the user experience (UPX) platform-as-a-service company." Think UXP as a service, or a UXPaaS. The UXP is "the emerging implementation of next-generation portal services," the company says. Unlike traditional portal services, however, a UXP platform offers "an integrated collection of technologies that speed the creation of portals built around content, collaboration capabilities, social streams and services, mobile access, and more."

For more information on the public beta and to sign up, go here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].