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Simple CMS For Mixed Mac/Windows Team?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the fire-everyone-else-problem-solved dept.

Software 119

Quasar Sera writes "I am looking for a content and/or project management solution for a marketing research team using both Macs and PCs. Ideally it would support document sharing, metadata/tags, search capabilities, revision control, and the ability to share documents easily with people from outside the team without any software installation or login required. It may be tricky to configure (since I will be doing that) but must be dead simple to use for the rest of the team. We rely mostly on Word, Powerpoint, and Excel (all in their native file formats) for our work, so it would be a large number of fairly small files. Any and all advice would be appreciated."

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119 comments

Alfresco (1)

Super_Z (756391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31927930)

Have you considered Alfresco [alfresco.com] ?

Re:Alfresco (3, Informative)

mattz0r (1320797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928344)

We use Alfresco Enterprise and it should do exactly what you want. The free Community version is just as good and several of the engineers actively participate in the user forums on their website.

Re:Alfresco (2, Informative)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928900)

Oi, I tried it. I didn't like that one. In fact, I've tried every major CMS out there.

I'd suggest also looking at dotCMS -- it's fantastic. I ported a medium-sized financial site to it almost a year ago now and couldn't be happier. It's been very stable and supports multiple themes. It's based on velocity, which isn't my favorite thing, but it's easy enough.

Re:Alfresco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31934768)

I'm a Mac not a PC, so for trenders and me in our mixed macEnterprise, it's xCMS ftw

Re:Alfresco (2, Informative)

kenbob.sh (762061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31933140)

+1 on Alfresco (specifically Alfresco Share). Very nice "social" interface. I used to work for Alfresco maintaining their own Alfresco instances - and it meets all those requirements.

mac/pc?? (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31927934)

what about the cloud?

Re:mac/pc?? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930270)

That may work but we will have to find a way to get the documents into the cloud first. I propose a small air cannon and projectile capsules (with wings!) that can fit 20-30 documents at a time.

The only problem is that we will not be able to collaborate when the weather is nice outside, and when the cloud IS available our documents may arrive soaking wet. We will have to study this further but i think you're on to something.

Couple ideas... (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31927962)

Trac + some extensions should do the trick.

Activestate offers a great setup for a relative bargain that seems to do everything you're looking for.
http://www.activestate.com/firefly/ [activestate.com]

Re:Couple ideas... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928046)

Trac + some extensions should do the trick.

Would a restricted MediaWiki instance (with anonymous viewing restricted to Main Page and Special:Userlogin) work?

http://www.activestate.com/firefly/

Bang bang [youtube.com] .

You're not looking for a CMS. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31927976)

You're looking for groupware.

Sharepoint (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31927988)

DUCKS

Re:Sharepoint (1)

bunny.rabbit.3 (1433279) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928056)

Ooh! Beat me to it!

Re:Sharepoint (4, Informative)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928092)

I don't have any problem suggesting sharepoint, As long as it's not somewhere I have to work.
Technically it's designed to be a CMS for Office docs, which is what the poster is looking for.
But god after going through designing one I'll never take a job again that requires me to admin it.

Re:Sharepoint (4, Informative)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928692)

I don't have any problem suggesting sharepoint, As long as it's not somewhere I have to work.

I do, if it's a mixed windows/mac shop. The problem is, while many basic features work in a cross-platform way, the more sophisticated features don't.

And I'm not just talking about "sophisticated" in terms of "power user". I'm talking about stuff like, if you're on Windows and in an AD domain, having single sign-on from your desktop "just work", while the MacOS folks have to type their username/password into the browser as if they were using basic auth (they're using SPNEGO-negotiated-NTLM, but the user experience is the same). And I'm talking about Windows users clicking on a Word document to have Word open the file in-place via WebDAV and save it back there without a separate upload step, while MacOS users have to do explicit "download, edit, save, upload" steps (which is one of the things a good CMS should help reduce, since in practice that inevitably results in multiple versions scattered all over and loss of control of which version is "master", for example when someone decides "oh, I already downloaded that, I don't need to again, let me just add another edit", and does an upload that trashes someone else's work).

Technically you can get by with SharePoint in a shop that's not 100% Windows. But don't try.

Re:Sharepoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31928910)

In this case, the Mac users don't get the "100% experience" that Windows/IE users get, but how would you improve the "download, edit, save, upload" process for a Mac user in another CMS? Short of converting everything to Google Docs, you've got to let someone download the PPT/XLS/DOC/PDF at some point.

Re:Sharepoint (2, Informative)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930696)

Short of converting everything to Google Docs, you've got to let someone download the PPT/XLS/DOC/PDF at some point.

No, you don't. That's what WebDAV is for. MacOS supports it just fine, it's just that SharePoint doesn't expose its WebDAV URLs to anything but Windows.

Re:Sharepoint (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929262)

going from a windows server to OSX... I've done it with both webdav and samba, and samba was by far the superior method.
I'm not sure why we didn't do it before. I think it had something to do with an update in 10.5 regarding only having to enter the password once rather then over and over again.
Granted Webdav was more seemless, but it didn't do well with performance.

This is before the fact the as you mentioned you need to use samba to get the file to right to the database correctly. But this is theory as I can't say I've seen sharepoint in an office that has macs.

Re:Sharepoint (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929330)

Before i get flamed Right =! write, damn rote memory

Re:Sharepoint (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31931948)

Did you mean wrote memory ?

Re:Sharepoint (2, Informative)

generalhavok (1432165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930394)

Technically you can get by with SharePoint in a shop that's not 100% Windows. But don't try.

I work in a company that is mixed Macs and Windows. I'm the Mac admin. The heads of the IT department decided to use Sharepoint. While the experience is much better for the Windows users, it *DOES* work for the Mac users as well. Yes, they have to sign in to use it, as our Macs aren't on the AD domain. Sometimes it doesn't like Safari (but we also have Firefox available for our Mac users, and it seems to get along with that). Now that the users are used to it, it's not much of a problem. In a company that's 90% PCs, we don't have much say in what they use, so for us, it works, and the minor inconveniences for Mac users is a small tradeoff.
It might not be the way I would have done it, but I haven't had a problem with it. I'm not saying you should use it, I'm just saying that it will work, and in production, it's not as much of a PITA as others have have been claiming.

Re:Sharepoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31930474)

But is STORES THE BLOBS IN THE DB, which is crazy for long term use.

Re:Sharepoint (1)

generalhavok (1432165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930550)

But is STORES THE BLOBS IN THE DB, which is crazy for long term use.

We've been running this way for years. We haven't had problems from Blobs in our DB.

Re:Sharepoint (1)

guru zim (706204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31933488)

2010 has the option to store files outside of the DB and not as blobs in it. Actually, I think this is in 2007 with SP1 also using an API but don't quote me on that...

Re:Sharepoint (1)

galego (110613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930556)

>>while many basic features work in a cross-platform way, the more sophisticated features don't. translation: sophisticated >> *useful* Why ??? because no IE/active-X

Re:Sharepoint (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31930692)

SharePoint 2007 didn't work all that well with macs, but we've been testing SharePoint 2010 with macs and it works really well. Pretty much everything work with firefox on the mac and nearly everything works with safari.

Re:Sharepoint (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31932108)

That's funny, I get an authentication prompt from IE to view the folder, then opening a file gives me another prompt because Word does not share IE's authenticated session. I always complained about IE not using the normal download-and-ShellExecute() method, then found out via Microsoft's KB that it's WebDAV asking for the additional authentication.

When looking for the article to include here, I instead found this, "Authentication and security in the WebDAV environment" from the "Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Administrator's Guide". I didn't read much but it looks helpful.

http://www.microsoft.com/HK/mac/itpros/default.mspx?CTT=PageView&clr=99-15-0&target=38cbe923-418b-4e4f-92ff-0fcd06f8c40b1033&srcid=5c028854-8df7-4257-aee0-891eeffb66ac1033&ep=7&app=15 [microsoft.com]

Re:Sharepoint (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31932542)

That's funny...

Ah, see, if you were "correctly" set up in the same AD realm as the SharePoint server, when IIS said "hey, you, authenticate via SPNEGO please", your clients would say "okay, here's my kerberos ticket, go to town". Regardless of how many times they asked for it.

But if you're not in the right realm or don't have a kerberos ticket or whatever, the SPNEGO falls back from Kerberos to NTLM (almost the same as "digest auth" in theory, just completely incompatible with it in practice). So, you're getting the non-Microsoft sort of experience, at least in part. But at least you're also getting the WebDAV and ActiveX "features".

by design: (1)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31933126)

"basic features work in a cross-platform way, the more sophisticated features don't"

Microsoft has a strong motive to make sure the non-Windows experience sucks. Their business model implies that they must discourage anyone using Macs (or Linux).

Low standards of interoperability help them isolate and destroy marginal populations of other platforms in heterogeneous environments.

Refuse SharePoint, Windows, and all Microsoft products.

Re:Sharepoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31929350)

Sharepoint Services offers most of the features of MOSS Portal and is free. Definately worth checking out. While I have a love/hate relationship with Sharepoint as a developer, it is the most comprehensive solution I have found.

Combine it with Search Server 07 for fileshare indexing. (Also free. It just won't get you sharepoint services site indexing.)

More info please ... (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928034)

Document volumes? Are the sites geographically dispersed? It sounds like you can get away with something lightweight like one of the open source options (e.g. simpleCMS, Joomla, Alfresco) or maybe Sharepoint if that interface is more intuitive for more of your users. You might end up asking your users to standardize on a single browser, but there should be no need for software installation.

As for your "no login" requirement, do you mean you want something like LDAP integration, or are you just planning to run the whole thing wide open with no access control?

Re:More info please ... (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31931356)

As for your "no login" requirement, do you mean you want something like LDAP integration, or are you just planning to run the whole thing wide open with no access control?

From the submitter's post:

share documents easily with people from outside the team without any software installation or login required

Sounds like he wants the read-only users to have no login.
Obviously read/write users need to login. Otherwise how could you track changes properly?

Confluence. (4, Informative)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928036)

I spoke to some fellow higher education IT people last week who were putting all of their documentation into Confluence. I haven't used it myself, but they were very happy with it as a cross-platform solution.

--saint

Re:Confluence. (3, Informative)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928088)

Confluence is what we use. Works very well for what we use it for. Check in/check out, revision history, tracking, etc. Good stuff.

Re:Confluence. (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929562)

I'm still waiting on the day when there's a CMS without check in/out interaction. It's hard enough getting our designers to use a CMS let along making them actually check out what they want to work on (Since it's right there on their hard drive... they don't need to get it!) Some of our developers are the same way. If only someone created a "file system" hook or a special folder that automatically handled all this in the background like DropBox on steroids, it would go a long way to solving this. Computers are supposed to make lives easier, not add steps to the workflow, right?

Re:Confluence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31931492)

Alfresco does this - either interact via the filesyste (network drive) or the web front end.

Re:Confluence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31930456)

I admin our confluence setup. In fact I had to champion it with one other developer who has since left. There was a lot of resistance, but Confluence really is so good we have not only added the whole company, we have added big advocates. Much of our internal business is hosted there along with most important documents. The plugins are high quality. It interfaces with Jira if you decide to go that route. As licensing goes they have fairly reasonable rates.

Redmine or Basecamp (3, Informative)

irishfury (1430201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928052)

Redmine is a free open source project. It can be very difficult to get up an running. 37Signal has a awesome product line to check out. It's all hosted, so no setup is required. http://37signals.com/ [37signals.com]

Re:Redmine or Basecamp (2, Informative)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929544)

Stay FAR away from Basecamp. We used it at my organization for about six months before running far, far away from it. 37Signals was very unprofessional. They would push major project changes out without any heads up and end up breaking all sorts of functionality. Any requests for improvements or new features were met with an attitude of, "If you don't like the way we designed the software, fuck off and go use something else. We don't care."

Re:Redmine or Basecamp (2, Informative)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929790)

They definitely have that attitude, but I used them for a number of years without having them break anything. Stopped about a year ago because it didn't make business sense--we weren't using it enough. The product was fine (in my experience), but the company is definitely what you'd expect from the schmucks who invented Rails.

Re:Redmine or Basecamp (2, Informative)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930406)

And just for balance, I'll tell you that my company would never have adopted a system if not for what has been a dead-simple, cloud-based solution that is very solid. Do they do things a little differently? Yep. But they bust their collective asses for their customers. I'll take some imperfections that way. But to be clear, they have never lost one bit of our data. KISS.

Re:Redmine or Basecamp (1)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929660)

Another vote for Redmine. Great product, only takes a second to get running if you're familiar with rails applications.

There is also Trac, (1)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31933168)

Which is simple to setup and use, and on paper does everything in the summary.

But it seems more of a job for a dedicated wiki - maybe Foswiki? [foswiki.org]

Re:Redmine or Basecamp (2, Informative)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31933510)

Redmine on RedHat was a nightmare for a colleague of mine.

On FreeBSD it was cd /usr/ports/www/redmine ; make install ; make clean ; vi /usr/local/etc/rc.d/redmine #edit to allow startup and then follow the instructions at http://www.redmine.org/wiki/redmine/RedmineInstall [redmine.org] from step 2 on.

The only problem with redmine has been figuring out which extensions to install. Which isn't that bad of a problem.

Google Web Suite (1)

dang.artman (1794814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928070)

Sounds like using Google's web services would work very well for what you are trying to do. Google Docs would give you strong cross platform compatibility with the document editing plus revision control. Tagging I am not sure on, but seems like everything else is there.

Alfresco (1)

moco (222985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928096)

I like alfresco because it can be quite simple to setup and get going yet very powerful if you need it to.

I used it's workflows, versioning and access controls a couple of years ago, very simple to setup and worked as advertised.

Google Docs (5, Insightful)

Baricom (763970) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928100)

I think Google Docs meets every one of your requirements.

Re:Google Docs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31929294)

Have you checked out Zoho? They have a number of tools that may meet your needs, not exactly integrated but a decent tool set to work with. Good Luck

Re:Google Docs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31929696)

Nope, it doesn't. The poster stipulates that no logins would be required, which just about kills any serious options s/he might have.

I'm looking for an mp3 editing graphics suite (-1, Troll)

edittard (805475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928130)

I am looking for a content and/or project management solution for a marketing research team using both Macs and PCs.

Funny that, I'm looking for a seven seat minivan moped submarine. That can fly. Seriously, the two tasks you asked for are so different that the request doesn't even make sense.

It may be tricky to configure (since I will be doing that)

Yes, you've already proven that you're a genius.

Re:I'm looking for an mp3 editing graphics suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31928462)

Hahaha, your funny. No really, you are.

Go fling yourself into traffic jackass.

Re:I'm looking for an mp3 editing graphics suite (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928862)

What is "traffic jackass"? Now "jackass traffic", as in lots of onagers moving about, that might make sense.

Re:I'm looking for an mp3 editing graphics suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31928562)

7 seat moped [blogspot.com] + Bitchin minivan [truckinweb.com] + sub [huv.com] + jet [aerospaceweb.org] = yes

and if that doesn't make sense to you then you are sadly mistaken.

ModX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31928206)

ModX is amazing, check it out, modxcms.com

Take a look at KnowledgeTree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31928256)

You might want to take a look at KnowledgeTree - http://www.knowledgetree.com/

If anyone at your company starts discussing SharePoint as a good idea, get an ax. They might not start attacking their co-workers looking for brains right away, but the process is irreversible. :)

Open Atrium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31928338)

Atrium.

Rocks very hard.

http://openatrium.com/

It's may be a bit more simplistic than required, but for a centralized communication point for a smaller team... Good stuff. Great stuff.

Documentum (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928364)

Documentum works well, but requires user login. It's got all the features you're asking for, but it does cost quite a bit, and support is rather slim. Actually, I am having a hard time imagining why you wouldn't want a user to log in. If you don't, then anyone can get access to whatever they want.

Re:Documentum (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928522)

I am almost 100% certain that Documentum is massive overkill for this particular request.

Re:Documentum (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31931244)

And it requires IE. At least the version we use does.
Yes, I've tried IE-tab in Firefox. Something Documentum does crashes Firefox (tried with several different versions of FF) when you try.

DocuShare - Documentum too expensive. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31931578)

Documentum is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. If you're looking at Documentum, then you need to look at Alfresco and customization - you'll still end up costing 50% less or more.

Out of all the DMS I've used, installed, trialed, Xerox/DocuShare is by far the most intuitive, least hassle, just works solution. Alfresco would be my 2nd choice.

Try Plone (2, Informative)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928420)

Try Plone [plone.org] : it's cross-platform, open source and quite mature.

I recently helped implement an intranet document sharing portal for a big bank in my country and it works remarkably well. Just make sure you use iw.fss or zope blobs to store those big files. With a vanilla Plone site you get fully indexed PDF, Microsoft Word and Openoffice documents indexed right out of the box. You can access your Plone site through WebDAV and define some fine grained ACLs to set group and user permissions. Also, versioning and some great workflow functionality is there.

Ok, some may argue that Plone is actually a big and complex system, but the core functionality works straight away once it's installed and the Plone community is full of very helpful people. Worth a look.

Re:Try Plone (1)

Domini (103836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929286)

This is obviously a new meaning of 'simple' we were not previously aware of.

No... Google Docs is "simple". MediaWiki is "simple". Plone (and Zope) is a forklift swinging a sledgehammer.

Re:Try Plone (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929808)

This is obviously a new meaning of 'simple' I was not previously aware of

There, fixed it for you.

No... Google Docs is "simple". MediaWiki is "simple". Plone (and Zope) is a forklift swinging a sledgehammer

From the point of view of an admin or a user? As a user, using Plone is no more difficult than using Google Docs, and it has the extra features on his tick list. You create folders and pages; edit the page content in a WYSIWYG editor; upload files for common use and (if required) embed links to them in pages for easy reference. It's a CMS so you can control who gets to see what content and when: plus pages can be published externally to be viewed without requiring a login, and it also includes version control (both are items on his tick list). It even has some really nice features like automatic link management, so if I create a link in one page to another page (or uploaded attachment) and then move the target to somewhere else, all linked references elsewhere move with it. Can you do that in MediaWiki?

Re:Try Plone (1)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929942)

Funny, but unfair.

To get it up and running you just need to run the unified installer [launchpad.net] (also for Mac [plone.org] ) and then point your browser to your chosen port. Administration is done with a simple and friendly GUI.

You don't need to install a LAMP stack and setup a database, so it's fast and pretty easy to get running; it's not the brutish beast you are depicting, so please don't spread FUD about a great piece of free software.

If this guy knows his way around a command-line, he might want to try installing it the "correct way" by using zc.buildout and PythonPaste, which is a bit more complicated but in no way mandatory.

Re:Try Plone (1)

kronosopher (1531873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930438)

Plone has anything but a friendly GUI, it's a nightmare to customize, its a HUGE resource hog and doesn't scale well at all.. among other things.

Re:Try Plone (1)

sharkman67 (548107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31932496)

Citations? I've been deploying Plone sites for 8 years now. Plone was a giant step forward from doing it all in Zope CMS. I'm also not sure what you consider are huge resource hog? The only time I ever see even the slightest hesitation is when loading portal_view_customizations.

Customization is simple and these days doesn't require much if any modifications of the templates. It appears that you have not taken the time to use the product correctly or you wouldn't be slinging fud like that.

Re:Try Plone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31934576)

The only citation needed is [limi.net] here [cia.gov] .

Re:Try Plone (1)

kronosopher (1531873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929524)

some may argue that Plone is actually a big and complex system

There are plenty of big and complex CMS's out there that aren't total pieces of crap. Plone isn't one of them. Run as far and as fast as you can from Plone, my friend.

Re:Try Plone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31930480)

some may argue that Plone is actually a big and complex system

There are plenty of big and complex CMS's out there that aren't total pieces of crap. Plone isn't one of them. Run as far and as fast as you can from Plone, my friend.

Try Plone4 you just might like it. And trust me Plone5 which is coming at the end of this year will blow everybody away. And NO Plone is not crap, i think you were just not using it correctly. its not a blog system, its a CMS with its own strong points.

Re:Try Plone (1)

sharkman67 (548107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31932524)

You took the words right out of my mouth. Plone is one of the most expandable and extensible CMS's out there.

Why not a wiki? (1)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928468)

Like dokuwiki, for example. It's simple to set up and configure, and is pretty powerful (especially through the use of plugins). I'm fairly certain it fits your criteria.

For a marketing research team? (2, Insightful)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928548)

Cyanide capsules ought to do the trick.

The Cloud! again (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928632)

Another option might be to use a SaaS-based CMS tool like bitsybox: http://www.bitsybox.com/ [bitsybox.com]

Some mentioned Google Docs and that is a good starting point. If you need more features you can always use the Google App Engine and their cloud hosting. Every install comes with Django and you can use other CMS tools (python and java support)

I'm sure there are others but my main point was this might be a use-case for software as a service. It's not right for every situation, but it might be something to look at. It may take some weight off of your shoulders.

Liferay (2, Informative)

kf6zql (1066814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928642)

Have you considered Liferay at all (http://www.liferay.com)? MIT License, open source, java based. You can download it on tomcat and run it without any configuration (using hypersonic) or configure your own database for it (mysql, oracle, postresql, whatever) pretty easily. Free as in beer and speech. In the interest of openness, I am a Liferay employee. I also use Windows, OS X, and Kubuntu with it on a daily basis. It has wikis, message boards, a document repository, web content management, basically anything you would need for a collaborative portal. It also supports multiple communities so you can create different sections for different user groups, ldap connectivity, and many other things. See here for our two offerings: http://www.liferay.com/products [liferay.com] Social office is a simple one stop shop for inter office collaboration, Liferay Portal is the same but with a lot more power. It all depends on your needs.

Re:Liferay (1)

longfalcon (202977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930038)

this.

I use liferay, and it sounds like what the TS is looking for. extremely easy to get set up, especially if you use the Social Office variant.

Re:Liferay (1)

drison (1794906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930746)

Yeah, +1 on the ease of use and setup. You can have it up and running quickly and it comes with a lot of features out of the box, including the availability of many community created plugins. It is written in Java so for Java haters it may not be what you want but it's pretty slick and chock-full of features. The social office might be exactly what you're looking for.

Re:Liferay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31930992)

As an added bonus, if you're a Rails dev, you can witness the massive lose which is Liferay's memory and CPU usage. 4 minutes to boot an instance while consuming the entire gig of VPS memory and another gig of swap on an otherwise idle machine made me realize: Java devs who hate on Rails for resource usage are like the closeted meatheads who call everyone else a "faggot".

Joomla! (-1, Flamebait)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928866)

Surprised I didn't see this here yet; Joomla! meets or exceeds all your requirements, has over 4300 extensions for doing anything from document management to e-commerce, needs nothing more than a web-browser for management and best of all it's FREE.

I hardly even code straight HTML anymore, haven't had a project or client that couldn't use it. http://www.joomla.org/ [joomla.org]

Re:Joomla! (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929470)

A list of 343 vulnerabilities [mitre.org] (and growing rapidly) on a 5 year old Joomla component ecosystem is a good reason to be critical of Joomla. The problem with allowing anyone to write components is that anyone will components...

Re:Joomla! (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930258)

Pointing to a list of old vulnerabilities that include beta versions of Joomla and older versions of 3rd party extensions is a good reason to be critical of your post. As with any responsible admin, I'm sure he will research 3rd party extensions of whatever solution he uses to ensure security.

Try Plone (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928874)

In the past I've used Plone [plone.org] to do what you're asking. There are kits for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and *BSD and its open source.

Like anything there's a small learning curve but once you're past that creating new content is easy. Any uploaded files (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF, etc) are fully indexed for searching. It can integrate with Active Directory, LDAP, etc. It's extensible, skin-able and if the online documentation isn't enough there have been several books written about it (user guides and professional development).

I like it anyway.

Subversion (1)

balbus000 (1793324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928982)

Title says it all: Subversion [apache.org]

Re:Subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31929340)

I have to say, for a code management program. Subversion has done an admirable job of keeping our versions of documents under control.
Comparing previous versions can be a pain, but when needed, the office suite's can compare to versions that are checked out.
Its simple and efficient.

Perfect cross platform solution for your group (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31929132)

Go to toys r us and purchase several buckets of blocks with letters on them, acquire a desk in the middle of your office and post your messages. Or just grab an old workstation from the closet and toss linux and joomla! on it

Liferay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31929258)

Their code isn't perfect and they do push the Enterprise pay-support version pretty hard, but liferay portal [liferay.com] or liferay social office [liferay.com] should suit your needs with the added bonus that the sharepoint compatible web services let you edit files in place. It combines basically every useful open source java project (jackrabbit, lucene, axis, etc) and gives you a nice clean interface that I hate on hard, but sure looks like a lot of what's trendy in web design right now. Definitely worth a look because the demos run easily without any installation and it's very easy to extend even without any java programming.

Cyn.in is a great tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31929372)

We use www.cyn.in. It is based on plone with a slick interface.

Mixed Mac/Windows Team? (1)

iMac Were (911261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929842)

Mixed? Some are gay and some are straight? Where do I sign up, I love a challenge!

Despair (3, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31929978)

I would say if it is a requirement that it be dead simple for the end user, your only recourse is to despair. No CMS system on the planet is dead simple to use. Easy doesn't exist, either. Moderately difficult can be found if you look around. The problem is that, while most reasonably competent people understand a hierarchical file structure (files, folders, drives, etc.), adding the extra dimension of time/versioning/check-in/check-out makes the average user crawl into a ball in the corner and weep. The publishers of such software, while they obviously understand this extra dimension, seem to have gone out of their way to obfuscate it. Most of these programs have some centralized database structure for storing the information, then present that as a hierarchical folder structure to the end user. The paradigm just doesn't quite work.

And don't get me started on what to do if you have inter-file dependencies, such as you have in CAD or software development! I have used several such systems as a necessary evil of being a practicing engineer, and every one of them is a kludge that should never have made it out of beta testing.

Re:Despair - or Train? (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930100)

When did we abandon the idea of including training in system implementation? If you're considering a system like this you need to also be prepared to sit down each user (or groups of same) and teach them how to use it most effectively.

And to provide hand-holding and support for some period afterwards, and to provide user friendly (not "man pages") documentation for the moments when they forget how to do something.

Re:Despair - or Train? (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935088)

Because most people don't want to be trained, and when they are put into a training class they don't absorb anything that they're taught.

Sitting in training is tantamount to being told how to do your job, and people don't want to be told how to do things.

Re:Despair (1)

hellop2 (1271166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31934848)

I wonder if something like CVS would satisfy the OP's requirements:

"Ideally it would support document sharing, metadata/tags, search capabilities, revision control, and the ability to share documents easily with people from outside the team without any software installation or login required."

There's cross-platform cvs clients. It supports all the listed requirements including tags. And you can put a document in a public folder and email out a URL to that file which can be accessed without login.

Google Apps - free for EDU, does all you're after (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31930358)

As an educational institution you would qualify for free access to Google Apps (for your entire team +). Between Google Docs, Sites and Video I think that pretty much covers exactly what you're after.

If you've used Gmail you can have a look at all the tools right now - the links are on the upper left of the Gmail page.

Plus - nothing to install, nothing to maintain (other than your content), built-in anti-virus.

For collaboration teams you may well find that tools like Docs will make a huge difference to your teams productivity :)

J

OneNote + Sharepoint (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930686)

OneNote as a desktop app, linked as a shared notebook on Sharepoint.

Everything dropped into OneNote can be easily managed through drag+drop. Works offline with synchronization when online. Auto-merges most things at the paragraph level (and has ability to manually merge other stuff). Sharepoint can handle the version control and you can fish older versions of each document out of there if needed.

Much content can be thrown in there (text, emails, screenshots dumped from clipboard, whatever), annotated and/or drawn over, and external files can be dropped right into it or linked via URL.

Using it internally for our team and it's bloody fantastic. The issue we had trying other CMSs (including various types of Wikis, shared folders, vanilla Sharepoint etc) is that they're tedious to use, therefore they don't get used. Our staff love using OneNote so it's being used extensively now. Don't know about its search capability (both OneNote and SP have search but I have no idea how good they are) but we have our folder layout carefully chosen so we can find what we need pretty quickly.

Have even used it recently on a larger project to assign tasks, with milestones and due dates, each one linked to their corresponding Bugzilla ticket that the owners can update as needed. For our small team this worked pretty well.

Not sure about sharing, but some ideas: OneNote can email individual pages as needed, or you could create separate notebooks per client (and let Sharepoint handle the security). Or you could print to PDF and email that out as well. Depends on what your needs are whether this would be a good fit.

Simple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31931168)

You want version control and full user login with permissions in a "Simple" CMS?

Keep on dreaming...

It's a WikiWikiWorld! (1)

zarlino (985890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31931688)

What you're after is called "wiki". There are many free software packages available.

Jive Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31932796)

Our company uses Jive's "Social Business Software" - it has pretty nice capabilities, I think you can share with outside folks, and it's good cross platforms. Worth a look: http://www.jivesoftware.com/ [jivesoftware.com]

svn and confluence? n/t (1)

schwitzkroko (633855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31933524)

n/t

simple group ware and or docmgr (1)

Ice Station Zebra (18124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31934126)

Simple group ware is, simple (ie don't expect complicated features), but it is really nice.

http://www.simple-groupware.de/cms/ [simple-groupware.de]

DocMgr is also very good.

http://www.docmgr.org/ [docmgr.org]

Both have webdav support and versioning.

Try EyeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31934476)

EyeOS is a project that intends to build a web-based operating system. It is currently in a very usable state, and will run on any server where you can install a php-based cms. In EyeOS, every user has their own 'desktop', with configurable preferences, and a variety of applications exist which can be installed and customised - including Office and OpenOffice-compatible apps, that can open and produce Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Teams can share calendars, address books, todos, and leave each other messages in a shared bulletin board. There are also apps for managing email accounts, playing audio and video media, and lots of games.

It is very simple to setup - as simple as a php-based CMS - and because of the desktop-like interface, it's quite easy for users to intuitively find their way around.

Open Atrium (1)

illogic (52099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935052)

Open Atrium [openatrium.com] is a multipurpose intranet/project management system built with the open source CMS Drupal. It's easy on the eyes and since it's just a fancy distribution of Drupal it can potentially be extended in almost any direction. Worth a look, sounds like it could address all your needs.

But then again it also sounds like Microsoft Office Live Workspace [officelive.com] could also meet your needs. I'm not sure how complicated you want to get.

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