Among other things, Atlassian is one of the original enterprise wiki vendors with Confluence and I covered them before (see Atlassian Announces Confluence 3.0). They began in 2002 and are headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Their first product was JIRA, a tool for issue tracking, and it remains their largest seller. In 2004 they released their enterprise wiki product, Confluence,
It was originally developed for the consumer Web with LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, orkut, and Yahoo! using it. Atlassian is working with Google to take it inside the enterprise through the Atlassian family of applications. They are beginning with JIRA 4.0, released this October. I saw a demonstration of JIRA 4.0 used for issue tracking with their Agile development tool, Greenhopper. You can easily set up dashboards through drag and drop capabilities. This will give you better access to data developed through your applications through an Ajax based interface.
Bill said that they needed a flexible portal for interoperability between their products. They also wanted to be able to drop their content into other OpenSocial containers like iGoogle or Gmail. Atlassian could have developed their own capability but they decided to make use of the OpenSocial API which is a good move. They created a plugin for JIRA so OpenSocial can be implemented as an out-of-the-box feature. JIRA ships with dozens of pre-built gadgets and supports gadgets from other Atlassian products like Bamboo, FishEye and Confluence. For example, a software developer using JIRA might want to add a Confluence search gadget to his personal dashboard or a Fisheye gadget showing recent code commits. The OpenSocial capability also allows for the use of thousands of existing gadgets already available on the Web like the Remember the Milk gadget they showed running inside a JIRA dashboard.
Watching how easy it was to create portals in the demo reminded me of the extensive effort that was involved in the old school portal days. This is a huge improvement. I wish I had this capability when I was involved in developing enterprise portals in the early 2000s.
In addition to OpenSocial dashboards, JIRA 4 offers an improved search experience, made possible through JIRA Query Language (JQL), JIRA’s new query system. Users can now find the most elusive issues by constructing queries that combine almost any attribute in the system. The results can be saved as filters or added to a JIRA dashboard as a gadget.
Confluence 3.1 with OpenSocial will be released in mid-November. Then over the next few months their other tools will be released with OpenSocial. JIRA 4.0 will also contain activity streams and this capability will be included in subsequent release of their other tools. Atlassian has published a public-facing microsite with their complete OpenSocial strategy at http://www.atlassian.com/opensocial/.