Cyn.in, An Open Source Group Collaboration Software - A Comprehensive ReviewBy Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Friday, January 9, 2009
Cyn.in (pronounced as sign in) is a web based enterprise service which is a blend of blog and wiki (preferably called bliki by them). It is a group collaboration software created by Cynapse, that inter-connects your people with each other and their collective knowledge. So tol elaborate,It helps teams to create collective knowledge by sharing workspaces, applications, documents, files and digital content within a secure, unified environment. cyn.in combines the capabilities of collaboration tools like wikis, blogs, file repositories, micrologs instant discussions and other social applications into a seamless platform. The new version of Cyn.in 2.1, released in December include- an integrated microblogging application (twitter), the introduction of an activity stream, and a simplified user interface.
Key Features at a Glance
* Integrated WYSIWYG Word Processor
* WYSIWYG creation and editing of HTML content tables
* Integrated Full Text Search (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF and other file formats)
* Digital Business Dashboards
* RSS syndication of content and files
* Multi-file uploads
* Granular rights based content editing and user-to-user collaboration
* Access rights based AJAX user interface
* Complete revision history of all content and files
* Co - author rich content, files and documents
* Verified public commenting access
* Customizable change notifications by mail and RSS
* Hierarchial, on-the-fly content structuring of information via SlashTags
* Gallery and slideshow views of images
* Move content from private to public spaces
* Sensible, easy-to-remember URLs
* Server based image resizing for preview and download
1. Range of Plans
Cyn.in is open source project now.
- The Free plan allows you two members with 25MB of storage and 125 MB of traffic per month.
- The Enterprise Plan allows you to share anything and every thing at $ 6250 Annually.
- The on Demand Plans take you $ 99, $ 349 and $ 889 according to the plans per month.
2. Content Support
You can do most of what you want with the WYSIWYG editor such as inserting files, images, audio or video that you want in your page or attached to it. Access to html gives you even wider options.
3. Editing Options
Cyn.in has one of the best WYSIWYG editors with good handling of text, tables, smilies, and images. Ease of use makes online collaboration easy. It also has some advanced editing options for users who want to step-out beyond WYSIWYG.
4. Permission for Online Collaboration
Access to the pages of cyn.in wikis can be very finely defined. You decide for each page who and how people can access it. Each page is assigned to one of four categories.
Internet - Anyone can see the page and, if they sign in as a guest, can make comments on it
Intranet - Other members can see and make comments on the page
Shared - Only members you have invited to co-author the page, can see and make changes to it
Personal - Only you has any access to the page
This is a major part to consider when you are investing so much of money and and that too for a system which will take care of your data. cyn.in has good security features, which extend to any files attached to a page. Not only are revisions of pages kept but also a new version of a file is created each time it is updated and the old one kept.
6. Help and Support
The Cyn.in community forum is very active and has lots of articles to go about. It has technical support which WORKS and also a helpdesk too. I wonder why don’t they have an FAQ still !
To know more about their features, visit HERE
My Experience with Cyn.in
When I tested Cyn.in demo account, immediately, you’re greeted with a mind map which breaks down your company’s spaces and views. Underneath the mind map, there is a notification area, broken down into subsections. Here you can see all recent updates, your own items, view the boss’s blog and status log, and see recently active discussions.I wouldn’t say I was blown over but it is impressive as you get all things done under the roof in a single page.
On the right-hand side of the screen, you have your personal control toolbar. From there, you can update your status, view/change your profile and preference, and log out of cyn.in.
The most impressive thing about Cyn.in is its high quality online collaboration with flexible page management options. Even the free option provides you with a useful space on the internet that you can keep private or share with the world.
They also added a new feature called All Updates to all spaces. This shows all activity within a space (and from all spaces nested inside the space). This bridges content from all applications and types into a simple unified interface.
- Adding a new note is fairly easy. Just click New note and start editing the content. Of course a WYSIWYG editor is used for the editing. The editor has all the features you need to create rich articles.It is easy to embed media and to perform a spellcheck. I know its basic but its very smooth.
- You can attach documents to the note including version management. To structure the notes you created it is possible to add slashtags. When for example you add the slashtag /Home and the note will be placed in the category Home. To share the note with other users in your bliki you click on share and select other users in your bliki or you can invite a new user.
- When you choose to publish the note select the publish to intranet or publish to the web.
Well I wouldn’t say there are any cons in particular. Cyn.in is still a fairly new service which is evolving with good features and good developers behind. But still I would like them to consider these points for future
- Only slash tags are there. Real tags is in wish list.
- The Cyn.in plans are still very expensive for large number of users.
- Special features like mathematical notations, instant messaging (preferably call it Live Chat) are missing.
- Access pages via mobile with compatible adjustments and e-mailing a particular page is not there. Though I understand the security reasons too.
- Language translations?
- I particularly missed the auto save options. Is it there?
Cyn.in looks like another useful option for enterprise 2.0 collaboration and content sharing that is continuing the trend of integrated suites of applications taken from Web 2.0. The most important part is its beautiful implementation of how microblogging could (and perhaps should) work for businesses. This is indeed the future of Web 3.0 if at all there is a scope in future. I will recommend every collaborative business aspirant to go for this at least once and test it.
[thanks to: allthewikis.com, theappgap.com, webworkerdaily.com]
Tags: Cyn.in, cyn.in review, Open Source, open source collaboration software, open source enterprise collaboration software, Open Source Software, Things, Urls