Today, MindTouch Deki announces Kilen Woods, its latest and biggest release. In conversation with co-founder Aaron Fulkerson I learned that Deki is rapidly transforming itself from being a smart wiki into what Fulkerson calls the 'connecting tissue' between applications. Others might call it mashup environment, still others a means of getting applications to talk with one another in an environment that helps companies meet their collaboration goals.
The demonstration video above shows an example using the Microsoft Access example Northwinds with Google maps and how, with a little technical skill, companies can create wiki style pages with which users will be very familiar.
In this release, MindTouch is showcasing a new library of connectors to applications and databases with which many IT shops will be familiar including:
- SugarCRM, Salesforce.com and LinkedIn
- MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access and Microsoft ADO.NET
- VisiFire, PrinceXML, ThinkFree Office and WordPress
"We've now got over 100 web services that Deki can use to create basic workflows and mashups that are proving useful in the enterprise," said Fulkerson. He also claims that Deki doesn't require intensive IT resources but should be accessible for customizations by business process people.
According to Fulkerson, the company is clocking up 3,000 downloads per day of the product, which is available as free and open source. Management options are also available. For the curious, there is a personal free hosted version. The company claims some 400 paying customers.
I'm impressed with MindTouch Deki. Fulkerson's passion, but more important his understanding of the need for fast track mashups and integrations shines through in the product. This is way beyond where many wikis are going. It elegantly shows the potential for getting information out of siloes and have those data become part of broader, light weight applications that solve many of the business supply chain problems that have been difficult to overcome using traditional integration methods.
Once we see adapters for SAP and Oracle Applications, then I think we'll be seeing the emergence of new classes of application that so far have lived in the dreams of those who want to see the breaking down of departmental and cross business boundaries.