You can tell that blogging is becoming a real part of businesses when the blogging tool makers start getting seriously about enterprise requirements and service level agreements. Anil Dash gave me the details on Six Apart’s tweaks on new enterprise versions of TypePad (the company's hosted service) and Movable Type due in the next few weeks. “We know blogging really well, and we are not trying to solve very problem,” the Six Apart vice president told me. The problem Six Apart is trying to solve is to deliver more compelling blogging software and services for enterprises.
TypePad Business Class offers additional monthly storage (4 GB) and bandwidth (40 GB) compared to 1 GB of storage and 10 GB for bandwidth in the Pro subscription; four administrative roles per blog to manage roles (such as designer, community manager, blog contributors); invoicing from Six Apart; and priority tech support. Pricing is $89.95 per blog per month, or $124.95 per month per blog with 10 GB of storage and 70 GB of bandwidth. Six Apart strives for 99-percent uptime, which isn't exactly enterprise-class reliability.
Movable Type Enterprise has key improvements around search and workflow integration, Dash said. It supports tagging and A9's OpenSearch, which allows any site that has a search function to make search results available through other tools, such as aggregators. At the platform level, Movable Type now has LDAP directory server integration (Active Directory to come), support for the Oracle 10g database, anti-spam features, invoicing and billing from Six Apart, integration with email (feeding posts to Outlook, for example), support for unlimited blogs, optional service-level agreement (SLA) and priority support.
SLAs will be priced at 20 percent over monthly rate, Dash said. If service levels aren't met, Six Apart pays for the downtime. Six Apart will also offer contracts that give business customers the flexibitily to add and close blogs, and only pay for what they use.
The Enterprise edition can also output data in various formats, such as PDF and Word XML, and use Adobe Dreamweaver or GoLive to create templates. Any author or administrator can set up custom RSS feeds of their own interactions with blogs. For example, comments pending approval could be included in a feed. The Enterprise edition will be available first in Japan and later in the U.S. and other geographies next quarter. Pricing hasn't been set.