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Novell previews Pulse collaboration platform

Pulse, which will be interoperable with Google Wave, will combine email, document authoring and social-messaging tools with enterprise-oriented security and management
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Novell has announced a real-time enterprise collaboration platform called Pulse, which it says will be one of the first major enterprise products to support Google's Wave collaboration technology.

Like Wave, Pulse will combine email, document authoring and social-messaging tools. It will support the Wave Federation Protocol, allowing Pulse users to collaborate with other Wave-based tools, Novell said on Wednesday.

Novell's platform, which was demonstrated on Wednesday at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco, will also support specifically enterprise-oriented features such as security and management capabilities.

Security features include provisioning, sign-on and permissions, all drawing on existing enterprise identity and access management systems, Novell said. The system will also support audit tools for companies' compliance requirements.

Like Wave and other recent messaging aggregation tools, such as Mozilla Labs' Raindrop, Pulse will use a unified inbox that allows users to sort and filter personal and professional content from social-messaging services, email, Wave communications and other sources, Novell said.

It will support enterprise-oriented blogging capabilities for posting and commenting on topics. It will also support real-time awareness, allowing users to see when their colleagues are available. Other features will include the collaborative editing of online or traditional office documents.

Novell said it is bringing an enterprise level of control and security to the concept of the unified-messaging platform, drawing on its background in security and identity management.

"For the first time, enterprises can tie business controls and security together with real-time collaboration and social networking technologies to improve decision making and to work more efficiently across boundaries," Kent Erickson, Novell senior vice president and general manager for workgroups, said in a statement.

Pulse is still at an early stage of development, with a limited beta-test version to be made available early next year, Novell said. The platform will launch in the first half of 2010 in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version, with an on-premises option to be made available with a future release.

Google Wave, announced at the Google I/O Developer Conference in May, is an attempt to re-engineer internet communication, blending elements of email, instant messaging, social networking and workplace collaboration software into a single web application.

On Monday, Google made a developer version of the Wave software available to outside developers for "experimental" interoperability testing, allowing developers to begin prototyping third-party applications that support the Wave Federation Protocol.

Google began broader testing of Wave in October, opening it to 100,000 users.

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