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JotSpot pretties up wikis

Wiki service upgrade offers spreadsheets and shared calendars, and soon, a version of the JotSpot server. Image: JotSpot gets a face-lift

JotSpot has updated its wiki software to better resemble traditional desktop applications and is preparing an on-premise edition of its hosted service.

The two-year-old company said it will on Monday introduce JotSpot 2.0, a version of its hosted software, which is designed to make wikis easier to build. Wikis are Web pages which can be jointly authored and edited.

JotSpot screen shot

JotSpot hosts its wiki software, aimed mainly at small- and mid-size companies, and has developed applications built on top of the wiki platform. People use the wiki software to build collaborative applications, such as shared calendars. Jotspot charges monthly subscription fees.

The latest version of its software allows a person to choose which type of document to create. Rather than simply make a Web page, a person can create a spreadsheet, a shared calendar, file-sharing site, or a photo-sharing page.

The advantage is that these document types have more specialized features and structure than a plain Web page, said Joe Kraus, JotSpot CEO.

"We're bringing the wiki metaphor to productivity applications like Office," he said. "Wikis historically have been nerdy and only enabled collaboration on one kind of page--a Web page."

In addition, people can customize pre-built JotSpot page templates, or forms, with visual tools.

Kraus added that the company is now beta testing an edition of its software that can be downloaded and run on a customer's servers. That move is in response to customers who preferred hosting the software and data internally, rather than having it hosted with JotSpot, Kraus said.

The software is packaged to run in a VMWare virtual machine.