More and more enterprise intranets or public web sites need to integrate their newly acquired social software suite with their previous WCM, Portal and/or ECM systems which are already in place. In opposite more and more WCM (or Portal) are also now extending their product offerings in order to better support social applications or develop their own social micro-applications.
It is quite hard from an integrator point of view to find useful architectural information about how to best federate all these platforms. For example very few social software vendors are speaking about their strategy in regard of better supporting the OpenSocial standard or opensocial gadgets. And trying to combine two (or even three or more) platforms which all rely on their own proprietary social neworking foundations (aka thier own proprietary profile management, list of friends or activities monitoring) might rapidly lead to have two (or three+) "Most recent activities" kind of widgets or several distinct user profiles to enter that the end-user will need to populate for each solution.
- So do we will see some software vendors specialize themselves on a common social software infrastructure (perhaps the old traditional Portal Server vendors)?
- Will social software vendors move into a more generic LEGO kind of offerings which could be more easily plugged on top of any social-ready software infrastructure (similar to what were supposed to do the Portlets Providers)?
- Will social software vendors better expose UGC content (often remotely hosted through some kind of SaaS offerings) through more open API (e.g: the new incoming CMIS API or the Java JCR API in the Java world)?
Some loosely coupled or lightweight integration (only some basic SSO or some integration of a few widgets inside a WCM powered page) will rapidly reach major techincal and functional limits. Files stored in the company ECM back-end will need to be duplicated in the newly installed Social Software Suite. Blogs or wiki kind of pages risks to be duplicated between the old WCM and the new Social Software Suite leading to double the level of trainings required for end-users, etc, etc...
So what's your opinions on this?