What is WikiSuite?

WikiSuite is a Free / Libre / Open Source software (FLOSS) enterprise suite.

What is Free / Libre / Open Source software (FLOSS) ?

See also: Why Free Libre Open Source software

What is an enterprise suite?

The enterprise suite category is for solutions for organizations that cover more than 10 traditional software categories in an integrated fashion (ex.: logins work throughout all features, integrated search, common look and feel, etc.). Software categories differ depending on the source and evolve over time.

Why did you create WikiSuite?

Marc Laporte, project founder wrote:
  1. If organizations don't control their data, some bad things happen. Since most data is not covered by open standards, it can only be done by controlling the software. And that means Free / Libre / Open Source software.
  2. To succeed in any major project, you need efficient collaboration of a number of minds. Once you have sufficient diversity and quantity of minds working together, you can do just about anything.

So I wanted the best possible tool to empower collaboration. All the other solutions I saw had at least one major flaw. Ex.:

  • Proprietary software (limits accessibility, innovation, etc.)
  • Fragmentation (See PluginProblems.com)
  • Limited scope (was only trying to address a small subset of challenges or opportunities)
  • Inflexibility (Tailored to a pre-set mental model)
  • The wrong tool for the job (See SpreadsheetProblems.com)

Wikipedia didn't invent the concept of an encyclopedia. It just re-did one using the wiki way (Open Source, open knowledge, web collaboration, convergent collaboration, etc.) Similarly, with WikiSuite, my goal was to make available all the possible tools teams could need. Thus, an enterprise suite. WikiSuite didn't invent the enterprise suite concept, but it's the most successful project doing it in a wiki way. Now that we have a fantastic tool for Unified Collaboration, we can empower countless teams and communities.

Where is my data hosted?

As WikiSuite is Open Source, you can download and install on any hosting provider, in any jurisdiction.

What makes WikiSuite special?

While Wikipedia is the broadest unified body of knowledge, WikiSuite is the most comprehensive and integrated Open Source enterprise solution. It is fundamentally different to its alternatives by the Wiki Way approach to build enterprise software.

What do you mean by comprehensive and integrated?

comprehensive: WikiSuite offers most (over 80 percent) of the data and information management features that all organizations need.
integrated: The end goal is that all parts of WikiSuite look and act consistently. One login for everything, one search box for everything, etc. We are not 100% there yet, but we are closer than the other FLOSS offerings, and have a realistic roadmap to get there. Also see the answer about Bootstrap below.

Please see: The most comprehensive and integrated Open Source enterprise solution.

What are components?

They are the individual software applications that comprise WikiSuite. Please see: Software Components.

How were components picked?

All options were extensively analyzed and compared according to this component criteria.

Is WikiSuite just a list of software?

WikiSuite is much more than just a list of software. Our end goal is to have one integrated suite that covers essentially all the software needs for a typical organization. The policy is to work closely with each upstream project. See also: "Upstream First". And thus, it is a community project doing the following:

  1. Making it all easy to install and manage.
  2. We participate actively in the components -> Reporting bugs, adding features, improving documentation, helping with community management, etc. Please note that working upstream also means working with any project that the components themselves include. For example, Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware includes code from over 125 different software libraries, and thus, as appropriate we will work with these libraries.
  3. To make everything work well together (using open standards when possible and / or some glueware). And improving upstream makes it easier for projects similar to WikiSuite to re-use the same components (which we prefer). And we are strive to develop/improve standards such as JMAP
  4. Making everything have a common look and feel, by standardizing on the Bootstrap front-end framework. We have helped several of the components to move to Bootstrap, which is good in itself, and makes it easier for WikiSuite to have a consistent look and feel.
  5. The tight integration of all the components will permit to much better address use some tricky use cases such as Customer Relationship Management.

If you compare to the alternatives to WikiSuite, you will see that some of them are mostly focused on making it easy to install diverse software, but they don't focus on making everything work together as one. WikiSuite has massively contributed to Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware and Openfire.

What use cases should be covered by WikiSuite?

All the common cases. Take a hundred organizations of a certain size (ex.: 50 team members). They all need a website, email, accounting, etc. All these are in WikiSuite. If something is missing, we extend one of the existing components, or we add a new component. See in Why Openfire how we plan for the use cases.

What about organizations that have special needs?

There are a few options:

  1. Think of a way to transform this special need into a generic feature that would be useful for a larger community. For example: Tiki Trackers permit to create applications from generic database and wiki features.
  2. Continue using specialized software
    • a) If there is Open Source software in this field, work with the WikiSuite community to evaluate all Open Source options as per usual component criteria. This component could become part of WikiSuite as one of the specialized components.
    • b) Even if the specialized software is not part of WikiSuite (ex.: it's proprietary software), you can still use it and it won't be harder to integrate. Since WikiSuite is Open Source, any connectors can be made.

What should be a feature vs a configuration profile?

Ask 10 people what feature X should do. If you have quite similar answers, it should be a feature. Blogs, forums, wikis, etc. are clear concepts with clear expectations. But what about CRM, ERP, Project Management? Here, the solution will be quite different depending on the nature and size of the organization. For a freelancer, a CRM can be done in wiki pages. For organizations with large support teams, it requires a structured approach which aggregates and presents various data types:

  • Client history
  • Emails from and to the client
  • Phone call log
  • Person responsible for the accounts
  • Etc.

And the needs will evolve. So we need a flexible system which evolves with the organization.

A way to package these is called Configuration Profiles: https://profiles.tiki.org.
We plan to extend this concept throughout WikiSuite.

Do I have to use everything in the Suite?

No. Don't install / activate what you don't need. And the day you need it, you'll be pleased that it's ready for you, and working with all the rest of WikiSuite.

Can I replace part of the Suite?

Yes, it's all Free / Libre / Open Source (FLOSS). You can use different components that better suit you (legacy data, better features, etc.). Please do share why / how you did this so others can learn and make better choices for their projects.

What is the license?

Software and documentation are released under appropriate "wiki way" community-friendly licensing. Please see: License.

How much is it worth?

It's priceless! See next question.

How much would it cost to re-code?

As of 2019, WikiSuite's cost to develop is well over US$50 million. Please see: Constructive Cost Model COCOMO.

Since WikiSuite is formed of various components, how will it have consistency in the user interface?

We are working to move all components to Bootstrap (front-end web framework).

Is WikiSuite multi-tenant?

Not really. The main use case is to set up a server (virtual or physical) for each project.

Would it be possible to make it multi-tenant?

Yes. If you need this, get involved to make it happen!

  • Virtualmin is designed for shared hosting and thus multiple projects/clients on a single server.
  • Openfire is not, and domain alias requires some trickery.
    • But several instances of Openfire can run on the same server
  • Tiki can be but requires significant configuration. Domain alias is easy.

An alternative: Orchestrator

Why is it called WikiSuite?

Let's take both words (according to Wiktionary):

So it's a collection of software working well together that facilitates teams working well together. Wikis are historically about collaboration on textual content in web pages (which was a limitation of the technology of the day). However, for WikiSuite, it's to facilitate collaboration through any type of content: web pages for unstructured content (wiki/web pages) and structured content (spreadsheets, databases, business applications), files, emails, real time communication (XMPP and WebRTC), virtual machines, videos, diagrams, passwords, etc. (anything really).

It's mostly through a web browser but some non-browser software is supported. Ex.: the IMAP protocol to manage email via a desktop or mobile client. And we are working on JMAP.

What is the support period?

Each component has a different support period. For now, the supported versions are the latest stable versions of each component. In the future, we will add a Long Term Support (LTS) for the reasons explained at https://tiki.org/Versions. See also: Version Lifecycle.

How is performance / scalability

See Performance.

What are the alternatives?

Please see: Alternatives.

What are examples of deployment scenarios?

There are multiple different possibilities. It really depends on your specific use case and preferences. Do you prefer fewer servers running multiple services? Or do you prefer segmenting?

Here are a few:

When did WikiSuite start?

It officially started in 2011 under the name Tiki Suite, and was later rebranded to WikiSuite. However, one could argue that WikiSuite's start is much earlier given two of the main components (Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware and Openfire) started in 2002.

For more history: All updates

What are the future plans?

Please see: Mission Vision Values, Projects, Roadmap and To do.

How to register?

Just register and start participating! This is a wiki community, and thus, inherently collaborative.

Please note that you do not need to register at wikisuite.org to use WikiSuite.

How can I contribute?

Please see: Contribute.

Where to report bugs and suggest features?

If it's a bug or feature request of a component, use the mechanism of that component. See also: Source.

If you are not sure, or for a general task, or feature request for WikiSuite: To do.

How can I get support?

Please see: Support.

How can I get in contact with the people in charge?

Please see: Contact.