What happened to the eXo Platform 6 community edition?
With the recent release of eXo Platform 6.0, we have received a lot of questions as to our community strategy. In this post, I will do my best to explain our direction and choices.
In the past years, we have been releasing a free eponyme community edition with each new commercial edition of eXo Platform. These community editions had an almost identical functional scope with our commercial editions.
However, having an identical name and an identical functional scope created a lot of confusion among users. Therefore, we decided to introduce a new brand for the community a bit like Fedora vs Red Hat Enterprise Linux: welcome Meeds 1.0.
1. Meeds 1.0
We officially launched the Meeds open source project along with several other software vendors in early 2020.
As part of this initiative, we have contributed quite a significant portion of our core code to the project. Our teams have worked extensively on this core to make it light and developer friendly.
Meeds software now includes the following features: social collaboration components (profiles, activity streams, collaborative spaces), full blockchain–based rewards engine (gamification, kudos, wallet, perks store) and productivity components (unified search and mobile).
eXo Platform 6 is now based on the Meeds software, which lies at its core. Meeds is available under the LGPL licence, for free. It is a great platform to base a new project on – it’s light, easy to integrate to, has the basics for collaboration and project management and has a great set of features for gamifying your user experience.
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We wanted to simplify our community edition. Originally a portal, eXo expanded to become a fully functional digital workplace. With this increase in functional scope, it became more a finished product and less a development framework.
With Meeds, we wanted to build back a functional core that would be rich enough but also simple enough to develop on and onboard new users.
We believe that a vibrant open-source community is key to driving innovation. We believe that Meeds has a very strong potential for community growth and the mutualized innovation that comes with it.
New needs: employee recognition and blockchain
We have identified a strong need for employee recognition that deserves a specialized product. However, an employee uses different softwares, all from different providers, during his workday. As a consequence, employee recognition makes more sense if every software uses the same gamification logic and recognition metrics. To serve that goal, Meeds software is based on common components (commodity) with an innovative rewards engine that’s easy to connect with.
We strongly believe in decentralization and individual liberty. Our digital workplace is focused primarily on the employee and making his/her life easier. Naturally, we are very attuned to the blockchain economy and the liberty of choice it brings in all businesses and markets.
Participating in an independent blockchain-based project allows us to innovate in advance of our core corporate market and fully embrace this new trend.
3. eXo Platform - what is different
As stated previously, eXo Platform is based on Meeds. What our commercial editions add on top are more extensive collaboration, communication and productivity features.
To sum up, Meeds is a core on which you can base your end-user project and a rewards engine to which you can connect any software that you use. It is a good fit for small-team collaboration. It can be your portal base for any development. For software vendors, it can gamify your software stack with simple integrations.
Meeds will expand its ecosystem with new integrations. For instance, the community worked on the Slack integration into Meeds, gamifying Slack’s use for developers. The GitHub integration has also been implemented.
Meeds will continue its development as an independent open-source project.
eXo Platform will continue to base its core on Meeds, including the Meeds gamification engine. New developments will focus on communication, collaboration and productivity.
5. What happens to eXo Platform community users - free grants
We are aware that quite a significant number of collaborative projects have been built on eXo Platform over the years. And that developers and users are legitimately worried as to the future of their projects. Here is what you can do:
If you forked eXo and made significant developments on top of the portal core, check out Meeds for an upgrade. We believe that most community projects will find what they need in Meeds.
If your project is about collaboration and you did not customize eXo much, check out our professional offer, which might suit your needs. We will do our best to make this work for you financially.
If you are a non-profit or similar and/or are using eXo Platform for a good cause, you may benefit from our free grants program. In short, this program allows you to use eXo Platform for free (we will publish a dedicated post on the subject soon).
It is my sincere belief that our Meeds strategy would benefit not only our new members but also our existing community. We have worked on providing alternative solutions for existing projects so that the transition is smooth. If you have any questions or feel that your particular case has not been covered, do not hesitate to contact me personally. We will do our best to find a suitable solution for everybody.
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I'm Chief Executive Officer of eXo (The Open Source Digital workplace), a company I founded just out of university to serve its first customer, the U.S. Department of Defense. I'm also board Member at Meeds.io, an association of software vendors that provides its members with employee recognition software.