Wiki software refers to a special purpose web application. This application is able to create user generated content and allows them to add or edit entries to a wiki database using a web browser. Wiki software at best can be explained as smart databases that are hosted on web servers. They are an example of a complete web content management system because they give full control over the user generated content present on an online database server.
There are many Wiki websites that are running these days. We will reflect here on the historical evolution of the wiki software and then aim to present the most popular ideas behind the future of enterprise Wiki engines that are aimed to be able to support all devices and allow natural language functionality. We start here with the definition of Enterprise Wiki.
A Brief History of Wiki
The first wiki application was created by Ward Cunningham in 1994. Most wiki applications at that time were created using customized software. Version control software that was good for documentation was employed in creating early wikis. HTML coding was required to indicate internal links, but this requirement was removed by using the marking method in the code.
The problem with early wiki applications was that it was difficult to create formatted text in English as would be prepared by a writer writing on a piece of paper. The use of standard language conventions such as capital letters and sentence breaks was employed to make the texts of wikis uniform and easier to read.
Many wiki applications appeared in a period of ten years from 1996 to 2005. These applications were prepared in different programming languages and there was still no conformity of standards towards using a singular language or a complete content system to author wiki websites. The standardization has started to appear since 2005.
Wiki software which is employed in a corporate setting is known as an enterprise wiki. The main purpose of creating corporate or enterprise wikis is to promote the sharing of company information and empower employees with more direct information about the organization.
Many powerful wikis such as Jive and Confluence are enterprise wiki solutions. Large organizations such as Microsoft, Adobe Systems and Intel use extensive wiki systems internally in their organizations.
Wikis are able to simplify content management in an organization. Wikis are able to easily provide information to different people and departments. The decentralized nature of wikis allow for efficient project management and can also be used for effective resource planning while taking care of customer relationships as well.
An Evolution of Wikis
There has been a great evolution in wikis in the last ten years. They have turned into complete management systems and are able to also work as effective knowledge bases in large organizations. They allow people in organizations to share information on an open platform which keeps their email systems free to only incorporate essential information exchange.
Wikis have become much better at organizing information with better structures. They allow editing and creation of information structures as well. Enterprise wikis are also able to work as version controls and allow a mention of editing details in order to identify the user responsible for certain changes.
The searching capacity of modern wikis is also excellent. This occurred over the last decade with better programming scripts able to offer detailed searching options. Their searching is paired with information management in many organizations that gives more control to company management in effective business operations. Many existing wikis can now easily be used as CMS systems due to their internal feature of cohesive functions.
Modern wikis such as ProProfs have advanced scripting options as well that are present in their system. This allows the use of common programming languages to create routines and working tasks of either storing or using information from the database of a wiki. Modern wikis are also accessible from mobile devices and offer the same controls from them as well.
Evolution of Enterprise Wikis
There are some improvements that have especially occurred in enterprise wikis. Modern wikis have excellent editorial controls that allow information to be kept updated. They also allow partial access of different database elements. This is excellent when partial access is to be given to different departments. This allows a company to use the enterprise wiki to carry out almost all the digital control activities using the wiki database.
Enterprise Wikis in the Next Century
Wikis are improving all the time and new trends have already appeared on the horizon, especially on the front of enterprise wikis. The next evolution in wikis is that of idea sharing. The famous wiki inventor Ward Cunningham is already working on a Java based wiki which will be a living entity capable of information sharing with built-in tools.
The idea of sharing has given rise to the concept of federated wikis in the near future. This concept relies on the fact that many wiki applications are created using the same set of rules but housed on separate servers. These wikis make a federation and are easily able to share and create objects among each other with ease. This concept is all about the collected ownership of data elements that improves the working power of individual wiki contributors and organizations.
Natural Language Recognition
The other idea about the future improvements is the ability to use natural language recognition in enterprise wikis. This ability gives a lot of power to wikis and they are able to work as both personal assistants and clerks that take information to different departments according to their requirements. The use of enterprise wikis will also expand in the future and we will see more businesses switching to wikis to better keep the company records and share necessary information among different company officials.
Wikis as CMS
The standardization will increase in future wikis which will enable every business to use a wiki as an effective content management system and ensure that it is created with the standardized industry practices that are now available openly over the internet for the creation of future wikis. Future enterprise wikis will serve as windows of the companies from which their customers are able to assess the internal health of the businesses.
Contributed by http://www.proprofs.com/