I stumbled across Knowledge Network recently and Mike Gotta has also posted recently highlighting the emerging Social Network capabilities from Microsoft and IBM. The Microsoft product doesn’t have a firm release date yet and in their latest post they state that “KN will be released as a technical preview, which is a way for us (Microsoft) to provide a long-lead time to our customers to look at future technologies that Microsoft is working on”. That post is a slight dissapointment in terms of suggesting a longer term release rather than the mid 2007 release suggested earler, and the real dissapointment to me is because the concept and logic behind the product are very strong.
The basic remit seems to be:
- Index everything.
- Analyse that data.
- When searching that data allow all data to be analysed.
- Display results based on relavent security.
- Ability to include email in the seach (Exchange/Outlook only)
- Display people affinities to your search based on all documents indexed rather than just those you have access to.
The expert location results from Knowledge Network would appear to be much more powerful than the standard people search packaged in SharePoint 2007. It would also be interesting to see this functionality wrapped into desktop search which is no doubt where this will lead.
There does appear to be a client requirement – I do wonder why MS requires client side products (and hence licences) in order to do extension features from Sharepoint like Knowledge Network and other more basic features like presence awareness and chat in SharePoint.