Foldera Beta – first impressions

I’ve been an avid follower of foldera for quite some time now and have finally got access to the beta.  For the uninitiated foldera is a web based ajax rich collaboration environment allowing individuals or teams to share:

  • emails
  • calendars
  • files
  • tasks

The main role I would see Foldera playing is in the rapid provisioning of ad-hoc collaboration sites for organisations who have no restrictions on sharing data using web based services.  I have one or two feature requests for future versions:

  • RSS feeds throughout please so if I’m working remotely from a team I can subscribe to content changes and log-in as required.  I see a key benefit to this tool being rapid collaboration between teams in different organisations, hence primarily I’ll still use my corporate facilities (which would hopefully include RSS)
  • Persistent chat (I see instant messenger is coming soon)
  • Discussion boards
  • I was amazed the beta contained no Foldera branding, in fact the only branding in there was the Google logo next to the search bar!

Overall Foldera was fast and user friendly although I was probably expecting more after such a long development cycle.  The features I would rate top would be:

  • simplicity in design and lack of screen clutter
  • rapid provisioning of accounts
  • rich ajax interface

The real killer is the concept that you quickly create a folder for an activity you are working on with others and in that folder store emails, files, tasks and calendar information pertaining to that activity.  You can invite others to participate in the activity, you can have email replies automatically route to an activity, and you can control which members of an activity can view any particular content.  The principles and Foldera’s presentation are excellent and I wish them every success.

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  1. Stu:

    Glad to hear you’re enjoying the public preview release of Foldera. We’re actually working on the alerts (RSS and SMS) right now. This is one of the key features we want to get in place before moving to a more general launch of the product. We’re also working on the calendar to make it easy to invite others to a meeting.

    And, as you’ve noted, instant messaging in the context of an Activity Folder is also on the roadmap.

    We will be making additional refinements to the user interface prior ot the public launch including some Foldera branding. The goal has been to produce an easy to use and uncluttered interface and I’m delighted to read that this is your impression of the work we’ve done to date.

    Please send any and all suggestions and constructive criticisms to our support group as you delve further into the application. There’s a lot of functionality that might not be immediately apparent but that you’ll come to appreciate as you get more familiar with the application. A few suggestions (if I might be so bold) of features you might want to look into:

    – Comments: every information object in Foldera can have its own thread of comments (both public and private).
    – Version control: when you download a document from the File Manager, you can lock it to let others sharing the Activity Folder that you are updating it. When you are ready to upload a new version of the document, you can preserve the preceding version(s) to maintain a complete history of the changes that have been made.
    – Filters: As your Activity Folders become more populated with information, you’ll probably find the filters feature very helpful in organizing and accessing your information. For example, you can use filters in the Task view to see all tasks assigned to a particular person you’ve shared an Activity Folder with.

    Looking forward to reading more of your impressions as your evaluation of Foldera continues.

    Marc Orchant
    Chief Evangelist


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