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BlueSpice free 2.23.3 – Beta released

On Tuesday, 10th May 2016, we released BlueSpice free 2.23.3-beta, a minor and maintenance version.

Download it here at Sourceforge.

As it’s still a beta version – the final release is scheduled for the end of May – we need YOU to put it to the acid test. Please report bugs, patches and other feedback to our Sourceforge Forums. Any feedback is appreciated 🙂

Here are some notable new features of BlueSpice free 2.23.3:

  • Compatibility: BlueSpice can now be used with MediaWiki 1.27.
  • BlueSpice API: There is now a standardized API for many BlueSpice actions.
  • ContextMenu: The extension is now enabled by default.
  • Dashboards: There is a wiki page portlet, which allows you to use any wiki page as a dashboard item. Create your own portlets!
  • ExtendedSearch: Introduces facet operators, which indicate whether multiple selections in a facet should be combined using AND or OR logic. It is now also possible to open articles in the autocomplete list in new windows or tabs.
  • Flexiskin: It is now possible to disable the background image.
  • GroupManager: Raised group name character limit from 16 to 255.
  • InsertMagic: Tag descriptions are now much more descriptive.
  • PermissionManager: Add hint flyout for every right.
  • Upload: XML and SVG files can now be uploaded by default.
  • UserMerge: Added extension to Distribution. Allows you to merge various users into one.
  • UserSidebar: There is now a “global actions” navigation tab for every user.
  • VisualEditor: Set default style for table to contenttable. This makes much nicer tables…

You can read the detailed release notes in our BlueSpice Helpdesk.

BlueSpice in 2016

The last few months BlueSpice MediaWiki has had a great time. We see an increasing number of downloads. BlueSpice becomes more and more visible. And as a result of that, we win many new customers and are involved in incredibly interesting projects.

This makes it possible, and necessary, to push the BlueSpice project forward this year again. We have many ideas and tasks. I cannot share all the details yet, but for a start, here are some general announcements.

Firstly, we will publish two releases this year:

  • A maintenance and security release end of April and
  • A feature release end of this summer.

For BlueSpice free and pro the maintenance release 2.23.3 will support MediaWiki 1.27.0 (the next MediaWiki LTS version). For this release we have reviewed the interface security and we perfected some features (Bookmaker, PermissionManager e.a.). And we‘re going to add some more MediaWiki extensions to the distribution. Be surprised.

Some key improvements of the later feature release are already known. BlueSpice pro will support WebDAV in the third quarter of this year, which means one can edit attached files without the need to upload them separately. They will be stored directly in the wiki file system.

Furthermore we’re going to improve the usability: users will be able to find important special pages like the review page much easier. And we will smoothen the user interface and features, so that BlueSpice will become the perfect tool for all quality assurance processes.

Handling extensions will become more comfortable with an extension store. This is a large project, but we will take the first steps towards realization.

Overdue are some important tasks to nurture the BlueSpice community. A community hub is on the way. In addition, the helpdesk and documentation will be getting more attention.

Finally the partner program is to be enhanced.

A lot to do. But with your feedback and help BlueSpice MediaWiki will make a huge step forward in 2016.

BlueSpice Release 2.23.2 – ImageMapEdit, WikiCategoryTag, EmbedVideo, MediaWiki Visual Editor, Semantic MediaWiki and even more

We released BlueSpice 2.23.2 – a minor and maintenance release. This is the first release of BlueSpice with the new “BlueSpice pro” subscription. Of course the free version “BlueSpice free” is still available on sourceforge.

BlueSpice free 2.23.2

BlueSpice free is the free wiki version of BlueSpice that can be downloaded at sourceforge.
Notable new features in BlueSpice free 2.23.2:

  • Update of notification system
  • Improved logging of actions, e.g. assign responsibility or changes in rights setup
  • Added ImageMapEdit: create image maps very easy by using the dialogue provided at the meta page of an image
  • BlueSpice is now compatible with MediaWiki’s VisualEditor
  • Bugfixes

BlueSpice pro 2.23.2

BlueSpice pro is a subscription that contains patches and updates of provided functions, continious expanding of the functions (for Standard and Premium subscriptions) and professional product support.
Notable new features in BlueSpice pro 2.23.2:

  • All features and changes like in BlueSpice free
  • Integration of Semantic MediaWiki and BlueSpice e.g. enable Semantic in the namespace manager
  • Integration of ServiceCenter: add search portals to the wiki; enable/disable category check functionality in the namespace manager
  • Bookmaker new feature: create “own books” (personal books are stored as a subpage of the user page)
  • Rating: Implemented grid filters to special page “rating”
  • Bugfixes

Please read detailed release notes for BlueSpice free and BlueSpice pro in our helpdesk.

Lightbox extension now in the BlueSpice shop

View images with the Lightbox
View images with the Lightbox

With the Lightbox extension it is possible to display thumbnail or image galleries as full-size images in a pop-up while the background is darkened. So with a click on an image you won’t be redirected to the image’s meta page. If you want to call-up the meta page of the image, please click on the window symbols in the thumbnail.

This extension is available in our BlueSpice shop.

Security release 2.23.1.1, and how to report vulnerabilities

Yesterday, we published the security release BlueSpice 2.23.1.1. Community user Frederic Mohr had reported a severe cross-site-scripting vulnerability with the Shoutbox, where arbitrary JavaScript code could be inserted in the box and would be executed on each page load. The fix he provided contains a minor change in the input handling. The new release fixes this vulnerability. There’s also a patch available for BlueSpice 2.23.1. The monthly release also contains the patch. Downloads and patches can be found at Sourceforge.

We highly recommend to update or patch your existing BlueSpice installations.

I want to thank Frederic for his support! And I’d like to take this chance to sketch out how we handle vulnerability reports. Usually, bugs are reported in our public forum. However, reporting a security related issue also means publishing the vulnerability right away, without giving us the chance to patch the software. Because of this, I ask you to report security issues directly to me by email: glaser@hallowelt.com. If possible, please encrypt the actual description of the vulnerability with GPG. My public key can be found on the MIT keyserver. We will then contact you, verify the vulnerability and provide a patch. After the patch is released, we will request a CVE number to have this properly documented. Of course, credits for finding the vulnerability go to the person that reported it.

Relaunch of the BlueSpice Website

BlueSpice Website
BlueSpice Website

Have you already seen our new website? No?! We hope you will like it as much as we do 😉
We have not only updated the content, but also redesigned the page and – last but not least – changed the domain to bluespice.com.
We tried to focus on frequent asked questions about BlueSpice to represent them in the website structure, e.g.:

  • What is BlueSpice pro and why should I subscribe? What costs and features do I have to expect?
  • What is the difference between BlueSpice free and BlueSpice pro?
  • What are common use cases and what features are important?
  • I want to start a company wiki and it seems like I need some help with installation, migration, structuring – does BlueSpice offer those services?
  • BlueSpice pro is awesome, but I need a special functionality and a few changes for the skin. Is it possible to customize BlueSpice?
  • I really like this MediaWiki distribution how can I join the BlueSpice community?
  • Which companies are already using BlueSpice – do you have some references?
  • I want to cooperate with BlueSpice as a partner – is it possible?

Have fun discovering the BlueSpice website: https://bluespice.com/

A Wiki for the Amazon Web Services – Launch BlueSpice in the Amazon Cloud now

AWS-Cloud-mit-BlueSpice200pxAmazon Web Services also offers the wiki engine BlueSpice now. Our American partner Orbitera provides BlueSpice in the free version in the Amazon Cloud. This means that you start your wiki with just a few clicks in the AWS Marketplace.

BlueSpice in the Marketplace of the Amazon Web Services

1. Call up the BlueSpice page in the Marketplace and – if you don´t have one already – create an account

2. Enter your contact information (please also read the customer agreement, which is linked there)

3. Choose between “OneClick-Launch” and “Manual Launch” and the appropriate entries (instance, server area etc.). Then accept the terms and conditions and start the system with the Launch button

3AWS-OneClickLaunch

4. You will receive a confirmation in the system and and a confirmation mail with further information. To login to the wiki, use „WikiSysop“ as user and your „Instance ID“ as password

5. There you go (user and admin manuel for BlueSpice can be found in our BlueSpice Helpdesk)

BlueSpice is – as usual – not restricted in the number of users and you get the full range of functionality of  the free version.

The advantage of the Amazon Cloud

The costs are low, because it will be charged per hour, e.g. the full usage with the smallest instance and the server location in Frankfurt/Germany costs only 18,25 Dollar per month. All about the instances and which one fits best for your demands can be read here. With AWS you are free to choose the server location – nine are currently available worldwide, two of them in the EU and one of those in Frankfurt / Germany. The pricing for the AWS usage depends inter alia on the server location.

If you don´t know BlueSpice, you can also test it in a 30 days free trial. You don´t have to pay for BlueSpice in this period of time, but the costs for the AWS usage will be charged anyway (from 9,36 $ for 30 days). Furthermore, AWS offers a free tier. Please pay attention to the offer terms.

By the way, we recommend BlueSpice in the Amazon Cloud especially for start-ups and small businesses. Those will not be bothered with administrational tasks and the system is scalable for the possibly growing requirements. Moreover, the Amazon Web Services offer a special start-up program you can take a look at.

If you need support for booking please contact the Amazon Web Services or Orbitera.

Background information about the Amazon Web Services

Popular packages for BlueSpice 2.23.x in the shop for self-installation

Next to some packages for the older version BlueSpice 2.22.x, you can now purchase our most popular packages for BlueSpice 2.23.x in the BlueSpice shop e.g.

  • Teamwork: modul for reviews, approvals and workflows in a BlueSpice Wiki. Very important for quality assurance and in combination with the Reminder package you will keep articles up-to-date.
  • Bookmaker: combine single articles to an online handbook with an automatically generated chapter navigation. Convert complete books, single chapters or pages into the PDF format and export it including all attached files from the articles, a cover and a clickable table of contents!
  • WikiExplorer: browse, sort and filter content according to specific criteria. This is how you identify necessary tasks to administer content in the wiki.
  • VisualDiff: compare article versions with colored highlighting in three different views. This is how you detect even smallest changes at first glance.
  • Reminder: keep articles up-to-date, because the package reminds you after a certain time period to check the content and to revise it.
  • PasteImage: insert and upload images by using Drag & Drop and Copy & Paste

Choose those functionalities you need and combine them to your business wiki.
Just purchase, dowload, install and get started – all by yourself!

Knowledge platform for service and support processes – cooperation with marillabax

Since the beginning of 2015 we welcome service specialist marillabax as a partner at Hallo Welt!
With marillabax we develop a wiki that is not only functionally, but also matches perfectly to the content-related needs of service and support employees. The result of this partnership is called „b-know“, and it is introduced on CeBIT 2015.

Radovan Kubani and Marilla Bax raising mugs to the cooperation at CeBIT 15
Radovan Kubani and Marilla Bax raising mugs to the cooperation at CeBIT

Ms. Bax explains:

When companies talk about service and support, they often mean their telephone or e-mail hotline or when the service technician is solving problems right away.
This is why service is still considered as a necessary but unpopular cost center. Successful companies are demonstrating how service can be more than a cost driver – namely a customer oriented department which supports competitive differentiation and adds value to the company.

To achieve this, a lot of companies buy elaborative consulting processes or expensive training initiatives.
b-know is an internal, wiki-based knowledge platform for all service and support processes and the necessary expertise knowledge. With the help of b-know, companies can reorganize their service and position themselves as customer oriented. All concerned parties have quick access to the expert knowledge, handbooks or FAQ’s they need – this is knowledge management at its best.

Knowledge management in service and support

b-know is available for three industries: IT companies, IT organisations and mechanical engineering. For those industries you will get predefined templates and best practices as a basis, which you can adapt according your needs. New processes can be easily implemented. With the help of b-know companies can profile their service organization much more efficiently, structured and with a higher quality. As a result they save costs and gain additional sales in service and support.

b-know is based on the wiki platform BlueSpice developed by Hallo Welt! and enriched with special service handbooks and contents from marillabax.
More information on the BlueSpice website.