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The BlueSpice Shop
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The BlueSpice web shop – extensions, themes and modules for enterprise MediaWikis

Today we published the new BlueSpice web shop. Now modules and solutions in strong demand are also affordable for small budgets. In the shop you will find extensions for ratings, adverts and more.

The BlueSpice Shop
The BlueSpice Shop

And this is how it works: in the webshop the customer only gets the software included an installation manual and one hour product support, but without any further services or additional workshops. Due to this, the web offers are at a highly reduced rate.

In the shop you choose your product(s) and checkout afterwards. After you made sure that you´ve read the system requirements you can pay by bank wire. When we received the payments the software will be downloadable in your customer area.  You don’t have to adapt the software for installation. And because of the reason that BlueSpice is open source, you are free to change the code, but be aware that if you do so, you cannot assert any claims based on defects. If you have problems with the configuration, our support will be available to answer questions.

Customers get a tested version with free licences as well as a second-level support. With the shop, we provide an offer that is supposed to fill a gap, because many  operators have deep IT knowledge and are able to install the modules by themselves. Another reason is that a lot of wikis are in a development stage which means that major investments are not possible. In the shop you can buy extensions on demand.

But we still offer the packages with installation services by the developer which is important especially for business-critical wiki platforms. Furthermore we recommend a subscription for business customers. With regard to at least one release every half year for MediaWiki and BlueSpice, subscriptions are cheaper in the long term to keep your wiki software up to date.

In the beginning we offer some packages like rating tools, versioning  and more as well as a few smaller downloads like the free navigation icons in different colours or the mobile app. But later we will also offer solutions like BlueSpice docu for documentation platforms or BlueSpice public for web platforms. The range will be completed by themes (skins) and MediaWiki compatible extensions. Please notice that when we launch the shop not everything is available yet.  So, at the moment it is possible to pay by bank transfer only and  there will be a few changes for the design of the shop and further payment options in the future. We will enrich the range of our products later on. So have a look – it is already worth it and stay tuned. We will keep you informed on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and the BlueSpice blog.

Organize reviews in a team
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Quality assurance and review with BlueSpice for MediaWiki – [teamwork]

Sometimes is enough to assign a contact person to a wiki article. You can realize that with the “responsible editors” function in BlueSpice. In order to manage the edits and reviews of articles, images and files in a team, we developed the package Teamwork that is included in the subscription BlueSpice pro.

Organize reviews in a team
Organize reviews in a team

The quality assurance in a wiki does not only apply to one responsible editor, but is a coordinated interaction between several editors.
Review periods and workflows, in which editors shall act, can be defined.

The underlying system of if-then relations is complex but has the advantage to be adjusted according to the company’s needs.

Let´s take the following standard process for our example: there is a change in an article that has to be approved, rejected or delegated by several editors of various departments. We assume that in the end of the reviewing-workflow there has to be a final approval to assign the article with the official status “accepted and therefore is considered valid.  Let´s go through the following example to show you how this standard procedure works:

At the beginning of 2013 Mrs. Mayer created the page “travel expense accounting” for the organisational handbook. She used the “reminder”-  feature to mark the article for the resubmission, because she already knew that, in the middle of the year, decisions, which cause changes in the article, will be made.  After five months, the article gets the official status “expired”. But Mrs. Mayer is now on maternity leave.

A colleague of accountancy, Mr. Miller, took notice of the expired article. And he knows that the change concerning the new “travel expense accounting” has already been decided. After that he starts a review process which and therefore is the initiator of the workflow.

Mr. Miller puts Mrs. Wilson, who is Mrs. Mayer’s maternity leave representative, into top position of the workflow with a request to add the changes in the regulation to the article. Mrs. Smith from the human resources department and himself are the next reviewers in the workflow with the task to approve the changes. By the way, the list of reviewers can be expanded also in the ongoing process.

During the workflow the article “travel expense accounting” is marked as “Review” to show visitors that an approving process is going on. Additionally the article will be listed on an overview of all workflows. Mr. Miller can modify further settings for the workflow: firstly if a reviewer just can approve or also can edit the page and secondly what shall happen when a reviewer rejects the approval. While the workflow is going on, visitors can see the last accepted version of the article as well as the current draft. But the draft and accepted versions can’t be edited by editors,  who are not part of the workflow. Please notice, that this is due to the permission definitions, which can be assigned individually.

In the statebar you will see "review" and the possibility to approve.
In the statebar you will see “review” and the possibility to “agree”.

Mrs. Wilson renewed the regulation for “travel expense accounting” and approves her edit with the comment “regulation updated to state of 2014-06” and clicks on “Agree” afterwards.  Mr. Miller notices that there is a new number next to the eye symbol in his user area, so he knows that he has to do an approval in a workflow. He calls up the page, proves the changes and also agrees. Now Mrs. Smith is next. If she also agrees, Mr. Miller has to do the final approval. Otherwise, there is the possibility to define, that this last step is not necessary as far as the last reviewer agrees.

If Mrs. Smith – she is the last reviewer – rejects the approval and wants further changes, the workflow starts from the beginning.

Example for banners in a wiki
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New BlueSpice packages for advertising and ratings

We offer two new packages for BlueSpice.

1. BlueSpice [rent a link]

This is a package developed especially for public wikis, which enables you to display banner ads and directory entries in your wiki. It brings a manager for customers and banners, where you can also define campaigns with start and end date. Banner ads are displayed next to the article and can be assigned page-based. Also the rotation to show more than one banner on an article is possible. Also set direcotry entries to the articles. Those appear on an extra page, which is related to the article it belongs to. You decide, if the page is accessable by a link in the Statebar or in an extra tab on top of the article.

If you want to read more about [rent a link], visit the BlueSpice website. Or take a look at blueforge.biz, where you can see how it looks like. To watch an example for the directory entries, take a look at the BlueSpice article on blueforge.biz.

 

Example for banners in a wiki
Example for banners in a wiki

2. BlueSpice [rated comments]

With this new package, you get an star rating tool, to rate articles with up to 5 stars – like everyone knows e.g. from Amazon. In addition to the rating feature, the package enables the users to write comments and recensions, discuss contents and topics and exchange experiences.

Read more about [rated comments] on the BlueSpice website. An example can be found at blueforge.biz. Take a look at the article about “Gimp“. You can see the average rating and the number of evaluations next to the article title. Go to the bottom of the article to read the comments and to see how [rated comments] works.

Rate and comment articles
Rate and comment articles
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