Liferay has released a new community edition (CE) version of its two-year old social collaboration solution, Social Office. Liferay has made major changes in Social Office 2.0 CE: it’s no longer a separate product and includes a long list of new features like microblogging, hashtags and integrated activity streams.

Working Together with Liferay

Liferay initially released Social Office in June 2010 as a stand-alone product, but with the 2.0 release, Social Office has become an application that businesses can install on top of Liferay’s core portal platform. Liferay changed the installation strategy for Social Office, but the product’s core purpose is the same -- improve collaboration.

Social Office adds a number of tools to Liferay that allows businesses to create virtual workspaces for teams to communicate, coordinate work and collaborate on tasks. In addition, to the team-based features, each Social Office user has a private workspace for users to manage their tasks and monitor their team’s activities. The result is a solution that feels very much like a public social network such as Facebook.
Liferay made a number of improvements with the latest release of Social Office. It beefed up profile pages, made navigation easier and consolidated lots of information into single areas to make users more productive. For example, Social Office now includes both Contact and Event Centers.

Event Center integrates with the portal’s out of the box calendar functionality to provide a personalized list of upcoming events for each user. The new Contact Center provides a searchable list of all portal users and allows users to create LinkedIn like connections to other users. Users can customize who they share information with (a la Google+) and whose activity they follow. 
Liferay didn’t end its public social network impersonation with contacts and events. Social Office 2.0 CE also includes:

  • Filterable activity streams
  • Microblogging
  • Hashtags and mentions
  • Private messaging
  • Notifications
  • Integration with Liferay Sync

Complete documentation of everything that’s new in Social Office 2.0 is available in Liferay’s new “Working Smarter with Social Office 2.0” guide.

Getting Social Office

Social Office 2.0 CE is available for download in the company’s new Liferay Marketplace. Liferay has not made an official announcement, but it seems the company has opened its app store to the public. The app store already includes dozens of apps and is accepting submissions from developers for new solutions. The marketplace should make it easier for Liferay users to find pre-built solutions for the portal platform.