Wiki Pioneer Socialtext Incorporates Spreadsheet Application From Dan Bricklin to Create a Distributed Spreadsheet
PALO ALTO, CA – June 10, 2008 – Socialtext, the leading provider of enterprise wiki and social software solutions, today announced SocialCalc(R), a multi-user wiki-based spreadsheet program that simplifies version control, reduces errors and increases productivity. On the heels of its recent announcements — Socialtext Dashboard and Socialtext People and its four new solutions areas – the SocialCalc announcement underscores the company’s vision as the innovator and leader in business social software.
“SocialCalc is the next room in the Business Social Software house we are building on our enterprise wiki foundation,” remarks Socialtext CEO Eugene Lee. “This announcement is exciting because that the social spreadsheet effortlessly bridges the generations of the existing workforce and the upcoming workforce and does not require that individuals need to re-learn an existing application.”
“The timing of SocialCalc is perfect – we were in need of a wikified spreadsheet that had all of the utility of Google Docs without the datamining,” remarks Brandon Stafford, Principal Engineer at GreenMountain Engineering. “The SocialCalc interface is easy for anyone who knows spreadsheets. The automatic revision tracking eliminates the emailing of spreadsheets. That kind of simplification is crucial for our engineering consulting business.”
- Socialcalc – through its integrated editing, discussions and current version control the program prohibits errors from centralized aggregation changes because the user always has the correct and current content accessible. Compared to a traditional spreadsheet sent via email, a sheet on a shared drive or document management system, this program can break work into workable increments and provide a closer to synchronous serial process. Individuals can work on their own section(s) and have a roll-up dashboard, an audit trail of changes and simple notification updates.
In 2005, Dan Bricklin, co-creator of the trailblazing VisiCalc spreadsheet program, announced that he had started working on an Open Source spreadsheet that “combines some of the ease of authoring and multi-person edit ability of a wiki with the familiar formatting and data organizing metaphor of a spreadsheet.” Socialtext co-founder Ross Mayfield wanted to evolve another Personal Computing application into Social Software. In 2006 they announced an agreement for Bricklin to finish his initial standalone server-based product, which was released in 2007 as SocialCalc. Using what was learned in this product, Bricklin embarked on a complete redeployment of just the editing and calculation part of SocialCalc in a much more polished and robust, client-based Ajax implementation. Socialtext engineers have worked with Bricklin to integrate this new spreadsheet “engine” into the Business Social Software platform — giving it the benefits of sharing, tagging, version control, and enterprise-level security and permissioning.
“Traditionally, wikis have centered on paragraphs of text and have proven invaluable for dealing with information in that form,” said Dan Bricklin. “I am thrilled at how we have been able to bring spreadsheet editing into the wiki environment. Business people get the familiar layout, formatting, and calculation functionality of a spreadsheet together with the organic multi-page building and sharing functionality of a wiki. The spreadsheet metaphor has proven to be one of the most popular ways to organize, analyze, and store a vast range of types of information. With the addition of SocialCalc, Socialtext now has an even more powerful tool to let groups develop and keep track of their important data and ideas.”
The SocialCalc spreadsheet engine is also a project on the One Laptop per Child Program, a non-profit directive to empower children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child.
SocialCalc is currently in private Beta on the Business Social Sofware platform with Socialtext customers and will be commercially available within 90 days. To learn about the Beta program or get a demonstration, contact Socialtext sales. Further information is available on the press wiki www.socialtext.net/st-press/