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Screenshots of Collaba 7
Developer(s) SYPECom
Stable release 8.0
Written in Java
Operating system multi-platform
Type Collaboration software
License Proprietary
Website Collaba

Collaba is a communication and collaboration platform with a web portal and built-in servers for client applications.

The product is owned by SYPECom Inc. and runs on Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, or any other Java-compatible operating system.

Collaba's primary market is the education sector, although its feature set allows it to be used in many other sectors, including in corporate and non-profit.



Features for end users

Collaba provides users with e-mail (web & pop3/smtp, ssl, crypto.), on-line forums (web, rss, podcast, nntp), blogs (web, rss, podcast), wiki, multimedia chat (text, drawing, multimedia), calendaring (iCalendar,WebDAV synchronization), address book, bookmarks organizer, web publishing, virtual file system (web, ftp, smb, cifs, webdav, cms, etc.), on-line office suite support, Qualified Dublin Core support, digital portfolio, dynamic news board, directory access, and more.

Features for server administrators

Collaba is a server application written in Java. It can be installed on any computer and operating system that can run Java SE 5.0 or 6.0. It does not require any additional database, mail, web or any other kind of server software: all tools and services are provided by the single Collaba server process. Server administrators can manage Collaba through its management web interface. User accounts and user groups can be synchronized with LDAP directories (Active Directory, Open Directory, OpenLDAP, and others) to facilitate management of large communities. Administrators can choose from a number of user authentication methods to simply identification across their network and avoid the need to manage user credentials in multiple places. A Virtual File System also allows administrators to integrate Collaba with existing file servers. See features list for a complete list of features related to server administration.

Features for developers

Collaba includes APIs for enhancing/extending the platform:

  • Collaba Service Expansion API (Java): Allows developers to interconnect Collaba with a wide variety of external web-based services. The API allows for very simple to very complex integration, usually involving Single sign-on.
  • Collaba Persistence API (Java): Allows developers to add support for alternate database systems to Collaba.
  • Collaba Authentication API (Java): Provides a way of adding new methods of verifying a user's identity and credentials.
  • Collaba Client Engine (Java): Allows developers to design custom client applications that can communicate with a Collaba server.
  • Collaba Anti-Virus Service API (Java): Makes it possible for Collaba to have all uploaded attachments and files scanned by a third-party anti-virus scanning tool (like ClamAV).
  • Collaba VFS source (VFSCL): Provides complete control over the Virtual File System's structure.
  • Collaba VFS scripts (VFSSL): A scripting language for automating workflow inside Collaba's Virtual File System.
  • Collaba VFS script extensions (Java): Allows developers to create new commands for use in VFS scripts.
  • Collaba Whiteboard Toolkits (bundle): Allows developers to add new toolkits to Collaba's multimedia whiteboard.


Collaba uses and/or supports the following technologies and standards: Bonjour, CAS, CSS, ClamAV, DH, DNSBL, Dublin Core, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, JAAS, Java, LDAP, MD5, MIME, NNTP, POP3, Podcast, RSS, SAN, SMB/CIFS, SMTP, SSL, TSL, VFS, WebDAV, XHTML, XML, Zeroconf, iCalendar, vCard

Early history

In 2001, Quebec's school districts were approaching the end of a three-year provincial agreement[1] with SoftArc (now Open Text) for the annual acquisition of FirstClass software licenses at a very low cost per student. Near the expiration date of the agreement, a group of school districts began to search for a replacement product that would meet their needs, but none was found that did exactly what they wanted.

So on November 21, 2001, SYPECom officially announced that it would start developing a new communication platform called Collaba, aimed at meeting the needs of the Quebec school districts. Collaba 1.0 was released in September 2002, nearly a year after it was announced. During the next few years, SYPECom continued active development of the platform and cumulated partnerships with numerous organizations.

Product line evolution

Originally, Collaba was designed as a web-only communication server. Its goal was to provide easy access from anywhere there is a web browser. As the user base got larger, Collaba evolved into a multi-protocol server, so that users can communicate and collaborate with more than just a web browser. Today, users can interact with Collaba using any web browser, mail client, calendaring application, news client, RSS reader, podcast client, FTP client, WebDAV client, contacts management application, PDAs, and more.

Until 2008, Collaba was available under four editions: Collaba Education Portal, Collaba Enterprise Server, Collaba Special Edition, and Collaba VL. Although all four products shared the same core technology, they each had different limitations on the list of features available, so that the cost of licenses could vary.

In February 2008 however, all four products were replaced with a single unified Collaba product[1] which has no feature limitation and is available under a single pricing list.


The first documented release of Collaba is version 1.0 on 2002-09-16. A total of 73 versions and sub-versions were released between that date and the Fall of 2004. When the 3.0 milestone was reached in October 2004, SYPECom altered its release process and started to publish larger releases less often, thereby helping customers keep up with the product's evolution. Collaba 4.0 was released on 2005-01-27 and Collaba 5.0 on 2006-05-18 (with sub-versions in-between).

Collaba 6.0 was released on 2007-08-16. This version was a significant step forward for the platform, as it completely reengineered its web portal interface and introduced many new collaboration tools, communication services and expansion capabilities.

Collaba 7.0 was released on 2008-02-07. In addition to presenting a completely rewritten Virtual File System and many more features and improvements, this version marked a shift in SYPECom's software licensing strategy. Collaba 7.0 was the first version to be completely unified[1] under a single features list and pricing list.


Collaba won the ICEM 2004 Grand Prize for best multimedia platform and excellence in multimedia technologies applied to the world of learning[2], awarded to SYPECom at the International Conference on Educational Multimedia held in Quebec City on March 14 to 17.

See also


External links

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