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Lion Server Automatically Creates a Collaboration Site for Users

Lion Server can set up a sophisticated wiki-based website containing collaboration tools for your user accounts. Absolutely no HTML coding or design layout is required.

The built-in website is dynamically created and updated and is user-configurable. You can limit users’ access to features, or you can give them the whole ball of wax.

Users of Macs, Windows, Linux, and Unix can create their own pages, wikis, and blogs, and upload pictures, movies, and audio — all in a web browser, without any coding. And if users want to add some HTML code, they can — again, from the web browser.

Here’s what Lion Server creates for you automatically when you have web services turned on:

  • A home page: Lets users get to the web features. To get there, just use your hostname in the form http://server.example.net in your browser.

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  • A personal web page called my Page for each user account: When a user first clicks the My Page link, the wiki server creates a My Page for the user, to which the user can add a blog, more pages, and files. If a user wants to let others edit content, she can create a wiki. Users see a link to other users’ My Page in the People page.

  • Blogs: Each user can create blog entries. In an organization, people can use blogs to distribute FYI-type information rather than clogging e-mail inboxes. This information can later be linked to rather than buried in a mail folder.

  • Wikis: Wikis are great for sharing documents for a work project, posting classroom notes or enabling students to work in teams, or distributing business policies. Each user and group can create a wiki. Users outside the group can have access, if you want.

  • Web calendar: Individual users get their own personal calendars and also have access to shared calendars for groups. Users can choose to create multiple calendars on either.

    This web calendar feature is an alternative to Lion Server’s iCal Server. But Mac users who are running Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) or later can also use their iCal application to view and modify their web calendars. Pretty neat.

  • Navigation links: Get to anything from anywhere.

  • A Help system for the site: Readers can see how to navigate as well as create, edit, and administer content.

  • Podcasts: Users can easily subscribe to podcasts, as well as publish and delete podcasts from their web browsers.

  • File sharing: Users can upload and download files or view files without downloading.

  • iPhone/iPad support: Users can access and use the wiki controls from an iOS device.

    iOS devices cannot edit the wiki or upload files, however. They also cannot view wiki calendars. They can subscribe to a calendar from the web browser and have the calendar appear synced in the Calendar app. iOS devices can also add tags to items to help organize items.

You get all this simply by turning on web and wiki services. You can choose to disable features you don’t need or to customize the site. You can designate a group wiki as the home page. However you change it, Lion Server creates the navigation links, the autoupdates, and the relevant Help system.

Snow Leopard Server users should note that Lion Server’s built-in website lacks two features found in version 10.6: the ability to host a listserv and themes. Lion Server’s wiki website is significantly easier to use and manage, however.

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