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Commercial Software

ArsDigita Community System (ACS)

A suite of open source modules designed for building web-based communities. 
Developer: ArsDigita Corp.
Platform: UNIX
BSCW Shared Workspace System
An interesting Web-based environment for collaborative document editing and other shared work.
Developer: OrbiTeam Software GmbH.
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT & 2000
A toolkit for building e-Commerce sites, with a strong emphasis on forums. Also offers chat rooms. An API allows full customization of the user interface.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows

cassiopeia Community
Suite of applications for workgroup collaboration.
Developer: Cassiopeia
Platforms: UNIX, Windows NT
High-end, powerful, and extremely customizable linear forum system. Also available as a hosted service.
Developer: CaucusCare
Platform: UNIX
Very inexpensive. Includes chat and voting features.
Developer: LabGO
Platform: UNIX (written in Perl)


Cold Fusion based forums
The Allaire Cold Fusion site features a Developer's Exchange, where developers of Cold Fusion based applications can post their products. Several forum, message board, and chat applications are listed, some free, some not. All require the Cold Fusion software.
Developer: various
Platform: Windows


Developer will install the software at your site.
Developer: Ecreations
Platform: UNIX


CommuniWare Enterprise
A full suite of community tools designed to support large-scale, commercial online communities.
Developer: Akonix, Inc.
Platform: Windows


Inexpensive message board. A limited version is available free.
Developer: Nobreak Technologies, Inc.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows


A database-driven BBS.
Developer: DCScripts
Platforms: UNIX, Windows NT (written in Perl)


Dialogue Forums
Free for noncommercial use. Stores messages in a Microsoft Access database.
Developer: Phillip Kallerman
Platform: Windows 95 & NT (written in Perl)


Simple linear message board, integrated with DigiChat. Requires mySQL. Also available as a hosted service.
Developer: Digi-Net Technologies, Inc.
Platform: UNIX, Windows


Discuss It!
This is a standalone component of Darasoft's Class Act system for web-based instruction management.
Developer: Darasoft Ltd.
Platform: Windows 2000


Usenet News server with a built-in Web gateway. Free to nonprofits and educational institutions.
Developer: NetWin Ltd.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows, Macintosh, OS/2, VMS, Novell Netware


EIES (Electronic Information Exchange System)
Web interface to the venerable EIES conferencing system.
Developer: CCCC, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Platform: UNIX


Encore Web Forum
Uses a linear discussion structure, organized in topics and subtopics. Also features email notification. A free limited version is available for evaluation.
Developer: Arborior
Platforms: Windows, UNIX (written in Perl)


Collaborative workgroup environment. Users must have a Web browser plus eRoom client software.
Developer: eRoom Technology, Inc. (formerly Instinctive Technology)
Platform: Windows NT


eShare Expressions Forums
A Web server featuring integrated bulletin board and chat features.
Developer: eShare Technologies
Platforms: UNIX, Windows
Sample site: FOX News


EZsite Forum
Threaded forum based on Active Server Pages. Requires Microsoft IIS and an ODBC database.
Developer: Doug Dean
Platform: Windows
An environment for collaborative group work, including realtime chat, asynchronous discussions, surveying, and brainstorming tools.
Developer:, Inc.
Platform: Windows NT, Macintosh


FirstClass Intranet Server
Designed as a complete intranet server, with conferencing and e-mail capabilities. Conferences can be accessed via a Web browser, but to take full advantage of FCIS requires special client software.
Developer: SoftArc, Inc.
Platforms: Windows NT, Macintosh


Linear message board with realtime chat, instant messaging, and email subscriptions. Requires Cold Fusion and a relational database. Source code is available.
Developer: e-Zone Media Inc.
Platforms: Windows, UNIX


Peer-to-peer collaboration system.
Developer: Groove Networks
Platform: Windows


A suite of team-based decision software tools, including brainstorming, topic commenting, group outlining, voting, surveys, etc.
Developer: Ventana Corp.
Platform: Windows NT / Citrix WinFrame


He Bulletin Board
Inexpensive bulletin board implemented with PHP and MySQL.
Developer: Hescripts
Platforms: Windows, UNIX


HeyMax Message Boards
HeyMax builds customized community sites for their clients, including message boards and chat rooms.
Developer: HeyMax Interactive


Forums may be hosted on Infora's site for a monthly fee, or the software can be purchased for installation on your own server.
Developer: Infora Forum Management
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT (written in Perl)
Web-based groupware applications suite that includes conferencing.
Developer: IntraACTIVE, Inc.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows NT


Features both threaded discussions and real-time chat.
Developer: Media Design in Progress
Platform: Macintosh


Interactive Web BBS Systems
I-Web offers several different inexpensive BBS systems: Javascript BBS, FrameBoard, and WebForum.
Developer: The CCS Network
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT


Runs as a separate server (not as a CGI application).
Developer: Forge Foundation, Inc.
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT (written in Perl)


A discussion template based on Lotus Notes/Domino.
Developer: Kryos Systems
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT


"Knowledge management" software for workgroups.
Developer: Intraspect
Platforms: UNIX, Windows NT


KOM 2000
Groupware system featuring forums, chat, email, support for distance education, and other features. Users may participate in forums by email.
Developer: Stockholm University, & KTH Technical University
Platform: UNIX


KOZ Community Publishing System
The KOZ CPS provides an integrated suite of tools for groups, including public and private message boards, chat, group calendars, and template-based Web page publishing. This is a high-level product targeted at businesses that plan to resell online community tools in vertical markets.
Sample sites: Family Shoebox |


Kudosnet Web Forum
Web bulletin board that also allows e-mail subscription. Forums can be run on your own server or on Kudosnet's server.
Developer: Kudosnet
Platforms: UNIX with PHP/fi


Lotus Domino
Domino permits any Web browser to interact securely with a Notes database (including discussions).
Developer: Lotus Development Corp. (subsidiary of IBM)
Platforms: UNIX, OS/2, Windows NT


Lotus QuickPlace
Team collaboration work space. Also available as a remotely hosted service.
Developer: Lotus Development Corp. (subsidiary of IBM)
Platform: Windows NT


Message Board
Very simple and inexpensive; free to nonprofits.
Developer: Techno Trade Online Solutions
Platform: UNIX (written in Perl)


Message Boards
Integrates with ichat's realtime chat software; supports NNTP clients.
Developer: ichat, Inc.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows


Very simple and inexpensive.
Developer: Alex Heiphetz Group, Inc. (AHG)
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT (written in Perl)


Microsoft FrontPage
General-purpose tool for managing Web sites. Forums can be created through a "Discussion WebBot".
Developer: Microsoft
Platform: Windows


Fast and feature-rich system modeled after the WELL.
Developer: Bryan Higgins and Leha Blaney
Platform: UNIX
Sample sites: Cafe Utne | The Gate


NetBoard Pro
Very simple and inexpensive.
Developer: IServices/ CGI World
Platform: UNIX (written in Perl)


General-purpose tool for handling HTML forms that supports simple conferencing.
Developer: Maxum Development
Platform: Macintosh


Netscape Collabra Server
Successor to Netscape News Server
Developer: Netscape Communications Corp.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows NT


Oracle InterOffice
Workgroup collaboration system.
Developer: Oracle Corp.


Threaded message board with instructions in English and French.
Developer: Crossdraw
Platform: Windows (requires Cold Fusion and SQL database)


French language product.
Developer: TimSoft
Platform: Windows NT with SQL Server


ProVillage Collaboration Engine
Suite of applications designed for workgroup collaboration.
Developer: ProVillage, Inc.
Platforms: Windows, UNIX


RZ Forum (beta test)
Simple BBS.
Developer:RZ Soft
Platform: UNIX (written in Perl)


A platform for building intranets for collaboration, implemented entirely in PHP. Requires MySQL or other SQL database.
Developer: Tomoye
Platforms: Linux (Windows version under development)


SiteScape Forum (previously called Alta Vista Forum and Workgroup Web Forum)
Groupware featuring forums, chat, document management, calendars, etc. Offers two methods for viewing responses: "dialog view" (continuous text) and "table view" (index of responses).
Developer: SiteScape, Inc.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows NT


Web implementation of a traditional BBS.
Developer: Searchlight Software
Platform: Windows NT & 95


A suite of groupware tools, including a "collaborative outliner" that functions similarly to a tree-structured discussion forum. Implemented entirely in Java.
Developer: Inovie Software, Inc.
Platforms: Windows 95 & NT, UNIX


TeamWave Workplace
A workspace for virtual teams, including message boards, whiteboards, file sharing, scheduling, and other group tools. The tools can be customized or extended with a Software Developer's Kit using the Tcl/Tk.
Developer: TeamWave Software Ltd.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows, Macintosh


Message board implemented with Active Server Pages and SQL. Requires SQL Server.
Developer: yMonda
Platform: Windows


A system for developing and delivering Web-based training, including discussion forums.
Developer: WBT Systems
Platforms: UNIX, Windows, Macintosh


A discussion and newsgroup server designed for large enterprises.
Developer: bCandid Corp.
Platform: UNIX


Ultimate Bulletin Board
Extremely popular, inexpensive BBS with a linear conversation structure.
Developer: Infopop
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT


Very inexpensive BBS. Free for personal and nonprofit use.
Platform: UNIX, Windows NT (written in Perl)


Popular and inexpensive bulletin board based on PHP and MySQL. Features e-mail notification and user profiles. A limited freeware version is available.
Developer: JelSoft Enterprises Ltd.
Platforms: UNIX, Windows


A system for design and delivery of education over the Web, with support for discussion forums.
Developer: Virtual Learning Environments, Inc.
Platform: UNIX


WarpWare BBS (Currently in beta testing)
Shareware, open source BBS. Requires Perl and SQL on the server, Javascript-capable browser.
Developer: Max Baker, WarpWare
Platforms: UNIX, Windows, Macintosh


Washington Web Conferencing System
Very simple demonstration system. Developer will modify it to suit customers' needs.
Developer: Washington Web / Internet Online, Inc.
Platform: UNIX (written in Perl)


Uses cookies to keep track of what users have read, and has an e-mail notification feature. Distributed as shareware.
Developer: Darryl C. Burgdorf
Platform: UNIX (written in Perl)


Includes features for user profiles, listing recent users, etc. Also features realtime chat rooms.
Developer: Duke Engineering
Distributor: O'Reilly & Associates
Platform: Windows


Web Crossing
Highly customizable; very flexible access controls. User portraits can appear in each message.
Developer: Web Crossing, Inc. (previously Lundeen & Associates)
Platforms: UNIX, Macintosh, Windows


A tool for developing Web-based educational environments, including conferencing, chat, and e-mail.
Developer: University of British Columbia
Platform: UNIX


Web implementation of a traditional BBS, designed for compatibility with Worldgroup and Major BBS.
Developer: Computerized Horizons
Platforms: DOS, Windows


Web Training Toolbox
A collection of tools for developing interactive training, including forum and chat functions.
Developer: Janison Solutions
Platform: Windows (requires Microsoft's Internet Information Server)


Primarily a suite of realtime groupware tools, but features private newsgroups. Implemented entirely in Java.
Developer: JDH Technologies
Platforms: Windows NT, UNIX


General-purpose Web development tool that includes a conferencing application called Web+Conference.
Developer: TalentSoft
Platform: Windows, UNIX


WELL Engaged
The WELL's own conferencing software. Not available as a packaged product, but the developer will customize it for your site.
Developer: WELL Engaged
Platform: UNIX
Sample sites: The WELL


Wildcat! Interactive Net Server
BBS-style Web server.
Developer: Santronics Software, Inc.
Platform: Windows

Web implementation of a BBS. Requires users to install a Netscape plug-in.
Developer: Galacticomm
Platform: Windows


Inexpensive. Supports both linear and threaded discussions, moderated forums, and daily digests by e-mail. Requires an SQL database.
Developer: Rick Baker
Platform: UNIX, Windows (written in Perl)

Omar R. Hadjar 2002-01-20