Above: Wikidocs tech enabling collaborative editing in Facebook
Image Credit: Erik Bovee
The technology, which could improve Atlassian’s Jira issue-tracking application and Confluence team-collaboration tool, could also be broadly applied to make the web a much more collaborative place.
Deal terms were not made public. The announcement is being made at the Atlassian Summit conference, currently taking place in San Jose, Calif. The Wikidocs site has also announced the sale.
“Our plan is to add this capability to Confluence and release it next year,” an Atlassian spokesperson told VentureBeat. He declined to envision a wider use of the acquired technology and noted that the purchase was “recently closed.”
But ex-Wikidocs executive Erik Bovee is not so reticent about the possibilities.
“Wikidocs technology is pretty much unique [and] really changes the playing field,” he told me. It “is a framework that allows any HTML to become a ‘real-time’ collaborative app.”
Previously, he had been senior partner and founder of investment firm SpeedInvest, which backed Wikidocs in its late 2013 seed round, and now he’s back at the fund.
Bovee said the tech “dramatically reduces the cost and time to release Google Docs-type Web apps,” making collaboration “possible, fast, and inexpensive.”
It’s the Google/Apache Wave effort “but 100 times better,” Bovee added. He said that “Google sort of hit a wall on this,” notably because the tree-structure of an HTML document is not handled well by Wave-like real-time collaboration.
But the Wikidocs team started to solve the problem in 2009, he said, and took three years “to get it right.”
He noted that all enterprise collaboration apps are “moving to an HTML front end and shared cloud” and that startups like Fuze “are gunning for Cisco and Citrix’ customers, as they see them as dinosaurs with old, siloed technology and slow to innovate.”
“This space is going to change dramatically in the next 24 months, and the Wikidocs acquisition is a good example of strategy by large enterprises.”
The WikiDocs staff works remotely around the world, so current indications are that no relocations will be needed.
In an email sent to registered Wikidocs users on Thursday, Meran noted that the service will be shut down on October 11. He added:
“We believe that Atlassian’s mission to unlock the potential in every team to advance humanity through the power of software fits perfectly with the goals we have for Wikidocs.”