Open source collaboration company folds

After barely a year of operating, the founders of open source collaboration software start-up Mindquarry have shut down the company and moved on to a new venture, building up the social media product lines of Day Software.

Mindquarry, founded in July 2006 in Potsdam, Germany ceased to exist at the end of October this year. The now-defunct start-up had been trying to offer alternatives to Microsoft’s Sharepoint Server and IBM’s Lotus Connections.

“We could not convince our investor to keep financing our endeavor,” Mindquarry says on its Web site. Mindquarry’s investor was HassoPlattnerVentures, an organization funded by SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner. The investment firm decided Mindquarry would not be able to compete with Google, Microsoft and IBM “because they are all investing a lot of money in this collaboration topic,” says Alexander Saar, who founded Mindquarry along with Alexander Klimetschek and Lars Trieloff.

Commercial services and products provided by Mindquarry died with the company. But before closing its doors Mindquarry released an updated version of its open source software, a platform for file sharing, task and project management, team collaboration and wiki editing. The source code can still be found on Mindquarry’s Web site and Sourceforge.

The three Mindquarry founders have since joined the product development team at Day Software, the vendor announced on Tuesday.

Day Software makes enterprise content management tools and says the addition of Mindquarry’s founders is aimed at expanding the vendor’s presence in the social media and open source markets. The guys from Mindquarry are now responsible for Day’s collaboration product, which became generally available in October with wiki, blog and calendar applications.

“What we see is there is a lot of space for improvement of these tools and much need for integrating these tools with each other,” Saar says.

Day Software says it was impressed by the ease-of-use offered by Mindquarry’s collaboration software.

“Designed to combine integration and consultation services with an open source platform, Mindquarry was developed in Java and built upon a scalable REST architecture with AJAX and Web 2.0-style user interfaces,” Day states in a press release. While Day is not an open source vendor, it has contributed code to some open source projects and has open source components in its own products, says Santi Pierini, senior vice president of marketing.

“We are exploring business models that will allow us to go deeper into the open source market as well,” he says.

Day’s Web content-management tools have been used to build Web sites for McDonald’s, Merck and other large corporations, Pierini says. Adding the Mindquarry team will help satisfy customer demand for better collaboration, he says. “Merck and McDonald’s gave us requirements for blogging and wikis, and wanted enterprise-ready [products],” Pierini says.