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Integrating TWiki with other Web-based Applications

I have been curious about the prospects of integrating TWiki with other Web-based applications. For example, I've been using Gallery on my web site and I've thought it would be great to wiki-fy it abit, or at least wrap it within a skin that is compatible with my TWiki site.

Having a mechanism to either wrap TWiki around other applications, or inversely to insert a TWiki box within another programs, offers the attractions of:

  • the ability to add enhancements such as calendars, photo galleries, etc. without having design whole new plugins or modules within TWiki.
  • the ability to "wiki-fy" other applications for quick and easy annotation, linking, etc.

In my naiivity, I pondered the possibility of simply creating a frame-based skin that has the url for the other application in one frame and the url for an associated TWiki topic in the other. The Twiki topic would include the reference to the corresponding page in the other application.

I've seen a couple of references to folks who have incorporated other applications with TWiki. Any one willing to share their experience and methods? Anyone willing to comment on the general feasibility of this idea or suggestions of how I might pursue it further?

-- LynnwoodBrown - 25 Jul 2002


This is certainly something I have pondered for a while. My main conclusion is that TWiki's Unique Selling Proposition is in its RenderingPipeline and that the rest could be made subserviant to an ApplicationServer. I think that either Zope or PostNuke would best as they have huge followings and interaction with those would draw more users to use TWiki as well as give TWiki a strong infrastructure.

Before any of that could happen, though, I think we need to modularise TWikiDotPm; please see and comment on CodevDocumentationProject and it's linked topics.

I'll write more when I have more time.

-- MartinCleaver - 26 Jul 2002

Of course we have a mechanism for wrapping TWiki around other apps; Plugins. We at Motorola make extensive use of this capability to portal everything from bug tracking databases to LDAP servers to CM systems.

In Peter's recent presentation he described TWiki as an ApplicationPlatform. Yes, it's that, but it has one big weakness; application integrators have to have write access to the TWiki installation.

Given that most TWiki installations are behind a firewall, and you can trust most, if not all, the users, I'd be OK with the idea of giving a user sufficient access to the web server to run some code. For example, to eval a perl program written in a topic. Ideally this perl's access to the files in the DB would be sandboxed, say limited to the current web.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 22 May 2003

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Topic revision: r4 - 2006-02-15 - PeterThoeny
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