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New CSTART collaboration tool: Chalkboard

We at CSTART now have a way to manage our product data and share information amongst each other. Chalkboard is our implementation of Feng Office (OpenGoo). Feng Office is an open source solution, which fits well with our organizations needs.

A screenshot of the application is here.

We are now capable of splitting the organization amongst the various programs that we have. Each program can control access rights to their documents. This means, for example, Program Chimera members have access to modify files in the Program Chimera workspace, but they are not allowed to modify data in the Program Cosmos workspace, however, by default, everyone can download and view data anywhere in Chalkboard.

Chalkboard also allows us to version control our information. If someone destroys a CAD model, we can go back in the history and restore the model to a previous working state.

We now have the ability to “check out” and “check in” documents. This is great for collaboration. This prevents one file being modified by two separate people at once.

Another useful feature is the use of comments. Users can comment on documents, notes and web links to form a discussion around an item. One user can create a document, where other users can provide feedback on how to improve that document.

At the moment, accounts need to be created manually by an admin. We do have a guest account that is capable of viewing, but not modifying. You can sign in with the username “guest” and password “guest”.

If you want a personal account, send an email to and one will be created. If you are working in a specific program, mention which one, and you will be granted rights to add data to this program’s workspace (Chimera=hybrid rocket, Cosmos=cubesat, Cloudlab=high altitude weather balloons).

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