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The KIX™ Collaboration Framework

[ Federation of four KIX collaboration servers ]
KIX - the federated collaboration
and knowledge integration tool.
The KIX collaboration framework provides a web arena for integrated application and development of 'knowledge'. KIX stands for eXtensible Integrated Knowledge.

The knowledge can be of any grade from tacit knowledge to explicitly expressed formal knowledge. KIX supports knowledge in natural language documents - such knowledge belongs to a grade somewhere in between.

  • KIX supports the use of tacit knowledge e.g. in collaborative decision making.
  • KIX supports automated or semi-automated application of formalised knowledge by automatic knowledge processing in configured framework plug-ins.

KIX was designed to scale from the very small part-time business to the multinational global business. The federated design and implementation of KIX can support collaborations of any size and complexity.

KIX also provides assistance with the successive evolution of formalised knowledge through strong support for collaborative development.

  • KIX supports automatic feed-forward by notifying dependent stake holders when changes to controlling documents are planned or executed.
  • KIX supports feedback by providing a web discussion forum with every published document version, where the stake holders may address any collaboration issues. Such discussions may be kept as organisational memory. Unlike e-mail discussion they are automatically associated with the relevant context.

[ Web forum discussions in KIX ]

Above: Example KIX user discussion using the KIX Document Review Plugin
during preparations of the KIX white paper.  The document content was
exported to the web site using the KIX Wiki2Html Plugin.
KIX was designed to provide effective agile support for collaboration between organisations of any kind and size.

The KIX framework does this by providing the following features:

  • a generic document repository with local storage on each federated KIX server. The document owners control the access and the changes to their respective documents.
  • a generic document version control mechanism integrated with
  • generic document dependency management which can be extended to any number of federated KIX servers.
  • a generic and configurable mechanism to provide automatic mappings between dependent documents.
  • a generic mechanism for managing exceptions during automated processing of documents and formal knowledge. The mechanism will alert the document responsible individual or role (as configured).
  • a generic configurable mechanism to automatically export documents via mappings to e.g. external documents. (This static web page is an example of such use.)
  • a generic mechanism to configure functional extensions via plug-in components.
  • a generic context sensitive mechanism for negotiating conflicts between different document stake holders.
  • a local authorisation model applicable to each KIX server. Access to documents between KIX servers is always read-only, if allowed at all.

The overall purpose of KIX is to empower its users to achieve much higher collaboration capability. KIX allows its users to configure a Collaboration Web in between them. Each node in such a web is a dynamic document managed by KIX.

[ Collaboration web on four federated KIX servers ]

KIX will assist its users with keeping distributed sets of interrelated documents in step with each other. Changes to one document may ripple through to other dependent documents.

In the first instance this is done by KIX notifying each stake-holder about changes to controlling documents and allow them to manually map the changes to their own dependent documents. With increasing collaboration sophistication the collaborators may use the KIX support for evolutionary development to agree on standards for knowledge representation within their own domains. This will allow them to begin the process of defining and configuring automatic knowledge processing.

At this more sophisticated stage the interconnect of KIX web servers will be very similar to an omnipresent distributed spreadsheet, where each dynamic document corresponds to one spreadsheet cell and changes to one dynamic document may automatically ripple through to the all the dependent dynamic documents, which in turn may trigger changes to other dependent documents.


KIX is easy to extend via its component plug-in mechanism. MetaAgility is currently developing a standard extension, which will allow the automatic mapping of formal domain knowledge (represented in RDF documents) into e-training and e-assessment modules. In this way any well understood business or technical domain may be quickly codified and made available for scalable conceptual training to those less familiar.

The first version of the new Web e-learning framework ALMA™ is now available as a free demonstration.

Please try out ALMA.

KIX is made available free to MetaAgility clients on public source licence (see the Software Distribution folder). This is to minimise client risk. Similarly, the internal metadata on the managed documents and their relationships are accessible in standard RDF n-triple format, which makes the information completely future proof.

If you are a registered client of MetaAgility Knowledge Engineering you can read much more about KIX here.

For more information on KIX see

Return to MetaAgility Services here.

We would appreciate any comments or questions.
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2012-01-06 20:21

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