Make collaboration easier with the open source platform PEPS

01 March 2015

Browsing news article, I got to discover an open source collaboration platform called PEPS. It challenges Google Apps and Dropbox solutions by offering a team's members the ability to communicate and to share files between each other. And it's only the beginning !

After reading this article from Linuxfr.org [FR], I was first impressed to see a free software that was NOT ugly, but with modern aesthetic. It was quite weird, so I checked the context, if there was a big company behind it, but nothing. PEPS is developed by the french company MLstate and its business is to sell support and maintenance for its platform, like most open source companies. That's why I choose to write an article about this project. I find it pretty and easy to use, and believe it to be full of promises.

An interface similar to Google Drive and Dropbox to upload and share files

Currently, PEPS offers us to share files between the users and send emails. If they are for the moment not a lot of functionalities, a chat should soon be added with the release of the v1.0 followed by a calendar. But what makes PEPS very interesting is its RESTAPI that allows third party developers to create plugins for the service. We could imagine that, unlike Wordpress and Drupal, a community will be built around PEPS and feed it with plugins.

The email interface (I know, the tests I made don't make it very attractive)

Concerning the technical aspect, behind PEPS are the developers of the Opalanguage, so obviously Opa is being used to build the core of the software. It is run together with NodeJS for server-side execution, MongoDB for storage, Solr for search engine and Haraka for SMTP server. You understand that they are modern technologies quite easy to install. Furthermore, the installation process is being facilitated by the use of Docker containers. For instance, I could easily install PEPS locally in just 20 minutes, the time needed for the packages to be downloaded. However, as there is a REST API, you can use whatever technology you want if you wish to write a plugin.

All activites are visible on your dashboard (being in localhost I didn't have much interactions obviously)

Now about the issues encountered while testing PEPS. I did get some bugs in the interface, but nothing really serious. For example, there was the logo that didn't refresh automatically after being edited or the window for writing emails behaving awkwardly when dragged. In fact, I reported them on the Github page and the developers already have corrected most of them. That aside, I can only say that this software runs well and is pleasant to use.

Are you ready to give it a try ? Here is its Githubrepository.