What Is Twake and Why Should You Consider Using It?

Collaboration requires the right tools. Twake is an open source project management platform that can empower your team’s efforts with communication.

Image: Nuthawut/Adobe Stock

For companies trying to stay ahead of the curve or keep up with the competition, collaboration is a must. Without cooperation, things simply cannot be done. That means you need the right tools for the job, and wow, there are so many options.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

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What is Twake?

One such option that has eluded me for a while is Twake, a communication and collaboration tool. Twake is open source and has been around for about a year.

Currently, Twake’s features are somewhat limited, but what it offers is a pretty solid entry into the collaboration space. What you get with Twake is a platform for real-time communication and document collaboration. Twake lets you create multiple companies, workspaces and channels for communication and has a built-in OnlyOffice document server so your team members can collaborate on documents and presentations.

Twake has an extremely simple to use user interface so you don’t have to worry about hiring new team members. When a new team member logs in, they’ll feel right at home on the app. Team members can use Twake from a web browser or download the desktop app for Linux, macOS, and Windows.

If this sounds like a platform that could benefit your company, let’s get to know it.

What are the features of Twake?

The open source Twake platform offers the following collaboration features:

  • team chat
  • File Storage
  • team calendar
  • task management
  • Video call and conference
  • Real-time document collaboration

Twake is still in its infancy. There are few third-party integrations and features are still pretty limited. Sometimes a feature may suddenly disappear or become unresponsive. Fortunately, a quick page reload usually fixes the problem. That said, the discussion and file collaboration tools work very well.

For example, in Twake’s Documents section, you can easily create Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents by clicking the + button () at the bottom right of the window.Figure A).

Figure A

The document management tool allows you to create a folder hierarchy and add new documents.

The discussion tool is available in each channel (Figure B), can be answered by any member.

Figure B

The Twake discussion tool resembles Slack.

You can even upload files to the discussion, add emojis and initiate video calls from any thread (Figure C).

Figure C

Click the + button in the answer section to open this toolbar.

One caveat: I haven’t been able to get the video call feature working yet. I’ve tried this in different browsers, different operating systems, and even the desktop app with no luck. This may be because Twake is fairly new and open source so such glitches are to be expected. However, we hope the developers fix these issues – otherwise the platform will never be able to upgrade.

How much does Twake cost?

Twake is available via the cloud on a free or paid plan.

Paid plans range from €4.19 per month (about $4.44 at the time of this writing) to €10.39 (about $11.01 at the time of writing) per user for the Standard or Premium plans.

They also offer an Enterprise plan where you have to contact the sales team for pricing. You can view the pricing matrix on their website to see what features are available for each plan.

How can teams deploy Twake?

With the help of Docker you can install Twake on your own server; this is a great way to both kick Twake’s tires and host the service internally. This is an option for those who don’t want their more sensitive information saved on a third-party host.

How to deploy Twake with Docker

If you prefer to kick Twake’s wheels on your own terms, you can do so with Docker. Here are the steps for deployment. Note: It takes some time to rotate this containerized application.

First, you need to have Docker Community Edition installed. To learn how to run the latest version, check this article: Install the latest version of Docker engine to avoid security vulnerabilities.

You will also need the docker-compose command, which can be installed on Ubuntu Server as:

sudo apt-get install docker-compose -y

When all this is ready, clone the Twake source with:

git clone https://github.com/linagora/Twake.git

Change to the newly created directory with:

cd Twake/twake

Deploy the container with:

docker-compose up -d

Expect the deployment to take between 20-60 minutes. Once done, point your browser to: http://SERVERwhere SERVER is the IP address or domain of the hosting server.

Project collaboration with Twake

That’s all about the deployment of Twake. I see this distribution as nothing more than a test to see if Twake is a service you might want to use. Given Twake’s limitations, I’m not sure how much I’m willing to rely on the Docker version of the platform.

Either way, Twake seems like a great option for companies that prefer to use open source tools and need a discussion and collaboration tool to expand their project management efforts. Twake is far from perfect, but it certainly holds a lot of promise.

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