ArsDigita Community System

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The ArsDigita Community System (ACS) was an open source toolkit for developing community web applications developed primarily by developers associated with ArsDigita Corporation. The two most current software toolkits based on this codebase are the OpenACS toolkit and the Red Hat CCM.

The ACS provides:

  • A core set of APIs, datamodels, and database routines for coordinating information common to all community web applications
  • A suite of modules building on these core models and APIs for quickly deploying collaborative web sites. Some of the more popular modules were Workflow management, CMS, Messaging, Bug/Issue Tracking, Project Tracking, e-commerce, and Bboards.

The ACS was originally written in Tcl (much of it was ported to Java before being renamed Red Hat CCM) to run on an AOLserver web server and an Oracle database. A completely open version of the ACS, OpenACS was a sister project that used a PostgreSQL database and developed side-by-side (with a slightly delayed release schedule) with the ACS.

Tcl/Java fork[edit]

In 2001, the ACS code tree forked, with the Tcl code base being maintained and refactored by one group of developers, while the product line was being re-written in Java EE. By 2002, when Red Hat acquired ArsDigita, the Tcl code base became supported by the OpenACS community.

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