Balsa: Open source documents, tasks and knowledgebase platform

Hi PM family

For the last 6 months or so, we have been working on fun & side project, and it looks like we are mostly there! I would like to share why we built “Balsa”, what the current progress is, and the path forward, and would really hear about your thoughts and advice on the subject :slight_smile:

After we have examined several knowledgebase platforms and a bit pissed off (due to some of internal security and collaboration requirements), we wanted to build an open source knowledge management platform that meets even the most demanding privacy and security standards.

We had defined some of our goals as follows:

  • We wanted to help people and their teammates document and collaborate faster - with less email, and fewer meetings.
  • We wanted to help people connect with company’s private knowledge in a trusted workplace.
  • It should be able to be customized, white labeled and have plugin support to add more functionality on top of the current platform and editor.

In short, we wanted an easy to use, simple but powerful knowledgebase that you can share your internal company docs with your colleagues without worrying about privacy. Balsa not only contains an editor, but also a Kanban board, simple Mindmap and such. Some of them are already here, some of them can be added quite easily in the very near future, via plugins.

We also wanted this project to be open source completely - the reason is the potential vendor lock-in issues when it comes to documentation. I believe no companies should be locked in when it comes to managing their knowledgebase and they should retain complete control of their services (disclaimer / shameful additional information related: I am one of the cofounders of Countly, an open source product analytics platform).

Balsa is written using modern stacks, including Tiptap, Vue (Element), Nodejs, GraphQL and Postgresql. We chose those stacks and happy with our decision so far. I wanted to wholeheartedly thank to Marijn and Scrumpy guys for their incredible work there.

What we would like to add on top of Balsa in the near future are as follows:

  • A database
  • Calendar integration
  • Gantt chart
  • Spell checker
  • ENEX dump (for Evernote migration)

Please find a few screenshots (from a fully running platform). Currently working on the web page, a few marketing materials, social media presence, Github repo and other few things as well.

Thank you for reading this far :slight_smile: Happy to hear about your thoughts!

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This looks great, I’d love to see more.

Hi, this looks great and something I’m very much interested in. Are you planning to open-source the whole stack? Please post back here once you release things :slight_smile:

Hi Franz - yes, the whole stack will be open sourced as the main aim is a privacy oriented, downloadable and self-deployable knowledgebase without a vendor lock-in. I can also send you the link to the first version before announcement if you would like test it out. :slight_smile:

PS: Please follow https://twitter.com/getbalsa and https://github.com/balsa-team/balsa so you can know when we launch.

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@Frando - released the source code on [1] . Latest feature additions are on Twitter [2]

[1] https://github.com/balsa-team/balsa

[2] https://twitter.com/getbalsa

Balsa web page is also ready: https://getbalsa.com

Would be more than happy to hear your / others’ comments about implementation, UX, features and such :slight_smile:

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