Introduction

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🌟 Plato and our documentation are new. We have over 100 articles to help get you started and are quickly working to make our documentation even better. If anything is missing you would like to see covered within our docs please post your docs suggestions.

What is Plato?

Plato is free, open source user community & customer support software built upon .NET core. Plato offers a complete stack of fully integrated tools to help you offer a simple, branded support experience for your end users or customers

If you've not already guessed it your using Plato right now to learn more about Plato 😃

With Plato you can collaborate with your users through public or private discussions, Q&A, ideas & issues or support your users with a public or private knowledge base & beautiful consistent product documentation.

Plato is written in C# using Visual Studio 2019, .NET Core 2.2, MVC6 & Bootstrap 4.

Who might use Plato?

We want Plato to be your hub for all customer collaboration & support. If you develop products or offer services Plato can help you support & shape those products or services.

Plato can be used to...

  • Collaborate with your users through fully featured public or private discussions
  • Easily publish beautiful product or technical documentation to help your users
  • Provide an online knowledge base of helpful support resources
  • Support products through public or private Q&A features
  • Shape products through public or private product ideation & voting
  • Improve products through public or private issue tracking & voting

In the future we may increase the scope of Plato via our extensible module system based on user feedback but for now we are very focused on providing the tools you need to provide awesome end user support. We welcome your suggestions.

Who maintains Plato?

Plato is developed & maintained by InstantASP. Plato is free & open source software but supported through optional hosting & paid support. You can download & use Plato without restriction under a General Public License or just review the entire source code via GitHub. We welcome anyone to contribute to improve Plato.

Why was Plato created?

Plato is the next evolution of our existing ASP.NET full framework products InstantForum & InstantKB. We've been developing both InstantForum & InstantKB for over a decade and wanted to combine the best of both these products and everything we've learnt over this decade into a integrated, extensible platform using the very latest technology stacks.

Plato In Action

You can see below some examples of Plato in action. Our own support site is of course also powered by Plato.

Homepage

The Plato homepage lets users easily search all your community & support content & access all key areas...

home.png

Plato.Discuss

Plato.Discuss adds a fully featured user community to Plato.

Plato.Discuss

Plato.Docs

Plato.Docs adds beautiful product documentation all written in Markdown to Plato.

Plato.Docs

Plato.Articles

Plato.Articles adds a searchable online knowledgebase to Plato.

Plato.Articles

Plato.Questions

Plato.Questions adds public or private Q&A to Plato.

Plato.Questions

Plato.Ideas

Plato.Ideas adds public or private ideation to Plato.

Plato.Ideas

Plato.Issues

Plato.Issues added public or private issues tracking to Plato.

Plato.Issues

Admin Dashboard

The Plato administrator dashboard offers insights & lets you manage every aspect of your Plato community & support site....

dashboard.png

Dark Mode

Plato also comes with a beautiful Bootstrap 4 "dark" theme, a little easier on the eyes...

dark_homepage.png

Modular Design

Plato is built upon modules. Modules are small independent NuGet packages or Visual Studio projects that fit together to make up all of the functionality offered within Plato. Modules will typically take advantage of several extensibility points offered by the Plato to introduce new features & functionality into Plato.

Plato comes with over 100+ official modules, and it's own module manager to easily easily enable , disable or upgrade modules with a single click.

The modular design allows you to custom-fit Plato to suite your specific needs, don't need a user community simply don't enable the Plato.Discuss module. Don't need product documentation, simply don't enable the Plato.Docs module. Plato lets you pick and choose the functionality you need and modules can be easily enabled or disabled at anytime via the administrator dashboard as shown below...

features.png

Modules are versioned separately from Plato and can be updated independently from the Plato core, modules are also great if you want to add your own functionality to Plato as you can develop this functionality as a standalone module with the confidence your module won't break when a major update for the Plato core is released.

Main Modules

Please offers hundreds of modules to add all types of functionality. The modules that introduce the most functionality are currently...

For further information on the main modules offered with Plato please see our Main Modules section.

Notable Modules

Core Modules

See also
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