Office on demand

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A group of software vendors has released an office application based on open standards that allows collaborative teams to easily create, edit and share documents and spreadsheets online.

ShareOffice is built on on-demand services from iNet Office, EditGrid, ShareMethods and SalesForce.com.

iNetOffice provides browser-based word-processing applications; EditGrid develops online spreadsheet applications; ShareMethods offers on-demand document-management software; and SalesForce.com is a provider of on-demand customer-relationship management and sales-support applications.

ShareOffice brings major product categories together into an Office 2.0 application to enable the assembly of dozens or hundreds of online office applications using open standards for document sharing, officials from the companies said. Office 2.0 generally involves the use of a generic Web browser and online services, giving users access to plug-and-play office productivity suites tailored to meet specific business needs.

Other online office applications such as Google Docs and Zoho are built on proprietary systems and application programming interfaces, said Eric Hoffert, chief executive officer of ShareMethods. ShareOffice is built on open Internet standards that let users add functionality, he said. It also offers off-line functions such as document synchronization and local document backup.

ShareOffice is the first commercially available product based on Open Simple AJAX Mashup. OpenSAM is a consortium of software-as-a-service application vendors and a set of Asynchronous JavaScript and Extensible Markup Language programming recommendations that allow multiple online applications to integrate. OpenSAM was formally announced at the software conference in early May.

OpenSAM will allow for more collaboration across organizations, said Tom Snyder, president of iNet Office. For example, users in a government agency who signed up for Google Docs cannot share documents with Zoho users in another department, he said. 'OpenSAM will open up these silos [of office applications] to talk to each other.'

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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