Home ShareOffice Launches – Open Standards Based Web Office Suite

ShareOffice Launches – Open Standards Based Web Office Suite

At the Software 2007 conference on Tuesday in San Jose CA, on-demand document management provider ShareMethods will announce the launch of an open standards Web Office suite called ShareOffice. The company says it is the world’s first open standards online office suite. What’s more, ShareOffice is an excellent example of using best-of-breed Web Office apps to create a suite – a theme we’ve been hammering for some time on Read/WriteWeb. It was also in evidence in yesterday’s announcement of Comcast’s suite (powered by Zimbra and others). In the case of ShareOffice, it was built using iNetOffice, EditGrid, ShareMethods, and salesforce.com. We’ve covered EditGrid before, and note they also partnered with Central Desktop (another budding Web Office suite).

ShareOffice architecture

ShareOffice will be available immediately in Salesforce’s AppExchange, as well as being a standalone service. Note however that it isn’t free. ShareOffice pricing ranges from $5 to $45 per user per month – depending on the class of user and volume usage. ShareOffice is aimed at companies of all sizes ‚Äì small, medium or large enterprises.

OpenSAM: Open Standards for Web Office

What makes ShareOffice open source? It is the first commercially available product developed based on OpenSAM (which stands for “open simple AJAX mashup”). OpenSAM is a consortium of Web Office vendors and its main output is a set of AJAX programming recommendations based on open standards that allow multiple online applications to integrate. iNetOffice and ShareMethods developed OpenSAM and they hope to “enable the Internet as a platform for ‚Äúplug and play‚Ä? office productivity suites tailored for specific business needs”, according to the press release to be released later today.

ShareOffice architecture (detail)

The Web Office companies that support OpenSAM include EchoSign (contract automation), EditGrid (online spreadsheets), Preezo (online presentations), Joyent (collaboration), Persony (web conferencing), Caspio (online databases) and others. iNetOffice and ShareMethods are inviting other Web Office companies to add their applications to ShareOffice using OpenSAM recommendations.

In related news last week, ShareMethods announced ShareDrive OnDemand – which enables desktop integration, offline synchronization, and local backup to a laptop or server. ShareDrive OnDemand works in combination with ShareOffice.


ShareMethods already has users in 32 countries and more than 200 company customers. A Web Office suite represents the next step for them. This is fast becoming a trend among growing Web Office vendors, with many of them now attempting to either partner with others to create a suite (e.g. ShareMethods, Central Desktop) or build a suite from external best-of-breed solutions (e.g. Comcast). Some more established vendors are going it alone, but partnering where appropriate (e.g. Zoho with Omnidrive). Not forgetting the giants, Microsoft and Google, but they seem more intent on locking horns with each other – than watching what is going on with companies like ShareMethods.

Extra Information

Below is a list of the full features according to the impending press release. Also we have screenshots. Let us know what you think of this development in Web Office. Is open standards the best way for small Web Office vendors to compete with Microsoft and Google?

The features and benefits of ShareOffice include:

  • Online Office Ecosystem ‚Äì the first Office 2.0 platform designed to enable the assembly of dozens or hundreds of online office applications using common and open Internet infrastructure for document sharing, single sign-on, and cut and paste
  • Best-of-Breed Online Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations ‚Äì ShareOffice is built upon best-of-breed online office applications such as iNetWord and EditGrid, AJAX-based word processing and spreadsheet tools with advanced features and functionality; Online presentation service Preezo is also available in preview mode
  • Security ‚Äì SSL authentication and network encryption for online documents, spreadsheets, and presentations; SAS 70 Type II data center; roles, permissions, administrative controls
  • Offline Support ‚Äì ShareOffice works in conjunction with ShareDrive OnDemand to allow offline access to key documents including offline synchronization of files and folders, scheduled data backups of documents to a local server or laptop as well as batch upload/download, etc.
  • One Click Documents On-Demand ‚Äì Customer-facing proposals, quotes, contracts and spreadsheets can be created via templates at the click of a mouse on demand
  • Advanced Online Document and Spreadsheet Features ‚Äì For online spreadsheets: graphical charts and rich visualization, live data feeds in worksheets; for documents: richly formatted tables and text, dynamic merge fields, pictures, live searches on document text from multiple search engines, etc.
  • Enterprise Document Management ‚Äì Customizable taxonomies for large-scale document collections, usage analytics, version control, approval workflows, full text search, etc.
  • AppExchange / salesforce.com Integration ‚Äì Deep integration for salesforce.com and online office features; ability to launch and save dynamic documents via Accounts and Opportunities
  • Open Standards Internet File System (IFS) ‚Äì Users navigate through a familiar multi-level file and folder model for online documents based on a worldwide open standard for document sharing and running purely in AJAX
  • Open Standards Document Export ‚Äì Spreadsheets can be exported to Excel, PDF, OpenOffice, OpenDocument, XML, and more; documents can be exported to HTML, Word, and PDF
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) ‚Äì The first online office platform to offer a service level agreement for businesses committing to application availability of 99.9%
  • Ease of Use ‚Äì a single browser interface for word processing, spreadsheets, document management and CRM allows users to work seamlessly in a single integrated application without any need to upload or download documents
  • Real Time Collaboration ‚Äì Multiple users can work together on their online documents and spreadsheets in real-time on a global basis
  • Data Integrity ‚Äì Customer data automatically inserted into online documents from salesforce.com, with documents automatically associated with Accounts or Opportunities

Online office apps

Word processing




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