Extending OpenOffice.org

BEYOND THE DESKTOP

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Microsoft has been quite successful with pushing its SharePoint technology as a means for supporting document collaboration and version control. Until now, no direct competitors have come up with a viable alternative to SharePoint, but O3Spaces is about to change that.

Although the O3Spaces Work place collaboration software doesn’t attempt to emulate SharePoint feature-by-feature, it does provide a viable alternative [1]. Two features of O3Spaces make it especially useful for mixed environments. First, O3Spaces Workplace does support the Microsoft Office suite, which is a boon for companies and workgroups that use MS Office and OpenOffice. Second, O3Spaces Workplace’s competitive pric ing makes it an attractive alternative, even for shops running only Microsoft Office. The O3Spaces company has even pledged to release an open-source edition of their document collaboration solution by the end of 2007. Installation Options O3Spaces Workplace installs in three ways. The easiest way is to download a VMware virtual machine trial from O3Spaces’ website. The image includes a slimmed-down version of Ubuntu with the pre-configured version of the O3Spaces Workplace software. This so lution is perfect if you want to try O3Spaces without fiddling with installa tion and configuration – provided you have hardware that is powerful enough to run the virtual machine. The full ver sion of O3Spaces Workplace comes as a Workspace Deployment Kit containing a set of scripts and server packages that you can use to install O3Spaces on your own server. O3Spaces Workplace is writ ten in Java, and it’s based on the Tom cat/ PostgreSQL stack, so you have to in stall these components on your server to deploy O3Spaces. You can instead opt for a Linux distribution that includes O3Spaces. For example, Mandriva and O3Spaces have made a deal to distribute the software with Mandriva’s Corporate Server 4 and Mandriva Linux Powerpack+ 2007 Spring. Finally, O3Spaces is available as an easy-to-use installer package for the Windows platform.

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