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Plutext Alfresco Tech Talk

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Plutext Alfresco Tech Talk

  1. 1. “Real time” collaboration inside a Word document using Alfresco Alfresco Tech Talk 26 June 2009 by Jason Harrop, Plutext
  2. 2. Agenda • Part 1: Collaboration inside a Word document • Part 2: Inline editing
  3. 3. About Plutext • We help organisations exploit their Word documents, outside the Microsoft silo (eg in Java, or sans SharePoint) • Core product: – Plutext collaboration in Word (on Alfresco) • Components: – docx4all – embeddable Java application/applet – docx4j open source project + = • Prototypes: – Alfresco inline docx editors – docx wiki (in Alfresco)
  4. 4. Part 1: COLLABORATION INSIDE A WORD DOCUMENT
  5. 5. The problem with Word today • It doesn’t matter how you try to open the document… – Choose offline editing in Alfresco Explorer (or Share) – Via CIFS or WebDAV (and with or without Alfresco’s Word Add-In) – Via the SharePoint API • Only one user can be in “the document” at any time • Fundamental limitation of Microsoft Word • .. so you get a proliferation of copies – the user’s working copy – copies made by users and collaborators • Which the document owner has to reconcile – Tedious, time consuming, and – Error prone • .. and which pollute your search index etc.
  6. 6. Basic Demo pdates/adds/moves/deletes onflict handling
  7. 7. Docx4all: cross platform docx editing, with collaboration.
  8. 8. Under the hood Alfresco repository We bD AV WebDAV We bS erv ice .docx (unzipped) s Plutext AMP C# VSTO Word 2007 Add-In JCR Web SOAP Services AV bD We s vice b Ser We Java Swing App
  9. 9. More demo etting up a document ontent controls heck in comments nvite users udit trail ecent changes ersion history
  10. 10. Sweet spot? • High value documents (looming deadlines: even better) • Document written/edited by > 1 person, so merging copies is a pain • Using Alfresco 3.1 Enterprise or Labs 3d, or later • Most (not necessarily all) users on Word 2007
  11. 11. Under the hood – future* Alfresco repository Sha rep Sharepoint We o in t API b Se rvi .docx (unzipped) ces Plutext CMIS AMP C# VSTO Word Add-In Web WebDAV Services AV W ebD s vice b Ser We P o r S ST P OA HTT RE Java Swing App Web browser * This page contains forward looking statements (which will probably largely pan out)
  12. 12. Part 2: INLINE EDITING
  13. 13. Alfresco can give you a preview of a docx
  14. 14. How did we do that? • Labs (current svn tip = r14939), with – OpenOffice 3.1 – pdf2swf • api/node/noderef/content/thumbnails/webpreview does what it should, as long as web-preview.js invokes it • need node.previews to include “webpreview” so Alfresco.WebPreview gets that value. (.. I just hard coded it in web-preview.get.html.ftl )
  15. 15. .. however this is not inline editable • There are a number of solutions around for editing documents in the web browser, including: – Google Docs – Zoho • The problem with these is that: – On load (import), they convert your Office document to their own internal format, and – On save (export), they convert it back to the Microsoft format Result: two conversions; many documents will lose formatting or their “in- process” state. (This is why OpenOffice never displaced M$ Office) • Key Requirement: an inline editor’s native format needs to be Microsoft’s “Open XML” Office format – now an ISO standard. This is the only way to ensure nothing gets lost!
  16. 16. At the SF meetup, I demo’d simple inline editing in the Explorer (JSF) client. This uses Javascript in the browser to manipulate the raw OpenXML DOM. See my post “HOW-TO add an inline editor” in the Alfresco forums for the steps needed to add an inline editor to Alfresco.
  17. 17. Here is docx4all – our Swing app - performing the same role (running as an applet in the browser, and using WebDAV GET/PUT to load/save)
  18. 18. Aside – alt-drag to liberate the applet!
  19. 19. You can have a wiki of docx documents Ingredients: • Display docx inline in web browser • Edit inline • Hyperlinks: – Click to follow – Creating one (via the browser or Word) creates target docx (if nec) Why? • Knowledge workers can publish Office documents directly to the wiki, and edit them any conversions • Cut/paste wiki content into new documents, without loss of formatting • No need to learn new editing tools – Create/edit wiki pages in Word 2007 (or your web browser) • A single standard for corporate document formats – Open XML ISO standard documents
  20. 20. Feedback please! Please let me know which bits you think would be most useful. jason@plutext.org Thanks! ------------------------- • Blog: http://dev.plutext.org/blog • Collaboration test drive: http://alpha.plutext.org/alfresco/register.html • Docx4j download, forums: http://dev.plutext.org/ • Docx4all: http://dev.plutext.org/trac/docx4all/wiki/Collaboration • Twitter: jasonharrop

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