Idea ID: 2785474

Implement LibreOffice Online* (LOOL) as a document editing solution

Status : Delivered
over 5 years ago
Proposal: implement LibreOffice Online* (LOOL) as a document editing solution for Filr

(*)REMARK: This is 'not' about integrating LibreOffice (which would be nice to have if you would ask me), this is about integrating a framework that allows editing all document formats that LibreOffice out of the box supports including ODF and (closed) Microsoft formats.

I would like to have a 'Filr LOOL appliance', that registers with my Filr Application servers just like the Search servers do. This enabled the option in Filr to edit files online.

Background:
Services like Filr are great to access my files anywhere, but depending on the device is limited in the ability to edit those files.
* On a desktop I can use the locally installed application (MS Office, LibreOffice, other) to edit files opened in the Filr Web Client over WebDAV, or I can use the Filr Desktop Client to sync those files locally to edit them.
* On a mobile device I need the 'Send to' like functionality to open a filr in another app or use 'App extensions' to access files form the Filr Sandbox. That last options allows you to leave the file in the Filr Sandbox while editing. That then uploads from the Filr sandbox back to the Filr server when the file is 'closed'. In practice this just does not works with a lot of Apps and is limited in the document formats supported. Even some formats get converted while being opened and end up in the editor's Sandbox anyway, duplicating the file on the device. This duplication also could lead to the file being synced to the 'cloud drive' of the editor app. That's something we do NOT want cause we use Filr to keep our files where we want them to stay. The work flow for an end user is not clear due to all apps behaving differently depending on the App and/or file format they want to edit. The document editing capabilities (font, size, etc) are limited anyway.
* From the Filr Web Client I can preview files but not edit them. Editing is only possible if the editor is locally on a device. Even then, I may not want a cached version of the doc in the device cache on an internet cafe like device, or can I trust the device in general I'm working on.

There has been looked at integrating Filr with 3th party document editing App solutions, but so far this is not available. Access to files could be relative easy for users if those editors would support WebDAV (but that could still make a copy of the file locally on the device before it could be edited anyway).

From the field:
Customers are happy to use Filr to access files, but need a way to edit them on mobile devices. Beside limited, the way App integration works on mobile devices is just not user friendly. Then we alse depend on a 3th party to edit files. As stated, that sometimes results in the file being converted to that sandbox (duplication). This confusing work flow makes the user wonder why not to skip Filr in the process and just only use the Editor from now, as the file is already there in that Sandbox... iCloud/Office 365/Google Docs/other. Also this behaviour, while not Filr's fault, again leads to multiple file versions and a user in confusion about where his file is gone.

The Document Foundation (and others) fund Collabora (say, the LibreOffice team that left SuSE and now can focus on the things they're good at) to not only work on a Android version of LibreOffice, but also on a Online version that runs in a browser. The plan is a LOOL version is to be released end of 2015. This would allow anyone to host a LOOL service on premise and access and edit files remotely.

The're quite some presentations and youtube video's online demonstrating LOOL technology, most recent one is from the ODFplugfest;
http://odfplugfest.org/2015-thehague/programme/pres/20150915-AndrasTimar.odp
Now this one is not only aboy LOOL but also ODF, but especially slide 13 about the architecture. This allows storage plugins to be added and has a web server plugin. This would allow Micro Focus to add a Filr storage plugin which I feel could add more then what the (default) WebDAV plugin could add, like exposing Filr capabilities to LOOL: comments, search, share....invite...other. The webserver plugin could add the needed authentication/security aspects (running behind a reverse proxy/access manager/load balancer etc). I think clicking an URL in Filr web client to edit a file could launch in LOOL in new browser tab. Click a file for editing could either show a dropdown for editing locally or online or one could set default. On a desktop with a Filr Desktop client 'Edit Online' could be added to the Filr menu. This would support that I work an a file on my iPad, go to my desktop and join or take over the editing session. Remember co-editing is supported too, but not sure this will be part of the first LOOL release.

Short term benefits:
This allows the file to stay in my datacenter, no need to download them to the device for editing
This allows MicroFocus or a customer to brand LOOL to adapt the editor to the Filr/Company look and feel. User does not know it's using 'LibreOffice'.
Case needed from a Micro Focus/Filr support perspective and additional fee could be asked for Filr for the LOOL integration as Collabora takes care of that support and integration for MF.

Long term benefits:
More interest in Filr as it now has editing capabilities
Political: support for ODF gets more important as government (agencies) start demanding it.
Stategic: being tied into MS office makes companies move to Office 365 more easily.

Working in an Internet cafe/using a browser to access Filr:
* Login to Filr Web Client
* Click a file to start editing online
* File is opened in LOOL for editing
* I edit my file, click save and close; I would imaging the file being auto saved case I just close my browser tab as the LOOL web server detects the session being gone.
* Filr is notified by LOOL and and resycs the file.

* As the file is re-synced the desktops client get notified about the change.
* Preview in the web client, editing it again or preview on a mobile device shows the new version.

Working on a mobile device (Android, IOS, Windows Phone,..) with the Filr App:
* Login to Filr App
* Click a file to preview, or click Edit to start editing online
* File is opened in LOOL for editing (leverage preferred browser on device)
* I edit my file, click save and close; I would imaging the file being auto saved case I just close my browser tab as the LOOL web server detects the session being gone.
* Filr is notified by LOOL and and resycs the file.

* As the file is re-synced the desktops client get notified about the change.
* Preview in the web client/mobile App, or editing it again shows the new version.

Working on a laptop/desktop using the Filr Desktop client:
* Use the locally installed MS Office/LibreOffice, or right click and select 'Edit Online' in the Filr section of the popup menu.

Sources/info/
http://odfplugfest.org/2015-thehague/programme/
https://libreoffice-from-collabora.com/the-cloud-is-our-future-collabora-presents-libreoffice-online-in-bern/

Tags:

Labels:

Other