Collabora Online

Summary

Collabora Online
Collabora Online
The Collabora Online logo
Collabora Online Calc 6.4.9.png
Collabora Online in a web browser on a Chromebook
Developer(s)Collabora Productivity Ltd.
Initial release2 June 2016; 5 years ago (2016-06-02) [1]
Stable release
Collabora Online: 6.4.14 (4 November 2021; 27 days ago (2021-11-04)[2]) [±]

Apps: Windows, macOS, Linux: 21.06 (28 June 2021; 5 months ago (2021-06-28)[3]) [±]
Apps: Android, Chrome OS, iOS, iPadOS: Rolling releases[4]

Preview release
CODE[5] 21.11 RC2 (22 November 2021; 9 days ago (2021-11-22)[6]) [±]
RepositoryCollabora Online
Written inC++, JavaScript
Operating systemOnline and CODE: Server: Linux, Clients: All devices with a modern web browser
Apps: Windows, Chrome OS, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS and iPadOS
PlatformOnline and CODE: x86-64 and ARM64
Apps: IA-32, x86-64, ARM32 and ARM64
Available in36 languages for Online, mobiles and chromebooks[7] 119 languages for Windows, macOS and Linux[8]
TypeOffice Suite, Collaboration, Document Management
LicenseMPL-2.0 and others
Websitewww.collaboraoffice.com

Collabora Online is an open source online office suite that can be integrated into any web application, it is developed by Collabora Productivity, a division of Collabora. Collabora Online has LibreOffice at its core, it allows collaborative real-time editing of word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations and vector graphics.[9]

Collabora are a commercial partner with LibreOffice's parent organisation The Document Foundation (TDF), the TDF state that a majority of the LibreOffice software development is done by its commercial partners, Collabora, Red Hat, CIB, and Allotropia.[10]

Features

Any modern web browser without plug-ins or add-ons can access Collabora Online to edit or collaboratively edit in real-time; text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and vector graphics.[11]

Collaborative functions include comments which other users can respond to, and document version history enabling comparison of documents and restoring among other things.[12] Advanced collaborative functions include things like integrated video calls or chat whilst collaboratively editing documents, these are possible as Collabora Online integrates with enterprise file synchronisation and sharing cloud solutions such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile and EGroupware.[13]

Web browser accessing Collabora Online Calc 6.4.9 on Android 8" tablet
8" tablet web browser accessing Collabora Online spreadsheet 6.4.9
Screenshot of Collabora Online Writer 6.4 with sidebar toggled on
Desktop web browser accessing Collabora Online word processor 6.4 with the sidebar toggled on

Apps for desktops, chromebooks, laptops, tablets and smartphones

Client apps are not required to access Collabora Online which only requires a modern web browser; However, native software apps are available for local installation on most devices.[14]

The apps for Google's Android and Chrome OS, plus Apple's iOS and iPadOS share a lot of the software with Online, and they are all built on the LibreOffice core software; improvements in one of these often helps the other apps.[15][16] The apps work offline, they will work offline in full functionality without the need for a connection to the cloud or a server, although support for integrations with cloud storage services, such as NextCloud is possible. They have touch optimised interfaces for varying screen sizes such as smartphone and tablet. The Chrome OS app which is used in Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, Chromebases, Chromebits and tablets, has a customised touch optimised interface and edits documents offline in the Play files folders.[17][18][19]

Desktop applications share the same core software and functionality of LibreOffice and are available for Windows, macOS and Linux, these will work online or offline.

File Formats

Collabora Online supports the Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF - odt, odp, ods, odg), the Office Open XML formats (docx, pptx, xlsx) as well as legacy Microsoft Office formats (doc, ppt, xls). Other formats supported include pdf, csv, rtf, and epub.[20][21] Visio, Publisher, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, and other file formats can be imported.[22]

Applications

  • Collabora Online Writer - text editor.
  • Collabora Online Calc - spreadsheet editor.
  • Collabora Online Impress - presentation editor.
  • Collabora Online Draw - vector graphics editor for flyers, newsletters, brochures, diagrams, etc. (Version 6.4.7+)[23][24]

Server

Collabora Online allows collaborative real-time editing of word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations and vector graphics.[11] The server or servers can be hosted locally or with a provider, privately hosted cloud services allow data to remain under the control of the respective users, Collabora Productivity support Collabora Online server instances for Debian, Ubuntu CentOS, openSUSE, Univention Virtual Machines and Docker images.[25][26] It is often integrated with file share and collaboration cloud platforms, such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile and EGroupware, which are functionally similar to Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft 365, these typically include email, contacts, calendar, file sync and share, calls, chat and video, with apps stores. Close integrations are possible, enabling things like the possibility to edit documents within a chatroom or a video call, as with Nextcloud's built-in video-conferencing tool Nextcloud Talk. Collabora Online server can integrate simultaneously with several cloud solutions such as aforementioned and also Moodle, Alfresco, Kolab, Mattermost, Sharepoint and others.[27]

The server can be installed from packages, or during development, for simplicity, from a docker image. The Docker website indicates that the Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) Docker image has been downloaded 50 million times.[28] A software development kit (SDK) including API specifications and integration instructions is available, along with sample integration code snippets in several software languages.[29]

Collaborative functions include comments which other users can respond to, document version history enabling the comparison of documents and their restoration, and other things.[30]

A work from home solution is made available by Canonical, Collabora, and Nextcloud that includes the Collabora Online office suite, it is called a Nextcloud Ubuntu Appliance and will install to Intel NUCs or ARM based Raspberry Pi 4s, it is pre-configured and automatically updates itself.[31][32]

Digital Sovereignty

A notable ability of Collabora Online over other office cloud suites is that it is fully audit-able and self-hosted solutions can be implemented where it is not necessary to depend on an account from a 3rd party provider to edit files.[33] In July 2020, the European parliament published a briefing titled Digital sovereignty for Europe, detailing concerns that citizens, businesses and Member States of the European Union (EU) are losing control over their data, it explains the economic model used by Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft is largely based on the collection and exploitation of online users' data.[34] Judgements such as “Schrems II” show that it is delicate to rely on solutions from the large cloud providers when it comes to processing and storing sensitive personal data.[35] Digital sovereignty has been an increasing concern in the EU for several reasons since the Patriot Act enacted in October 2001, the continuing legal privacy conflicts between the US CLOUD Act enacted March 2018 and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented May 2018.[36]

The French Ministry's IT infrastructure director stated safety of the data of their citizens and employees as a reason for deploying Nextcloud-based private cloud for the French Ministry of Interior. The Dutch Ministry of Education, the German federal government, and the Swedish federal government agencies are deploying Nextcloud-based private cloud for similar reasons and to increase competition.[37]

Technology

The core of Collabora Online is written in C++ just like the core of LibreOffice. It uses the LibreOfficeKit, a programming interface that allows the reuse of most of the existing LibreOffice code and the saving, loading and rendering of documents. The basic principle of Collabora Online is that documents never leave the server. The parties working on the documents see tile-rendered images of the document and send their changes back to the server. The visible user interface of Collabora Online is written in JavaScript. For file access and authentication with a file hosting services, Collabora Online uses the WOPI protocol developed by Microsoft. This means that Collabora Online can - in theory - be used with any instance allowing a Microsoft 365 integration.[38]

Reviews

Collabora Online was discussed in various online and print publications. In December 2016 the tech website Softpedia mentioned the availability of collaborative editing in version 2.0 and the integration with Owncloud, Nextcloud and other FSS solutions.[39] The technology website ZDNet reported in June 2020 that Collabora Online from version 19 of Nextcloud will be delivered as a standard office package and that within the native video conferencing software Talk direct editing of documents is now possible.[40] The technology blog OMG! Ubuntu! covered the release of the Android & iOS apps pointing out the possibility to use them in offline mode.[41] In September 2020 Linux Magazine compared Collabora Online with OnlyOffice, mentioning the flexibility and platform independence of both tools and pointing out large set of features Collabora Online draws from LibreOffice.[42]

History

The former LibreOffice development team from SUSE joined Collabora in September 2013 forming the subsidiary Collabora Productivity.[43] In 2015 Collabora and IceWarp announced the development of an enterprise-ready version of LibreOffice Online to compete with Google Docs and Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365).[44][45] In December 2015, the company's partnership with ownCloud and release of CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition) was announced on Joinup.[46] In November 2016, Nextcloud announced their work and integration with v2.0 of CODE and their future work plans for improving performance, scalability, security and capabilities with Collabora Online.[47] In October 2020 Collabora announced the move of its work on Collabora Online from The Document Foundation infrastructure to GitHub.[48][49] A development version of Collabora Online is available called Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE).[50]

A timeline of major derivatives of StarOffice and OpenOffice.org, with LibreOffice in green. Collabora Online releases are closely aligned with LibreOffice releases

See also

References

  1. ^ "Collabora Productivity releases Collabora Online 1.0 "Engine" for Hosters and Clouds" (Press release). Collabora Productivity. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016. Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the Cloud, has released the first production grade version of Collabora Online, its flagship cloud document suite solution.
  2. ^ "Collabora Online 6.4 release notes". collaboraoffice.com.
  3. ^ "Collabora Office 21.06 Release Notes". collaboraoffice.com.
  4. ^ "Collabora Office for Android and iOS Release Notes" (Press release). Collabora Productivity. Retrieved 10 Oct 2021. Collabora Office for Android and iOS is available for download from the Play Store and the App Store and also available for F-Droid.
  5. ^ "Collabora Online Development Edition" (Press release). Collabora Productivity. Retrieved 3 July 2021. Collabora Online Development Edition can be set up On-Premise via Virtual appliance, Docker, Linux package, others.
  6. ^ "CODE 21.11 Release Notes". collaboraoffice.com.
  7. ^ "Weblate for translating software projects". Weblate. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  8. ^ "LibreOffice Fresh download – pick language". The Document Foundation. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  9. ^ "Collabora Online in Nextcloud". NextCloud. Retrieved 2021-01-20. Collabora Online is a powerful LibreOffice-based online office suite with collaborative editing, which supports all major document, spreadsheet and presentation file formats and works in all modern browsers
  10. ^ "Open-source LibreOffice tells businesses: Get off our Community version, you are hurting development". ZDNet. 2021-02-05. Retrieved 2021-08-23. TDF highlights that 73% of commits are from developers employed by these partners, including Collabora, Red Hat and CIB/allotropia
  11. ^ a b Nestor, Marius (2016-12-07). "Collabora Online 2.0 Puts LibreOffice in the Cloud, Adds Collaborative Editing". softpedia.com. Retrieved 2021-01-15. ...the powerful cloud-based office suite that promises to protect users' privacy and freedom of expression while editing various document formats online. Collabora Online is mainly targeted at the enterprise world, hosting and cloud businesses.
  12. ^ Bärwaldt, Eric (2020). "Collaborative online office solutions". Admin Network & Security. 60/2020. ...insert comments, to which other users can respond. A module for versioning completes the package. If desired, office solutions save different editing states of a document and reconstruct them again as needed. Users always have access to older versions of documents...
  13. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. (2020-06-04). "NextCloud gets bigger and better with Nextcloud Hub 19". zdnet.com. Nextcloud also has its own built-in video-conferencing and group meeting service: Nextcloud Talk. Here, the most interesting new feature is you can now edit office Collabora documents during video calls or from within a chat room.
  14. ^ Sneddon, Joey (2020-03-04). "Collabora Office Brings LibreOffice to Android, iOS". omgubuntu.co.uk. ...works entirely offline. ...support for integrations with cloud storage services, including NextCloud...
  15. ^ "Apple App Store". App Store. Retrieved 2021-01-20. Collabora Office - This app is available only on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
  16. ^ "Google Play Store". Google Play. Retrieved 2021-01-20. Collabora Office - LibreOffice based editor for Microsoft Office, LibreOffice and OpenOffice docs.
  17. ^ Mehrotra, Pranob (2020-12-01). "Collabora Office suite gets a new layout for Android tablets and Chromebooks". XDA-Developers. Retrieved 2021-01-15. Collabora Office is a popular open-source alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. It’s based on Libre Office, and it’s available on a variety of platforms, including Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. This year in July, a major update for the office suite brought support for Chrome OS devices.
  18. ^ Wallen, Jack (2020-08-04). "How to install Collabora Office on your Chromebook". Retrieved 2021-01-20. ...work with documents locally on your Chromebook...
  19. ^ "Collabora Office 6.4 Launches For Android, iOS & Chrome OS". KYM Know Your Mobile. 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2021-01-15. ...it works on desktop and mobile, and it will sync up between devices too, so you can start something on your desktop PC and then pick it up later on your phone and/or tablet.
  20. ^ Bärwaldt, Eric (2020-09-01). "Working Together Tools for collaborative office work". Linux Magazine (238/2020). For cross-platform use, the suite not only supports the Open Document Format (ODF) but also all newer Microsoft formats, which makes interaction with other office suites easier.
  21. ^ Bärwaldt, Eric (2020). "Collaborative online office solutions". Admin Network & Security. 60/2020. The software also supports PDF across all modules. If required, users can also convert text files to the ePub format for displaying appear on ebook readers or with desktop software for reading ePub files.
  22. ^ Azizaj, Jona (Nov 2018). "Real time Collaboration with Collabora Online and ownCloud". Linux Magazine. Issue #33: 70–72.
  23. ^ "Create great flyers, newsletters, brochures and more with open source software". opensource.com.
  24. ^ https://www.collaboraoffice.com/release-news/major-new-features-with-macros-and-draw-in-collabora-online-6-4-7-update/
  25. ^ Bhartiya, Swapnil (2016-07-19). "Can Collabora and Nextcloud crack Office 365 dominance?". cio.com. IDG Communications. Retrieved 2020-09-09. Unlike Google or Microsoft, Collabora Productivity doesn’t have the massive infrastructure required to offer CODE as a cloud based service. Instead, it offers the entire code as a product that users can install on their own servers.
  26. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (2021-04-13). "When online suites go down, we need options not on the cloud". Computerworld. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  27. ^ "Collaborative workflows EGroupware". Linux Magazine. 2018/210. 2018.
  28. ^ "collabora/code". Docker hub. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  29. ^ Soika, Ralph (2021-05-07). "LibreOffice Online – How to Integrate into your Web Application". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  30. ^ Bärwaldt, Eric (2020). "Collaborative online office solutions". Admin Network & Security. 60/2020. ...insert comments, to which other users can respond. A module for versioning completes the package. If desired, office solutions save different editing states of a document and reconstruct them again as needed. Users always have access to older versions of documents...
  31. ^ Nestor, Marius (2021-03-25). "Canonical, Collabora, and Nextcloud Deliver Work From Home Solution to Raspberry Pi 4 Users". 9to5Linux. Retrieved 2021-04-15. ...pre-configured and automatically updated in time so you won’t have to do any manual maintenance on it
  32. ^ Witmer-Goßner, Elke (2021-01-04). "Complete home office solution for Raspberry Pi and ARM users". Cloud Computing Insider. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  33. ^ "Collabora Office on iOS and Android Just got Better!". Adfinis. 2020-12-15. Retrieved 2021-01-15. ...touch optimized interfaces: one for tablets and one for phone screens. ...(iOS, iPadOS, Chromebooks, Android).
  34. ^ Madiega, Tambiama (July 2020). "Digital sovereignty for Europe" (PDF). European Parliament. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  35. ^ "Auswirkungen des EuGH-Urteils zum Privacy Shield-Abkommen der EU mit den USA". OSBA – Open Source Business Alliance (in German). 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  36. ^ Freest, Roland (2017-08-24). "Cloud made in Germany: Secure servers in Europe". PCWelt von IDG. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  37. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (2019-09-03). "EU turns from American public clouds to Nextcloud private clouds". ZDNet.
  38. ^ "MS-WOPI: Web Application Open Platform Interface Protocol". microsoft.com. Microsoft. 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2020-09-09. WOPI defines a set of operations that enables a client to access and change files stored by a server. This allows the client to render files and provide file editing functionality for files stored by the server.
  39. ^ Nestor, Marius (2020-12-07). "Collabora Online 2.0 Puts LibreOffice in the Cloud, Adds Collaborative Editing". softpedia.com. SoftNews NET SRL. Retrieved 2020-09-09. With features like collaborative editing, Collabora Online 2.0 users will always be in control of their sensitive corporate data. [...] It also appears that Collabora Online fully integrates with both the popular ownCloud and Nextcloud self-hosting cloud server technologies.
  40. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (2020-06-04). "NextCloud gets bigger and better with Nextcloud Hub 19". zdnet.com. Retrieved 2021-01-15. ...the most interesting new feature is you can now edit office Collabora documents during video calls or from within a chat room. Collabora is a SaaS version of the popular open-source LibreOffice office suite.
  41. ^ Sneddon, Joey (2020-03-04). "Collabora Office Brings LibreOffice to Android, iOS". omgubuntu.co.uk. OHSO Media. Retrieved 2020-09-09. The app also works entirely offline. With no cloud or online service features come enabled by default or are required to use any of the included features (though naturally there’s support for integrations with cloud storage services, including NextCloud, should you want it).
  42. ^ Bärwaldt, Erik (2020-09-01). "Working Together: Tools for collaborative office work". Linux Magazine (238/2020). Retrieved 2020-09-09. The differences are in the details. While Collabora draws on LibreOffice’s enormous feature set, OnlyOffice focuses more strongly on efficient editing of office documents and therefore offers a number of less common functions. Both packages are very flexible when it comes to platform independence ranging from in-house desktop apps, through cloud-based web applications, to desktop editors and apps for mobile devices.
  43. ^ "SUSE Partners with Collabora to Deliver Commercial LibreOffice Support". suse.com. 2013-09-03.
  44. ^ "LIBREOFFICE ONLINE – OPEN SOURCE ALTERNATIEF VOOR GOOGLE DOCS". Linux Magazine (Dutch). 2020-10-30. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  45. ^ Brodkin, Jon (2015-03-26). "LibreOffice in the browser revealed in 2011 finally close to reality". Arstechnica.
  46. ^ Hillenius, Gijs (2015-12-22). "New document solution offers openness and accountability". Retrieved 2020-09-09. The two companies announced their partnership last week, making available an initial development release of Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE).
  47. ^ Poortvliet, Jos (2016-11-02). "CODE 2.0 Introduces Collaborative Editing of Office Documents in Nextcloud". Nextcloud. Retrieved 2021-11-02.
  48. ^ Meeks, Michael (2020-10-01). "[board-discuss] an Online move ..." Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  49. ^ Corbet, Jonathan (2020-10-02). "Collabora Online moves out of The Document Foundation". LWN.net. Retrieved 2020-10-19. By having a single Online project hosted by Collabora, a clear brand story easily establishes an appropriate credit for the origin of the product into every reference to it by those using it for free. Just like the other prominent OSS projects we integrate with.
  50. ^ "Collabora Online Development Edition" (Press release). Collabora Productivity. Retrieved 3 July 2021. Collabora Online Development Edition can be set up On-Premise via Virtual appliance, Docker, Linux package, others.

External links

  • Official website