Wednesday, April 14, 2010

OffiSync + Google "Cloud" (e.g., Docs, Sites) + Google SaaS (Apps) + MS Word

OffiSync - the short story: Just go to the links at the bottom of this post.

The background:
Over the years I have done a lot of work in documentation, and two things stood out as being very useful in that work:
  • MSW (for "Microsoft Word"): Since 1998 my dependence on MW has grown. Then, I had to embark on a journey to become a "power user" of MSW, when faced with some major documentation tasks on a large and complex documentation project. I initially read "Taking Word for Windows to the Edge" from cover to cover, to begin that journey. Over the years, MSW has been continually refined and improved by Microsoft. It is an amazingly powerful document creation/editing tool - though sometimes I still miss the power of Macintosh Publisher (I think that was it's name) from the '80s.
  • MSS (for "Microsoft SharePoint"): I originally became involved in MSS through managing the installation of a SharePoint site for a client, and later in using SharePoint sites as document repositories and collaboration/workflow tools. MSS is a powerful document management and collaboration tool, and integrates beautifully with Microsoft products IE and Office, but it is still very much a proprietary tool.
OffiSync: Last year (2009) I installed a Microsoft Office Add-In called "OffiSync", which enabled me to link to documents in Google Docs. By that stage, Google was clearly setting up to provide cloud-based document management and collaboration that looked set to eventually eclipse SharePoint.
When I installed OffiSync, I was very impressed at how it aimed to tie Microsoft Office into the Google Apps/Cloud. Up until now, however, I have used it only a little, as it seemed a bit slow/kludgy. I was in "Wait and see mode".

Looks like my waiting is over. Whilst Google's increasing range of cloud-based apps/services was itself disruptive and made for some very useful services, it seemed to me that OffiSync built on that range in such a way that it could potentially be a tremendously productive step forwards.
With Google's latest superb updates to Google Docs and today's updates to OffiSync, I have to say that this potential now looks like it could be realised.

See for yourself anyway:
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