LibreOffice is Now in the Cloud

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 25, 2015

Today was a big day for LibreOffice with The Document Foundation's announcement of LibreOffice Online. Hosted by TDF, this joint effort between Collabora and the LibreOffice community, with a side helpin' of IceWarp, today announced LibreOffice in the cloud accessed through your friendly neighborhood browser. TDF heralds this as "The Cornerstone Of The World’s First Universal Productivity Solution."

Following a partnership announcement by Collabora and IceWarp, TDF today announced their partnership with Collabora. Collabora and IceWarp are working together to develop back-end server software to run the cloud version of LibreOffice. The Document Foundation and Collabora are developing the interface and middleware. They figure commercial interests and enterprise users will find all this quite handy.

IceWarp is primarily a software company known for email and instant messaging solutions. They say they found out folks really wanted a "cloud-based solution for document editing and collaboration" and then selected LibreOffice for the foundation. According to the announcement, IceWarp and friends are going to build on the work LibreOffice developers have already done with Internet technologies to make online lightweight document editing accessible through the browser. That way folks can "store, manage and preview Office documents in the web browser, without having any office suite installed on their computers" and any "provider, individual or project in the community" can deploy a LibreOffice server for personal, business, or commercial use. They say LibreOffice was chosen because of its format compatibility proven with 80 million users worldwide.

They've posted a questions-and-answers with more information as well. LibreOffice Online is the official name or LOOL for short.  The Document Foundation will be hosting it and directing contributions. It should be completely compatible with the installable desktop versions. The C++ server back-end should be delivered first around the beginning of 2016 for Linux and the platform-independent front-end client will come later using JavaScript and HTML5. Components will probably be released under the MPLv2 license.

Soon after the initial announcement came The Document Foundation's announcement of their joint efforts with Collabora to develop the interface and editing functions. They said today that this joint effort will offer a "free alternative to proprietary solutions such as Google Docs and Office 365, and the first to natively support the Open Document Format (ODF) standard." LibreOffice Online should be similar to Android LibreOffice Editor at first. Michael Meeks today explained how all this fits together: