What we know about Oracle Cloud Office, OpenOffice.org

By Eric Lai, Computerworld |  Software, OpenOffice.org, Oracle

Not necessarily, judging by the trio of companies outside of Sun that have done it.

One Nevada start-up called ZoooS LLC showed off a preview for a Web-hosted version of OpenOffice.org a year-and-a-half ago. A partially functional version was apparently abandoned by its creators a year ago. The Firefox add-on, compatible only with version 2.x, is still available for download.

A little-known group called OpenOffice.org Anywhere recently put up browser-based version of OpenOffice.org, for which it charges 65 cents an hour.

Most successfully, French open-source start-up Ulteo used its application streaming technology to host OpenOffice.org on the Web. That attracted 95,000 users, who enjoyed better over-the-wire performance than from the desktop version of OpenOffice.org, said CEO Thierry Koehrlen. Ulteo was never approached by Sun to help develop a Web version, he said.

3. How might Oracle deliver it?

Even before the acquisition closed, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is said to have "encouraged" OpenOffice.org developers to start rewriting the app using Sun's Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform, JavaFX.

Michael Meeks, the Novell Inc. developer who launched the Go-OO branch of OpenOffice.org, is pessimistic about JavaFX, saying its semi-proprietary licensing is an obstacle for the open-source app, and it poses other technical problems.

He is also not in favor of using standards-based Web technology. "If this is some CSS + JavaScript monster a WYSWYG editor is near impossible," he blogged last week. "I'm not convinced that HTML5 provides enough to do this adequately either."

Meeks calls Oracle Cloud Office a "pipe dream" loaded with "insurmountable technical challenges."

Burton Group's Creese is not as pessimistic, but he said he agrees that AJAX-type technologies won't suffice for enterprise-class features. He favors a rich Internet application such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight.

4. When might Oracle Cloud Office arrive?

Apparently confirming last year's report, Screven said that Sun had been working on Oracle Cloud Office "for some time."

Even with that, Tobias Kuipers, CTO of the Software Improvement Group, thinks it will take a while. "In order for it to run on the cloud a large part of the system needs to be adapted," he wrote. "If we assume that this part is 25%, which is a low assumption, then a rewrite effort is going to take 100 man-years."


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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