OnlyOffice: Interview & Review

OnlyOffice: Interview & Review


OnlyOffice is a multi-award winning platform for project management and collaboration, with 5 million users worldwide.  The vision of OnlyOffice is “to bring the most innovative web office apps to everyone”.  The software is a complete document management solution designed to help businesses grow by providing a single system to manage and organize workflow and thus improve productivity.

OnlyOffice began in 2009 as a project that went by the name TeamLab, “Initially, it was developed for improving the internal communication process among the members of our team” Kseniya Fedoruk, Marketing Communications Manager over at OnlyOffice informed us.  This week we had the opportunity to speak directly with OnlyOffice to learn more about their multi-featured platform.

In 2012 at the CeBIT exhibition, TeamLab found that their online editors were a huge hit.  This inspired the name change to OnlyOffice in 2014, when the team decided to focus efforts on their online document editors that ensure high-quality formatting.  On July 4th, 2014 TeamLab Office officially rebranded to OnlyOffice and became open source. Kseniya informed us “Since then, ONLYOFFICE online document editors became our pride and joy, as well as the source of inspiration, offering a vast number of ideas and multiple ways for further development and improvement”

Functioning as a Swiss Watch

“Our mission is to make the editors available and easy-to-use for everybody” OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice is continually working to extend the functionality of their editors.  Currently, users can perform both online and offline editing of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from a single window. They told us “One of our main goals is to make OnlyOffice online document editors function as a Swiss watch” which we are excited to see.  We were really interested in finding out more about the areas of development that OnlyOffice is involved in, they told us “We have a lot of plans, e.g. to improve undo/redo actions in the co-editing process in real time, make a solid PDF editor, extend the toolset adding three-dimensional shapes and much more”.  They are continually looking for new opportunities to extend the use and deliver their product to more users.  OnlyOffice told us “Not so long ago we released a snap (the universal Linux packaging format) for our desktop editors. And we’re also planning to build them as a Flatpak, as well as to make the whole OnlyOffice solution available as a snap package”.

Currently, customers can use OnlyOffice with “ready-to-use connectors for Nextcloud, ownCloud, SharePoint, Alfresco, and Confluence. Several other integrations are available as well: with eXo, PowerFolder, Seafile and CommuniGate, integration with Moodle is being considered. Moreover, all our partners and users are able to easily integrate ONLYOFFICE with their services using API”

OnlyOffice:  Focus on Security

OnlyOffice told us that security is very important to them, firstly because OnlyOffice is an open source solution it “can be deployed on your own server, giving you the full control over the data with enhanced security options”  OnlyOffice informed us that “One of our priorities is, needless to say, the security issue” and that they are “constantly working in this direction adding new features such as two-factor authentication, single sign-on, JWT etc”.

Making sure that the user’s data is protected is of utmost importance to OnlyOffice, they told us that they “always make sure users’ private data is protected. So, our service complies with all the international standards and guidelines. Therefore, we are making necessary preparations now to meet the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will come into force in May 2018 and aims to protect users’ personal data to a great extent”

Ambitious Plans for the Future

When we asked OnlyOffice about their plans for the future, we could tell that they had a lot in the pipeline. OnlyOffice let us into one of their secret plans for the future, they told us that they have  “Ambitious plans for the future” and  “Without revealing all the secrets, we can say that ONLYOFFICE also has several aces up the sleeve that could surprise our users”.  Then they went on to let us in on one of these secrets, they told us that they are “planning to implement end-to-end encryption in our service what will make users’ experience with ONLYOFFICE even more safe and secure”

OnlyOffice: Awards

OnlyOffice boasts a vast number of awards, from being one of the 40 best cloud services for cloud SMBs of 2017 by PCMag, to being ranked as a Business Management category leader by GetApp.  More recently OnlyOffice won an award for being the Best Document Management Software of 2018 by PCMag.

How does OnlyOffice Stack up Against the Competition

By using HTML5, OnlyOfffice is able to provide a viable free alternative to Microsoft Office.  When we asked them what made them stand out from the crowd they informed us “As already mentioned, we are really proud of our online editors for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It’s an integral part of all ONLYOFFICE solutions”.  The reason that they took the bold leap into providing their open source project to the public was because they “felt there was lack of reliable, powerful, feature-rich online editors with broad collaborative capabilities”.  They told us that they have “developed such editors, and would like now to bring high-quality secure online editing to the greatest possible number of users”.  They feel that their success has been achieved due to their utilization of the HTML5 Canvas.

Real-Time Collaboration

OnlyOffice offers some powerful online collaboration tools and provides the unique ability to work easily with large files.  One of the key features of OnlyOffice is that of their real time collaboration, which they say is “broader than Google Docs” they told us that  “There are multiple collaboration features: two co-editing modes (Fast when you see all the changes made by others in real-time, and Strict when you see the changes in your document only after other users save them), comments to any part of the text, built-in chat to discuss the things without leaving a doc, the Track Changes mode with the “Preview in Review” feature to know what your doc would look like if you accept or reject the changes”.  These are some of the online features of OnlyOffice.

As well as all of this, they informed us that “unlike many other online editors, OnlyOffice allows you to easily work with large files and use the enhanced formatting toolset as e.g. by desktop Microsoft Office applications. You can add links, tables, charts, insert autoshapes, formulas and text objects, change fonts, styles and much more”.  Therefore OnlyOffice facilitates easy teamwork across the web via their broad range of document management tools.

100% Compatibility with other Office Programs

OnlyOffice is 100% compatible with Microsoft Office formats due to the fact that “OnlyOffice uses Office Open XML as a core format”.  In addition to this OnlyOffice supports all other popular file formats”.  They told us that “you won’t have any problems with opening, editing or saving your files, and one document will look the same in any browser and any format”. A few final features that set them ahead of many competitors is that they offer “high-quality formatting, rich functionality and multiple security features”.

All in All

OnlyOffice is an amazing feature rich, FREE alternative to Microsoft Office or GoogleDocs that allows companies to manage their processes in one central location, that can be accessed anywhere.  We were really impressed with the number of features and amount of users that they have on board and can’t wait to hear more about their end-to-end encryption and any other “secret” updates as they become available.  We would like to thank OnlyOffice for taking the time to take part in the interview with us this week.

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