LibreOffice in the Cloud - on Frugal Guidance 2

Ever since The Document Foundation released LibreOffice four years ago, users’ wish lists included a web-based version of the software. This past week, The Document Foundation, Collabora and IceWarp announced their collaboration to create that cloud app and go online with it in less than a year.

LibreOffice Online

LibreOffice Online (or LOOL), as it’s tentatively named, will offer an online version of LibreOffice, using HTML5 and Javascript. It appears the cloud version of LibreOffice will offer a subset of the features of Writer, Calc and Impress (the word processing, spreadsheet and presentation modules of LibreOffice). It will be designed to be fully compatible with its installed brethren and should work with any modern browser. The goal is to have multi-user support which allows more than one person to edit the document at the same time. (It’s unclear whether this will be available right from the beginning.) It will offer ODF open-source file formats for online editing, the same formats used by LibreOffice in its installed base.

There should be 100% back-and-forth compatibility between the online documents and the installed versions of LibreOffice on Windows, Macs and Linux.

The free service will be hosted by the Document Foundation with the assistance of Collabora. Being an open source project, other users, including corporations, may eventually be able to host their own implementation of LOOL.

Deployment is anticipated to be between the end of 2015 and early 2016.

In a press release, Eliane Domingos de Sousa, Director of The Document Foundation, said “Thanks to the increasing number of companies which are investing on the development of LibreOffice, we are on track to make it available on every platform, including the cloud. We are grateful to IceWarp for providing the resources for a further development of LibreOffice Online.”

Michael Meeks, VP of Collabora Productivity, helped develop a proof of concept for an online version of LibreOffice back in 2011.

An Android version of LibreOffice is also in the works.

The Collaborators

Collabora is a business consulting service that provides open source solutions to businesses, including support for business-wide implementation and updating of LibreOffice and other open source tools. Based in Cambridge, UK and Montreal, Canada, it also specializes in messaging, VOIP, videoconferencing, multimedia, mobile web technologies, automotive infotainment and more. Collabora is a corporate sponsor of The Document Foundation.

IceWarp, based in Springfield, Virginia, offers its corporate and enterprise email server software (an alternative to Microsoft Exchange) and other collaboration tools. Its server software already offers document editing online, even when Office software is not installed on the user’s computer.

The Document Foundation is a German-based nonprofit foundation formed to develop and support LibreOffice. Currently the project has over a thousand volunteers, mostly programmers. LibreOffice is actively used by over 80 million people around the world. See their website for more info or to make a donation.

Learn More

For more about LibreOffice, to download the free office suite, or to volunteer, go to the LibreOffice web site.

See also our Frugal Guidance 2 articles on LibreOffice and our comparisons of LibreOffice, Apache OpenOffice and Microsoft Office, including:

LibreOffice 4.4 from a Frugal Person’s Perspective

What LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice Have Taught Me


LibreOffice to become the cornerstone of the world’s first universal productivity solution on The Document Foundation Blog, March 25, 2015.

Icewarp and Collabora are Working on Libreoffice Online Document Editing, An Open Source Alternative to Google Apps, Office 365 on the LibreOffice from Collabora website, March 25, 2015.

LibreOffice On-Line & IceWarp by Michael Meeks, also available on The Document Planet Blog.

Libreoffice Online Questions Answered: What, Who, How, and When

Cloud image with LibreOffice logo and icons is by the author.

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