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Is there an open source (Linux) package similar to Google Docs?

Posted on 2009-04-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
Hi guys,

We currently have a Linux file server sharing documents (Word, Excel, etc.) through Samba. The problem is we're all over town most the time, and not always have access to our laptops for VPN access.

We love the idea of Google Docs, but we'd like something that is hosted on our own server so we have control over backups and such.

I've tried googling for it but I'm not really sure what terms to search for. I found out that Microsoft has a competing products but once again it is hosted on their servers.

We often hire programmers to develop things for us but I can't imagine this doesn't exist already.

Thanks!
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Question by:omniumnetworking
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Morne Lategan earned 900 total points
ID: 24052036
Hi omniumnetworking.

Its not a 1.2.3 go application (you'll have to do a bit of reading), but one of the best pieces of software I ever came across: Alfresco.

http://www.alfresco.com
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by:martin_2110
martin_2110 earned 300 total points
ID: 24052213
http://www.zimbra.com/
Zimbra is a client and server platform for next-generation messaging and collaboration.

It provides administrators and their end users innovative features that solve the challenges faced by organizations using today's legacy communications infrastructure. Key advantages include compatibility with Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop environments; better scalability and ease of maintenance; plus flexibility to integrate other applications as web services in our AJAX web client.

The Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) Open Source Edition is available for your download free of charge. You are welcome to use, modify, and redistribute ZCS Open Source Edition free of charge, provided you do so according to the terms of the appropriate License.

ZCS Network Edition has additional benefits and is available for administrators to download and try for free.

We welcome all Open Source Edition users to join the Zimbra Community, and invite you to share contributions of bug-fixes, enhancements, or other modifications with Zimbra for consideration for inclusion in Zimbra. A good first step is join the Zimbra Forums and learn more about becoming a Zimbra contributor.
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by:computerfixins
computerfixins earned 300 total points
ID: 24052325
I second alfresco,

Works just like Microsoft sharepoint, even has the sharepoint protocol, so intergration with office is seamless!  Not to mention open source...

Like most linux alternatives, the setup is a bit more er challenging... :)

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Author Comment

by:omniumnetworking
ID: 24053587
I recently heard about Zimbra, and while I am very impressed at all it can do, it also seems like much more than what we're looking for. It's something to keep in mind for sure. It seems like an excellent alternative to Exchange (which is SO overpriced.)

With Alfresco I've been looking through the documentation to see how it actually works. One question I can't seem to find an answer for it, do you need to install a software client to use it, or is it all browser-based?

Thanks!
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by:martin_2110
ID: 24053677
There is a trial on there website http://www.alfresco.com/community/register/done. It is a web client.
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by:computerfixins
ID: 24053711
Both,

here's the open source / free version...

http://wiki.alfresco.com/wiki/Installing_Labs_3

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Author Comment

by:omniumnetworking
ID: 24054301
Martin,

That link does not work for me. However, I am registering for a hosted trial right now. I think that's where you went as well.

Thanks for the link Computerfixins. It will be a little while before I can download and install the package to test it.

One of the problems I've seen with a lot of products out there is that they want to host my data while I want to keep my data on my own server. I don't mind paying for a good product, but I don't want to pay a monthly fee to "rent" the software.

I'm still looking into Alfresco. Thanks for the information.
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by:Morne Lategan
ID: 24054831
"do you need to install a software client to use it, or is it all browser-based?"

It can support just about any form of connectivity you want.

Because of its layered design, the "core" sits on top of the content stores and interfaces between whatever client and the store and handles security etc. This provides that the system can serve the same content using different client interfaces. As examples of interfaces that are available:

The web client, which is easy to use and requires no client side software other than a recent browser.

The built in CIFS server, which serves the content as CIFS (Windows file sharing) shares and allows one to browse the content store through normal "Network neighborhood" without special client side software.

The built in FTP server, which serves the content through the ftp protocol to ftp enabled clients.

The Web services interface, which can be used by third party software to access the content store through SOAP (including Zimbra, which now has an Alfresco zimlet (plugin) to integrate it with Alfresco).

The Office client package, which installs on a Windows machine, and adds an Alfresco dialog inside your office applications. This allows direct access to the store and its more advanced features from within office.

Sharepoint Services

Publishing through the Web Content Management interface.

The list goes on....

(At the risk of getting all soppy about it...)

This is truly a wonderful system.
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Author Comment

by:omniumnetworking
ID: 24061871
The Hosted Trial for Alfresco is amazingly slow. Also, I have not been able to figure out how to use the document library which is the part I'm really interested in. The option to Upload or Create New Folder are grayed out. I am missing something?
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by:computerfixins
ID: 24071773
read only access. :)
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Expert Comment

by:Morne Lategan
ID: 24074828
Download the open source version. Its simple to get it going. Simply extract and run the startup script.
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Author Closing Comment

by:omniumnetworking
ID: 31565881
I am awarding points to all answers because none are really what I was looking for, yet they are solid suggestions. Thanks!
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