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RIA & Ajax: Article

iNetOffice and ShareMethods to Create Online Office Mashup and AJAX Mashup Specification

Application Mashup Demo Shows the Power of Composite Applications, Increased Productivity

iNetOffice, a leading provider of browser-based office applications, and ShareMethods, a leading provider of on-demand sales and marketing document management, announced a partnership to bring online office applications to market and to develop Ajax mashup recommendations. The goal of the joint work is to provide the next wave of software services to dramatically improve efficiency and flexibility working with documents online using multiple on-demand applications. For the first time in public, the companies will demonstrate their mashup at the Office 2.0 conference in San Francisco on October 11, showing the power, potential, and vision for end-users.

The ability to quickly and easily create online office mashups enables organizations to improve productivity, better serve customers and users, and solve business problems more rapidly. The goal is integration of best-of-breed online office applications presented to users in a single interface, available any time and from anywhere on the Web. The proposed approach enables the Internet as a platform for "plug and play" office productivity suites tailored or modified for specific business needs. No online office application should be an island unto itself; the online office can go beyond a traditional office suite into an online office ecosystem. In this ecosystem, users can combine their choice of online document, spreadsheet, and presentation services on demand with an ability to share content across these services and to collaborate on a global basis.

An example of the ecosystem at work is an online office mashup which combines iNetOffice, ShareMethods, Salesforce.com, and Thumbstacks; this mashup enables automatic creation and management of sales documents such as proposals, reports and presentations which can be shared internally or with sales prospects. Newsletters and press releases can also be created and shared easily by marketing teams. An online mashup demo illustrates how a sales user can easily and quickly build a dynamically generated sales proposal using customer data from an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) database. A video demonstrating the mashup of web-based CRM, enterprise content management (ECM), online word processing, and online presentation software is available here: http://www.inetword.com/mashup/index.html.

"This multi-way mashup is an excellent example of how quickly Web 2.0 applications can come together because of interoperability, standards, and user experience," said David Coleman, managing director of research and consulting firm Collaborative Strategies. "End users benefit from reduced time to create these applications and from the additional functionality that can be added through each of the components in the mashup. Quick, easy and intuitive are all attributes of Web 2.0 applications and this mashup shows how a virtual on-line office can be put together in a very short time."

iNetOffice and ShareMethods plan to make a sales and marketing productivity mashup broadly available. The two companies are also inviting other software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to join their online office mashup and to participate in technical recommendations based on open standards such as WebDAV (Web Document Authoring and Versioning), SSO (Single Sign-On), and ALE (Ajax Linking and Embedding). Simple Ajax Mashup (SAM) recommendations can be viewed here: http://www.inetword.com/mashup/SAM Spec.html. Simple Ajax Mashup recommendations will be posted to the Office 2.0 conference wiki to allow for collaborative input and contributions of new ideas.

The SAM technical recommendations seek to address Ajax application problems, such as:

-- Single Sign On: Eliminate the need for users to log in separately to
each online office application in a mashup.

-- Cross-Application Document and Content Sharing: Enable diverse online
office applications to store documents in a single repository of a user's
choice. Such storage allows a user to organize, browse, and search all of
his or her documents in one location and allows all documents to
participate in the workflow, sharing, and other capabilities of the

-- Copy and Paste: Recommendations for support of ALE (Ajax Linking and
Embedding) improve the quality of content copied and pasted from one Ajax
application into another.

"ShareMethods and iNetOffice have built an exciting vision of an Office 2.0 future with their multi-way mash-up demo and its focus on productivity improvements working online. Their partnership work is important and I look forward to seeing products realize the vision. The technical recommendations in Simple Ajax Mashup are a step in the right direction to build bridges across Office 2.0 applications, making for a more powerful user experience," said Ismael Ghalimi, founder and organizer of the Office 2.0 Conference and CEO of Intalio, the leading vendor of open source BPM software.

Tom Snyder, president of iNetOffice, and Eric Hoffert, CEO of ShareMethods, are participating in a plenary panel on opening day of the Office 2.0 conference called "One Day in the Life of an Office 2.0 Worker." The panel moderated by Matt Marshall from the San Jose Mercury News also includes leading providers of online office applications such as Zoho, ThinkFree, SilverOffice, and Joyent. ShareMethods and iNetOffice will demonstrate the multi-way mashup as an example of the next wave of online office applications that improve productivity and are rapidly developed, deployed, and available any time and from anywhere on the Web.

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