With the newest release of Alfresco Community Edition 3.3g, Alfresco has released an initial integration between Google Docs and Alfresco. This recent integration is another great example of the openness of the Alfresco platform. There are two ways to interact with Google Docs:
- Creation of Google Documents, Presentation, and Spreadsheets using the Content Wizards in Alfresco Share.
- Uploading content in Alfresco Share and applying the Google Aspect, thereby allowing editing within Google Docs.
Once the content resides in Alfresco, the interoperability between being able view the document in either Google Docs and/or your local client applications (Microsoft Office, Open Office) is convenient. By storing content within the repository, all the corresponding benefits of applying metadata, workflow, security, etc. also further blur the lines between on-line vs. locally generated content.
Internally, aside from your traditional bug track software, we sometimes use Google Docs to quickly create spreadsheets for quick bug tracking. The value of multiple users being able to update and track bugs during the testing phase of a project can be invaluable and provides more real-time collaboration. In the current Alfresco integration, documents won’t necessarily reside within your Google Docs interface when not “checked out”. Being able to provide the “realtime” collaboration, but within the Alfresco Share interface would be a great next step in further expanding collaboration capabilities on the Alfresco platform.
Alfresco has released a PDF document on their wiki outlining how what configuration changes to make to enable Google Docs integration. The document provides a good background, use case scenarios and configuration details to enable Google Docs integration.