Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Google Apps Gets Ready For A Disaster

How safe is our data in the cloud? This is a question that all cloud users and non-users have asked. Google has addressed this in a recent blog post that gets into some of the fine details of the data backup process. If a Google data center is disrupted/destroyed, Google's backup system is set up such that no data should be lost (Recovery Point Objective) and the time without access to Google Apps services is zero (Recovery Time Objective).  They achieve this with high speed simultaneous replication of Google Apps user's actions at two data centers; and this is done for the major apps in Google's Apps suite: Calendar, Sites, Docs, and Gmail. 

This is great to know since we are investing so much more time in the cloud. Hopefully the other cloud vendors will release information on their backup procedures to ensure that their customers feel safe using their product.

Note: As an extra security measure, I export my documents to one of my hard drives, it's a "just-in-case" thing.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Apps Script Comes To Google Docs Users

Google Apps Scripts, which are strings of commands that produce various spreadsheet functions, are now available to all Google Docs users. These easy to execute commands are accessed by simply clicking on Insert -and then Script. As displayed in the video below, this feature has huge potential by combining the power of spreadsheets with the vast amount of information available on the web. 

Only 11 App Scripts are currently available

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Cloud Becomes Stronger: Google App Marketplace

Yesterday Google announced the release of Google Apps Marketplace- an app store for cloud-based enterprise apps that is available to the 25 million people or 2 million businesses using Google Apps.  Applications are added very easily with just 4 clicks (as Google claims), logins are done using Open ID (awesome) and some of the apps are used directly in Google products (the image editor Aviary is used directly within Docs). There are currently 50 apps available but expect more since Google is giving 80% of the sales revenue to developers which is high compared to the 70% for Android and Apple developers.

The Google Marketplace App Store

This is a great move by Google. There has been an explosion of development in the cloud but it has become very fragmented with many apps available for a particular tool. For example, a search at Go2Web20 for business collaboration tools brings up 23 apps, can you imagine having to know login information for all of of these? Google Apps Marketplace brings a lot of the great cloud tools (including a couple from Zoho) together with benefits to all included. Hopefully those who are not using Google Apps (without a domain address) will have access to the marketplace sometime in the near future.....I really want to use Aviary in Google Docs!!

Adding an app is super easy

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Slide Transitions and Animations In Zoho Show

Slide transition effects and animations are key components of any presentation and until this week, these were only available in the flash-based presentation apps (Sliderocket) and not Zoho Show or Google Presentations. Show now has 5 in-slide animations and 30-slide transitions and amazingly, these remain when the file is exported. There are also a few more embedding options such as size selection and Show can now be used in Google Chrome. Great update.  

Friday, 5 March 2010

$Google$ Keeps Spending The Casholla: Today's Acquisition is DocVerse

DocVerse, the company that brought collaborative editing to Microsoft Office through a plug-in has been officially acquired by Google. This is an interesting acquisition since Google is in the cloud, Microsoft wants to be in the cloud, and DocVerse sort of brings Microsoft Office into the cloud  (editing occurs on the desktop, viewing in the cloud). It defifinely heats up the battle with Microsoft and raises some interesting questions:

  • Will DocVerse continue to be a plug-in or will it move totally to the cloud?
  • If it does exist as a plugin, will Microsoft "challenge" it with compatibility issues?
  • The GDocs team are suspending signups until "until we’re ready to share what's next", what could this be?
  • Will users still have to pay for DocVerse?
  • Is Google realizing that some people still want to store their data on their computers and not the cloud?
  • When will the Google spending-spree stop?
2010 is turning out to be an exciting year in the world of Web 2.0 office apps.