Edit MS Office Docs using MS Office from Google Drive

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One of the hurdles many face when moving to Google Apps is how to deal with MS Office. Some users feel they cannot live without some of the advanced formatting and features; others are concerned that they receive and work on MS Office documents received from others.

Until now, in order to edit MS Office documents in their native format, users had to download or sync files to their local disk or use the limited editing capabilities of the Chrome browser extension.   Both are less than ideals.

Can you click on a Word doc saved in Drive, have it open in Microsoft Word, and have the file save to Drive?  … YES!  Yes, you can!

With AODocs File Server and the AODocs SmartBar Extension for Chrome, you can use Drive in your Chrome browser, select and edit MS Office files, and have them save directly within Drive.  You can effectively replace Windows Explorer with Drive + AODocs.

Click Here to see a quick demo with Word.  The solution works for Excel and Powerpoint files, too.

Want to know more? Contact Us for a 1:1 demo of the full AODocs File Server solution.

Tuesday Take-Away: File Service Strategies with Google Docs

As more of our current and future customers move to the cloud, they have greater interest in moving beyond email, calendars, and chat.  More organizations see cloud file services as a way to improve access to information while simplifying IT infrastructure and lowering costs.  These organizations are right on the mark!

For those running Google Apps for Business, Education, or Government, the Google Docs service is a great foundation from which to build an integrated file service.  Here are some considerations and strategies.

Central Ownership

Every user has the ability to use Google Docs to store and share information, and to create a hierarchy of collections (just like folders) to organize and manage files.  When building a file service using Google Docs, you may want to consider central ownership of data that would normally be housed on shared space on a file server.

Central Ownership …

  • Puts all of the “file server” data under “Collections Shared with Me” in all users’ Google Docs screen, providing a consistent interface and experience.
  • Gives administrators control over permissions.
  • Avoids underlying document ownership issues.
  • Provides a central account for managing the amount of storage needed.
  • Further simplifies backup/recovery.

To setup central ownership of your file service, you will need to purchase or dedicate one account as the “file service” account.

Desktop Integration

While Google Docs is pretty good as a productivity suite, many of your users may want or need to continue using legacy desktop solutions.  The good news: you can store any file type in Google Docs; the bad news: opening up a browser to upload files is an intrusive extra step.

Fortunately, you can choose from several inexpensive third party solutions that provide desktop access to Google Docs.  When working with clients to pick the solution, we look to see if they need drive letter access (DLA) service and/or access via Network Places from Windows desktops and/or desktop drive access from Macs.  The solution we recommend will result from these needs and from the amount of local drive space available to cache online data.

Local Cache / Offline Access

By building a solution with a local cache, you can provide users with robust offline access to documents.  Additionally, a local cache lets desktop applications save locally, as they are designed to do, with the files synchronizing to Google Docs in the background.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about building a file server around Google Docs, please contact us directly, visit our web site, or join us for one of our upcoming events.