Check out Oracle's SaaS tech, which aims to take on Google Apps and Microsoft Office Web Apps
Oracle recently announced its Cloud Office suite of applications, taking the battle to Google Apps and Microsoft Office Web Apps.
Developed by Sun Microsystems before its acquisition by Oracle in April 2009, the software as a service (Saas) technology has now been integrated with existing Oracle products.
Oracle has also opted for the Sun-developed ODF open document standard, which is compatible with Microsoft Office and PDF formats. The Cloud Office suite's use of other open standards is designed to allow integration with legacy email and calendar systems.
Shown above is the start portal – or workspace – in the Safari browser. Here you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and access email, calendar and contacts. There's also a calculator tool and calendar display.
Users can change the theme of their Oracle Cloud Office portal. Shown here is the wood-themed workspace page.
This page shows the documents users have created or which have been shared with them. Documents can be shared in a number of ways - for example, by emailing them to colleagues or embedding them into corporate blogs.
The green badge next to some of the documents indicates they have been shared via email, while the blue badge shows which documents have been published on a blog. As the documents are stored online, they can be edited in Cloud Office and the changes will appear in the blog when the page is refreshed.
Text documents can be created in much the same way as with Google Docs and Microsoft Office Web Apps.
Oracle Cloud Office is closely related to the on-premise Oracle Open Office version 3.3, so documents can be created online or offline and moved between the two systems.
Users can choose to share their text documents for review or editing in a number of ways. Shown above is a menu for selecting which colleagues to email a copy of the document to.
Users can create presentations in the Cloud Office suite, which feature various types of graphs, tables and embedded images.
Presentations can then be shared. For the moment, only the person who creates the document has the ability to edit it.
Within presentations, users can create dashboard slides to show how their business is performing in a variety of different ways.
This dashboard shows the relative sales of apples and bananas by a fruit supplier over a calendar year.
Cloud Office has also been designed to work on the Apple iPhone and iPad, and on mobile devices and tablets running Google's Android OS. Shown above is a document list on an iPhone.