On June 25, IBM announced the availability of version 1.0.3 of IBM SmartCloud Docs. If you haven’t heard of IBM SmartCloud Docs, it is similar to Google Docs. You can store and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations right on line without having to have desktop software installed. IBM allows you to edit both Microsoft Office and Open Office documents. I have linked to a introductory video here so you can learn more about IBM Docs.
There are two important new features in this version of IBM Docs. First, this new version allows you co-edit a document or spreadsheet with another person or a group. Each person involved in the edit session can see exactly what the others are doing and changes are highlighted in colors associated with each editor. This goes beyond the typical feature of allowing multiple people to edit and then merge changes into a master document – this is real-time collaborative editing. The second video shows the co-editing features of SmartCloud Docs.
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The second new feature is the integration with IBM Connections. According to IBM’s announcement letter, here is how Docs and Connections work together:
IBM Docs leverages the file management features of IBM Connections Files allowing users to upload and share documents and manage versions – and letting users always work on the most current version or restore back to a previous version if needed. Furthermore, IBM Docs lets users share online documents with others as readers or editors. Editors have full rights to edit the document with other editors. Readers have the ability to view the most recent version of a document. IBM Docs also leverages the features of Communities so that community documents, including Microsoft Office templates, can be shared or edited within the context of that community. IBM Docs can be purchased as an add-on to and requires IBM Connections Files.
Note that you need to use IBM Connections Files to make this work.
Here is a summary of the new features.
- Author presence awareness, letting you know who has been in your document and who is currently making changes to content
- Real-time or asynchronous co-editing support designed to help quickly edit content and meet deadlines
- Directed contextual commenting and discussions designed to help team members collaborate on the content
- File version management that helps keep everyone working on the latest version and reduces the time required to manually merge input from multiple users
- Allows the creation of new documents or upload existing Microsoft Office or OpenOffice documents to edit and share
- Share templates with individuals or a community, designed to reduce the time needed to create new documents based on your templates