| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.

View
 

Product Eval and Analysis 3-CAO

Page history last edited by Laura Harrison 7 years, 2 months ago

Collaborative Authoring and Officing Suites Home Page 

Potential Product List

Use Case Scenarios

Collaborative Authoring Product Breakdown


 

Scenario:

There is a team of virtual programmers who are working from different offices around the world. They want to use a collaborative authoring and communication tool that could help them to share their documents from different places at the same time since they cannot meet in person. Also, they want the collaborative tool enables them to chat with each other, share their experiences in software development field and review the written codes, comments, drawing while others are writing. Furthermore, each developer will be able to invite any other developers to their space. By using a collaborative tool, the developer could email team members when he makes changes to the document that they are creating. Developers are also looking for drawing features in the tool that allow them to draw a UML design model.

 

Assumptions:

  • Difficult for virtual programmers to meet in person
  • Virtual programmers want to learn from different experiences of other programmers

  

Limitations:

  • Virtual programmers cannot meet in person
  • A collaborative authoring and communication tool is needed
  • Meeting times should be convenient to all virtual team members 
  • If someone sets up a meeting time, all members should respond
  • All team members should have access to the documents
  • Team members can edit, create, and remove all documents
  • Some collaborative authoring tools are not free
  • All virtual members should have an Internet connection and a Web browser
  • Programmers should have adequate information on a particular subject

 

 

  Overall Ease of Use Editing Experience Commenting/Markup Sharing Capabilities Revision History Capabilities Product Average
Google Drive/Docs  4.8
Microsoft SkyDrive 4.6
Zoho Writer 

5

5
ThinkFree Online  2.6
Apple iWork 1.6

 

[Star ratings for each product (1-5; 5=best)] 

 

 

Analysis:

 

Google Docs

 

Focus: Ease of Use

     Programmers will find Google Docs easy to understand and use since it is like other kinds of word processors. Google Docs enables multiple programmers to collaborate at the same time and to have access to the documents from anywhere. It provides them with 1GB of storage space for their uploaded files.  Also, it allows them to create a word document, presentations and spreadsheets.  They can then easily group their documents or move them into other folders. In addition,they can export files to PDF, text, OpenOffice extensions, or other file formats. By using Google Docs, Programmers team's files will be saved online and there is no risks of file lose.

 

Focus: Editing Experience

     Google Docs allows developers to have access to documents and can change it all together, remotely, based on their requirements. Up to fifty people can edit a document at the same time. They can add, create, delete, update, or move documents. They can even change its format. Images and drawings can also be edited in the documents. One important feature in Google Docs is that you are able to create drawings.  This feature is so beneficial for a group of programmers to work together in designing their UML classes. 

 

Focus: Commenting/Markup

     Participants are able to leave comments. The commenting feature will help them track team concerns or simply leave notes for themselves. It is good in some cases when they don't want to delete something written by adding only a few comments. Another thing is that Google Docs doesn't have tagging, but programmers can easily locate specific files by using the "Search" field at the top of the screen or by creating collections to organize their documents. 

 

Focus: Sharing Experience

     A programmer can create  any type of document and share it with other programmers around the globe without worrying about sending lots of emails. They can simply share their project documents such as codes, designs and update them together. The programmers can share any kind of document by sending an invitation email to the collaborators throughout the share tab and choose a visibility option "Anyone with the link".  Therefore, both of them can see any changes on the document. It is not necessary that all of them work on or view the same document. Developer teams can communicate also through chatting  via IM with everyone while viewing a document or any other file. 

 

Focus: Revision History

     Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have a revision history that allows programmers to view changes made to a document by each other.  Everyone can see who worked on the document and when a developer worked on it. The developer doesn't have to email team members when they make changes to the document since they are able to see if any changes were made.  

 

 

MS SkyDrive/Office Web App 

 

Focus: Ease of Use

     MS SkyDrive is one of the collaboration file hosting service that help programmers to have access to their files from different devices they might use at any place. It allows them to share different files with their team very easily. It offers 7 GB of free storage for new users and an additional storage for purchase. MS SkyDrive is very fast and it makes viewing or editing files online a simple processes in collaboration projects. Programmers will understand its features and use it very efficiently.

 

Focus: Editing Experience

     A programmer can edit the uploaded or shared file on SkyDrive whenever they have access to their Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents within the Web browser. The programmer also can easily open them in Office desktop programs to make extensive changes. For developers who want to draw a UML design diagrams, there is no specific feature that fulfills this function. However, they could make their UML diagrams by using PowerPoint since there are no shape feature in Word.

 

Focus: Commenting/Markup

     In the skydrive a user can add or delete a comment by selecting the file or folder where he want to add or delete a comment through expanding the right-hand pane. skydrive also allows users with access to the shared files to comment on them. But it doesn't have the feature where the user can add as many comments as he wants by just selecting what he wants to comment on in side the document such as in googleDoc.

 

Focus: Sharing Experience

     Skydrive enables programmers to share their files with other programmers on their project remotely. Skydrive maintains an access control list of all users granted permission to view or edit the files. They also have the option to control whether the files have "View Only", "View and Edit" or "Public" access. If they would like to monitor who has been editing the file they shared, they can set the option that requires users to login first. Skydrive allows users with access to the shared files to comment on them.  An interesting feature in Skydrive is that when someone is changing a document, the other might see notifications that shows the paragraph they're working on.

 

Focus: Revision History

     SkyDrive automatically keeps 25 changes made to the document files.  With "Version History", programmers will be able to restore any of the desired previous versions.

 

 

Zoho Writer 

 

Focus: Ease of Use

     With Zoho Writer, programmers could achieve their tasks with other members around the world very easily and in an efficient manner. Documents can be created and shared online with a browser and with an Internet connection. They also can access and edit their files from anywhere with other developers. Zoho Writer allows them to save their files in multiple formats such as Word, SXW, ODT, RTF, JPG, GIF, PNG, HTML and TXT formats. It is considered as one of the simplest tools that programmers can implement since it has a lot of functionalities. 

 

Focus: Editing Experience

     For any saved, uploaded or new documents, programmers can easily edit their formats, add changes, and delete information or even lock the document while they're working. They also can make UML design models by inserting some shapes on the document. Zoho Writer is very easy and just like other editing tools.

 

Focus: Commenting/Markup

     In Zoho Writer, it is very useful for developers to leave some comments on the document, so they know what they are doing. Also, in a collaborative environment, team members must have many documents, which will be very difficult for them to locate the required one. Therefore, in Zoho Writer a tagging feature allows them to find any document in an efficient way and they could assign as many tags as they need.

 

Focus: Sharing Experience

     Sharing files is in every collaboration process. Zoho Writer provides each programmer with the sharing feature where he can invite other developers to view or edit the created or uploaded file. They can also restrict the documents to be "Read Only" or "Read/Write".  Zoho Writer has a chatting feature that would allow programmers to discuss various issues, codes, designs and would allow them to exchange ideas and experiences with other developers around the world very easily. One of the interesting features in this tool is automatic notifications.  This gives the programmer the option to choose if they want to receive email notifications, if they want to track changes being made to their documents. This is very helpful in a collaborative environment since the document is updated many times by many developers. 

 

Focus: Revision History

     With Zoho Writer, the programmer can view any changes made to a document by other developers through a revision history. They also can check earlier documents with the new ones to see what changes have been made. 

 

 

ThinkFree Online

 

Focus: Ease of Use

     ThinkFree Online is the next collaborative product that will be tested by the programmers' team to see if they can get their job done. It provides the same features and user environment of MS Office 2003, so there is no difficulty in use. It supports all document formats of MS Office 2003 and 2007. It allows users to create spreadsheets, presentations, and html pages. Collaborative teams need to work online with a browser and an internet connection.  ThinkFree works on any operating system. It provides free online storage of 1GB. One disadvantage of ThinkFree is that it is noticeably slower compared to other online word processing programs.

 

Focus: Editing Experience

     ThinkFree Online enables programmers to edit their documents, whether they are newly created or the uploaded ones. However, documents are opened in one of two modes when they're edited. "View Mode" loads very quickly but they can only view the document while "Edit" takes a couple of seconds to load.  It has an Office 2003 style menu. Programmers are able to delete or rename their files. ThinkFree Online allows programmers to save files in Word 2007 and older Word formats and also in PDF.  In the workspace, a team member could add new tasks or new issues in the created project. They could also view, edit or delete any of these tasks or issues. Another feature ThinkFree Online has are drawing features which are very convenient for a developers team to design together their UML models.

 

Focus: Commenting/Markup

     In the workspace, the collaborative programmer team can discus issues or tasks assigned to every one by sending comments.  Comments are visible to other members of the team who are sharing the document.  Also, any participants can insert comments in any created file format. Comments can be easily deleted or edited. In addition to comments, ThinkFree Online makes locating files simple to the programmers by adding a " Tag".  Documents can then be found no matter their location. 

 

Focus: Sharing Experience

     ThinkFree Online makes sharing and collaboration easy. Programmers will be able to exchange their files, documents through the "Share" option where the owner emails collaborators with whom they wish to share the files with. The strongest feature in ThinkFree is the Workspace where the programmers can create up to three projects. Workspace supports the collaborative team very efficiency through its process of project management. The owner could assign a task to any participant and can edit it anytime. During this process, programmers can discus their issues by sending comments or even upload a file that might be related to it. The owner of the workspace can manage their team members by changing their tasks (you can change to manager, administrator, member, and can add or delete members). Any changes to the entire project will be available on the Dashboard as a notification.

 

Focus: Revision History

     Programmers can track any changes made on a document on ThinkFree Online. However, they cannot view them in a single document. 

 

 

Apple iWork

 

Focus: Ease of Use

     It is very easy to use Apple iWork in creating or sharing documents that are essential for a programmer.  Everyone involved in the team can have access to the project's documents from anywhere. It provides them with easy formatting tools they may need.  Also, it offers them spreadsheets in "Numbers" or "Keynote" for great presentations. It is designed in very professional way.

 

Focus: Editing Experience

     Programmers are able to edit any new, shared, or even uploaded files by using Apple iWork. "Pages" makes it easy to add or delete formatting or update existing codes and design. Programmers are able to open MS Word files in "Pages" and can save "Pages" documents as RTF files or as plain text. Also, they can export them as PDF files. In regards to UML class diagrams, drawing features are supported in "Pages".

 

Focus: Commenting/Markup

     There is no commenting in Apple iWork.

 

Focus: Sharing Experience

     Apple iWork is not a real time collaborative tool like Google Docs or Zoho. Programmers might share their documents and different files by emailing them to other developers around the world. They could update the documents and email them back. However, the goal for programmers is to work collaboratively at the same time and not sending lots of emails for sharing their tasks. They want to save documents online, so everyone can have access to it and any changes will be visible for other participants. Therefore, Apple iWork might be good for sharing but not for collaborative environment.

 

Focus: Revision History

     Revision history feature is not available yet.

 

Final Thoughts/Recommendation:

     After going through the product analysis and testing processes, it seems that Zoho writer has the highest score among all other products.  With Zoho Writer, programmers will achieve their tasks with other programmers around the world in an efficient manner. It enables them to share their experiences very easily.  Everything that they need is in one document: commenting, drawing, chatting. Zoho writer has more functions needed than other the products. Therefore,  Zoho is definitely much more powerful and it is the best collaborative tool that will accomplish virtual programmer's processes.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.