SOURCE: OpenSAM.org

May 08, 2007 08:00 ET

OpenSAM Enables Open Ecosystem of Online Office Applications

Leading Online Application Vendors Create Ecosystem Based on Open Standards, Allowing Users to Build Their Own Office Suite and Avoid Vendor Lock-In

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 8, 2007 -- Software 2007 Conference -- iNetOffice, a leading provider of browser-based office applications, and ShareMethods, a leading provider of on-demand sales and marketing document management, today announced the launch of OpenSAM (open simple AJAX mashup, www.opensam.org). OpenSAM is a consortium of software-as-a-service (SaaS) application vendors and a set of AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) programming recommendations based on open standards that allow multiple online applications to integrate. It enables the Internet as a platform for "plug and play" office productivity suites tailored for specific business needs.

Leading online application vendors iNetOffice, ShareMethods, EditGrid, EchoSign, Persony, Joyent, Caspio, Liferro, Sheetster and Preezo are the initial members of OpenSAM. The companies are working together to support OpenSAM so that systems integrators and end users can create their own online suite of integrated applications to improve productivity, better serve customers and users, solve business problems rapidly and avoid vendor lock-in.

Membership in OpenSAM is available to any SaaS vendor that wants to participate by making its applications able to integrate and share data using the OpenSAM recommendations. OpenSAM-based applications can run within standalone integrated suites or within salesforce.com's AppExchange ecosystem of online applications integrated with salesforce.com. OpenSAM applications can all write to the same user-defined storage repository for easy file management.

To create a suite of OpenSAM-based applications, a user selects a home application that includes a repository for file storage such as ShareMethods, a document-management application. The user can then select any other productivity applications such as iNetWord from iNetOffice for word processing, EditGrid for spreadsheets, Preezo for presentations and other applications as needed. Productivity applications can be launched from home applications and may be replaced, upgraded or added at any time. Documents are stored in common file formats so there is no concern about proprietary data formats in the event that a user wants to switch applications.

OpenSAM benefits from an innovation called the "Internet File System" or IFS, which enables an open-standards document repository where multiple applications can read or write documents to a common location even if each application was developed independently by different vendors. This type of "building block" approach is completely new for the online office space and provides significant flexibility to interconnect services from different companies into a single end-user solution.

An example of OpenSAM at work is ShareOffice™, the first commercially available online office based on open standards, that was launched today and announced in a separate news release. ShareOffice combines an online office based on open standards with enterprise document management on-demand, bringing major product categories together into an Office 2.0 application for the first time. With ShareOffice, sales teams can easily create, edit, and share documents and spreadsheets online, and can automatically generate common sales documents such as proposals, contracts, quotes, and letters in a single browser interface using customer data from salesforce.com. Marketers are likewise empowered to easily and quickly create, manage and share marketing documents online such as newsletters, news releases and product brochures.

"It is now time to make the Internet the platform for an application ecosystem that any vendor can join and that users can access to create and modify their own customized application suites with no vendor lock-in," said Tom Snyder, president of iNetOffice, one of the founders of OpenSAM and one of the principal developers of the OpenSAM AJAX programming recommendations. "Gone are the days of single-vendor monolithic application suites that try to be all things to all people."

"We are excited about the development of open standards for the online office," said Rene Bonvanie, senior vice president and GM of AppExchange at salesforce.com. "Open standards enable interoperability across online office apps, support best-of-breed applications and improve and streamline user experience. OpenSAM provides an open platform for innovation for the online office and enables AppExchange applications to interconnect for cross-application document sharing and more."

"ShareOffice, the Internet File System, and OpenSAM represent major advances for end-users," said Jason Lemkin, CEO, EchoSign. "OpenSAM brings a new level of interoperability to Office 2.0 applications to empower cross-application document sharing and single sign-on; its building block approach allows easier interconnection of Office 2.0 applications to streamline end-user workflows. We are already seeing benefits of the OpenSAM approach as contract documents can easily be accessed from ShareOffice to support routing via EchoSign for signature by multiple parties."

The OpenSAM technical recommendations address AJAX application problems, such as:

--  Single Sign-On: Eliminates the need for users to log in separately to
    each online office application in a mashup.
    
--  Cross-Application Document and Content Sharing: Enable diverse online
    office applications to store documents in a single repository of a user's
    choice. Such storage allows a user to organize, browse, and search all of
    his or her documents in one location and allows all documents to
    participate in the workflow, sharing and other capabilities of the
    repository.
    
--  Copy and Paste: Recommendations for support of ALE (AJAX linking and
    embedding) improve the ability for application content to be copied and
    pasted from one AJAX application into another.
    
"The Internet has become the vehicle for most types of communication and it now continues to evolve as the platform for application delivery. The next step is to provide application functionality and interoperability that rivals traditional desktop applications," said Benjamin Pring, research VP at Gartner.

OpenSAM invites any SaaS application vendor to participate in creating an open ecosystem of online applications that gives users the power to create and modify their own solutions, and gives vendors of any size a wider audience and broader application potential for their solutions. For more information, visit www.opensam.org.

About iNetOffice

iNetOffice (www.inetoffice.com) is a privately held and funded Washington-state corporation that specializes in developing fully functional web-based office applications. The company was founded in 2000 by Tom Snyder, a veteran of Microsoft Corporation. iNetOffice is positioned to accelerate the software industry's evolution away from desktop-based applications toward hosted, SaaS (software as a service) solutions. The company's vision is to deliver online office applications with lower overall costs, ease of use and rapid deployment of SaaS software without compromising program capabilities or requiring extensive user training.

About ShareMethods

With ShareMethods, sales and marketing teams can create, manage, and share documents easily and securely, collaborating with extended selling networks to close more business, providing a cost-effective alternative to developing and supporting a sales and marketing intranet or extranet. The "Sales and Marketing Portal in a Box" approach can cost less than one tenth of the price of traditional enterprise software. ShareMethods provides on-demand services to more than 200 companies on a global basis with users in 32 countries and customers including BusinessWeek, Agile Software, CNET Channel, NMS Communications, HID Global, Airspan Networks, etc. ShareMethods on-demand services include ShareNow for AppExchange, ShareOffice for AppExchange, ShareDrive OnDemand, and ShareMethods. ShareMethods founding team includes industry veterans from Apple Computer, AT&T Bell Labs, NASA, etc. Visit www.sharemethods.com or call 1-877-SHARENOW.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    For iNetOffice:
    Todd Lane
    Graham & Associates
    415-986-7212
    Email Contact

    For ShareMethods:
    Paul Soukup
    ShareMethods
    571-432-7127
    Email Contact