Thank you for an exciting 2021!

Looking at what we have achieved together 🤝

At the end of the year, we like to look back at what we have achieved as a team – in cooperation with our worldwide network of partners and the community. The year 2021 was again dominated by the global pandemic. While it had little impact on our work processes, it meant that personal encounters remained very rare.

At the same time, we launched the first COOL Days, a new event that brings together people interested in Collabora Online and LibreOffice technology. Collabora Online, Collabora Office and our mobile apps have all seen major performance improvements and increased functionality this year. At the end of the year, we released CODE 21.11, which previews what our flagship enterprise product, due out in early 2022, will look like. Thank you, for your support this year. See what we have achieved together this year. 💜

🆕 Collabora Online includes new functionalities and better performance 💻

This year Collabora Online has undergone a number of important updates. In addition to interoperability and user experience, there was a strong focus on performance enhancements. Many ground-breaking new functionalities already celebrated their premiere in the 6.4 release branch. With the release of CODE 21.11, more new implementations from the desktop were added.

Collabora Online 6.4 adds ground-breaking features

Pivot Tables in Collabora Online 6.4.x
Select & run macros in Collabora Online 6.4.7
Anchors in Collabora Online 6.4.10
Anchors in Collabora Online 6.4.10

 

⚡️ Powerful new features arrive for Collabora Office on the desktop 🖥️

Collabora Office 21.06 brings enhanced productivity and smooth migration

June 2021 saw the major release of our desktop product Collabora Office. This release brought many UX improvements and smoother document interchange. Collabora Office 21.06 was focused on performance and making migration simpler for organizations. This release introduced a new numbering system, based on the year and month of its release, and many powerful features like a style inspector, better access for extensions and improved PPTX filters and many more.

Improved PPTX import in Collabora Office 21.06
Powerful new Style Inspector tool in the Sidebar of Collabora Office 21.06
Collabora Office 21.06 makes it easier and more convenient to find and install extensions

Collabora Office 6.4 saw many updates and improvements

  • April, version 6.4-33: Printed publications can now make use of Gutter Margins and PPTX import improvements for shaped bitmaps arrive
  • May, version 6.4-39: Improvements on XML import have been implemented
Add Gutter Margins to text documents in Collabora Office 6.4-33
True to the original PPTX import if shaped bitmaps in Collabora Office 6.4-33

🧰 CODE 21.11 provides insights into the upcoming enterprise version 📄

CODE 21.11 is the herald of our new enterprise version to be released next year. The current development edition introduces the full range of new features and performance enhancements for testing. Among other things, it contains the new native sidebar, improved interoperability and a number of new effects for objects such as glow, soft edges or blurry shadows. The numerous performance improvements include asynchronous save, JavaScipt acceleration, more efficient network traffic, and improved multi-user editing. Learn more details in our announcement.

New “native” Sidebar in CODE 21.11
CODE 21.11 includes a new “native” Sidebar
Apply glow and soft edge effects to objects in CODE 21.11
Improved PPTX import/export filters in CODE 21.11

🆕 Many new features for Collabora Office for Android, iOS & Chrome OS📱

Large, user-friendly UI on tablets
CSV Import in Collabora Office on Android
Moving Sheets in Collabora Office on Android
Smart connectors in presentation in Collabora Office on Android
VBA macros in Collabora Office for Android

 

🏠 Small scale work-from-home-solution and ARM64 support 👨‍💼

In March, together with our partners at Ubuntu and Nextcloud, we introduced a work-from-home solution for the Raspberry Pi including the easy-to-use Collabora Online built-in server. In April, we announced that CODE now also officially supports the ARM64 platform.

Canonical, Nextcloud and Collabora deliver work-from-home solution to Raspberry Pi

📰 Amazing news, interesting figures 📈

Over 250 partners worldwide

In 2021, our large network of amazing partners kept growing. We can now rely on over 200 partners from more than 50 countries. We help each other to promote open source, privacy & digital sovereign solutions and re-invest the proceeds into creating great new software. Find a Collabora partner in a special field or area! Or become a partner yourself!

 

CollaboraOffice.com available in four new languages

We continued dedicating a lot of effort to make our website and the information about our products easily available to a larger set of people. This year we implemented translations in Simplified Chinese , Japanese 🇯🇵, Russian 🇷🇺 and Czech 🇨🇿 to the available options on collaboraoffice.com. Thanks a lot to the translators. Also, the community translating Collabora Online kept growing. Would you like to help to translate our software to your language? Join our translation team on Weblate!

collaboraoffice.com is available in new languages, including japanese.

 

Collabora’s Contributions to LibreOffice 7.1 and 7.2

Collabora is part of the ecosystem developing and advancing LibreOffice Technology. Our developers responsible for many commits to the LibreOffice core. Many of the new features in LibreOffice 7.1 and LibreOffice 7.2 like Smart Art improvements, blurry shadows for objects, gutter margins or the possibility to add visible digital signatures to existing PDF files have been implemented by Collaborans. Find more details of our 7.1 contributions in our blog.

PDF signing improvements by Collabora in LibreOffice 7.1

 

Updated LibreOffice growth infographic 2021 📈

We updated the popular LibreOffice growth infographic. Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the statistics around LibreOffice collaboration are impressive. Over 210M active LibreOffice users, over 70M pulls from the CODE Docker image, 500K installs of the Collabora Office mobile apps, and more than 12K code commits from the community and the ecosystem to the LibreOffice code. Have a look at the numbers!

 

🎙️ Together at a distance – a year of online conferences 👏

The major events – foremost the large international conferences – had to take place online due to the global pandemic. Nevertheless, also new events emerged. We were part of the Open Source Day for Enterprises in Russia. For the first time, Collabora hosted the COOL Days, a virtual conference completely focused on Collabora Online. While most conferences took place online, there have also been a few opportunities to meet in person. For instance, in France, at the Open Source Experience and on at the it-sa fair in Nuremberg and some smaller German events like digital + souverän.

A fresh breeze on the calendar – COOL Days 2021

This year we hosted the COOL Days for the first time. A two-day online event that focused exclusively on topics related to Collabora Online. The first day, the Developer Day, focused on technical topics. The second day, the Business Day, dealt with questions of marketing and digital sovereignty. The schedule is available on our website, the videos from the Developer Day can be found in our playlist on YouTube.

FOSDEM 2021 went online

Europe’s largest open-source event had to take place as an online this year. However, this did not stop our team and the open-source community from presenting themselves and their latest developments. Collabora was present with a whole series of talk covering Collabora Online and LibreOffice technology. Find the videos of our FOSDEM 2021 talks and more slides available for download in our blog.

 

“Collabora Online for your documents” by Michael Meeks. Download the presentation!
“How Collabora Online development improves LibreOffice” by Jan “Kendy” Holešovský. Download the presentation!
“Porting LibreOffice to macOS on Apple Silicon” by Tor Lillqvist. Download the presentation!

Collaborans contributing strongly to the LibreOffice conference

In contrast to last year’s joint conference, this year’s LibreOffice conference was hosted solely by The Document Foundation. The Collabora team presented 12 talks this year. All links to the videos and the slides for download can be found in our blog.

Download “Collabora Keynote” by Michael Meeks
Download “PDF and other graphic improvements” by Tomaž Vajngerl
Download “JSDialogs improvements over the past year” by Szymon Kłos

 

💪 A welcoming and vibrant COOL community 🤝

More than a year after moving the work on Collabora Online out of the TDF infrastructure and onto GitHub, we can say that it was a good decision. We have lowered the barriers to participation while increasing the transparency of the project. New, active members have been found, keeping in touch via the Telegram channel, and supporting the work on CODE and Collabora Online. Once a week, always on Thursdays, the community meets for a call.

Users can now easily file issues on GitHub, and the community answers questions from home users in the forum. The minutes of the community meetings can also be found there. Another great way to get involved is to help translate. At the same time, we are happy to be an important ecosystem partner of the LibreOffice community helping to advance LibreOffice Technology.

 

Showcasing our Consultancy work 💻

Our developers have a superb expertise in LibreOffice technology and implement new features and enhancements. This year, we did set up a page showcasing some of those implementations we realized on our client’s request – to the benefit of everyone. Find out more!

 

Presenting the benefits of Collabora Online for educational institutions 👩‍🎓

Scalable, reliable, privacy respecting and secure! Collabora Online is an ideal solution for modern learning environments. We have put together a web page with the many benefits of Collabora Online in educational institutions. Learn more!

 

The Collabora Online SDK ⚙️

Collabora Online SDK describes the main methods that allow you to interact with different Collabora Online components. Find installation guides, frequently asked questions, Post Message API and documentation on exiting integrations and on how to create new ones on our new SDK pages.

Google Summer of Code 2021 ☀️

This year, the Collabora team again provided mentors for LibreOffice projects within the Google Summer of Code. Among the topics mentored were interesting implementations such as the VCL graphics backend, the text style deck and revisions to the SVM format. Detailed information on these and other projects can be found in our GSoC 21 article.

News by Collabora directly into your inbox 📨

This year, we have updated our public newsletter. We made it visually more appealing and lowered the frequency of the mail outs. If you would like to receive regular updates like this one on the news on Collabora Online, Collabora Office and the COOL Days please sign up to our newsletter, that is mailed approximately 6 to 8 times per year.

Tip: keep an eye on our new releases for more new features.

 

Summary

It has been a very busy year here at Collabora Productivity. We enjoy seeing the Collabora Online Community grow and keep on advancing our mission to make open-source rock. We continued giving users privacy and businesses control over their data. We managed to achieve excellent results, and had a good time working on them – despite the challenging conditions that 2021 persisted. The first edition of the COOL Days was a real highlight for us. We have big plans for 2021, and hope there will be more possibilities to meet in person on conferences and on events. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, if you’d like to partner with us, or to buy from us. Thank you for the great support this year. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank You!

Read More

Use Case: SIB delivering Nextcloud and Collabora Online to 2500 teachers and 33000 pupils in Brittany, France

Allowing students to have remote access, the choice of any device (smartphones, tablets, computers), advanced collaboration features around documents, and advanced sharing features including groups.
These were the requirements of SIB, a major, global public actor of digital services, when looking at improving their service to 33.000 pupils and 2.500 teachers in 57 middle schools!

SIB found an ideal solution in Nextcloud and Collabora Online

SIB supports healthcare structures and public entities in their digital transformation. The organization provides infrastructure to teachers and pupils: computers, servers, hosted applications, networks and support.
In this specific case (get the full case study!), they have been working on taking their information systems to the next level for the Ille-et-Vilaine department, including middle schools.

“We prevent interoperability problems when students work from home
with Nextcloud and Collabora Online, which avoids the need for specific Microsoft Office versions”

Using Nextcloud and Collabora Online

The new solution allows up to 33.000 pupils and 2.500 teachers in 57 middle schools to work from home, inside Nextcloud Group Folders along with Collabora Online.
This way teachers don’t have the issue that they don’t have the right Microsoft Office version to read the students’ work which removes any interoperability problems between Microsoft versions.
Also teachers and directors of the schools use Collabora Online for sharing and collaboration on administrative tasks.

Thanks to our partner Nextcloud for their great work in this project and for their blog about this case study.

Great user feedback

Users welcomed Collabora Online inside Nextcloud and all the features with great enthusiasm: they loved the remote access to documents, online collaborative edition and the user-friendliness of the solution.
Some teachers already used online hosted solutions. For them, having the same experience hosted in Britanny by a security, privacy and protection-oriented public organization was a very positive experience. For users unfamiliar with those services, support and personal coaching was offered during migration phases. They gained experience with the functionality and used it innovatively with their pupils during class time.

Tell me more!

You can read the full case study to learn more about the reasons that made SIB choose Collabora Online for this project, their initial requirements, technical configurations and infrastructure decisions.

 

Read More

Collabora Online performance wins – what we did for CODE and Collabora Online 21.11

Learn about the many performance improvements in CODE and Collabora Online 21.11

CODE 21.11 – announced yesterday – and of course also Collabora Online 21.11 bring together many performance improvements that we have been working on through the 6.4.x lifecycle as well as some more advanced optimizations. These are rather hard to screenshot for your viewing pleasure for obvious reasons, so please forgive some technical details and links to further reading for those interested. It is ongoing work; more about that at the end of this blog.

Asynchronous save

Collabora Online works hard to preserve your edits in the unlikely case of server-side failure. We regularly auto-save the document while users are editing, however in the past storing your document through to the back end storage had to be completed successfully before the user could continue typing. This could cause some jerkiness from time to time as people typed. Now this up-loading part of the saving is done asynchronously – i.e. in the background. For more technical details you can enjoy a talk on the design. For times when it is necessary to save synchronously such as during a save-as, we now provide animated user-feedback, color-coded according to the respective current application:

Accelerated JavaScript

Lots of work has been done first to profile, and then to optimize the performance of Collabora Online. Our profiles showed, somewhat surprisingly, that a lot of the scope for improvement was in the browser. As such we have significantly improved our websocket message handling, pixel processing and grouping of UI refreshes to give very significant interactivity improvements to more recent 6.4.x versions.

Online calc profile image before optimization
avoiding duplicate work (shown) by performing DOM updates after processing a batch of incoming events.

Moving more of the document to the client

Collabora Online 21.11 brings an understanding of text documents’ page positioning to the browser. That allows us to rendering page surrounds there avoiding a source of perceived flicker when moving up and down documents, and giving a smoother experience. This builds on more recent work in Calc to render worksheet backgrounds, and grid in the browser for similar reasons – giving slicker editing.

Improved spreadsheet performance in Calc

Collabora continues to put a lot of effort into enhancing the performance of our collaborative office suite. As an example, our streamlining of the Find & Replace functionality resulted in a massive performance boost. Also, opening speed of large XLSX files saw a some significant improvements. In Collabora Online 21.11, we have fundamentally revised the way spell checking is done in Calc with a new spell check that prevents continual re-rendering as strings are processed, while also caching spell-checking information, yielding considerable performance improvements. Similarly, AutoFilter searching has been optimized for large numbers of unique records.

Improved multi-user editing

One of the unfortunately pathological test-cases users like to do is to mash the keyboard – which generates text at around ten times the speed of a normal typist. Nevertheless this is something we have been optimizing along with scalability to larger numbers of concurrent editors of the same document. For more details checkout some insights into our ongoing work, or a deeply technical blog on optimizing for a larger number of users. Failing that – we have a video of a torture test of an intense multi-user editing session showing old, 6.4.x, and 21.11 versions from top to bottom:

Optimizing pathological loads – old/6.4.x/21.11

Ongoing work

We continue to work to profile and optimize uses-cases that are important to our users, the upcoming 21.11 micro-releases will exhibit more continuous improvement in this area – as well as ongoing improvements to our document pixel compression to make things even faster and lighter. It is well worth staying up-to-date with the latest releases.

There is also a summary talk of many other recent performance improvements for those with a deep interest in this area.

Test CODE 21.11

 

Please try out CODE 21.11 and let us know of any workloads which you find have issues so that we may expand our internal testing & benchmarking to include them.

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online is the powerful LibreOffice-based online office that supports all major documents, spreadsheets and presentation file formats, which can all be easily integrated in many infrastructures and solutions. Key features are collaborative editing and excellent office file formatting support. Collabora Online is excellent for enterprises that need a powerful office suite in the Cloud, or on-premises, that protects their privacy and allows them to keep full control of their sensitive corporate data. Collabora Online – built on LibreOffice Technology – enables Hosting and Cloud businesses to include document viewing and collaborative editing functionality into their service offerings.

 

 

Read More

Collabora Online Partners Shine at Open Source Experience Paris 2021

The Open source Experience 2021 in Paris was wonderful. Of course we met a large number of people, but various of Collabora Online partners too! We love to tell you about them.

If you did not visit last week’s open source experience event in Paris, you should do so next year. It was great! And if you did, there is a good change that you saw various active Collabora Online partners! We love to show the good work of no less then five of them, who help their customers and end users in a number of different ways.

First, let us begin by giving credit where it is deserved.

Arawa team

Arawa won the award for best open source innovation strategy in Paris! They deserve it for helping many medium and large size organizations as well as public administrations with moving and consolidating on open source.

Learn more about Arawa

We were also very exited to see friends from Jeci and their nice booth. They are working hard on the next version of their Alfresco-Collabora Online integration.

Learn more about Jeci

Individuals that want a pure and solid hosted Collabora Online, canfind a good one at Workteks, showing their latest service news within Paris.

Learn more about Worteks

Of a complete different magnitude, is the cooperation, project management and teams software offered by Algoo. Their lovely Tracim nicely integrates with Collabora Online.

Learn more about Tracim

Last but not least: we were really pleased to have been invited by Nextcloud to share a booth at the Open Source Experience in Paris. We shared an attractive booth with them, answering all your questions, exhibiting demos, and handing out some t-shirt, stickers & more.

The good people over at Nextcloud are working hard on finishing their next major release, including some wonderful office news 😉

Thanks everyone! We’re really glad that so many have found the way to your secure, privacy respecting software.

Grateful for the rich and diverse partners and support for our work

We are happy to have met many of you & others at the Paris event. Further we feel greatly honoured that our software helps so many businesses in doing great things for their customers and end users alike!

 


If you are looking for a partner, do check our partner page.

If you want to benefit from partnering with Collabora and from all the possibilities of Collabora Online,
do contact our sales team!

Read More

Collabora Online performance wins – an insight into our ongoing work

Optimizing the performance of Collabora Online is one of the central focal points within our current development work. Following improvements in the recent Collabora Online 6.4.10 release, the upcoming 21.11 release will exhibit more of the continuous improvements in this area. The improvements may be noticeably experienced through a variety of daily work done by means of the software. But how exactly does the implementation of massive performance improvements work? It can be compared to solid detective work. Follow us through this search for clues!

Performance improvement for multiple users – a detective story 🔎

In advance of the actual coding, working on performance improvements closely resembles detective work. Simulating multiple users working on the same document, is something that turned out to be feasible with the feature in LibreOffice purposed for displaying a document within different windows (Window > New Window). This was a feature that already existed in LibreOffice predecessor OpenOffice. It may be a rarely used feature on the desktop, but it does mirror the way of collaborative editing with Collabora Online. However, one must then find out how this code scales… The investigator in this story is Collabora developer Luboš Luňák. He was on to something big here, which led to significant performance improvements across various levels, ultimately benefiting all users of LibreOffice Technology. The technical details of his search and subsequent conclusions can be seen on Luboš’ blog.

 

 

Performance wins illustrated 📊

While extensive work continues with its progress, a list of current performance improvements is also available on Luboš Luňák’s blog. The following video of the Collabora Online perf-test – a test routine we use to measure performance in Collabora Online – illustrates the performance improvements of the implementations already made. The test simulates the fast, simultaneous typing of six users in a document (the other five are not visible in the video because they are writing elsewhere in the document). The rigorous test setting, which goes far beyond what is required of the software in everyday use, is ideally suited to visualizing performance improvements. In the video, you can see the performance of Collabora Online before the latest optimizations in the upper excerpt, and the significantly better performance in current versions during (middle) and after optimizations have been implemented (bottom).

Optimizing pathological loads – before/during/after

 

Performance talk at COOL Days 2021 🆒

Collabora developer Luboš Luňák discussed the various performance improvements in Collabora Online during the Developer Day at COOL Days 2021, a conference hosted by Collabora and dedicated entirely to Collabora Online. His talk “Rendering wastage and performance wins” covered the profiling process, described existing performance issues and displayed a variety of improvements at different levels. Technically interested people can find his talk on YouTube. The corresponding slides are also available for download.

Watch the video!
Download the slides!

 

 

Please try out Collabora Online 21.11 – RC 1, and let us know of any workloads which you find have issues so that we may expand our internal testing & benchmarking to include them.

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online is the powerful LibreOffice-based online office that supports all major documents, spreadsheets and presentation file formats, which can all be easily integrated in many infrastructures and solutions. Key features are collaborative editing and excellent office file formatting support. Collabora Online is excellent for enterprises that need a powerful office suite in the Cloud, or on-premises, that protects their privacy and allows them to keep full control of their sensitive corporate data. Collabora Online – built on LibreOffice Technology – enables Hosting and Cloud businesses to include document viewing and collaborative editing functionality into their service offerings.

 

 

Read More