Online Document Sharing

For this thing you will learn how to use the web-based applications Google Docs and Zoho Writer to collaboratively create text documents. Word processing applications are just one of the free applications included in Google Docs and Zoho.

If you’ve used Microsoft Office applications, you’ll find that the core features you see in Google Docs and Zoho match up surprisingly well. And, all you need is a web browser and an internet connection.

Using these tools and the others in this program are examples of cloud computing, a term that has recently become a media buzzword. In his “Cloud Computing for the Masses” article, Greg Cruey provides this definition: “The concept of cloud computing is one of a user sitting at a terminal taking advantage of services, storage space, and resources provided somewhere else – on another computer, through an Internet connection.”

The availability and use of free web-based online productivity applications (word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, presentations, project management, and web conferencing) has provided users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need to install applications on their computers. Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death of Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office. But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree: web-based applications have their place.

One large benefit to web-based applications is that they eliminate the need to worry about different applications or software versions different people have on their local computers. Other bonuses are that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file using the “share” feature, the ability to roll back to a previous version, and they provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including .doc, .pdf and .html). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Google Docs and Zoho Writer to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other Web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based applications so appealing.

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