June 29, 2007

Ajax13 - Yet another online office suite!

Everyday new web 2.0 applications appear and users have many options to choose from for any of their task! Be it blogging, photo share, social networks etc. Recently we have seen Google, Microsoft and others come up with online office solutions. These kinds of applications are here make software installations a history. Let me introduce an online office suite called Ajax13. I am not sure why "13" but, the Ajax 13 Inc. is a software development company that introduces web-based applications written using the AJAX based methodology. And their vision is software-as-a-service, which is gaining great momentum these days.

Ajax13 offers 5 online applications. They are ajaxWrite,ajaxSketch, ajaxXLS, ajaxPresents and ajaxTunes. The first four make up web-based office suite similar to Microsoft's Office. These applications have been designed to look like Microsoft Office, making it easy for anyone to start using it without needing to learn a new program.

ajaxWrite is a word processor that can read and write Microsoft Word documents. Apart from MS Word document formats it can handle Open Office format, PDF etc. Thus in a way you can convert your doc file to PDF file through a simple "Save As.." function. But when I tried it out, I couldn't even save ordinary doc file to my hard drive as the Ajax13 team promises. All I get is "java.io.IOException:Conversion failed".

ajaxSketch is a drawing tool that provides an environment for diagramming, creating flow charts, free hand drawing and more. It has been designed to look like Illustrator, but the interface is clean and very easy (except that it is slow compared to ajaxWrite). It supports the SVG format and nothing more. I tried the "Export" menu and was expecting to see a large list of possible exports, but i found only SVG format.

ajaxXLS is just a spreadsheet viewer that allows you to easily open any xls file. The Ajax13 team has a separate spreadsheet editor in Beta stage, but it is still in early stage of development. It has been designed to look like Microsoft Excel, but they promise to have compatibility with Open Office.

Now onto the last product, ajaxTunes. It's a music player that lets you play high-quality streaming music straight from the Internet on any computer. It’s a decent web based layer and they have provided the facility to add it to any website. Thus you can play a song or provide a song list to your website visitors. Apart from these features, you can make use of an AJAX based music manager to which you can upload music available on the web, called Sideloading, so you have access to your favorite songs from anywhere.

Ajax13 team have lot of work to do if you see what Google and others have come up with.Google have recently updated their Docs and Spreadsheets's looks.They have come up with a new interface that looks like windows explorer and easy to browse. But these competitive Web 2.0 applications are going to bring more and more feature rich applications online.

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