Our article about the history of the creation of the MyOffice office suite caused a lot of the most diverse emotions among readers. And there is nothing surprising in this: the product is quite new on the office software market, ambitious and, most importantly, Russian. It is these three components that have become the starting point for heated debates and discussions. One and a half hundred comments and audience interest in the product convinced us of the need to make a new review of the software solution. Moreover, almost four years have passed since the previous publication about MyOffice, and during this time the office application platform has evolved significantly. At least, this is what the developers of the New Cloud Technologies company claim, who gave us access to the product’s installation files.
Briefly about the main
First, a little about the product itself. MyOffice is an ecosystem of applications and services that works on any modern platform, including mobile ones, as well as through a web interface. The product is based on a unique technology for collaborating with documents. The New Cloud Technologies company produces tools for working with e-mail, calendar, contacts, mail and cloud servers, as well as its own messenger and a free set of fonts. Different sets of applications form separate commercial products of the company.
MyOffice applications are developed for all popular operating systems, including Russian ones. In addition to all modern versions of Windows and Linux, this software even works on the WSWS operating system. On the very one that computers with MCST Elbrus processors are equipped with. Mobile versions are available for Android, iOS, Tizen, Aurora (Sailfish). The latter, by the way, is being developed by Rostelecom structures specifically for the public sector. The version for Mac OS X has not yet been officially released, but it exists and is currently being tested internally. The cloud is optimized to work with any modern browsers, including domestic Yandex.Browser and Sputnik.
MyOffice is a Russian product created by almost 400 people in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Innopolis. It is included in the register of domestic software and is recommended for purchase by Russian companies and government agencies.
There is an opinion that MyOffice is completely built on the basis of Open Source sources and is a copy of the existing products on the market. This is far from true. The core, interface and a significant part of the platform code were written from scratch, entirely by the specialists of the New Cloud Technologies company. The only exceptions are a desktop email client that uses components from the Mozilla Thunderbird project, and a desktop presentation editor (based on LibreOffice). The product also includes some freely distributed libraries. Basically, these are service modules that provide support for certain popular technologies or protocols.
Such a combined approach to creating software (writing program code from scratch and finalizing the borrowed code with full rights to use, modify and distribute it) is a normal world practice. What is important — the company strives to use only permissive licenses. Only the email client and presentation software are released under the Mozilla Public License v.2. As far as we know, the company plans to move away from using them and is now creating its own products of this class.
MyOffice includes a complete set of applications for working with documents, mail, calendars and contacts on computers, mobile devices and web browsers. Applications for smartphones are distributed free of charge, they are available to all users. Other products from MyOffice are offered only for corporate customers. Let’s list the key components of the platform.
MyOffice Text is an editor for working with text documents of any level of complexity. Allows you to create documents using templates, styles, and text formatters.
MyOffice Spreadsheet is a spreadsheet editor. Supports an extended set of formulas (more than 150 mathematical, statistical, logical functions), and also includes tools for processing and visualizing data using graphs and charts.
MyOffice Presentation is an application for viewing presentation files.
MyOffice Mail is an application for organizing and managing e-mail correspondence. The product consists of a mail server as well as several client applications: PC programs, web mail and smartphone applications. Currently, mail clients for Windows and Linux are developed based on Thunderbird, they contain automatic authentication in Active Directory and support encryption and electronic signature of messages using GOST algorithms.
MyOffice Calendar is an application for scheduling meetings and planning workflows. You can work with the calendar both through the web interface and using email clients for PC. On smartphones, the calendar is connected using any application that supports the standard CalDAV protocol.
MyOffice Contacts is an application for storing, synchronizing and managing a user’s address book.
MyOffice Logos is a messenger for quick exchange of messages, documents and files within an organization.
MyOffice Documents is a web application for collaborating with documents and files. Provides access to web versions of office platform applications, file list, access rights settings. Available in MyOffice Professional and MyOffice Private Cloud editions.
The MyOffice platform also includes the following server components:
- data storage system — provides secure storage of documents and files and their exchange between employees;
- a set of security tools — guarantees the protection of information from unauthorized access;
- editing and collaboration server — allows several employees to work on documents at the same time;
- mail server «MyOffice Mail»;
- administration tools;
- information and communication service — messenger «Logos».
MyOffice applications support popular document formats and are equipped with PDF export functions. It is possible to work on a secure WebDAV protocol and integrate with Microsoft Active Directory.
|Document formats supported by the MyOffice platform|
|Popular formats||DOC, DOCX, RTF, TXT||XLS, XLSX, CSV, TSV, CSCV||PPT, PPTX|
* Presentation format editing tools are under development.
The first thing you notice in MyOffice is a uniform interface, the functional elements of which are always displayed the same way on any device. Regardless of the type of equipment and operating systems used, MyOffice provides the user with a single working environment with familiar controls. The user interface and application features repeat each other on all platforms — this is clearly seen in the product screenshots below.
The second «chip» is a single cross-platform core of editors. The features of the product architecture are such that MyOffice can be adapted to any hardware and software platforms with minimal effort. This, in fact, explains the impressive number of supported systems.
Thanks to a single core, MyOffice applications display documents identically on any device and support all collaboration features. You can join the teamwork from any device from any corner of the world where there is access to the global network. The platform allows you to store created documents in a single cloud archive, exchange work files via corporate mail and instant messaging, and set up access rights to data.
A separate topic for discussion is information security. MyOffice products were originally designed to work in a corporate environment with high IT security requirements. They undergo an external system audit by independent test labs. These procedures helped the developer to get certified by the FSTEC and the FSB of Russia. Moreover, MyOffice became the first product in Russia that was able to certify the entire cloud solution in FSTEC. Prior to this, no other product could do this — some manufacturers only managed to certify the protection tools applied to the cloud solution.
The platform allows you to manage access to data, keeps records of user operations, supports strong authentication and encryption of data transmitted over the network. The architecture of the software package is designed and implemented in such a way that there is no single point of failure, while in terms of data storage, triple redundancy is provided. The ability to deploy the server part of the solution both in the public cloud environment and in the private cloud of the organization is also important. This provides enterprises with full control over the information stored there and makes it possible to work with a cloud service while complying with Russian legislation. As a result, the solution may be in demand in public authorities, ministries and departments, state corporations, as well as in strategic enterprises that work with confidential information and personal data.
⇡#Attention to details
An interesting solution in MyOffice is the system of contextual tabs that automatically appear in the interface when the user performs certain actions. So, by default, the text editor opens with one tab «Text». But as soon as the user starts working with images or tables, and also turns on the edit mode, the Image, Table, or Review tabs open in the editor. This logic of tabs — providing tools where they are needed and at the time when they are needed — greatly simplifies the work with documents.
Special mention deserves the «Extended Clipboard» function, with which you can insert repeating text elements without returning to them. This function will be especially useful for those who often work with texts of the same type, for example, with procurement documentation or orders and resolutions, where you need to repeatedly refer to higher documents with complex, cumbersome names. It will also come in handy if you often have to copy / enter repetitive data. It is enough to use the key combination «Shift + Ctrl + Z» to call the clipboard menu and select the desired text element. Up to 10 text blocks can be buffered at the same time.
To improve the convenience of working with the spreadsheet editor, it provides a special active area with a certain number of lines. In other words, there are no «endless» tables in MyOffice with millions of empty rows. This approach made it possible to increase the productivity of the editor without imposing any restrictions on the amount of data being processed: at any time, the user can add the required number of lines and increase the size of the «workspace».
Interesting features of the table editor are the ability to simultaneously freeze rows and columns (can be very useful when working with huge documents) and a floating formula input window (when you rotate the table, you can always see the cell in which you enter the formula directly on the sheet).
For the convenience of formatting voluminous documents, the «Brush History» function is provided, which allows you to select saved styles from a drop-down list and quickly apply them to text.
The MyOffice editors have a built-in spell checker in Russian and English, which finds typos and underlines errors. Spell checking is available in all applications of the office platform.
MyOffice supports macros (macros) in the Lua programming language, thanks to which you can automate the execution of typical operations in documents of any size. And so that the user is less distracted from work, web editors provide the function of automatically saving all changes.
Every year New Cloud Technologies releases several major updates for MyOffice. In October 2019, the 2019.02 release was released, it was the second this year (the first was presented on May 21) and included 167 important functional changes.
With the release of the update package, MyOffice received:
- an extended set of tools for developers «MyOffice SDK», with the help of which software manufacturers can integrate the office platform into their products. New functions for working with text and tables became available to third-party developers: tools for calling operations with bookmarks, searching, inserting and deleting data from documents, the ability to change cell parameters and an updated export module to PDF-A1;
- the function of creating Cyrillic lists, which is widely in demand in the workflow of state organizations and departments;
- new data visualization and charting tools in text and spreadsheet editors on all platforms;
- new fonts PT Astra Sans, PT Astra Serif; by the way, the company has a set of 11 free alternative fonts that can be downloaded from fonts.myoffice.ru;
- advanced printing features;
- new tools in the email app, including email recall, redesigned calendar event replies, support for custom avatars, and enhanced search functionality;
- improved tools for IT administration, user management and platform settings.
A complete list of changes made to the product can be found on the technical support website myoffice.ru/support in the «Documentation» section.
⇡#Delivery options and cost
The MyOffice office suite is supplied to the market in the Standard, Professional, Mail, Private Cloud, Secure Cloud (it has a certificate of compliance with the FSTEC of Russia) and Education editions. All of them differ in the set of included applications and are available only to corporate customers.
MyOffice products can be purchased exclusively through a partner network of more than 1300 IT companies, resellers, system integrators and service providers throughout Russia. You can learn more about this on the developer’s website — myoffice.ru/buy.
For private users, only mobile versions of the MyOffice Documents and MyOffice Mail applications are available, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store. In the future, the company promises to make its desktop text and spreadsheet editors available to a wide audience, which, most likely, will also be free.
On average, the price of MyOffice products is more than two times lower than the cost of similar foreign software. So, for example, the bundle of one MyOffice Professional license corresponds to four products from Microsoft (Microsoft Office Standard, Microsoft Exchange CAL, Microsoft SharePoint CAL and Windows CAL), the sum of the cost of which significantly exceeds the cost of the MyOffice solution. For educational institutions, the MyOffice Education edition is offered: universities can get it at a 93% discount, and schools can get it for free.
The cost of implementing MyOffice products is determined by the partner and depends on the needs of the customer. The final cost of the solution is determined by several factors, such as the type of licenses, their validity period, the availability of certificates from the FSTEC of Russia, the amount of technical support, as well as the integration and deployment of the platform in the customer’s information systems.
⇡#As a conclusion
The appearance of a Russian developer of office software can be called a landmark event for the domestic IT industry, which has set a course for import substitution of high-tech products. The company «New Cloud Technologies» managed to make and bring to the market a strong product that allows you to solve everyday problems of any commercial and government organizations. And this was done in just six years by several hundred developers. For comparison: 10 thousand programmers are involved in the development of Microsoft Office, and it took the Redmond giant almost 15 years to release the first version of the office.
Creating this kind of software is not an easy task, requiring both specific knowledge and experience. There are not so many such development teams around the world. And you need to have a certain courage and vision to challenge the world giants in the field of office software.
Yes, at the first stages of its development, MyOffice was a frankly crude and controversial product. But over the past few years, the office platform project has evolved, made a big step forward and is already able to compete with foreign counterparts. In addition to further product development, the developer plans to develop a partner network, expand interaction with large corporate and government customers, enter the international market, work with medium and small businesses, private users who should definitely like the new product.