So, this has been a problem since the dawn of spreadsheets – how can we get multiple minds working on one spreadsheet that could benefit from multiple people placing their input into it. Well, seveal entrepreneurs are attacking this one including a very familiar website which has a market cap of about $150 billion these days.
Let’s start with Google’s attempt at eating away at Microsoft’s Office group which accounts for a large amount of the revenues and profits at the Redmond based company. Typing in http://docs.google.com into your browser will find you at a site which allows you to create, collaborate with others and keep your online word or spreadsheet documents. I’ve used this on a limited basis because for some reason it’s a little slow to update the entries you make into the browser since it’s saving your entries constantly. While it’s goog not to let you lose data, it’s a bit painful for the impatient like me. However, it’s probably the main tool I’ll use for collaboration on spreadsheets moving forward mainly because it is supported by acompany that probably will outlive the behemoth we call Microsoft.
The next several websites also do something similar, if not identical to what the Docs subsection of Google does. However, I have no idea how long they will be in existence due to how much financing power is backing them. Currently Web 2.0 has launched thousands of websites due to many backers believing in this iteration of the Internet. The new products are attempting to make it easier for the every day consumer to take advantage of the Web.
I was about to use www.goffice.com before going to the Docs section of Google, but like I said, I don’t know how long this website along with several of the ones following will last. A site called Go2Web20, the Complete Web 2.0 Directory, is where I found this guy. The site tells us this about the site: It’s a “Web based office suite with presentation, desktop publishing, word processing, and spreadsheet functionality. Offers immediate output of documents to PDF format for tangible takeaway and printability.”
Go2 provides us another entry here at the url www.numsum.com. “Num Sum is a web site that brings you online, simple, sharable web spreadsheets. In other words, you can now create social spreadsheets. All you need to join in is a modern web browser. Track your records, lists and data online, Share with everybody or with just your close friends and Connect with folks who have similar interests” according to Go2.
“Xcellery combines the power of Excel with the internet. It allows to share and edit your Excel spreadsheets online. Xcellery eliminates the need to resend new versions to your collaborators in consolidating changes securely for you. For none-Excel users Xcellery also provides a powerful browser- based AJAX editor.”
A company called Peepel tells us about themselves: Peepel is a unique approach to online applications, allowing multiple applications to run in the same window. Users can open as many applications as they wish in multiple resizable PeepelWindows within the one browser window.
PeepelWindows are not pop-ups and can be resized, moved, stacked or cascaded. Peepel is in early stages at the moment, but keep an eye out for tight integration between all the applications. There are File Sharing, Collaboration, Contact Management, Browser and Template capabilities on the site.
Numbler is “the web based spreadsheet that enables instantaneous collaboration with anyone on your project team. With Numbler multiple users can work with a spreadsheet, view changes in real time, and discuss changes.”
www.edigrid.com may have been down at the time I wanted to evaluate them…but it may be dead as well. Give it a try & see if they’re still around. They are supposedly “an online spreadsheet featuring real-time-update and extensive collaboration features.”
If what they say is true on the site, I should of placed this following site first, but since it’s the last one in the list on Go2’s site, it’s going to stay here until I decide otherwise. 😉 SmartSheet.com supposedly “is flexible and familiar like a spreadsheet, but is the only organizational tool designed to help you organize and track your work. It’s an online service that allows teams to create lists of activities and tasks, share them online and update them via e-mail. We are built on an open-source stack and have created our own AJAX toolkit for the rich user interface.” However, with all this great stuff, comes with a cost. You can use the free version giving you 5 spreadsheets and a test to try it out, but be ready to shell out as much as $149/month for the service. At the same time, it starts as low as $25/mo though.