Online office suite

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An online office suite, online productivity suite or cloud office suite is an office suite offered in the form of a web application, accessed online using a web browser. This allows people to work together worldwide and at any time, thereby leading to web-based collaboration and virtual teamwork. Some online office suites can be installed either on-premise or online and some are offered only as online as a software as a service. Some versions can be free of charge, some have a subscription fee. Some online office suites can run as progressive web applications which no longer require an online connection to function. Online office suites exist as both open-source and proprietary software.


Online office suites typically includes this base set of applications[1][2]

Other applications are often available

Collaborative applications

Publishing applications

Management applications

Considerations for Advantages and Disadvantages[edit]

Advantages and disadvantages between locally installed office suites and online office suites vary significantly, here are some considerations:

  • Online office suites provide the ability for a group of people to collaboratively edit a document from anywhere easily using just a web browser, without the need for special servers, or networking customizations, or devices running specific operating systems
  • They provide varying levels of functionality. Some have nearly full desktop application functionality, whereas some have less functionality and will prompt to use their desktop office suites for the functionality that is missing, which creates extra costs and problems, such as their desktop office suite may not be compatible, or available for the device that is being used[3]
  • Some online office suites lack support for a broad variety of file formats, not including ability to edit older but popular Microsoft file formats, whereas some have broad file format support
  • Online office suites that require an ongoing subscription can add up to cost more than purchasing a software license for a locally installed office suite, especially if the software is not upgraded for several years
  • Digital sovereignty implications, as some online office suites do not have options for self-hosting or choosing where data is stored. This may impact the right and ability for a company to control their own digital data, including customer and employee data, software, hardware, and other digital intellectual property.[4][5][6] Digital sovereignty requirements may require that data remains on-premise or is hosted by a specific service provider, or within a specific geographic region at all times, this may be due to legal conflicts perhaps between GDPR and U.S. state privacy laws, or the choice of the data owner for how and where they wish to protect their data
  • Competitive pricing is possible where online office suites have options for self-hosting or choosing optional hosting solutions
  • Online office suites can run on relatively low cost thin clients with minimal hardware requirements provided that the online office suite fulfils functionality requirements, and does not necessitate a client workstation for installing a local office suite
  • Online office suites are portable and users can edit their documents more easily where this can be done from any device with a web browser, with a connection to the network where the online office suite's services are hosted, without consideration of which operating system the local device is running, and the suite has adequate functionality
  • If the user’s computer fails, the documents may still be safely stored on the remote server provided that the data files are also stored in the cloud and not locally
  • Online service providers' backup processes and overall stability will generally be superior to that of most home systems
  • Maintenance effort of devices should be much simpler where it is not necessary to also install and maintain an office suite on the local device
  • Levels of support services vary significantly between vendors, this can affect costs significantly, support options may be a combination of searching yourself on the web, email support, telephone support, level 1 through to level 4 engineering support, or even 3rd party consultancy
  • If the network between client devices and the online office suite services are too slow or unavailable, the online office suite may not work. Businesses may require a Service Level Agreements (SLA) for a required level of network high availability, all locations for all users need to be considered. Online office suites may allow the users to regularly backup data, In some cases they provide synchronization of copies of documents between the server and the local device[7]
  • Online office suite service availability, a proven level of high availability may be required, perhaps when used in a business environment. Local hosting could be more reliable
  • Data backup considerations, such as how far back in time data is kept, how it can be searched for, how easily data can be recovered, how quickly it can be recovered.
  • Control over the version of the software used. With some solutions the user has no control if the software is changed, the user is forced to use the changed version, even if the changed version is less suitable. Some online office suite systems enable users to host their own services and control the version of online office suite

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jurzik, Heike (25 July 2022). "Tour Collabora Online, an open source alternative to Google Workspace". Retrieved 2 July 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Rutland, David (21 Sep 2021). "8 Killer Apps for Nextcloud on Raspberry Pi". Make Use Of. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  3. ^ Hermitte, Benjamin (3 May 2023). "8 tips for best choosing a collaborative office suite". Wimi. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  4. ^ Kergaravat, Charles (25 Nov 2023). "What is Digital Sovereignty". Apizee. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  5. ^ "German schools ban Microsoft Office 365 amid privacy concerns (Updated)". 15 July 2019. Retrieved 31 Dec 2020.
  6. ^ "Google Docs Problem Raises Privacy Concerns, Again". 1 Nov 2017. Retrieved 31 Dec 2020.
  7. ^ Google Docs documentation for offline use. Accessed 18 January 2009.[dead link]