Many of you probably already know this, but there is a Novell Edition of OpenOffice.org that Novell provides as part of our solutions:  SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) and the Novell Open Workgroup Suite (NOWS).  We also offer support for it on both the Windows and Linux platforms.  A customer recently asked me what the OpenOffice.org-Novell Edition offers that the version I can download for free from “OpenOffice.org” does not.  Here is the meat of my reply:

(in no particular order)

(a)  Enterprise Support from Novell — leverage your existing Novell support agreement to not only get support on your other Novell products, but also OpenOffice.org – Novell Edition.

(b) Cross platform support — Support for OpenOffice.org – Novell Edition on both Linux and Windows desktops.

(c)  Integration with SLED — User interface tuned and tweaked to match the other primary applications on SLED 10.  Enhances usability for users.  For example, rather than have all the apps have their own Cut and Paste icons, they all match on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED).  OOo – Novell Edition has also been integrated with Novell Evolution (email client on SLED) to allow users to send docs as email and perform mail merges with the Evolution address book.  Another example is that we’ve integrated the file selection dialog box so that OOo – Novell Edition uses the native desktop dialogs rather than standard OpenOffice.org dialog boxes.

(d)  Protecting MS Office Font Fidelity — Novell has licensed fonts from AGFA which are geometrically compatible with Microsoft’s native fonts ensures that documents look the same from machine to machine, Windows or Linux.  Because of this, when opening documents originally created in MS Office, the pagination and page formatting should be practically identical.

(e)  Support for password protected files — Files protected with passwords in MS Office can be easily opened and edited in OOo – Novell Edition.

(f) VB Macro Support — A common practice in organizations is to embed MS Excel Visual Basic (VB) Macros into spreadsheets.  OOo – Novell Edition has added support for these.  If you ever find a spreadsheet with macros that “doesn’t work,” let us know and we’ll work on it.

(g) Improved Performance — OOo – Novell Edition has been tuned to generally perform faster.  Faster loading/startup, anti-aliasing of slides (nicer looking presentations), better use of memory, etc.

(h) Improved Bullets — The standard OpenOffice.org does not do very well with bullets in documents. Novell includes an improved OpenSymbol font with much better coverage of common bullet types, so “missing” (square boxes) bullets are eliminated.

The current shipping version of OpenOffice.org – Novell Edition is v2.0.4, however this will be rev’d when SLE 10 Service Pack 1 arrives in a few weeks.

Here’s a link to an entry on our blog which has additional links to check out:
https://opseast.wordpress.com/2007/04/12/updated-openofficeorg-novell-edition/

I’ve talked with many customers about OpenOffice.org.  Most have heard of it.  Many have tried it.  Some tried it themselves, but found it lacking in some manner.  To those people who are basing their opinions off of the version you can get from www.openoffice.org, you should try it again with the Novell Edition (download link) and see if you have the same complaints.  Let us know what your experiences are by adding some comments to our blog.

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