Today CTERA is releasing an additional set of features and improvements to our version 5.5 product. In this blog post, I want to highlight our new Microsoft Office 365 Integration. You can learn about our new zero-minute disaster recovery – also added to our version 5.5 – in a separate blog post.
With Microsoft Office 365 becoming the most popular online business productivity suite, our customers want to use CTERA to store their files privately and share them safely, while also using the familiar Office Online interface for document authoring. We listened to these requests and users can now create, edit, and collaborate on Office Online documents while they are still stored within the corporate firewall on the CTERA platform. With this approach, IT does not relinquish security or privacy of corporate information but end users still receive the online editing experience that they appreciate. Let me show you what is now possible:
Walkthrough of Office Online Integration
End users can create a new Office Online document from within the CTERA web browser interface. The file is stored in the CTERA enterprise file services platform, not in a public cloud like OneDrive. In this screenshot of the CTERA browser interface of an empty folder, I clicked the “New” button and can create a new Word Online, Excel Online, or PowerPoint Online document. (I ended up making an Excel Online file.)
End users can initiate editing Office Online documents from within the CTERA browser interface. In this screenshot, I right-clicked on the example Excel file that I created and I am given the options to open the file with Excel Online (the web-based client) or Excel 2013 (the thick client).
One of the best features of Office Online is being able to simultaneously edit the file with other users. Even though the example Excel file I created is stored in the private CTERA platform, multiple authors can still edit the document simultaneously. If you look in the upper-right corner of the below screenshot you can see that my coworker, Baktash, is also editing the file while I am changing it, and I could see his edits in real-time.
When the file is being edited the icon within the CTERA interface will reflect that status to make sure co-authors are aware that changes may be happening — but it doesn’t prevent other users from collaborating on the file, since it is possible with Office Online. The screenshot shows how the Excel icon now has a little green pencil and a mouseover explanation, “Being edited in Office Online.”
So now CTERA users can create, edit, and collaborate on Office Online documents without storing the files on a public cloud system, which keeps security and governance tight without sacrificing usability. If you have questions about the Office 365 integration, send us a note from the Contact Us page.