Opera Delivers Unite Collaboration Tool Beta

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-10-14 Print this article Print

Opera Software today released the beta version of Opera Unite, a new collaboration technology that enables users to share data such as files or photos with other users, directly from their computer.

Opera Software today released the beta version of Opera Unite, a new collaboration technology that enables users to share data such as files or photos with other users, directly from their computer.

The Opera Unite beta is available in Opera 10.10, which Opera released on October 14.

Opera officials call Unite a "novel technology platform" that shakes up the old client-server computing model of the Web, because Opera Unite turns any computer into both a client and a server, allowing it to interact with and serve content to other computers directly across the Web.

Users can download Opera 10.10 beta from http://www.opera.com/browser/next/.

Opera officials said Opera Unite introduces a new category of client-to-client applications. Harnessing this power is as easy as coding a Web page, which simplifies the complexity of authoring advanced Web applications, Opera officials said. To create an Opera Unite application, a Web developer needs only to know the same open Web standards they use every day, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

A description of Opera Unite on a company FAQ said:

"You can also communicate directly with others by hosting chat sessions or posting notes. The technology behind Opera Unite uses a compact server inside the Opera desktop browser to share data and applications. With Opera Unite, there is no need to waste time uploading content you want to share. You share the content directly from your computer rather than loading it and sharing it through a third-party server."

"We invite developers all over the world to use their creativity and imagination to push the boundaries of what is possible with Opera Unite," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera, in a statement. "We are moving closer to our goal of reinventing the Web and are excited to see Opera Unite continue to evolve in powerful and compelling ways."

Additional tutorials on building Opera Unite applications are available at http://dev.opera.com/articles/unite/. Opera Unite applications can be accessed by any modern Web browser on any device.

Opera 10.10 beta includes the following applications, which are preinstalled in Opera Unite:

  • Opera Unite Home: An overview that lists all the applications you are running, activity information, and also shows the applications others are running.
  • File Sharing: Share files directly from your computer easily and safely.
  • Fridge: Enjoy fun notes left on your computer by friends.
  • Photo Sharing: Share your personal photos with friends around the world without the need to upload them.
  • Media Player: Access your complete home music library from wherever you are.
  • Web Server: Host your Web sites directly from your own computer.
  • Messenger: Communicate with your friends in My Opera in a one-to-one, live session.
Meanwhile, regarding security, the Opera FAQ said: "Opera Unite runs in a 'secured sandbox,' where only the files or folders you select can be accessed; nothing else on your computer is accessible to anyone else. You grant access to specified files, such as a directory of data you want to share, without allowing access to anything outside the specified area. This is a common feature in Web servers, and keeping data secure has been well-understood for a long time." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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