Microsoft Borrows From Its Cloud for Office Online Server
Businesses wanting to offer their workers Web-based versions of Office apps can now deliver an experience closer to the cloud-delivered versions.Organizations serving up their own browser-based versions of Office applications such as Word and Excel to their employees can now test new capabilities that borrow heavily from Microsoft's cloud-delivered software. Office Web Apps Server, first released in 2012 as an on-premises alternative to Microsoft's Web-based Office applications, is undergoing a name change to Office Online Server (OOS), reflecting the many changes to the platform over the past three years. Now, the company is giving organizations a peek at some of the enhancements and improvements to the software with a preview version that narrows the feature gap between the cloud and customer data centers. "OOS brings the features and improvements you experience with cloud-based Office Online to your on-premises solutions," wrote Bill Baer, senior technical product manager of Microsoft SharePoint, in a blog post announcing the Sept. 11 release of the beta software. "SharePoint 2016 and Exchange 2016 are both designed to work with OOS," he added. The preview is currently available at the Microsoft Download Center as an .ISO file. Users evaluating the software should notice performance and stability gains and well as a larger selection of authoring tools.
"The OOS Preview works with products and services that support WOPI [Web Application Open Platform Interface], such as SharePoint Server 2016, Skype for Business and Exchange Server 2016," noted Baer. "An OOS farm can provide services to multiple on-premises hosts, and you can scale out the farm as your organization's needs grow."