Tag Archives: Microsoft SharePoint

Google Cloud Connect : The Free and Easy Alternative to SharePoint

Unfortunately Google Cloud Connect has been shut down as of Aprils 30th 2013.  For more information and steps that should be taken if you already have this installed please visit this link:  http://googleappsupdates.blogspot.com/2013/05/cloud-connect-shut-down.html

Microsoft SharePoint is a great collaboration tool but is far too complex for most small businesses and home users.   Fortunately the folks at Google have provided an answer that is both simple to use and totally FREE!   Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office .

Recognizing that 95% of the time Microsoft SharePoint is nothing more than a place to store and share documents Google has provided a way to merge that functionality very neatly into Google Docs .

Google Cloud Connect not only backs up your work to the cloud but also adds true collaboration to Microsoft Office, allowing others to simultaneously edit your documents while changes are automatically synchronized across computers. Finally everyone has the latest version!

Google Cloud Connect has all the features one would expect from something tied into Google docs , providing just the right mixture of collaboration, security and control.   You get to choose who and when to share your files with and control is available at the document level.

All you need to get started is a copy of Microsoft Office , a Google account, and an Internet Connection.

Installing Google Cloud Connect only takes about a minute and, once installed, you will see a new toolbar bar at the top of office documents.  Connect to your Google account you can start sharing documents immediately .

As someone who has felt the pain of getting Alfresco to synchronize with Microsoft office all I can say is setting up Google Cloud Connect was childishly easy.  Not only that but the servers that Google supply for free are much faster than the one that I was paying for .

Google Cloud Connect works with Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 and will synchronize Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Sadly, due to the lack of support for open APIs on Microsoft Office for Mac, Google Cloud Connect is not available on Apple products at this time.

If you have a Google account and Microsoft Office what do you have to lose?  Unless, of course, you have no friends to collaborate with.

Note:  From my own experimentation synchronization works best when using Internet Explorer – I guess Microsoft still keep their hold on those APIs.


Filed under Free Software, Technology