Kilargo offers assistance with all issues concerning the design, development, audit and maintenance of solutions based on or integrating OpenOffice.

Creating “active” documents

Documents in OpenOffice do not boil down to a set of static information, like a printed document. OpenOffice is designed to make documents “active”: fields, styles, index, tables of contents in textual documents, formulas, diagrams, pivot tables in spreadsheets, mail merge, report creation, etc. Some parts of the document can be generated automatically from the information either in the document itself or in another source (a database, for example). This feature allows users to automate a number of tasks and to make sure that the document content remains consistent when it is modified.

Scripting languages such as StarBasic or JavaScript can be used to create documents that are true applications with their own application logic and user interface. OpenOffice provides an API that allows scripts to access the various elements that make up a document: paragraphs, tables, forms, spreadsheet cells, graphic objects, styles, etc. Not only that, but it is also possible to create elaborate user interfaces simply, to facilitate using the application. Scripts and the user interface are an integral part of the document. Therefore, it is easy to provide applications to colleagues or clients.

Adapting OpenOffice to your business

OpenOffice is much more than just executing applications. It is possible to extend its functionalities and add new ones. Although it offers all the functionalities you would expect from a modern suite of office tools, OpenOffice cannot cover the infinite diversity of user needs. Luckily, there are many ways of adapting and expanding it. As soon as users start to use OpenOffice on a regular basis, it is in their interest to have it customized to their own requirements in order to automate repetitive tasks and to make productivity gains.

It is possible to extend existing functionalities (for example, add import/export filters for document formats that OpenOffice does not support, or create access to a new type of data source). It is also possible to add new functionalities to OpenOffice in the following ways:

  • add new software components
  • add menus and toolbars to the OpenOffice interface
  • add specific user interfaces
  • add configuration dialogs to the OpenOffice configuration module
  • add pages to the OpenOffice on-line manual

These new functionalities are then grouped in files known as “extensions” that are added using the OpenOffice interface.

StarBasic can be used if the functionalities to be added are fairly simple. Nevertheless, new components in C++ or Java must be created if the new functionalities require a high degree of integration into OpenOffice. It is also possible to create interaction between scripts and software components written in different programming languages using Uno (Universal Network Objects) technology, which allows for greater reuse of existing software components and thereby reducing development time and cost.

If you want to try out an extension, go to the OKDict page.

Integrating OpenOffice into your information system

OpenOffice integrates seamlessly into your IT environment. It can be connected to the most widely used database servers, either directly, or using standards such as ODBC or JDBC. Generally speaking, the extension possibilities mean that OpenOffice can access all types of service.

The OpenOffice API also enables external programs, run on either the same machine or remotely, to access the functionalities of the office software suite. Therefore, OpenOffice can be used as a component of a wider information system.