IBM Project Concord - Public Demo at TriState LUG

October 14 2010

One of the demos that Kevin Cavanaugh spent a bunch of time on was the upcoming release of IBM Project Concord. The first public demo of the current state of Project Concord - the demo has come a long way since Lotusphere 2010, The UI was very polished. Very clean and minimal. Besides the LotusLive header, the screen was taken up by the document being edited, with a menu bar and toolbar.

Project Concord starts out looking like what many people expect from it ... "Symphony Online". Once you get past the basic editing functionality you wold expect from any document editor, the collaborative functionality of Project Concord becomes very obvious. Yes, there is concurrent editing. You and another person can edit the same document at the same time - and it's fast enough that you can pretty much watch the other person type word for word. But what I am most looking forward to in Project Concord is the ability to assign sections to others. Much like the old collaborative sections in Lotus Word Pro, sections are highlighted for the user. Different colors for sections you are being asked to edit and review. Tasks are created and put into a sidebar like user interface. I believe the end goal is to have those become tasks inside an Activity within LotusLive Connections/Engage.

While still very early - Kevin did not show the spreadsheet or presentation editing capabilities, you can see the progress. I also hope to see Symphony get these collaborative features in the local install version.

Technically, from what I can gather, documents are created in Open Document Format (ODF) on the server. You can open / upload Microsoft Office formats (well, at least .doc) and I believe the goal is to allow local save / export in both read-only (PDF) and editable formats (ODF and DOC at least).

There are still a lot of questions to be answered and a bunch of development before Project Concord is released (do we say 'shipped' for software that is a pure cloud delivery?) to the general public. I for one can't wait - and looking forward to hearing about the LotusLive APIs that allow me to interact with Project Concord from my applications.