Feb 21 2008

VMware appliance lands

Well, the VMware appliance is mentioned in my last post is now available.

Its a great way for prospective developers to examine docx4all, and also an easy way for people to work on Alfresco.

The appliance is built around Ubuntu’s JeOS (‘Just enough Operating System’), and Eclipse, which also means a desktop (for which we chose Xfce).

A stack of pre-built open source software delivered as an appliance which runs in a free container (eg VMware Server or Player) on your operating system of choice reduces to pretty much zero the cost for new developers to get started.

Its a pity we can’t deliver a similar appliance for developers wanting to work on our Word 2007 add-in – developers need Visual Studio, VSTO and Word 2007;  it would be great if Microsoft gave their blessing to a freely downloadable virtual appliance which contained these things (perhaps they could ensure that the only way you could launch Word was by running your application from Visual Studio).

That’s why I didn’t mention plutext-server in the second paragraph (even though you can install it into Alfresco with a single command).  Currently, you really need the Word 2007 add-in to work with plutext-server.  The barriers to entry for plutext client developers are one of the reasons we’re working to make docx4all a fully functioning plutext-client.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, we’ll provide an easy installer for the Word 2007 add-in, so at least you can try the system end-to-end – provided you’ve got Word 2007.

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