AUG 30 2012

Editing documents on tablets – a simple exercise or simply impossible?

by in OfficeApps, Practice Leave a comment

Mobile work – on an iPad or any other tablet – is becoming part and parcel of our professional environment, and an increasing necessity for staff on the go. To ensure secure collaboration it is mandatory to be able to save and edit documents directly on a server or in the Cloud. What are the actual requirements for this? And which Office-Apps meet these user requirements?



As we are currently dealing quite intensely with this topic, we would like to use a series of blogs to share our experience and lessons learnt, as well as to respond to the questions above. The blogs will be published in three parts and be structured as follows:

  • Part 1: Introduction, requirements for document related collaboration on mobile devices;
  • Part 2: Overview and user report on working on the iPad in an enterprise environment;
  • Part 3: Overview and user report on working on Samsung Galaxy Tab (Android-OS) in an enterprise environment, including complete test results.

Subject to availability, a fourth blog coming up later in the year, hopefully by autumn, will deal with Windows 8 Mobile platform and the available Office-Apps, including Microsoft Office.


Installing an Office-App is an absolute must in order to be able to edit and download documents etc. and to work in a productive way.

An Office-App should support the following functions:

  • Document download and upload: preferably support for standard interfaces like WebDAV and/or CMIS.
    WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) is an open standard allowing users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers, just as if the files were stored on a hard disk. (see Wikipedia:
    CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) is an open standard for document management systems using web protocols. For more details, see
  • Opens, edits, deletes and renames documents
  • Supports all common Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf,…)
  • Uses common editing tools and functions (formatting, charts…)
  • Supports dynamic fields (eg field functions and serial letters)
  • Simple to use

Concrete test cases

  • Document editing
  • Retain document format: Check whether original document formats, such as doc or docx, are retained by the Office-App. Unintentional conversion creates additional work and confusing document versions.
  • Retain formatting: Check whether the formatting, such as document headers, is retained and if the index remains intact.
  • Fields: Support of dynamic fields in the Office-App., such as current date, or serial letter fields.  These fields should be retained when saving the document with the Office-App.
  • Interfaces
    Open documents from the Cloud or the ECM system with WebDAV and CMIS standard protocols
  • Usability
    Intensive work with the Apps, with focus on simple and intuitive usage.

The subsequent two blogs will each elaborate on the testing of three different Office-Apps for iPad and for Samsung Galaxy Tab, explain the differences and document the pros and cons of the Apps. The tests are carried out with the Fabasoft products Fabasoft eGov-Suite 2012 ( and Fabasoft Folio Cloud. (

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Related posts:

  1. Office-Apps on the Samsung Galaxy Tab: Fit for business?
  2. Office-Apps on the iPad: Fit for ECM or just a toy?
  3. Annotation of a Document on the Apple iPad

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