People who saw Intergen’s TextGlow OOXML viewer application at the Microsoft-centric MIXO8 conference this month are “fizzing about it”, says Intergen’s director of strategy and innovation, Chris Auld.
Kiwi software developer Intergen launched the software, which it claims is a world first, at the conference held in Las Vegas. TextGlow allows users to view Word documents created in Microsoft’s controversial Office Open XML format without having to download them and without having Microsoft Office or Word installed on their computers.
But TextGlow was not the only Intergen product on show. Auld says the ActionThis Runtime Page Optimiser received a similar reception from a different interest group at the show.
“MIXO8 is the sort of event you go to and roam the corridors and run into people,” Auld says. So a lot of demonstrations were given on the fly.
“It was very positive. The issue is whether we get it finished,” he says, as TextGlow is reliant on Silverlight 2.0, which is still in beta.
The Page Optimiser is designed to improve web server performance by “bunching together” requests. Auld says he and his team realised Ajax websites were not working very well, due to the number of requests they were receiving.
The optimiser, he says, boosts performance by between 200% and 300%. It is targetted at ASP .Net programmers.
Auld says TextGlow is a unique product combining Office Open XML and Silverlight for the first time.
“Microsoft Office documents have traditionally required software to be installed on the local machine. The new XML-based file format, coupled with Silverlight, has allowed us to make documents viewable directly through users’ web browsers,” he says.
Auld says Intergen is showing TextGlow with WordprocessingML support on the Silverlight 2.0 Beta announced at MIX. It is not currently discussing support for other OOXML file formats.
He says more details about shipping plans will be released once there is clarity around Silverlight 2.0’s release.
TextGlow came about from a brainstorming discussion around Silverlight and what could be done with it that would be commercially viable, Auld says. Intergen was looking for something that could be added to Microsoft’s SharePoint
The idea for TextGlow came from a young Intergen developer, James Newton-King, who also designed and developed it.
“I saw a real need for a tool like this,” he says. “With many organisations storing documents in web-based document management systems such as SharePoint products and technologies, being able to quickly preview documents within the browser is a real productivity boost.” TextGlow is cross-platform and free.