LibreOffice 4.0 speaks content management

The new version of the LibreOffice supports the CMIS content management exchange standard

With the release of LibreOffice 4.0, the Document Foundation continues to makes strides in preparing the open source office suite for enterprise use, adding the ability to work with many ECM (enterprise content management) systems and updated compatibility with many Microsoft file formats.

"LibreOffice continues to be the chief free alternative to Microsoft Office, and the improvements [in version 4.0] make it more attractive," said Forrester analyst Phil Karcher.

LibreOffice 4.0 provides a way for organizations to link LibreOffice with their content management systems, including Microsoft SharePoint, Alfresco, IBM FileNet P8, Nuxeo, OpenText, SAP NetWeaver Cloud Service and others. The software uses the CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) standard to communicate with these systems.

With CMIS, you can check documents in and out of ECM systems directly from LibreOffice. "Previously you could do this, but you had to use a horrible Web interface," said Michael Meeks, who is a Free Software Engineer for SUSE, and one of the key managers of LibreOffice development.

LibreOffice 4.0 comes with a number of other enterprise-friendly features as well. The suite can now also import documents from the latest versions of Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Publisher. It can also better render text documents written in the Microsoft .DOCX and the RTF (Rich Text Format) formats.

LibreOffice also provides some help for executives making presentations with LibreOffice's Impress. Someone running a slide presentation in a group meeting can use an Android smartphone as a remote control. Impress can now show both the notes and the presentation on the presenter's phone while displaying the actual presentation page on the display for the audience, and keep the two in synch. The remote only works with Linux computers, though a version is being ported to Windows as well, Meeks said.

The Calc spreadsheet is being refined to match the capabilities of Microsoft's Excel. Charts can now be exported as images. New functions have been added, and performance overall has been improved. "The spreadsheet is still not at [Microsoft] Excel's level, but we're trying to improve scalability, storage size and performance in lots of ways, and making good performance there," Meeks said.

The newly released LibreOffice 4.0 comes with an expanded set of APIs (application programming interfaces) that will allow developers and organizations to build better plug-ins for the software. The user interface has been refined as well.

Since its fork from OpenOffice 30 months ago, LibreOffice seems to have no shortage of volunteers to help contribute to the code. The project has thus far attracted more than 500 developers, who have submitted over 50,000 changes and updates.

The LibreOffice developers have added or replaced several million lines of code, in many cases taking advantage of new speedy C++ constructs. Deprecated methods and obsolete libraries have been removed, and many of the comments in the source code have been translated from German to English (the code base for LibreOffice originally came from a German company, StarDivision, and was known as StarOffice).

Leading the development of LibreOffice, the Document Foundation has been keeping enterprise use in mind, Meeks said. And some organizations are using the office suite as an alternative to Microsoft Office. The city of Munich, for instance, is deploying LibreOffice. Vendors are taking note of the software as well: Novel bundles LibreOffice with its GroupWare collaboration software for a combined package.

Although LibreOffice 4.0 can be thought of as an iterative release, it makes up for a lot of lost momentum that occurred when LibreOffice split from OpenOffice two years back, Karcher said. The performance improvements and updated compatibility with Microsoft file formats help in this regard, though improvements still need to be made in collaboration and mobile use, he said.

LibreOffice 4.0 can be downloaded at no cost.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags open sourceapplicationsDocument FoundationsoftwareOffice suites

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?