The power to embed file comparison in other applications

What do professionals need from their desktops in the future?

This turns our thoughts to how people will want to work in the future and how they will access the tools and applications they want to use each day.

Change is happening in the tech space faster than ever, across every sector, as firms look to provide unique value through innovation to their clients. However, if there are given ways and processes by which people have always worked, practices that are entrenched can take time to change. Users can be cautious when it comes to adopting new technology on their cluttered desktop for the fear it may actually slow them (or their machines) down.

Solution and product teams need a solid, standard way to support their users and new applications can also impact this, not to mention their budgets.

When change does come, it’s driven by demands for greater flexibility, increased collaboration and competitive advantage. This means reviewing everything from the use of artificial intelligence in document management to the beautiful basics of a file comparison.

The technology is there to serve the people using it. Professionals who are now more mobile; who aren’t chained to their desks all day need solutions, like file comparison, to be available everywhere - however they’re working. The “desktop” is no longer just a desktop - it’s a phone, a tablet or a home computer.

So that’s where we’re going next!

Flexible and accurate file comparison

Professionals have been running comparisons between different versions of a file for years. It’s an essential and reliable staple of the desktop. But that’s just the point, it’s always been on the desktop. For the purposes of accuracy that’s fine, but in terms of mobility and flexibility, the traditional desktop comparison needs to evolve.

Users don’t want to be confined to their desks anymore. They want to work from home, or in a client’s office, or on a train – wherever. It’s not just that they don’t want to be restricted, they can’t afford to be, as that would hinder their ability to be with clients; to be quick and responsive, therefore it would hinder their performance.

It’s also important to remember that documents don’t just live in one place anymore i.e. safely within a firm’s control systems. They’re stored in the cloud, on a document management system (DMS), on a contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution, in email (not necessarily Outlook) and numerous other places. Traditional document comparison has worked because all the elements (i.e. documents) and systems (e.g. DeltaView) have met in one place (e.g. the laptop or PC).

Now people want to consume the same things away from their laptop, there has to be another way to get everything into one place. This means taking it online and using a browser or online application. Converging online means the usual accuracy required from a comparison solution can be maintained, but crucially it also means that speed and flexibility can be delivered.

Create new user experiences

What Workshare is doing is bringing what used to be on the desktop to the browser, to the mobile device, to the remote worker and to the applications they want to use every day - a comparison engine that is web based or server based.

Workshare Compare Server lets firms or other software providers host a comparison service themselves (or we can host it for them, of course). In this way, the firm or provider has the ability to create and embed their own comparison experience directly within the systems they use or provide. And, the way people interact with this frontend experience can be configured accordingly, it doesn’t have to be our experience our way. This is exactly what we’ve been doing with iManage, NetDocuments, HighQ and Google G Suite most recently.

Converge online

Knowing the best way to ensure people can access fast and accurate file comparison, wherever they are, is to deliver it on a browser, we created Compare Everywhere.

Because the comparison logic happens online, the user experience is available on a mobile device, as well as a laptop or computer. And, because different users will be operating other document management or production functions as part of their daily practice, we’ve made it possible to embed the solution or deliver it using a custom interface/frontend.

Essentially there are two options:

  • A ReST API accessible Compare Server, where the firm or vendor builds the interaction using their frontend – for example, in their application they may choose to automatically run a comparison every time a new version of that document is added. This means every time a user looks at a version they could automatically see what’s changed in that file, without having to actually “run” a comparison.
  • Compare Everywhere – what this does is make option 1 easy! We’ve built a web frontend for others to plug in and go. We can give access to a frontend that’s delivered through a JavaScript component called Deltaview.js, which can simply be customized to fit an application.

Not only is speed and flexibility delivered through this browser-based approach, accuracy is maintained through the best comparison engine on the market, and users can operate it in a way that suits their world of work.

Contact us if this is a topic you’re researching! We’d love to be part of your future.