July 27, 2011, 3:16 a.m.
posted by sl
Edit Office Documents
RIM has made great strides in unlocking message attachments for viewing on the handheld. The Attachment service when released with BES 3.5 was a big hit, and it's been improved ever since. The attachment viewing functionality has even been extended to BlackBerry Web Client users. However, there is no way to make modifications to those attachments using the native BlackBerry software on the handheld.
Dynoplex has filled this gap by offering a solution called eOffice. There is a client component that works in conjunction with a web service that allows you to save, edit, and resend Excel and Word documents right from your BlackBerry. The Professional version even comes with a PIM application that lets you view your messages in a preview pane. Dynoplex also sells licenses for their server software that can be installed in your own data center so your documents can be processed without data traveling over the public Internet.
Dynoplex eOffice can be found at http://www.dynoplex.com. There are currently three different versions of eOffice, each with increasing levels of functionality. The Basic version ($119.95) lets you create new Word and Excel documents. With the Standard version ($149.95), you can save and edit the Word and Excel documents that come attached to your inbound email messages. The Professional version ($199.95) provides all that the Standard version does, plus a spellchecker, a PIM program, and the ability to send HTML-formatted email messages.
There is a 30-day free trial available for eOffice from http://www.dynoplex.com/downloads.shtml. There is no over-the-air install, so you'll have to use Application Loader to complete the install. The installation program is more like a Windows program than the typical .alx and .cod files that you're probably used to. The 5-MB installation file will install some documentation on your computer, and then automatically bring up Application Loader to install the appropriate files on your device.
Once you have eOffice installed, you can start creating new documents by accessing eOffice from the Home screen. Once you're in eOffice, you can choose eWord to create Word documents or eCell to create Excel spreadsheets (see Figures 6-32 and 6-33).
When you are ready to save your document, you can choose to save it locally on the flash memory of your device, or you can store it on the Dynoplex service using the storage allocated for your account. To send your document via email, open the document in eOffice and choose Email from the File menu. Choose a contact to send to or use a one-time email address for the recipient. You can email documents that you've stored on your device or ones you've stored on Dynoplex's service. The recipient will receive the attachment as if you emailed it from your computer.
Edit and Save Attachments
If you've purchased the Standard or Professional version, you can save the attachments of incoming messages to eOffice. You'll see an additional item on the trackwheel menu when viewing a message, as shown in Figure.
The Save to eOffice menu item
When you choose Save to eOffice, the message is actually forwarded to Dynoplex's service, converted, and returned to your device in a format that is viewable with the eOffice client software.
The Professional version of eOffice comes with a program called eWorks that lets you view your data in a way that is similar to the folder list on your Microsoft Outlook client (see Figure).
eWorks on your device
This lets you work with the data on your BlackBerry using a different view. Some users might like this.