This week, IBM announced that it will be offering cloud-based business process management that will be able to manage everything from expenses to document approvals without any on-premise software. We also took at look at what SharePoint 2010 has to offer in records management, while Office 2010 beta gets ready to wrap-up.

IBM Offers Cloud-Based BPM

It’s not strictly document management, but we all know how important business process management is in managing enterprise documents.

For companies that are looking for something that will help them with this, but don’t want the expense and hassle of a full fledged BPM suite, IBM (newssite) is launching Blueworks Live next month, which will provide enterprises with the ability to create ‘lite’ BPM apps in the cloud.

Costing US$ 10 user/ month, the new service will be available from November 20 and will provide easy management of common functions like expense sheets or document approvals.

Office 2010 Beta's Final Curtain Call

You may recall in April this year the hair pulling and teeth-gnashing that greeted Microsoft’s (news, site) decision to withdraw the beta of Office for Mobile, with users accusing it of pulling the beta without warning.

Well they’re not going to do that again, not with the beta of Office 2010, which is due to be shelved on October 31st. That’s Halloween, but Microsoft assures us that it is not all that scary really.

Hence the three week warning that appeared on the Office blog, which offers a “gentle reminder” that the free stuff is all over after that date.

Given that Microsoft says there have been over 9 million downloads since it was launched, it means that a lot of people are going to be left without it, or Microsoft is going to get one really big fat cash bonanza for Christmas as users move to upgrade.

Well actually that’s not entirely true. Not yet anyway. There is an extended two month trial period that you can sign up to if you are only looking to try out some of the programs.

Otherwise, users who want to install the released version of Office 2010 will have to uninstall the beta software first and then buy it, which Microsoft is asking people to do via download for environmental reasons.

Just to remind you -- there are a number of options. Currently, Home and Student 2010 costs US$ 149, Office Home and Business 2010 US$ 279, and Professional 2010 US$ 499. Don’t say you weren’t warned this time!

SharePoint 2010 and Records Management

If you’ve been looking at SharePoint 2010 since its release you might have noticed that the new version comes with a few new records management functionality.

This functionality was designed to fill SharePoint 2007’s weaknesses. Notably:

  • Records Management abilities aren't very robust
  • Insufficient granularity of security
  • No way to enforce classification template policy for new team sites

However, with many companies still using SharePoint 2007 and others still trying to get to grips with SharePoint 2010, it is too early to form an opinion as to whether records management in SP 2010 is good or bad. We took a look at it to see what exactly it had to offer.

OpenOffice Breaks from Oracle

Meanwhile, more about free document stuff. Developers of software broke free of Oracle recently to create a modified version of the software called LibreOffice that will be free of Oracle (news, site) oversight. is the leading free and open-source office application suite and alternative to Microsoft Office. It handles word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases and estimates put it at holding 10 percent of the overall office suite market.

The developers, calling themselves the Document Foundation, will manage and oversee all the work for LibreOffice. LibreOffice is a stripped-down version of OpenOffice, including Novell managed updates that provide Microsoft compatibility.

Initial supporters of LibreOffice include Red Hat, Google, Novell, Free Software Foundation, OASIS, OSI, Canonical and the GNOME foundation. Canonical has already said they will ship LibreOffice with next spring's update of Ubuntu.

Reclassifying SharePoint Documents with MetaVis

Meanwhile, if you missed it, MetaVis (news, site) has a new solution available that allows you to tag and classify your content directly within SharePoint 2010.

MetaVis Technologies has offered content migration and classification tools for awhile, but all the work had to be done outside the actual SharePoint environment. For those of you who want to be inside SharePoint when you are doing your tagging and classifying, MetaVis now has a tool for you.

Called the Cloud Classifier for SharePoint 2010, the solution is integrated directly into SharePoint itself, adding a new tool (button) to the SharePoint ribbon

What types of things can you do with this new classification tool? Select one or more list items or documents in a library and do one of the following:

  • Change the content type
  • Change and apply metadata
  • Change and apply tags
  • Re-map fields, copying

This is a completely web-based tool and supports SharePoint 2010 Intranet, Internet/Extranet and SharePoint 2010 Foundations.