Collaborative editing with Collabora Online in Kolab

About a year ago I blogged about document editing features in Kolab. This year we went a big step forward. Thanks to Collabora Online you can now use LibreOffice via Kolab web-client. Every part of this system is Free Software, which is normal in Kolab world.

Collabora Online (CODE) implements WOPI REST API. WOPI is a protocol that defines a set of operations that enables a client to access and change files stored by a server. I was responsible for WOPI implementation and integration of Collabora Online with Kolab’s web interface.

So, now there’s a new simple kolab-wopi service (written in Elixir) that works as a proxy between CODE and Kolab’s storage service – Chwala. What kind of editor is used is almost transparent to the web client. It provides standard toolbar with common actions – session management, user invitations, printing and saving. All other magic is done inside the editor frame.


The interface is written in Javascript, but on the server there’s a real LibreOffice suite installed which does the hard work. Of course the editing features set is limited, but still much more richer than what WebODF provides.

As before you can invite another user to the editing session, receive join requests, etc. You can create new types of files e.g. spreadsheets or presentations.


Here you can see an OpenDocument presentation opened in the CODE editor. Two user photos/entries on the right-top indicate that at the moment two users are editing the document.


There’s already a lot of new features and new supported file formats in this. E.g. you can view presentations in a full screen, or view documents in Microsoft Office formats. Printing also works (by export to PDF).

2 thoughts on “Collaborative editing with Collabora Online in Kolab

  1. Well done, I have been watching for this feature. A few questions regarding CODE and Kolab.

    1. Begining with what version of Kolab is this feature being offered?

    2. The rule for only “viewing” microsoft office documents; What are the restrictions preventing Kolab and CODE from “editing” and “saving” microsoft office documents in file formats supported by desktop libre office?


    1. 1. It can be installed “manually” on Kolab:Winterfell right now. It needs some polishing an packaging. It is planned for Kolab 17 (2017/Q1).
      2. I’m not that deep in the CODE internals, and I didn’t try all possibilities yet, but I think MS Office formats can be edited/saved in the original format. And yes, it supports most (if not all) formats supported by libre office itself.


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