Friday, 15 June 2012

Apache Review

Apache (as it is now known) is one of the most popular office suites of all time. It was created in the 90's by a few developers who wanted to challenge the market leader at the time, Microsoft Office. To some extent MS Office is still the most popular one used today, but it isn't for everyone because of how expensive the licensing costs are. If you're a business that wants to invest in software to use to improve communications and systems, you don't want to be spending thousands of dollars just on one tool, especially if you're only a small business. This is where Apache does things much more different, so we'll explain what we mean by this.

Open source software is a term that most people won't have heard of, but for sure they'll have used it at some point. Apache is actually completely free of charge to use even despite the massive amount of hard work that goes into developing it and releasing updates. It is managed entirely by a community and not a major corporation that wants to make as much money as it possibly can. It's an interesting concept - some people just don't understand it at all, but what we can say is that you don't need to understand it. It's just easier for you, you just have to find a download for the program you want (from places such as here) and then install it without having to worry about costs or license keys. Now we've explained that, we're going to explain more about how the office suite itself works.

There are several different tools included in this one package. For word processing and for writing reports you'll be using Writer (equivalent of Microsoft Word), for presentations you'll need Impress (Microsoft PowerPoint), if you want to create and manage spreadsheets and financial information the best one to use would be Calc (Microsoft Excel) or if you want to manage a database filled with customer information then you'd use Base. There are two other tools included too which help you with all of the ones we've listed so far. If you want to make high quality images then Draw can do this for you, whereas Math is great at producing math formulas for you to use in your documents.

In our opinion, this is a piece of software that you should definitely be installing. There are knock-off versions of it being created too which you should be ignoring but the official original one is a gem. Many small businesses are using this instead of competing products and are really enjoying the use of it. All of the programs inside of it have been developed to work together to make a much more seamless experience for you. For example, you can create a database in Base and then go straight into Calc or Writer and use the data you've stored in any way you want, maybe you want to use MailMerge to produce a line of marketing letters to be sent to your customers.

If you don't yet have it installed on your system yet, go ahead and download it now.