Last week I had the opportunity to contribute to a great software developer community, Gun.io. Gun.io wanted to hear about what we are doing with Squad and how it might fit in with the needs of the developer and startup communities. It was a great opportunity for me to think through and quantify how Squad has changed the way I think about development, how it’s affected our team’s development cycles (since we always use Squad to work on Squad), and ways other teams can incorporate collaboration into their culture. Check it out on the Gun.io blog or find it reposted after the break!
Since we rolled out the beta version of Treaty two weeks ago, we’ve already signed up a number of testers and have received some great feedback so far. But one question that has come up a few times is the difference between Treaty and Google Drive (previously known as Google Docs). After all, they both allow you to share and edit text and documents. However, as I touched on in last week’s post, Treaty integrates directly with our customers’ web applications, so that the application’s users don’t have to leave to work on their documents.
The Squad team is off to a busy start in 2013 as we announced our latest product last week, Treaty. So what is it? Treaty is a real-time collaborative text and document editor that makes it easy to add document collaboration to existing web applications. Kira Newman of Tech Cocktail did a great job of evaluating the new solution in her article last week.
“Google Docs is probably the go-to destination for document sharing right now. But for app developers, it’s not ideal: users have to leave your application to work on their files, and then start sharing URLs. Instead, Treaty would keep users on your site, in a document editor with your own branding.”
To expand on Kira’s thoughts, Treaty does resemble Google Docs in some ways but is also very different. First, since it integrates directly with our customers’ web applications, so that the application’s users don’t have to leave to work on their documents. This is a big deal in terms of customer retention, because you really want to keep your customers on your site for as long as possible. In addition, for an end-user to use Google Docs, he (obviously) must first have a Google account (which may be rather ubiquitous but not entirely universal) and must then upload his documents to Google Drive before he can edit them with Google Docs. Documents simply uploaded to the web application generally can’t be opened with Google Docs. With Treaty, end-users can upload documents directly to the web application, and then edit them right there.
We’re still in beta mode right now but have seen some great results so far. We’ve rolled out the tool to a number of testers and we (along with the testers) are happy with what we’re seeing so far. Ben, our resident developer extraordinaire, has been plugging away to get Treaty ready for full launch later this month. Check out some of the updates he made just this week:
- Implementation Guide: This page provides all the implementation documentation needed to get started with Treaty. It gives implementation instructions for users who will be including Treaty in their existing applications, as well as some more general information about the available customizations and the API’s capabilities.
- Examples and Tutorials: This page is fairly technical but a great tool for devs looking to implement Treaty. If offers examples of how Treaty can be used and customized.
We will be sure to continue with the updates as Treaty comes along both via the blog and our newly formed Treaty Twitter handle. In the meantime, check it out and tell us what you think by dropping a line in the comments section below.