TeamDrive Embraces ODF and

Primesharing, a Hamburg, Germany-based software company, unveiled the newest release of its TeamDrive collaboration product at this year's conference in Barcelona, Spain. TeamDrive now features full support for the OASIS OpenDocument Format. ODF is the file format used by and other open source contenders to the popular Microsoft Office productivity suite.

TeamDrive allows participants (in small groups or medium-size companies) to build virtual teams over the Internet. The product encrypts documents over the cloud, and lets participants read or edit them from any location. It uses automatic document synchronization and versioning control for all group documents. It has security measures to prevent against accidental file deletion or unintentional overwriting.

With TeamDrive, documents are downloaded and stored automatically, so it's not necessary to be online to access them. As soon as a document is modified by one member of a group, the new version is immediately distributed to all other members. All ODF file types (Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Math, or Draw) and even 1.x legacy file types are supported by TeamDrive.

TeamDrive ensures document security with 256-bit encryption. Data encryption/decryption is provided on the fly, and the data keys are stored only on group members' computers and are not transmitted with the data. Even if the files are intercepted and accessed, 256-bit encryption is still a good deterrent (in comparison, the U.S. government's old DES encryption standard is only 56-bit.). Attempts to decrypt an encrypted file by guessing all possible passwords would take at least several thousand years to break using a supercomputer.

The product works by mounting a virtual hard disk (T:) on each group member's computer. Anything on this virtual drive benefits from the automatic updating and encryption that TeamDrive provides. Once the T: drive has been created, it can be used like any other physical hard drive.

TeamDrive is currently being used by several large companies, according to Primesharing's announcement. It received a Data Protection Seal of Approval acknowledgment from the Independent Center for Privacy Protection (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany).

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Will Kraft is a Web designer, technical consultant and freelance writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. Also, check out his blog at