The short version

We’ve released a SharePoint Add-in which allows for seamless collaboration across your SharePoint sites and Simul. This enables multiple parties to work privately in their existing SharePoint sites and synchronize their changes with Simul when ready. Simul can then assist in merging the versions and showing exactly what has changed.

You can install the add-in right away from the Office Store:

The longer version

Simul provides a revolutionary way of tracking versions of a Microsoft Word document. You can read about Simul’s features here or take a quick tour.

A lot of companies already rely on Microsoft SharePoint to store most of their Word documents. SharePoint is an incredibly powerful platform, offering features such as workflows and records management. However, the version history and document collaboration features do have their limitations:

  • navigate_next SharePoint will show you who changed a document and when, but provides no details about what changed.
  • navigate_next SharePoint does not support parallel versions – it requires you to check out the document and check it back in to prevent overwriting others’ work.
  • navigate_next Granting read permissions to a document in SharePoint will enable them to see the entire version history. This can cause complications collaborating with third parties.

Business as usual – Just use Simul when you would email

Organizations often have to meet specific record management regulations and SharePoint offers a great solution to these complex demands.

Simul can be used for the entire document authoring experience, but we also offer a lot of value by offering a central hub to help teams or companies collaborate. Consider the following scenario which could be two different organizations or just different teams who use different SharePoint sites.

Contoso Ltd have been working hard on a document names “An Example Document.docx”:

If a member of the Contoso site checks the version history of the document in SharePoint, they will see something similar to the following:

The information SharePoint offers here is limited to the modification time, author and the file size. SharePoint has also treated each change as a new major version. This document is now ready to be distributed to Contoso’s partner Fabrikam Inc and it is paramount that they don’t see the previous versions.

Typically, users are forced to either create a new copy of the document elsewhere in SharePoint or download and email a copy to Frabrikam. Both of these solutions create duplicates and result in future changes to the document made in multiple places. This obviously creates a lot of overhead dealing with the confusion: having to manually keep track of the versions and ensuring no modifications are missing.

Once you’ve installed the Simul add-in, an alternative would be to transfer the latest version of the document to Simul like so:

The latest version will then appear as the first version of the document in Simul:

Fabikam can then select the site, document library and folder to export the document to. Fabrikam’s team then make several revisions and select “Open in Simul” to synchronize their changes:

You can now see the revision 0.0.2 from Frabrikam Inc and their changes highlighted.

Meanwhile, Contoso have been making changes to this document. If Benjamin from Contoso tried to either open his version in Simul, or tried to export Frabrikam Inc’s, Simul would detect the changes and load them into a separate branch.

The two versions can now be merged into a new version containing both Contoso’s and Fabrikam’s changes:

This process can continue indefinitely whenever there is a need to push or pull changes. This allows organizations to leverage their existing document management infrastructure, business processes and gain the benefits of Simul Documents when collaborating with third parties.

Simul will keep track of all associated SharePoint documents like so:

The benefits

Working in the above manner may seem overkill for two users from different companies collaborating. But most documents involve multiple team members from multiple organizations collaborating over a long period of time.

It then becomes exponentially harder to ensure users are always editing the latest version of a document and see exactly what changed along the way.

If you don’t use SharePoint you can manage a document entirely in Simul, either way, it’s free to get started, just install the add-in.

We are planning to integrate with many more document management platforms extending your ability to collaborate with confidence.

Any questions? Contact us for help Contact Us