Star Office / Open Office - What's the Difference?

  Pesala 20:36 14 Jul 03

These programs seems to be practically identical except that Open Office is free, but Star office is normally about £50. Whilst that is not a lot for a comprehensive Office Suite, it is a lot just for an installation CD.

If I am looking for updates, patches do I go to Star Office Support click here or Open click here

I understand that the new Open Office beta has a macro-recording function that might be useful to me. If I scrap Star Office and install Open Office again, what will I be losing if anything?

  Gaz 25 21:34 14 Jul 03

Up to you, Open office is open coding so anyone can edit the software.

But there is minor diffrances.

  Webmaster 22:59 14 Jul 03

When Sun launched Star Office, corporations did not want to use it since little technical support for it was offered. However, Sun soon realised that in order to compete with larger Office suits they had to offer support to these large businesses.

Therefore they made StarOffice commercial and 'turned' the old StarOffice into OpenOffice with the same little technical support and for those who wish still to download the superb free Office. Star Office, on the other hand, now comes with complete support and is now attractive to large corporations with many PCs and with Network Managers who might need to ring up Sun Microsystems every so often. :-)

  woodchip 23:04 14 Jul 03

Open office is the program that's free created realy for linux

  Pesala 23:12 14 Jul 03

Star Office has the Adabas database. Is that found in Open Office too? Are both programs using the same code? From what Gaz says they are not; or is that just a matter of license restrictions. If improvements are made in Open Office will they be incorporated in Star Office and vice versa? Is all this development work still done by Open Source developers?

  rawknroll 02:21 15 Jul 03

OOo dont have a database component in either windoze or linux flavours, but does offer dual booters a nice way to use the same files on each system :p. All the devwork on OOo is open source and, as far as i am aware is a seperate "Fork" from SO, but as the work is GPL'ed, theres nothing to stop sun using it in future.

  Taran 03:08 15 Jul 03

Open Office shares, at its heart, the same overall underlying architecture as StarOffice.

StarOffice is, in fact, a more highly developed and feature rich version of the same product, although it might not be obvious when comparing the two side by side.

Both suites used to be free and you can still find the last free release of StarOffice available for download on the web.

The release of version 6 of StarOffice is when you had to start paying for it and it's worth every penny of the asking price in my opinion.

Imagine (very roughly) a Microsoft Works/Microsoft Office kind of scenario.

MS Works does a lot of good things and can cope with the demands of the majority of home users. MS Office does far, far more and has become a standard, being adopted by most businesses, academic institutions and domestic users.

Now to go back to Open Office v StarOffice, imagine a similar scene. Open Office is a decent suite that can adequately meet the needs of many people. If you need more features at a modest cost, StarOffice offers a lot more bells and whistles, including the excellent ADABAS database application.

ADABAS is not a native part of StarOffice but is provided as a third party addition to compliment the suite and it works beautifully. It is capable of mission critical database applications, although the version that ships with StarOffice is aimed more at the small business user or advanced home user with specific (and arguably quite outlandish) requirements. Don't underestimate it; it takes some getting used to but you can hook into Access, MySQL and other heavyweight database programs or use it as a highly effective, fully programmable standalone application. I've been playing with it ever since the PC Advisor StarOffice evaluation project and I am very, very impressed with its potential and overall usability - especially when keeping in mind the total cost of StarOffice 6.

Open and Star may share much under the skin, but they have evolved into completely different beasts.

To my knowledge, StarOffice was never turned into an Open Office freeware suite on the basis of poor support. I am happy to be corrected on that point, but they were both (and Open Office still is) long-time open source cross platform projects and we can sit back and enjoy the fruits of a lot of good programmers time and efforts for little or no cost.

So, Open and Star Office share a lot of underlying code, but Star has been far more highly developed and will continue to be in the future. Any suite that Sun expects people to pay for will be heavily worked on for obvious reasons and if Open Office has some useful new improvements I'd imagine a 'service pack' type of update for StarOffice or even a dot release of version 6 will be imminent to allow its users similar features.

The StarOffice 6.1 beta version incidentally, has the ability to record keyboard macros for commonly repeated tasks. Who knows what the final dot release will bring, or those future releases that are just around the corner ?



  Pesala 03:43 15 Jul 03

Where can I download that from?

I looked at the Open Office beta, but since it is a big download, and Star Office seems to be better, I shall wait for the 6.1 official release or maybe try the beta if it is easily available.

Thanks for all the replies, especially Taran's. I'm beginning to like Star Office. I've never like Word very much, and have given up on WordPerfect since it cannot handle Unicode properly. I doubt if I shall ever get to use Adabas, nor Impress. I might even be happy with WordPad if it had paragraph styles, a spell-checker, and a customisable keyboard.

  Taran 04:04 15 Jul 03

click here for StarOffice 6.1, the second refresh beta release.

I don't recommend installing ANY beta software unless you have a very healthy full system backup routine in operation.

Good luck if you decide to go for it, but I'd wait for its final release and read the reviews before dabbling if I was you.

Best regards


  Webmaster 11:49 15 Jul 03

Ya, the support issue was key in the evolvement of StarOffice. Otherwise the software was not as attractive as those packages that had good support, offered by such companies as Micro soft for example with their Office suite. You've taken the right route, Pesala, in choosing a Sun Microsystems package. Good luck with it and if you require any further help just post on here! :-)

  Pesala 21:59 18 Jul 03

I've just been doing some editing of my website code with Star Office. I use Net Objects Fusion to generate the site, but it is an old version and doesn't support Unicode. I decided to try with Star Office, not really expecting it to work.

It worked like a dream. I opened the main text frame (my site has left and header frames), searched and replaced „ for ā, etc., and saved the file. In Star Office the file looks exactly the same as my webpage complete with animated gifs, and no obvious problems that I can spot yet. click here. I guess that Open Office would cope just as well.

Nice One. (~_~) I look forward to doing a lot more HTML editing in Star Office.

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