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I have a friend who advises on and implements IT systems for small companies.

To date he has always used MS, which we all know is expensive. There is an article in this months Linux Format which demonstrates the cost savings that can be achieved by switching to open source.

I am going to suggest that he tries OOo 2 when it comes out next month as I understand it has support for MS Access.

I do not think he is going to be an easy convert!

I would be grateful if people could let me know if the believe that OOo can compete with MS Office and if they know of any other open source alternatives there are out there (I have already sold him on the idea of Firefox!).


OOo has no dedicated Database progam. However, it features a very powerful database system which allows it to connect to any database supported by ODBC.

My college is thinking of switching to OpenOffice, and I am convinced that it is as good (and probably better) than M$ Office.

what ggsinclair is saying is true, OOo will be releasing an access-like program in the next full release that will be compatible with access.

In my opinion, OOo can replace microsoft office almost completly. The only incompatibilities i have found in my experiences has been with some excel formulas that wouldn't translate to OOo very well. However, they were very complex formulas, and I wasn't suprised at all. Other then that, I would suggest that everyone use it. I use it daily.
OOo now has a database in the 2.0 beta. It's still half-baked compared to MS Access but at least we're getting there.

One major niggle is the lack of an import function. There seems to be a sort of workaround where you can connect to a spreadsheet so you could go MS Access -> Excel -> ODS (OO spreadsheet) -> OO Database.

I haven't seriously tried this yet. As far as the rest goes, looks good.
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