Doug Austin: Microsoft’s Fluid Framework is Another Illustration of How Discoverable Data is Evolving

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Extract from Doug Austin’s article “Microsoft’s Fluid Framework is Another Illustration of How Discoverable Data is Evolving”

In the Practical Information Governance: Balancing Risk, Compliance & Innovation session at Legalweek that I covered here, IPRO CEO Dean Brown provided a terrific example of how the evolution of data within the workplace is continuing to create new challenges for information governance and eDiscovery professionals everywhere – the “.fluid” file type created by Microsoft. I hadn’t heard of Microsoft Fluid before and was intrigued, so I decided to gather some information and write about it.

Microsoft Fluid Framework

Microsoft Fluid is a new framework in Office that enhances collaboration between teams, document sharing, and task distribution. This powerful tool is based on blocks of different components such as tables, graphs, or dynamic lists that can be edited by several users in real-time. It was introduced at the Build 2019 developer conference and the following year, Microsoft announced it would be open-sourced and the code for the Fluid Framework was published on GitHub in September 2020.

The Verge called Fluid documents “Google Docs on steroids” and stated: “The tables, graphs, and lists that you typically find in Office documents are transforming into living, collaborative modules that exist outside of traditional documents.” These “Lego blocks” are called “Fluid components”, and they can be edited in real time by anyone in any app. For example, you could create a table without having to switch to multiple apps to get it done, and the table will persist on the web like a Lego block, free for anyone to use and edit.

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