foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world

An open source clone of Microsoft SharePoint - with more capabilities

, posted: 1-Aug-2008 13:45

Alfresco has just announced release of Alfresco Labs 3. That's a complete, open source replacement of Microsoft's SharePoint. It's fully compatible, since all protocols that govern communication between Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server are implemented.
"You can now stand up an Alfresco Labs server next to a SharePoint Server, and Office will not be able to tell the difference between the two," said John Newton, CTO of Alfresco.
Apparently, it is able to store more documents as well:
The Labs 3 document library scales to more than 100 million documents, while Microsoft recommends no more than five million in SharePoint.
Given that it's open source the risk of lock-in is greatly reduced and you have a chance to use it without having to buy any licenses. Looks like a good deal to me...

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Comment by barf, on 1-Aug-2008 14:46

Knowing how much MOSS costs, it would only be a strictly homogenous-environment (ie; foot-shooting) IT department that would choose MOSS over Alfresco!

Comment by KevDaly, on 1-Aug-2008 17:06

There are any number of applications that could be written that would implement all protocols governing communication between Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server.
It is not obvious that such an application can by virtue of that fact alone be described as "fully compatible" with SharePoint, at least in any meaningful sense.

Author's note by foobar, on 2-Aug-2008 04:52

@KevDaly: I think it is Alfresco's aim and claim that they can offer all that SharePoint offers, but in an open environment. Their goal is to compete against SharePoint, and they now claim that Office wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two anymore.

I think that's what's being meant by "compatible":

 * Can do all that SharePoint can do.
 * A client can't tell the difference.

Comment by ChanK, on 11-Aug-2008 01:39

Just my 2 cents on the whole "Open Source" is better than "M$$$$$$"
End of the day each has it's own merits and downfalls and Technology will never be able to solve any of the issues that Alfresco or SharePoint claims that they can provide solutions to.

If you take each one of the six areas that SharePoint claims to address in an organisation what most people always miss out is that they will never ever be able to use one technology as the be all and end all for everything. So Alfresco claiming that it can do everything SharePoint does not carry any merit what so ever. And seriously what is Alfresco claiming it's going to solve? End of the day it's another Technology claim.

Just claiming that Alfresco is better than SharePoint is like saying Solaris is better than Windows.

have a read of this article and hopefully you'll understand that technology is really not the point when it comes to SharePoint or whatever projects.


Author's note by foobar, on 11-Aug-2008 09:45

@ChanK: As I already said in my response to your identical posting in the SharePoint forum: Yes, you raise very good points. I absolutely agree: A technology solution alone does not a successful project make.

My point was: There is a whole forum here dedicated to that technology solution (SharePoint), so I thought that I point out the presence of an open-source alternative, which claims to be able to match SharePoint - purely technically - feature for feature, and even be able to do more in some respects. That's where the "better" part came from. I would then also claim that with all else being equal, open source is always preferrable. See here for why that is the case.

Of course, as you rightly point out, no technical merit of a product guarantees the success of the overall project.

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New Zealand

  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
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