Alfresco vs SharePoint
Last updated: February 24, 2017
Alfresco is a Free enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing webapps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and Activiti workflow. The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology.
SharePoint's multi-purpose platform allows for managing and provisioning of intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling, process/information integration, and third-party developed solutions. SharePoint can also be used as a web application development platform.
Latest news about Alfresco and SharePoint:
24.02.17. SharePoint Framework is generally available. Microsoft has released SharePoint Framework, that allows developers and administrators to build and deploy parts that are used by Office 365 users in their production environments. In practical terms, this means using web technologies to build apps on SharePoint that are agile, responsive and, more to the point, mobile friendly. SharePoint has been used as an application and development platform for a long time. It offers numerous sets of development and customization options. But the release of Framework is a big step in improving the SharePoint developer experience, which has often been characterized as clumsy and difficult.
01.12.16. Alfresco is available as a managed service on AWS. Alfresco, a provider of enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management (BPM) software, has announced the early availability of its platform as a managed service hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). As a result, users will be able to access the platform a single-tenant managed service hosted in an AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Alfresco is also making it easier to simplify cloud deployment for customers managing their own AWS infrastructure.
15.11.16. Microsoft connects SharePoint Team Sites to Office 365 Groups. Microsoft is introducing SharePoint and Office 365 team sites integration - the new feature that allows to create connected SharePoint Online team sites in seconds. Here's how the new integration works. When someone creates an Office 365 Group, the service will automatically create a SharePoint team site (with the appearance controlled by the team site administrator) that can include pages, lists, libraries and team news. SharePoint team sites provide a place where teams can communicate, share documents and work together on projects. They are easy to use and enable users create a site for every project the team is working on. Team sites are accessible on all kinds of devices so can be used by mobile workers too.
06.10.16. Microsoft released SharePoint for Android. Though Microsoft is not actively competing on the mobile OS market already for two years (i.e. not pushing its WindowsPhone), it's still very slow in releasing Android apps. Only now the company is unveiling SharePoint mobile client for Android phones and tablets. The app provides the functionality to work with team sites, documents stored in SharePoint under the main categories of Sites, Links and People. To use the SharePoint app organizations need to have an Office 365 subscription that includes SharePoint Online, with support for SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint 2016 to be added later. Earlier this year Microsoft released SharePoint mobile apps for iOS and WindowsPhone (though the second app is still in preview).
21.06.16. Microsoft brings SharePoint to iOS. Microsoft launched a new mobile app for SharePoint customers aimed at bringing a company’s SharePoint-powered intranet portal and its content to users’ smartphones and tablets. The app is initially available on iOS – meaning it will work on iPhone and iPad – but it will arrive on both Android and Windows platforms before year end, Microsoft says. The app works with either SharePoint Online in Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013 or 2016 in on-premises or hybrid scenarios. It features a Sites tab that lets you visit the SharePoint sites you frequent, so you can see recent activity, files, and access these files, lists, pages, and other content on those destinations. The app also works with other Microsoft mobile apps, the company notes. For example, when you click an Office document in the app, it will launch the corresponding Office mobile app; and when you view a document library on a team site, you’ll be taken to the OneDrive mobile app for iOS.
18.06.16. SharePoint adds new document libraries. Now that SharePoint 2016 is here, Microsoft is slowly releasing SharePoint Document Libraries to its commercial Office 365 subscribers using SharePoint Online. The new document libraries take SharePoint in a more user-friendly direction. They make it easier for users to access documents, edit document metadata and push content to the top of the document library. It's a big deal — which addresses persistent complains about previous editions of SharePoint around the difficulties of use. In the long run-up to the release of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft promised to focus on user experience.
10.02.16. Alfresco integrates its ECM and BPM. Alfresco announced a tight integration between its enterprise content management (ECM) platform, Alfresco One, and its Business Process Management (BPM) platform, Activiti. It's the climax to years of effort to pull the two platforms closer together, and rounds out the functionality of both to manage both business content and processes. Today’s announcement enables Alfresco to compete in Process and Collaboration Management (PCM) market. Alfresco is bringing to that market offers enterprises a broad range of content management and content driven processes. In effect, it combines BPM, ECM and records management, as well as offering integrations with capture and e-signature vendors.
27.05.15. Alfresco enhanced integration of its ECM and BPM systems. Alfresco is enhancing its ECM and BPM platforms — Alfresco One and Activiti — with the release of new modules for analytics and media management and upgraded BPM capabilities. The release of these elements add new functionality to the platforms and pull BPM and ECM closer together. The upgrades build on Alfresco's open source BPM offering, which many enterprises were already incorporating into their apps as a pure BPM engine. Now reborn as an enterprise version, Activiti v1.0 provides integration with Alfresco Share, Alfresco’s collaboration tool. Alfresco also released an Analytics Module, which can sit with any of the Alfresco products. It offers new insights and reporting capabilities on content, process and people-related events.
22.08.14. Alfresco raises $45M to fight with EMC and Microsoft. UK-based Alfresco, an open source, enterprise content management startup, has received Series D funding of $45 million — that is more than twice as big as all of its previous rounds put together. Alfresco competes against legacy services like EMC Documentum and Microsoft SharePoint to help large organisations manage their disparate document storage both in the cloud and on-premises, and also offer versioning control and other compliance requirements across mobile, PC and other devices. Alfresco will use the new funding to step its business up a gear, with new sales and marketing efforts, and moves into more cloud-based services that could see it competing more directly also against the likes of Dropbox, Box and Huddle.
2013. Microsoft's social networks: Yammer vs SharePoint Newsfeed. Last year, when Microsoft acquired Yammer (the service for building enterprise social networks), it already had own the own social network based on SharePoint (now it's called SharePoint Newsfeed). And that's OK, because Microsoft bought Yammer not for the engine, but for the customer base and the image of social vendor. But now, it seems, Microsoft doesn't know what to do with two almost identical solutions. In June, Office 365 users got the opportunity to replace SharePoint Newsfeed to Yammer, and Microsoft continues to insist that Yammer - is its future and that soon Yammer will become the platform for all its business apps. But on the other hand SharePoint Newsfeed also continues to evolve. For example, today SharePoint Newsfeed app for Windows 8 has been launched. And it's very similar to Yammer app for Windows (guess where is what on the screenshots).
2013. Video: How to build company website in Microsoft Office 365. Perhaps for many people it will be a surprise, but Microsoft Office 365 allows to create a public website for your company (thanks to SharePoint Online component). The practice of building websites on SharePoint existed for a long time. But it was quite expensive (due to the cost of SharePoint licenses and Windows hosting). Second, SharePoint was originally designed for intranet portals, and for public sites it's not very appropriate. Therefore, only large companies (for whatever reasons) used SharePoint as a website engine. But with the appearance of Office 365 things changed to better. Having Office 365 subscription, small business owner can create a company website for free. And the only technical skills he needs - is Word editing. Watch the video:
2013. IBM kills Lotus. Microsoft kills SharePoint. Perhaps the two most famous brands in the history of enterprise software, Lotus and SharePoint, will soon disappear. We mean brands, not specific products. Because by renaming their products, vendors try to erase the association with outdated technologies in customer brain. For example, Lotus appeared back in the 80-s years of last century. In 1995 IBM acquired Lotus Development and began selling their products Lotus Notes/Domino. In the following years most IBM collaboration systems moved under the Lotus umbrella. But last year the revolution occurred. The last child of the Lotus family - SaaS suite LotusLive was renamed to SmartCloud for Social Business. And then the name Lotus was removed from other products. The final nail was the recent launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition (without Lotus).
2013. Office 365 for Business: new pricing quest from Microsoft. A month after the release of Office 365 home version, Microsoft is launching the updated version of Office 365 for Business. Just like in its previous incarnation, the business version besides the office editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath) contains the email server Exchange, SharePoint portal and communications system Lync. Plus all sorts of IT-friendly things like Active Directory integration and the Admin Console. And as usual, Microsoft comes up with confusing variety of subscription plans. For example, some editions don't include desktop Office apps and some - include. Some editions can be installed on 5 computers, some - just on one. Some prices are per month, some - per year. And of course, every edition has different limit in the number of users. The price of Office 365 Small Business Premium, which provides the same functionality as Google Apps, is $150/year per user (Google Apps costs $50).
2012. SharePoint 2013 will integrate Yammer, provide platform around the online version. At the SharePoint Conference 2012 Microsoft revealed some new facts about the upcoming SharePoint 2013. But nothing specific has been announced - just few promises. The exact release date is also still unknown. Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Office Division Kris Koenigsbauer promises a launch during the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which falls between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Now about the Yammer. As expected, Microsoft will integrate this social intranet service (acquired in June) into SharePoint. The integration will be done via Yammer Web Parts and Yammer Open Graph. Got it? And soon (Microsoft says) SharePoint will become a system "powered by Yammer". Ok, let's look what is the real sense of integration between SharePoint and Yammer.
2012. SharePoint 2013 will include SkyDrive Pro. Together with Office 2013 Microsoft unveiled the beta version of SharePoint 2013. This is still an early version, and we won't review it so far (in particular, it's still no information about possible integration with Yammer). But one thing is this beta has already attracted great public interest - SkyDrive Pro. We have previously reported that SharePoint is being attacked by the army of file synchronization services called "Dropbox for Enterprise", and that SkyDrive's technology should help SharePoint to overcome these attacks. And so it happens, but as usual, Microsoft has added an element of chaos to this project. Why was it necessary to create a separate service called SkyDrive Pro? Why they just not added simple file sync functionality to SharePoint without inventing new titles? It's even more confusing as SkyDrive Pro won't replace the existing off-line client - SharePoint Workspace, but will be used along with it.
2012. Microsoft buys Yammer to protect SharePoint. Of course, it wasn't a secret that Yammer (the service that invented social intranet) - is a successful startup. But no one could imagine how successful it is. Microsoft is buying Yammer for as much as $1.2 billion. Most likely, it's too big price, but Microsoft has to overpay in order to protect its flagship product - SharePoint. We have already noted that after the rapid start, SharePoint has stopped in development. And lately two threats for SharePoint have appeared. The first threat is called "DropBox for business" - the new class of tools that sync files between computers and mobile devices. And the second threat - are these solutions for building enterprise social networks (Chatter, Yammer, Socialcast, Jive, etc.). For the first threat Microsoft has an answer - SkyDrive, but the social component in SharePoint it very weak.
2012. Don't use SharePoint while walking!. For Microsoft health and safety of the users - is the highest priority. And to prevent people from falling and being injured while working with SharePoint on the go, Microsoft just doesn't release mobile clients for SharePoint (except one for Windows Phone, which is used by very few users). But there are people for whom money means more than user security. Harmon.ie (the company known for its Outlook plug-in, which allows to collaborate on files stored in SharePoint) has released a mobile application for iPhone/iPad that works as a mobile SharePoint app. Now mobile users with smartphones and tablets can collaboratively edit documents stored in SharePoint, comment them, track the history of changes and versions, agree the documents. It's so easy and convenient that people do this even while walking and because of this already 2675 were injured due to falls and other accidents. The sufferers have already created a web site protesting against the new mobile app - www.DontSharepointWhileWalking.com
2012. Microsoft SharePoint adds Firefox and Chrome support. Recently we noted that for a long time there is no news about the progress of the enterprise software superstar - intranet system Microsoft SharePoint. And today the news appeared: SharePoint 2010 finally adds full support for the third-party browsers: Firefox, Chrome, and partial support for Apple Safari. Developers say that the limitations of these browsers didn't allowed to use all the bells and whistles of the SharePoint interface before. Wow! That's a really huge achievement of SharePoint developers. There is still no word about support of mobile platforms (except Windows Phone). But there is a word about social features. Jared Spataro, Microsoft's senior director of SharePoint product management recently said that they were carefully studying the opportunities of social networking technologies for enterprise collaboration and Microsoft's approach will be to increase enterprise social features in SharePoint. Looks like SharePoint is really in crisis.
2012. "Dropbox for Enterprise" will replace SharePoint?. In this case by "Dropbox for Enterprise" we don't mean the business version of Dropbox. The fact is that the expression "Dropbox for Enterprise" has become a new meme. The largest enterprise software vendors want to release a product under the label "Dropbox for Enterprise". That's how they say: "We want to create something like Dropbox for Enterprise" (watch the video). Recall, Dropbox - is the super-popular file syncing and sharing service, which has already attracted 50 million users thanks to its simplicity and multi-platform support. It's business usage is limited due to the strict corporate security standards. But employees still tend to use it bypassing IT admins, and that is why the enterprise vendors are standing in the line to become the Enterprise Dropbox provider.
2011. Alfresco created collaboration system for SMB. Alfresco's content management and collaboration system gained its big popularity thanks to the low pricing and availability of free open-source edition. But still it's pretty complicated solution that doesn't fit small business. But now Alfresco decided to fix this issue and released Alfresco Team which is designed for content collaboration in departments and small companies. It reminds Sharepoint Team Site or Box.net, but more functional and cheap. Users can create sites (workspaces) with different pages - document libraries, calendars, wiki, task lists, blogs, forums. Alfteso Team's functionality includes social tools (comments, ratings, Like buttons), activity streams, web-viewer (which lets you view even videos and audio files), mobile versions for iPhone and iPad, workflow-engine (implemented on Alfresco BPM), document converter (eg doc -> pdf).