Google Sites takes on Sharepoint (Seriously)
September 28, 2009 | Author: Adam Levine
As was promised by Data Liberation Front, Google opens access to the data stored inside its intranet-service Google Sites. It's implemented in a form of Google Sites API. So, from now, users shouldn't worry that they can't backup or import their data in a suitable format. But "data liberation" is not the main reason why Google Sites API was created. It's rather a necessary move to survive. Because Google is developing all these business tools not to make money, but to compete with Microsoft and to draw its attention from the search/advertising market. And if Google Sites doesn't rival its antipode - Sharepoint, it has a chance to be dismissed.
Meanwhile, nobody seriously thought about Google Sites, as of Sharepoint alternative. And to a large extent, because it was a separate closed service that can't communicate with other business applications and data sources. The companies that considered to implement Google Sites as an intranet solution even had no opportunity to import their existing content. Besides a business-ready intranet system should be able to display data from different business apps, so that users could access them over the Internet. Everything that Google Sites could help in this respect - was the limited number Google Gadgets that can be embedded into site pages.
That's why Google Sites API appeared. It allows to automate all the manual operations - add and edit pages, upload and download files, import/export content, log all actions in the system (including the revision history). And most important - it allows to create custom gadgets and automate publishing data from the external sources. For example, a company can update "leads list" page from the CRM software, so that salespersons, working on the road could access it over the Internet.
It's interesting that the first tool, using Google Apps API is Sharepoint export utility, allowing to move data from Sharepoint to Google Sites.
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