Sharepoint versus open source solutions in times of crisis

Ok, this is an old discussion but in the financial crisis environment , many organizations are trying to get rid of licencing and opt for free or much cheaper solutions.

So this lead us to the main question, is sharepoint a solution in this context, or will it suffer because of it’s cost?

Lets be clear, Sharepoint is not a cheap solution! even though you opt for the Sharepoint Foundation version, you still need a licensed Windows Operating System and a SQL Server (ok, here you can go with the SQL Express, but it is limited in capability and cannot be clustered). On the other side there are several other CMS solutions that are not licensed or have non licensed versions (Community).

So What should my organization choose?


My answer is depends . . . ok, this is the easiest answer but the most honest one, why? because there are no two similar cases between two different organizations, and while some will get their objective with an open source solution, others will be very limited on their capability of work and evolution.

With more than 10 years implementing CMS solutions one thing I have witness is that free versions normally have a catch (not all!!! but most), the Community versions give you basic functionality and capability, but when you need more complex approaches usually you have to go with the Enterprise versions, and those are licensed. This also happens with Sharepoint, if you go with the Foundation version you will have a basic amount of functionality and capability, but if you want to go online in internet or the have more complex solutions you will need standard or enterprise versions.

So do I believe Sharepoint is a real solution in this times of crisis, hell yeah!

Sharepoint gives you something that most platforms don’t, it was built for a number of porpuses and it works! you can say that you have a lot of problems implementing Sharepoint solutions, believe I have seen a lot of them, and because I have I know what I am talking about.

I have implemented CMS solutions with Liferay, Joomla, Sitefinity and other CMS as well as a lot of Sharepoint (Sharepointing since 2004), and I can honestly say that when comparing the various products with Sharepoint there seems something missing, either in the implementation of on the functionality / capability part.

Once again, I am not a Sharepoint only Purist, I can recognize that there are other CMS solutions better depending on the purpose o f the implementation. Sharepoint is not a tool for everything, but as far as I know is THE TOOL for some specific scenarios.


This is a very long post, but the objective is to question the future and utility of the Sharepoint Platform nowadays and in the near future. I believe Microsoft will have to adjust their licensing program, to enable Sharepoint, and other products to continue to be chosen. And I do still believe Sharepoint still have no direct match for all it’s range, but the evolution will show if the competition will keep up and catch up or even became better.


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