Alfresco Supports Microsoft SharePoint's Protocol: Thanks, EU

in OStatic

We've written about Microsoft's pledges to become more interoperable, and I've agreed with other observers that much of Microsoft's motivation for these new moves comes from the trouble it's gotten into with the EU and the Justice Department. As part of complying with the EU's demands, the company has released the specifications for the Microsoft Office interfaces, and now we're seeing some of the benefits spill over into open source. Alfresco, which makes open source enterprise content management (ECM) software, has added SharePoint interoperability to the beta of its Labs 3 offering, downloadable now. Microsoft SharePoint is a browser-based collaboration and document managment platform, and I like it. Here's the upshot.

As a result of its legal problems with the EU, Microsoft was forced to expose key protocols for Microsoft Office. Previously, Microsoft offerings such as SharePoint tended to tie in very tightly with Office, but other platforms couldn't leverage SharePoint's content sharing and collaboration features. This is a shame, because SharePoint is very useful as a shared online document repository for teams--often traveling teams--to collaborate with. It's been used by two of the sales organizations at companies I've worked at, and often saved team members from doing inefficient things like storing multiple copies of the same documents, creating versioning messes, etc.

To be specific, Alfresco Labs 3 now supports SharePoint Protocol. This means that users of Microsoft Office applications and Alfresco can seamlessly use all applications together in many ways, and collaborate, in SharePoint fashion, on on-demand online documents.

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