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Alfresco, CenterStage Compete with SharePoint

added by Michael on 2 Aug 2008

Businesses can now download a beta version of Alfresco Labs 3, a Content Management System that makes use of the sharepoint protocol published by Microsoft.

SearchEnterpriseLinux reports:

Alfresco was able to achieve full transparency with Microsoft Office products because of the 2004 European Commission antimonopoly ruling, which forced Microsoft to open its network protocols. Alfresco is the first software company to take the protocol specifications and create a collaborative product that works seamlessly with Office, Newton said.

Alfresco's SharePoint-like collaboration tool is just one of several components in its Alfresco Labs 3 content management software, which also includes a platform for building Web applications, a social computing application and a document library that scales to 100 million documents, compared with a 5-million limit per library with SharePoint, according to Newton. The Labs 3 beta application is available now, with the full release expected in late September or early October.

Alfresco was quick to jump on the opportunity to import Microsoft Office data, because far more Office workers use collaboration tools than content management systems; consequently, the market demand for collaboration tools is growing much faster, Newton said. SharePoint has become "the default [collaborative] solution," he said.

To date, Alfresco's content management software has been downloaded 1.3 million times, with tens of thousands of copies in production, Newton said. In addition, Alfresco has 500 to 600 enterprise customers paying for support, which costs $10,000 per CPU, he said.

"The business model is working really well," Newton said.

Network World reports that the Alfresco Labs 3 beta supports Sharepoint Server 2007 protocols, and that "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."

On the Alfresco website they compare Alfresco EnterpriseEdition to Alfresco Labs.

Information Week reports that "Alfresco isn't the first to take aim at SharePoint.  This July EMC announced CenterStage Essentials, a new collaboration application built on the Documentum 6.5 platform."

They also report that The CenterStage beta program will launch on September 4th, but you can apply for it now.