IBM or Microsoft or more specificaly Lotus Quickr or Microsoft SharePoint? It isn’t easy debate which started probably by Keith followed by Ed, both focused just on licencing part of this question, which I don’t think is completely easy to compare as each product offers something else.
I had the opportunity to play with both of them, coming from the Lotus world and, strangely enough, prefer the Microsoft solution probably more at the moment.
A long time ago I already showed the visual difference between these two. From that time I played with SharePoint a bit more and see several areas which aren’t covered in Quickr and all of them are quite important in my scenarios.
First of all – there are two editions of Quickr (the Domino and WebSphere versions) and at least three editions of SharePoint (Windows SharePoint Services – WSS; Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Standard – MOSS; and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Enterprise – MOSS Ent). These products (the IBM’s one as well) differ in functionality.
In WSS (which is free with Windows Server 2003) you get a bunch of functionality you don’t have in Quickr (at least as far as I know):
- lookup fields to other lists (you are probably able to do it through Lotus Designer or other way, but not inside the product itself)
- connect to business data – select your customer name in document’s metadata. You aren’t able to setup this functionality in WSS itself and have to use other tools for data definition, but after that it works and as user you can use this definition where you want
- metadata editing in Microsoft Office – OK, just in Office (forget about OpenOffice or other tool), but it is really handy for users
- integration with Windows as network place, without the need to install any connector
- Outlook integration with calendars and tasks (really missing this in Quickr) or for offline use (well, not a perfect solution)
Then you have the full version of MOSS, which is paid and offer some additional functionalities:
- ability to index filesystem or MS Exchange for search (or you can use the Microsoft Search Server Express for free if you want to have the same functionality in WSS)
- people’s profiles where they can create their own places and store informations – much more than Fileshare in Quickr
- possible to separate tasks to different machines
- focused as a company solution while WSS is more a team solution (you don’t really need to care about it from beginning probably, it offers some better management functionalities)
- there is probably much more to speak about just have nothing in mind right now as WSS offers a really good base
And after that there is the Enterprise edition, where you have to licence just the client part, and which has some really interesting functionalities:
- business inteligence
- Excel services – you can use Excel file as your calculation service, just provide some fields for users to fill in and calculation is done by Excel (and you can easily change it in Excel and just upload the file back with different formulas
- PowerPoint slides sharing and their automatic updation in presentations – really nice feature at least for those „who we are“ company slides
- complex forms integration, created by InfoPath – looks like forms designed by Lotus Designer integrated into Quickr – are you able to do something like this really easily as a user?
I probably didn’t cover all those functionalities which are there and still has a lot of points Quickr doesn’t have. So, is the price really the most important aspect?
And with all this in mind I’m thinking about ILUG (will be ILUG2009?) and special track about competitor’s products which is good to know – there is probably a bunch of them and we don’t know much about them, just the „truth“ coming from IBM (no flame, please).
Hell, it looks like I’m already Microsoft guy and I even hadn’t any training from them 🙂