Open-source alternatives to SharePoint for small/medium businesses?
June 15, 2010 11:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an open-source alternative to SharePoint for a small workgroup. The main thing we need is reasonably robust document management/distribution, but other features (workgroup calendaring, etc.) would be useful. We're using a wiki now to distribute docs and we need better metadata, version control, etc. The solution needs to run on Linux (ideally). The obvious candidates seem to be Alfresco Community Edition or Liferay, but I have zero practical experience using or administering either. Thanks in advance, hive mind, for any tips or advice you can offer.
posted by enrevanche to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We've got a test site running Alfresco Community Edition and we're pretty happy with it. In some ways, it's easier to wrap your head around if you think of it as a bunch of projects connected at the core by a strong versioning API. In our environment, we found the IMAP integration nothing but a headache for users and admins. We also found that the standard Alfresco interface wasn't as well received as the Share side. The Share site works really well with the SharePoint tools in Microsoft Office and it's a little easier for our users to wrap their heads around. Make sure you install the vti-module for SharePoint Protocol support.

Administration isn't too bad if you've got a decent background in Java Servers/Tomcat. Almost all of our headaches getting off the ground were related to trying to get a packaged version running and when we gave up on that and went with their linux installer, everything went a lot smoother.
posted by advicepig at 12:16 PM on June 15, 2010

The problem with Alfresco is that it's unfinished in some ways; there are internal server errors in some places and features that haven't been implemented or are problematic, even in the open-source versions. We had to shelve the idea because of that.
posted by SpecialK at 2:04 PM on June 15, 2010

Response by poster: Good intel, y'all. Thank you.
posted by enrevanche at 4:07 PM on June 15, 2010

I suppose it depends on how technical your team is, but have you considered SVN or other revision control systems? Many have a web interface for browsing, and SVN has an autoversioning system via webDAV. Users open webdav folders as network clients and writes generate commits transparently. Just throwing out an alternative random idea in case your not just interested in feature for feature replacements to sharepoint.

For calendaring, I'm currently looking at calDAV via Davical, but it's not exactly a safe ride yet (you can have a good client, or one that supports creating new calendars, it seems).
posted by pwnguin at 7:49 PM on June 15, 2010

Its a bit of an aside I know, and Sharepoint most certainly is not open source, but if you hav ea Windows Server license you can use a cut down version of Sharepoint (Sharepoint Windows Services for free). It has document libraries etc.
posted by digividal at 8:26 PM on June 15, 2010

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