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Open Source Sharepoint Alternatives – Remote Collaboration

7 June 2007 10 Comments

I originally titled this article “Open Source Collaboration – Stumbling upon Open Source Gems” but I know that I have been searching around using the current title’s keywords, so I thought it would be worthy to use it.

I’ve been in discussion with David Lee from Open Source Green Vehicle about using MediaWiki as the beginnings of a Product Data Management and collaboration platform. You can read David’s article here about the subject. I have been looking for a collaboration platform for myself also. The difference between the two is David wants the OSGV one to be mostly open from the web, whilst I want mine mostly private.

Currently, they are using WordPress as the main site, phpbb for the forums and with the addition of the MediaWiki, we were talking about migrating to BBpress for the forums and having a single-sign on for all of them. I came across a few other people doing or trying to do the same thing here, here and somewhere else for integrating wordpress, bbpress and MediaWiki.

Anyway, I came across Sandro Groganz’s blog “The Art of being Open” who had the same issue and saw this article “How to Blog Successfully” which I bookmarked for later reading.

I then read an article Sandro had written about SAAS and Open Source and his company Mindquarry. I decided to take a peek at what Mindquarry does – It’s exactly what I have been looking for over the last few weeeks. A Web2.0 Collaboration platform with a Java desktop client for synchronizing tasks and documents but additionally, it has a built-in wiki platform. I just played around with the Demo and it’s very, very cool – especially the timeline and versioning of the wiki.

I have been using ifolder for almost 2 years for remote file synchronization but they just can’t release a decent stable build that ‘just works’. I have fought and fought to get the client to install in both Windows and Linux environments and I have frankly, just given up. Trying to install the Linux client is a night long episode each time.

So, I was recently searching out alternatives and came across O3Spaces and PengYou and I was tossing up between them. Frankly, I am really not a fan of Java based applications but both of them and Mindquarry are built on Java, so it looks like I am forced down that path.

Mindquarry and O3Spaces offer Vmware images, which I would consider using to replace my Ifolder setup although I don’t fancy transplanting all my development websites, databases and mailserver.

So, has anyone used any of the above and can give any feedback on them? PengYou and Mindquarry are both open source whilst O3Spaces are said to be releasing an open source version very shortly.

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10 Comments »

  • Keith Miller said:

    Have you reviewed Plone/Zope usage

  • ReaderX said:

    Thanks for the pointers. Mindquarry was the best thing listed here. I’m sad to see their investors backed out, but the open source version is still being developed which is excellent.

    Regarding Plone/Zope, it’s an incredibly difficult platform to develop in comparison. Things like Mindquarry “just work” “out of the box” and that’s a tremendous difference.

  • Joe Pringle said:

    Although we are biased, you might also check out ProjectSpaces which is a LAMP application and is a simple to use online workspace tool, our customers find it to be very intuitive and easy for their users to understand quickly. ProjectSpaces doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of the other tools, but it does the basics extremely well in an intuitive way. It is not perfect for every group, especially those that need lots of tools such as time trackers and databases, but it does very well for groups to just need a simple tool for sharing

    Check us out at http://www.ProjectSpaces.com

  • sepp said:

    ok, and what is the open source part on projectSpaces ?

    Cost / Month
    $39 $79 $129 $199 $299 $499

  • Kyle Keller said:

    Hi Sepp, you can host ProjectSpaces on your own servers instead of choosing our online hosted version which is what the prices you listed pertain to. Hosting yourself gives you full access to the codebase to create any customizations you would like. Feel free to send us an email for more details sales@projectspaces.com

  • Sandor Kiss said:

    If you are interested in .Net, you may check out Sense/Net 6.0. It’s in Beta 1 and the collaboration features are under heavy development, but you can get the gist by reading the docs or installing the demo.
    The goal is to develop a .Net based open source ECMS and EPS , to simply put: a MOSS 2007 alternative.

  • Nilima said:

    Also check out cyn.in cyn.in is an Open Source collaboration Software. it has wiki, blogs, files, link directory, media repository to handle content management part with version management and Search and facilitates smooth collaboration on each type of content by comments, discussions, notifications and workflows.

  • John said:

    On http://www.sharepointalternative.org you can find a comparison between the named O3Spaces and Sharepoint. Maybe interesting?

  • Len said:

    @John
    Where can I get the code from for O3Spaces? I don’t want to run a hosted service. Couldn’t find any download for the “open-source” stuff.

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