SharePoint versus DocuShare

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Jerry F, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Jerry F

    Jerry F Guest

    I would like compare SharePoint to DocuShare. The company I just joined has
    been sold on the idea of DocuShare, but we already own Small Business Server
    2003 and SQL Server and Sharepoint. I would like to explore the idea of
    using SharePoint instead of DocuShare.
    Jerry F, Jul 15, 2005
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  2. There's an SBS MVP who has used DocuShare, and might be able to share his
    experience and/or comparison. I'll let him know you're asking.
    Kevin Weilbacher, Jul 15, 2005
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  3. Jerry F

    Jerry F Guest


    Jerry F, Jul 15, 2005
  4. Hi Jerry - We have a DocuShare 3 installation with about 2800 Collections
    (like directories - collections contain documents, calendars, or whatever)
    and 70,000 documents. We've been using DocuShare for about 5 years.

    Unfortunately, because we started out with DS before SharePoint existed,
    most of my experience is with that. I have not used SharePoint much, but
    more importantly, I don't have any experience with a SharePoint installation
    that compares in size to our DocuShare install.

    Several things come to mind on this topic, and I'll give them to you in no
    particular order:

    - DocuShare is kind of expensive, and IMO you should have it on an annual
    support contract with Xerox. The cost depends on license quantity and
    features. A rough guess is that you'd be looking in the low 5 figures for
    the software, plus a few thousand per year in support. You should be able
    to easily get a quote for exact figures.

    - DocuShare paid support is truly excellent, but there is no peer support I
    am aware of at all. That said, if you're on a contract with Xerox, you can
    just as easily call them for support anyway. There is no 24x7 support, it's
    weekdays until 7 eastern (I think).

    - We run DocuShare on its own hardware, and it's pretty beefy hardware
    (Xeon, 2 GB ram, hardware raid). Unless you're planning a pretty low volume
    installation, DocuShare will not be happy sharing hardware, particularly
    with SBS. I used to run it on a low-volume file and print server along with
    the accounting software and a few other small apps, but since version 3, the
    hardware requirements are higher and I'm happier with it on its own box.

    - It's my impression that DS is simpler for users to learn right out of the
    box than SharePoint, both for users and admins. Xerox designed it to be
    self-teaching, so that a new user could just go to the home page and get
    instructions, configure her own account, add content - just start working
    with no training. Of course you can tighten up the security much more than
    that if you wish.

    - SharePoint appears to have much more granular control over security. For
    example, DS has a group called "content managers" who can work with other
    people's documents (delete, undelete, etc.). Content managers can not be
    blocked from viewing anything in DS. So by making someone a content manager
    to save you those minor admin duties, you lose your ability to keep selected
    content private from that person.

    - With SharePoint, depending on your abilities you can change the appearance
    with built in features, frontpage, etc. With DocuShare, pages are created
    on the fly using XML-based templates. So you need to know XML if you want
    to change how things display from the defaults. I'm working with 3rd party
    consultants to customize templates for my upgrade to DS 4, something I'd be
    doing in-house if it were SharePoint.

    I wish I knew more about SharePoint so I could give you a better comparison.
    However, what I would strongly urge you to do is either go to the DocuShare
    web site and sign up for a demo account on Xerox's server, or download and
    install the trial version. The demo account idea is simpler - they'll give
    you a username and password for one collection that you can play with as
    much as you wish.

    The trial version is supposed to be installed on a server. When version 3
    came out, I installed it on my XP desktop with a 3ghz P4 and 512 MB ram. It
    was really slow, and it's unsupported on a workstation (Xerox was amazed it
    even worked). I had to install IIS for it too. Point being, if you want to
    try it without doing a server install, you could give it a try on your
    desktop. They may have put in a block for XP since I did my tests, but it's
    worth a try if you don't have a server available.

    You'll have to sign up for either the trial or the demo, but in my
    experience, they're not going to start torturing you with sales calls so
    that's nothing to worry about.
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Jul 15, 2005
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