CMS Watch Finds Sharepoint Ill-Suited For Traditional Web Publishing Scenarios

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11th Edition of "The Web CMS Report" Critically Evaluates Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.

The latest semi-annual release of "The Web CMS Report" takes a close look at Microsoft Office SharePoint Server ("MOSS") 2007 and finds that, whatever its strengths in collaborative document management, the platform remains ill-suited for managing many traditional websites.

The Report was published by CMS Watch (http://www.cmswatch.com), an independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies and strategies for prospective solutions buyers.

MOSS 2007 is the successor to SharePoint Portal Server 2003 as well as Microsoft Content Management Server, Redmond's former Web Content Management product, which has since been sunset by Microsoft.

"SharePoint has always been a good platform for managing Office documents and the new version is even better at that," said CMS Watch founder Tony Byrne, "but managing web content represents a very different challenge, and here, Microsoft has not hit the mark."

Research findings include:

  • Like most portal software, MOSS natively generates non-standard HTML code with extraneous JavaScript and table-based layouts, which is problematic for enterprises wanting to employ standards-based design and code conventions. Licensees must pro-actively strip this extra code from their own websites.
  • By default, MOSS 2007 employs a folder-based navigation structure that must be re-coded or replaced by optional controls for more traditional website navigation schemes.
  • MOSS lacks strong native support for translation workflows, limiting its effectiveness out of the box for multinational web publishing efforts.
  • For public-facing websites, the product lists for USD 41,000 per server, making it one of the most expensive licenses in its mid-market class.
  • On the plus side, MOSS 2007 can be heavily customized and extended using traditional .NET approaches.

"MOSS 2007 might make sense for certain document-heavy Intranets," Byrne added, "but prospective customers should not assume that its ease of deployment for simple file sharing will equate to ease of implementation for managing complex web publishing operations -- for Web Content Management, MOSS is really more of a development platform."

Based on hundreds of interviews with web content management system (CMS) customers worldwide, the 11th Edition of the Web CMS Report includes detailed comparisons of 30 vendors across 18 key feature categories, as well as evaluations of individual product suitability for 12 universal CMS scenarios.

Vendors covered in the Web CMS Report include Microsoft), EMC|Documentum, Interwoven), Vignette, Oracle / Stellent, IBM, Open Text / RedDot, WebSideStory, Day, Mediasurface, Serena, Tridion, CoreMedia, Percussion, FatWire, PaperThin, Ektron, CrownPeak, Alfresco, Typo3, Drupal, and Plone. The Report is available for purchase online from CMS Watch (http://www.cmswatch.com).

The Report is designed to help enterprises make faster and better buying decisions. Like all CMS Watch offerings, The CMS Report does not rank "best" vendors, but instead details the strengths and weaknesses of the various suppliers, identifies their suitability for different use cases, and isolates vendor tendencies that may influence longterm product roadmaps.

About CMS Watch
CMS Watch(tm) (http://www.cmswatch.com) is an analyst firm that provides an independent source of buyer's advice on content management, enterprise search, and enterprise portal technologies. CMS Watch's highly detailed Reports sort out the complex solutions landscape, helping project teams minimize the time and effort to identify and evaluate technologies suited to their particular requirements. To retain its independence as a vendor-neutral analyst firm, CMS Watch works solely for solutions buyers and never for the vendors it covers.

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Kristie Hughes
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