I’m currently seeing a new trend these days, it’s about portals and content management systems going above and beyond their technologies, language and platform to get integration with SharePoint. I have put my views on how Content Management Systems (Fatwire and Immediacy WCMs 6.1) are tending towards integrating with SharePoint. Now, it’s the open source portal which will come up with a similar kind of integration with SharePoint.
Integration with Sharepoint from a non-open source Java based portal is not new. IBM Websphere uses WSRP for communication with Sharepoint, while Sun Portal Server 7.2 integrates with Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 which provides a set of portlets to get deployed over Sun portal.
Latest in this area is about open source portal Liferay 5.2 which is about to get release soon is coming up with a feature to integrate with SharePoint. The Implementation of the SharePoint protocol will allow saving documents to Liferay as if it were a SharePoint server.
Except WCM, most of the customers feel that SharePoint has more “admin” friendly document collaboration features, document categorization, roles based document access and defining document types on the fly. Altogether it provides better DMS capabilities.
As neither Fatwire nor Liferay has their own full fledge document management system. Enterprises with existing SharePoint investments and who are looking for a portal or WCM solutions can look for these connectors/portlets.
Anyways, the thought around these integration approaches is to have “seamless access” to SharePoint’s repositories without leaving the actual Interface of either portal or web CMS.
As far as cost is concerned, I am not sure if the “SharePoint integration” will be a part of Liferay Community Release or if there is any additional commercial involved in its Enterprise Edition. On the other hand Fatwire-SharePoint Integrator costs tens of thousands $$$ for each Sharepoint deployment.
I will constantly look in this area of integration and will provide more information as soon as community version of Liferay is released.