Microsoft Sharepoint is a diverse and many-headed beast, used by businesses big and small (and individuals) for the easy sharing and collaboration of documents, software and general work-based communication.
But given that Sharepoint can cost in the thousands of dollars, you may be put off using it. That’s no problem because here we’ve amassed the best Sharepoint alternatives.
A foundation to a collaborative working environment is a communication platform, and in recent years Slack has risen to become one of the best out there.
The free version of Slack keeps a log of the last 10,000 messages in your team, allows you to create unlimited private and public channels, and share files with your colleagues. (It also has pretty nifty GIF integration.) Admins can track everyone’s login times and IP addresses, so you can make sure that people aren’t, ahem, Slacking off.
It may not function as anything more than a work chat tool, but it fulfills its sole purpose brilliantly.
If you want the luxury package without paying a penny, you should probably try Alfresco. They offer a business-class collaboration product without charging anything. Their free platform allows you to collaborate on a number of different types of documents while also interacting with team members through their miniature social environment.
Added to this, you get the ability to use mobile apps to work on anything from anywhere, with anyone, at any time. Whether you’re on the train, out of town, or taking a quick sip at Starbucks, you’ll always have a way to stay connected with Alfresco’s ingenious interface.
Their full enterprise document management platform will cost you a pretty penny, but their collaboration suite is free. If you’re looking to make some progress in your projects, you should call upon this service.
If you’re looking to make webpages and can’t seem to find anything you can use in the other two solutions, you should consider using Samepage. Their interface allows you to do everything the other two solutions mentioned above can do, except that it’s much more expansive in the types of files you can edit, and it’s more professional.
You’re guaranteed a more powerful experience with this suite, and you get a 10 GB account for free to boot (anything above that would cost you $10 per user per month, with 10 GB additional storage per user). The following is a demo of what the interface looks like.
This product started out as Kerio Workspace, an imitation of Microsoft SharePoint, and then became Samepage, a full-blown cloud collaboration suite that reaches far beyond what other SharePoint imitators could have achieved.
Liferay has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to interact with team members and sync all of your documents with little effort. Liferay is a downloadable desktop app, as opposed to other cloud-based solutions, for those of you who want something a little more tangible. The community edition (CE) of Liferay Social Office is free, but you’ll have to pay for the Enterprise version. Their interface looks something like the following image.
While it doesn’t seem to have a lot of flexibility with the syncing mechanism, there’s a lot to look forward to with the social aspects of this powerful application. Give it a shot and see if you like it.
5. Nuxeo Open-Source CMS
If you’re looking to get your hands on an open-source CMS, look no further than Nuxeo. This collaborative content management platform provides you with all the essentials you need to build a content-centric project. The interface and setup may be rather challenging, but once you get used to it, you can cut a lot of time off of your projects. Here’s a peek at its interface.
You’ll probably notice from the get-go that it lacks any social interface. If you don’t mind this and have another way to communicate with your collaborators, this shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. The advantage you get with Nuxeo above all other collaboration platforms is control.
You can control many more aspects of your project as it unfolds and categorize tasks in an organized manner without having to use commercial software. Best of all, Nuxeo works on multiple platforms as a desktop application.
Got Anything Else?
We’re always happy to hear from readers who have tried other software and have found successful SharePoint alternatives. If you think you’ve found something better than what was listed here, please comment about it below!
This post was first published in March 2013 and was updated in April 2018.
Image credit: Collaboration byNick Young, Alpha Stock Images