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Managing Social Files: IBM Connections vs Microsoft SharePoint 2010

I came across a new new YouTube video titled IBM Connections vs. Microsoft SharePoint: Social Personal File Management posted by Brandon Seppa on June 21, 2011.  This video is clearly an IBM produced video that touts the file handling features of IBM Connections vs Microsoft SharePoint 2010. The video is 31 minutes long and covers only the “Files” features of Connections versus the “Files” capabilities in SharePoint 2010.   The video does go into great detail about each product’s capabilities.

SharePoint 2010 has gained ground in the market in large part due to its reputation for file handling capabilities, while most observers see that SharePoint still lacks good social capabilities.  IBM Connections is trying to gain market share in the social marketplace so it has rich social features along with good file handling capabilities.

YouTube Page

Here are some major differences that I found while viewing the video:

  • File duplication – when adding files to a folder, Connections maintains one copy of the file and simply shares the meta data.  This allows files to be updated across all social contexts or folders without creating duplicate copies of the file.  With SharePoint 2010, this same action makes physical copies of the file, you lose the “shared file” concept, and all the social context (tags, notes) are lost.
  • File sharing – Connections tracks how and when a file is shared between people.  As a file is shared, Connections will keep track of the extended network of sharing to see exactly who has the file across the whole enterprise.  SharePoint does not track sharing of documents in the file’s properties view.
  • Personal vs shared documents – SharePoint maintains two libraries on your My Site – a personal library and a shared library.  Sharing files consists of emailing links, changing permissions of the file, or moving documents from the personal library to the shared library.  Connections maintains one library and controls sharing through a concrete “sharing” paradigm.
  • Global view of shared documents – SharePoint does not have an aggregated view of all my shared files.  Instead, I must navigate to each site to see my files.  Connections has such a view where you can see all the files you own and share in one place.
  • Tagging – Connections includes the ability to tag files and other users will find your public files using the tag (via the tag cloud or search).  SharePoint also lets you tag files, however those tags are not visible to others.

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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