IBM Lotus Notes / Domino vs Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server

Ed Brill referred to a test that ZD Australia has done comparing the collaboration platform of IBM and Microsoft. Although it is no longer Lotus Notes vs Microsoft Exchange, it remains a pity that the 2 platforms are not compared and tested to the full extend, but OK we’re making progress.

Ed felt the need to list a number of features for a “head to head” feature comparison. The list he mentions indeed contains some features missing in the current platform. I could reply with another list of features ofcourse. On the other hand everything listed is covered in Office System 2007 and this goes even further … I’ve always said competition is one of the best things for ensuring good solutions for clients. Be sure to check out the Office System 2007; you can download the Beta2 version as of this week …

…For the Lotus faithful, the software platform has not veered far from its roots and sometimes this legacy can mean that new features aren’t as quick to appear as other collaborative platforms. Given the complexity of the Lotus Notes development tools and framework, there also hasn’t been a lot of support from other software vendors for add-ons or integration with the platform.

SharePoint on the other hand is the relatively new kid on the block, and while it doesn’t have the complete feature set that Lotus Notes offers, it does have a leg up in terms of Microsoft Office integration and ease-of-use. Designed from the ground-up for Web-based collaboration, SharePoint sites can be quickly created by team members for sharing documents, calendars, projects, among others.

Microsoft has made this easier by making a number of its templates available to administrators for download. Development of SharePoint portal “parts” is definitely developer territory, but there is tremendous support for SharePoint from software vendors. For example, you may find that your accounting software already has a number of SharePoint Web parts available, allowing you to slot in a Web part to display account balances or customer information.

If you are already use Lotus Notes for e-mail or if you are an IBM shop and can invest the time and money into developing collaborative applications, Lotus Notes/Domino 7.0 is a powerful framework on which to do so. However, if you don’t have the resources dedicated to developing collaborative applications, don’t have complex application or integration requirements or if you are focused on the Microsoft solution stack, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 is going to be hard to beat. …

Read the whole test over on

It is very good to see the conclusion that Microsoft will be quite hard (more stars in the score is better I assume 🙂 )to beat outside the Lotus Notes/Domino installed base and bare in mind Office SharePoint Server 2007 is just around the corner. I am sure you’ve all seen the announcement around the availability of the Beta2 releases of Office System 2007 (so Office and the related Servers and Apps suchs as SharePoint Server 2007, Groove 2007, etc) and also Windows Vista.