I have been a user of Microsoft Sharepoint for over 2 years +. From Sharepoint version 2003 to the latest Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, I noticed some major improvements and enhancements were made to the product.
Recently I have been toying around with many open source solutions namely OrangeHRM, Achievo, TaskFreak, SugarCRM just to check out the capabilities of each of these solutions. Some were even implemented in our office environment and so far we find these solutions to be really useful applications which helps us out in many way.
Lately there was a requirement by my boss for me to create a simple web based list of suggestions which can be added by everyone in the office. Basically we just wanted to track some suggestions for our organization’s improvement program. Initially I thought of just using MediaWiki, but the problem with that is it’s just a single page which could easily be edited and messed up by others. Also, training all the staffs to use MediaWiki can be quite a tedious process. What I needed was the ability for them to just click on the Add button, fill in their suggestions, click Save and the record goes right in.
Because of this simple requirement I have been searching for a solution which can help us keep track of a few records yet making the information transparent for all to see, monitor and track. Then I thought of Microsoft Sharepoint with its ability to create Sharepoint lists. The creation process is really easy. An administrator or someone with rights just needs to define all the necessary fields and create the list in within 10 minutes. Once created, all users can begin adding in their suggestions.
So far, I am not able to find an open source alternative to the Sharepoint List feature. This is why I think the Sharepoint list is Sharepoint’s best feature as it’s not easily available elsewhere. For other Sharepoint features such as task list or even the survey feature, I can easily substitute these features with TaskFreak or LimeSurvey respectively. But the Sharepoint List feature is a capability I really miss. Unless anyone out there has an open source solution which allows us to easily create a list of records, I would say that by far Sharepoint list rocks and is definitely one reason why many organizations are using Microsoft Sharepoint as their Intranet portal.