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We're looking for a sharepoint replacement.

We're looking for an open source application that runs on apache2. It should basically be a document store with comments. Integration with AD to administer permissions. We've been looking for a few days, but the google fu of multiple people have failed.

We've tried Alfresco, but it runs very slowly for us (tomcat).
We're looking into django-cms but it seems like the wrong sort of thing (built for something different)

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Good luck. Like exxchange server Sharepoint is not having a lot of open source alternatives (possibly: not any at all). Happens with real enterprise software. – TomTom Jul 22 '10 at 5:22
Yeah - good question. Given you have fairly tight specification above, you will probably find something that meets your needs. Sharepoint is a product to meet the needs of many people without being perfect for all of them. Something simpler will most likely be a better fit. – dunxd Jul 22 '10 at 11:55

Zimbra does much more than just sharing documents so it's probably over sized but I think you should take a look to it nevertheless, just in case you don't find anything that fits better.

At the last CeBIT I spent some minute with a guy from a small german company who said they will soon release a new opensource web based platform for secure large file sharing. It is called FTAPI and looked quite interesting. As far as I know it isn't in the wild yet but you could keep an eye on it.


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Zimbra is pretty neat looking, one of our IT guys has some experience with it. For a brand new company it looks stellar, however for our needs (the focus on existing word/excel documents) it seems to be the wrong fit. Thanks for your suggestion! – duallain Jul 22 '10 at 15:51

I've long been thinking of using something like Subversion with TortoiseSVN as the client for document management.

Provides version control with commenting, through an Explorer interface.

Doesn't quite fit as a centralised document management, as the model involves each client downloading all the documents they would work on to their machine, then checking in from there (Sharepoint works in a similar way, but on a file level rather than repo/folder level - hidden from the user by using temp folders). Handling for binaries like Word Docs wouldn't be great, but then again, Sharepoint doesn't do anything special here either.

Simple, well tested, but not quite there. Seems like a great opportunity for development though.

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This sounds like it would be a pretty good solution for our IT department, or our more technical users. How would the commenting work? Pull the file, add comments to the commit? TortoiseSVN is also just for windows, which we're trying to get away from. It's certainly a clever idea, but I'd reject it. It's certainly something to keep in mind, if all else fails we can pick a CVS and find a good explorer/frontend and go from there. – duallain Jul 22 '10 at 14:48
Sounds like exactly a total no to me. Sharepoint is not about dumping "stupid" files into a version control, it does - even free versions - a LOT more. Tables, workflows, nice UI allowing search etc. I use it in our company, and no - I could NOT replace a dynamic portal with a static "stupid" version control (which I use, too - but not for that part). – TomTom Jul 22 '10 at 22:03
Well, very few things out there will be a total replacement for Sharepoint as it is a bundle of lots of features. But if you only need a subset of those features, then Sharepoint may prove to be more trouble (and expense) than it is worth, compared to simpler, more focussed, alternatives. – dunxd Jul 23 '10 at 7:52

Take a look at Owl. There's a live demo on the site, but you're probably best downloading it and having a play on your own. It was a pretty horrible user interface the last time I tried it, but that might have improved and you may be ok with it. Besides, any software will want user training to get the most out of it anyway.

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We're going to install this and give it a go. The one thing we're concerned about is controlling access with the AD/LDAP authentication, we'll give it a go and see if it works. – duallain Jul 22 '10 at 15:52

" It should basically be a document store with comments."

You should not have any problem finding an open-source project that offers such service. Search for "Document Management System" at or at There are multiple projects listed there - one that comes to my mind (and which one I have used before) is OpenDocMan.

"Integration with AD to administer permissions"

This requirement may be more difficult to satisfy. You may want to look at WordPress. There is an AD plug-in for WordPress. It may be possible to create in WordPress something similar to a document store.

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I would think WP would be a terrible document store. Something like MediaWiki would at least provide document versioning and Talk pages. – jscott Jul 22 '10 at 11:50

Surprised no one mentioned Knowledge Tree yet (

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