Generally the reviews about Sharepoint 2007 have been quite "fair", critics perhaps citing some lack of features vs niche product X which is OK. And we all know it; that Sharepoint is a "platform", suite or even some think of it as an OS, and sometimes there might be the need for external tools or even the need to use-integrate competing products to gain specific capabilities.
Lately I've been seeing a large amount of rants about "Sharepoint Lock -In" from a Matt Asay.
While he seems quite a smart guy, one has to consider following:
- Lock-in will always occur when people/corporations spend lots of money in getting data into one system (be it a mainframe, ERP, a ECM system or even a open source solution (stack) ) to get a certain value (coming from rationalization, alignment internal skills, better integration, best-of-breed or whatever) so that moving away costs even more (whatever the new tecnology platform)
- Integration (typically Microsoft) can be badmouthed at because it creates "lock-in" even if at the same time it can create huge productivity boost, and all the rest of the advantages IT and companies love.
- Even on mainframes, with IBM billing up by the minute, one can use SOA to "free" data to other systems.
- One can argue about "open" software, open data and even open logic (as in corporate knowledge) which should be modelled in tecnology neutral BPEL 2.0 rather than a mere if-then-else statement.
While I under stand his company, with products competing with Sharepoint, doesn't integrate with Microsoft Office (therefore snobbing 90% of potential customer) it isn't Sharepoint fault for facilitating customers while his products don't even make the effort.
He's paid to spin open source and that's ok, but labeling others as "lockin" just because one doesn't have/want some integration to satisfy customers it not OK.
He's a smart guy, and he can do better.