EPiServer CMS or SharePoint?
I’ve been consulted by clients as they stand before the crossroads of investing in a new platform for intranet and/or website: EPiServer CMS or SharePoint server? Which path to take?
The answer is just as simple as it is frustrating: it all depends on what you need!
Comparing EPiServer CMS and SharePoint server is like comparing cats and dogs. They share a few common features but still they are worlds apart!
SharePoint in its corner is a giant. Just by installing SharePoint the client receives a phenomenal support for document management, collaboration portals for project management, workflow support, etc. SharePoint server integrates fully with other Microsoft Office products. Enterprise search is standard. I could continue forever with features that are shipped as standard with a SharePoint installation. SharePoint, in theory, does not require any development. Instead installation and minimal configuration is all that is required.
A rule of thumb is not to make drastic changes of SharePoint’s layout unless you’re willing to spend a’lot of time and effort into getting it absolutely right. Due to the fact that there are so many features shipped out-of-the-box with SharePoint it’s unavoidable that certain guidelines need to be followed.
Instead of being a fully customizable product, SharePoint takes aim at collaboration between users and integrating with other Microsoft Office products through a feature packed platform that is almost ready to go from day one. This makes it an ideal part for an intranet solution.
This is how SharePoint could look after installation and minimal configuration.
EPiServer CMS is more modest. It does include a few standard templates – though they are not suitable for production. Time and effort must be invested in design and development. Only then an actual website or intranet can emerge from EPiServer CMS.
What is included in EPiServer CMS, however, is the editor for managing content. This is where EPiServer shines.
With EPiServer the client receives a custom product, fitted to their requirements perfectly with focus on content structure and website design. There’s a fantastic support for managing content in different languages which makes EPiServer ideal for corporate websites. While EPiServer supports workflows and workrooms, I dare to stick my neck out and say that SharePoint does this much better.
EPiServer does not include the feature rich package that you receive with SharePoint which is like a double-edged sword: you lose out-of-the-box functionality, but it enables developers to tailor the web platform to follow your requirements to the letter. It should be noted, though, that EPiServer has full support for integrating with SharePoint through a connector.
Combine the two!
But why pit them against one another? Use them both! Let EPiServer CMS manage the content. SharePoint swoops in and takes care of document management, collaboration sites and enterprise search. By utilizing the strengths of each product they can overcome their respective flaws and create an unbeatable solution for a website or intranet!
EPiServer even has support for integration with SharePoint with a connector. Visit the EPiServer website to find out more here!
EPiServer CMS and SharePoint should not be seen as competitors. Instead view them as two products that enables a solution that delivers high quality in multiple areas.
A version of the same post in Swedish is available here!