1 reason to choose Alfresco vs Quickr for document management : scalability

January 26, 2011

More and more people are asking me the same questions about IBM Quickr vs Alfresco Document Management solution.

Basically:
– what are the main technical and/or functional differences between Quickr and Alfresco ?
– When should I use Quickr, when is Alfresco more appropriate ?
– What is the best solution for document management ?
– etc.

I have already published a few blog post about this topic (see list below), but to summarize:
– Alfresco is a Document Management system, Quickr is not.
– Alfresco is a scalable solution, Quickr is not.

OK…let me give you more details 🙂

– Alfresco is designed as a highly scalable document repository, and can store huge volume of documents, Quickr cannot.
– Alfresco has a very light and robust software infrastructure, which allow to support a lots of concurrent users. Quickr is much more limited.
– From the hardware point of view, Alfresco can run on a very small server, with a few CPU/RAM resources. Quickr relies on a portal application architecture, so it is a quite heavy solution.
– Quickr is primarily a collaboration tool, Alfresco (now with Alfresco Share) also offers collaboration capabilities.

As you can see reasons seem more technical than functional, and that’s true.

If you study the respective DM features of each product, a high level functional analysis might show that these 2 solutions seem to offer the “same” level of service (versioning, security management, checkIn-Out, tagging, etc).

OK, but what if your end-users request (in the middle/long term) more advanced features like workflows/BPM, automated rules, archiving, etc…Then Alfresco will be more adapted.

If you are already using Quickr for document management/collaboration, for a limited number of users, and with a *very* small volume of data (50 GB, 100 GB ?), then you might think that switching to Alfresco does not make sense (due to cost of migration) in the short term…

OK, but I’m almost sure that your volume of document is growing quickly each day…right ?
(Even if it is not the case, just from the infrastructure cost perspective, you should consider Alfresco to reduce your hardware budget…).

So one of the main reason to choose Alfresco is its capacity to manage a huge volume of documents.
Scalability is the key argument. Be sure that, whatever the DM system you will implement in your company, people will very quickly adopt it (just because so far they had no other place to store their data), and the number of documents in your repository will grow faster and faster. Not only documents, but also images, videos, blogs, wiki, etc.
So sooner or later (but most likely sooner that you would expect), you will have to deal with hundreds of gigabyte of data or terabyte of data…and this is clearly not something Quickr is able to support.

Finally, I’m not saying that Quickr is not a good solution. My point of view here is that it is more a portal/collaborative solution, than a DM system.
So IBM Quickr could be an appropriate solution, for collaboration use-cases, portal integration, etc, but not as a document management solution.

Related posts:

Quickr and ECM relationship

Quickr and ECM integration

IBM and Alfresco partnership : Portal, Collaboration and Social Networking