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

Advertisements

IBM and Alfresco partnership : Portal, Collaboration and Social Networking

January 14, 2010

IBM and Alfresco started to work together to provide integration solutions between their respective products.

I do not have more technical details for the moment, but this has been just announced and will be soon at Lotusphere (January 17-21).

As far as I know, the approach is to use the Alfresco DM capabilities to manage the persistency of data created
through IBM UI (Lotus Quickr, Lotus Notes, Lotus Connections and WebSphere Portal). So web UI is provided by IBM software (like Quickr), primary meta-data are stored in IBM layer also, and the document binaries are stored in Alfresco repository. Integration is achieved through REST protocol.

This integration will be available in the spring of 2010.

I think this is a very good opportunity for Alfresco, to be part of such a strong Portal, Collaboration and SN (social networking) set of solutions.

This is also a good news for IBM/Alfresco customers (as we are) because they can leverage their software investments and get the benefits of both world:
– IBM Lotus has a very complete offer in term of “2.0” softwares (Websphere Portal, Lotus Quickr for collab., Connections for SN), but none of these solutions really provide a very highly scalable data repository (as Alfresco do) to store terabyte of documents.
– On the other side, Alfresco is still a young product and is not able (yet) to address SN or portal features. Its web UI are still quite basic, but its core repository is designed to scale up to more than 100 million documents.

I don’t know if IBM also plan to integrate Alfresco with their Portal WCM solution (IBM Lotus Web Content Management)…but this will be a good idea…

As John Newton said at Lotusphere:
“I think the combination of Lotus and Alfresco provides a real SharePoint killer as well. With the combination of the two, there’s nothing that Sharepoint can do that we can’t.”
“It’s an opportunity for IBM as well to have a set of capabilities where Filenet might be too large or complex for a customer”, he added.

Another well known SN competitor is Jive editor. A tighter collaboration between Alfresco and Jive would surely make sense….No doubt that Alfresco is already working on this…

For more info about Alfresco/IBM integration:
Alfresco Content Services for IBM Lotus

Alfresco ECM gilds IBM’s Lotus suite

Alfresco Enterprise CMS Cozies Up With IBM Lotus

Also, if you are interested about integration of Quickr IBM product with other ECM vendors, this is something I have already discussed on my other (portal) blog:

Quickr and ECM relationship

Quickr and ECM integration