The truth is, there's always been the ability to integrate business applications with MindTouch's (news, site) platform. But now it's even easier, and it may be the added incentive to look away from SharePoint.
Going After SharePoint's Market
A lot of Enterprise 2.0 vendors are after SharePoint's market. But although many of them offer very similar -- and in some cases better -- out of the box functionality than SharePoint, most do not also offer a development platform to extend integration to business applications. MindTouch is one that does.
We're not exactly comparing apples to apples when we look at MindTouch and SharePoint. We're not even sure that is possible. Very few solution providers carry the extensive feature set that SharePoint does, and the relative ease of use it offers.
And that's okay, because some choose to focus on making some areas better and easier to do. MindTouch, we think, is one of these companies. Where they seem to do very well is with their MindTouch 2009 development platform.
MindTouch Does Provide Solutions
Yes, they offer a number of out of the box solutions, most that have come out over the past year. These have included: a collaborative intranet solution, a crowd sourced Knowledge base solution, enterprise dashboards and recently a cloud-based offering. And these solutions do support the challenge is replace SharePoint in organizations.
But Their Development Platform is Robust
It's the MindTouch platform and the concept of Collaborative Networks that make you want to learn more about the company and what it offers.
A collaborative network supports the bringing together of business information from disparate systems into a single interface to edit. This is all done in a real-time, secure and well governed manner, effectively creating an information fabric.
Now we've talked about the MindTouch platform, the company's long term strategy and the role open source plays before. If you haven't read the details, we recommend you do.
Suffice it to that it's this extensible platform that has enabled the partnership with SnapLogic that causes us to write about MindTouch today and the draw the SharePoint comparison once again.
Business Application Integration
This is not the first integrated solution between MindTouch and SnapLogic, provider of SaaS integration solutions. In August of 2008, the two companies came together to bring the MindTouch collaborative capabilities to CRM solutions like Salesforce.com and SugarCRM. (read more about that partnership).
The latest integration enables organizations to pull together information from all of your various business systems to create and collaborate within dashboards and reports. SnapLogic provides the integration functionality with their DataFlow Server and the front-end Dashboard and Reporting is MindTouch.
MindTouch / SnapLogic Business Application Integration
Now remember that MindTouch's platform enables you to get solutions up and running with little to no programming. Read more about the MindTouch 2009 platform or learn how you can take a spin with the cloud-based version.
Where's the SharePoint Comparison
It's in the business application integration. SharePoint does not have to standalone by itself. In fact, Microsoft calls it the business collaboration platform because it can pull together information from other business applications and sources.
In 2007, that integration is a bit tricky, but it's better with the upcoming SharePoint 2010 and the new Business Connectivity Services.
The question is, which business application integration functionality is easier to use, and get up and running faster. Because that may be the key to MindTouch getting their feet directly into SharePoint's market.
Oh and by the way, the new MindTouch-SnapLogic Enterprise Integration Solution is available today for $ 4,995 (50 users) -- but only until December 31, 2009.