Free Archiving Solution for SharePointIt's kind of starting to feel like a race to see who can offer the best solution to the SharePoint community for free.

It started with AvePoint and their free item level restore solution, moved to Bamboo, who is giving away free software to SharePoint Community groups and it now lies with Metalogix (news, site).

Metalogix has decided to provide Metalogix Archiving Express for SharePoint for free, offering SharePoint users a better way to manage archived content and support eDiscovery processes.

This Ain't No Trial Version

As we all know, SharePoint isn't strong in the Administration backend, lacking some fairly significant tools for an enterprise platform. Vendors like Metalogix and AvePoint have long offered integrated solutions to fill this management gap. And the storage of content no longer being used is a concern to many SharePoint administrators.

It's not a trial. It's not a partial solution of the full version. Metalogix Archiving Express for SharePoint is a full featured tool supporting a wide range of archiving needs for both SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007

Archiving Benefits

There's quite a bit of functionality in this tool, so the benefits are numerous:

  • Reducing Portal Size: Typically reduction of about 80% by directing all content to a central storage location leaving only an HTML link within SharePoint.
  • Shorter Backup Times: Obviously backup times for SharePoint are reduced if the content is located elsewhere.
  • Faster Disaster Recovery: Accidentally delete that document? With originals stored in the archive, it's easier to get them back.
  • Federated Search: You can search SharePoint, email and file stores in a single view and get a single result set, helping you find the information you need faster.

Archiving Features

The ability to reduce the size of a SharePoint database is one of the primary features of any archiving solution. But just how you decide what and when to archive depends on you. Archive Express provides you with the ability to both manually and automatically archive documents.

For automatic processes you can set policies such as archiving after the document is so old, archiving immediately, archiving by file type and more.

Even though your documents are archived, they are still completely accessible in SharePoint at any time, in the same way all your other documents are accessed. The archiving process even deals with versions correctly.

Other key features of Archive Express for SharePoint include:

  • Support for Global Organizations: A Location ID is attached to each document and archival and retrieval polices can be set based on these ID.
  • Support for eDiscovery: Versions of documents are automatically archived and only administrators can delete documents from the archive.
  • Lifecycle Management: Set retention polices on documents in the archive, assign archiving polices that help reduce storage requirements for documents no longer used regularly.
  • Disaster Management: You don't have to contact your system administrator to get back that document you accidentally deleted. As long as your original document was stored in the archive, it's easy to get it back. Not completely sure we would qualify deleting a document as a disaster, but hey, if it works for you.

“We are happy to offer our SharePoint archiving solution for free to the SharePoint community because we know that administrators are struggling to optimize the performance of their content database,” said Chris Risley, CEO, Metalogix. “We are committed to the SharePoint community and this free product addresses a key concern we have been increasingly hearing from our SharePoint admin customers."

Like we said, it's free, so go get your copy now. We are still looking for the hook, small as it might be. Support is available on the MetaLogix Community site and rumor has it, it's a good site to find help.

Now mind you, Metalogix Archiving Express for SharePoint isn't the only archiving solution for SharePoint: Mimosa and MessageSolution both offer alternatives, just not free ones.