Given the amount of data that sit in SharePoint worldwide, given how eager Google seems to be about enterprise apps these days, and given the size of Google's appetite for data, we must say...it's about time.
With the introduction of Google's new Sites API -- and some tools that explicitly pull stuff out of SharePoint and place it into Google Sites -- the real heat between Redmond and Mountain View is finally starting to build. Let's have a look.
Google Opens Up
Google has long been accused of keeping user data tightly behind closed doors. Recently though, they've been speaking more about data liberation through their new Data Liberation Front. The purpose: to enable moving data easily into and out of Google applications.
The latest Google application to be supported by the Google Data Liberation Front is Google Sites. Google Sites offers anyone the ability to create a website. With Sites, you can easily pull together content from other Google applications, in addition to creating new web pages. Your Site can be private or public
It is available for both Google Apps or Google account users.
In many ways Google Sites is similar to SharePoint Online, Microsoft's hosted version of SharePoint.
The New Google Sites Data API
Until now, content and data inside Google Sites stayed inside Google Sites. And there was no easy way to migrate additional content and data into it. With the introduction of the Google Sites Data API, that has changed.
The API support almost all of the functionality currently available within Google Sites including:
- Retrieve, create, modify, and delete pages and content.
- Upload/download attachments.
- Review the revision history across a site.
- Display recent user activity.
Which brings us to the point. With these new capabilities, you can now not only move data out of Google Sites, but you can move data into Google Sites and possibly out of other similar applications, like SharePoint.
Migrating Off SharePoint into Google App Sites
The Google Sites Data API has just been announced. But there's been a Google Apps Data API for awhile. One vendor has used this API to design a migration solution called SharePoint Move for Google Apps.
SharePoint Move -- Moving SharePoint Data to Google Apps
This solution provides the ability to migrate SharePoint files, documents, lists, events and more into Google Apps. It even includes detailed reporting and logging.
The migration solution is offered by Google Enterprise partner LTech and is built for Google Apps Premier or Education editions.
It may not have the ability to migrate content into Google Sites yet, but with this new Sites Data API, it will only be a matter of time.
Should Microsoft Be Worried?
Google's reach is long and so too will be this road. But Google Sites has not exactly been one of its more popular services. It's young, a bit dumb and really not (yet) that interesting. So should Microsoft be worried about this new "competitor" to SharePoint?
With an already long list of SharePoint alternatives -- depending on just what you use SharePoint for -- it's unlikely Microsoft is going to get too wound up.
Maybe the more important reason for a Google Sites Data API is too keep Google Sites alive. There has been speculation that the website service wasn't go to be around for much longer. Providing the ability to bring external data into the website easily and automatically could be its near-term savior.
Have a closer look at the new Data API for yourself. We'll keep our eyes on the ball game and alert you when things kick up a notch.