SharePoint junkies who still haven’t had their fill after last week’s Las Vegas hoedown might be interested in the release this week of new document management software designed to run on top of SharePoint, but improve upon its abilities. This fancy concept is called WISDOM for SharePoint. Let's see just how sage it is.

WISDOM hails from Australian-based MacroView (news, site) who have entered into partnership with Nashville-based SharePoint Solutions (news, site), who in turn will be responsible for distributing and integrating MacroView's WISDOM line in the U.S.

MacroView says that without extended document management capabilities SharePoint would not be as popular as it is and that WISDOM offers a collection of features that puts it head and shoulders above the rest. Well, at least as good as the best of the rest!

SharePoint Solutions Add-Ons

The above is no small claim. And there are a number of features that should prove attractive.There is also the SharePoint Solutions connection, a company that has specialized in developing SharePoint add-ons to fill some of the key gaps that exist in SharePoint out-of-the-box.

In recent months alone there are a few that in themselves are worth a mention. In August, for example, SharePoint solutions introduced SharePoint Data Zoom extensions which made accessing and integrating SQL database information from and with SharePoint easier.

In June it introduced an extension for Salesforce that enable users pull data from into SharePoint for viewing in specific formats, and allowed them share information with other users who did not have a Salesforce account.

And at the end of December last year it released the Workflow Essentials that improved the ability of users to create workflows in SharePoint Designer.

MacroView and SharePoint 2007

So in reality, SharePoint Solutions’ credentials for developing add-ons are sound. But this new document management software has not been designed by SharePoint solutions, it comes from MacroView.

The starting point for MacroView is that although there are some out-of-the-box document management capabilities with SharePoint, for companies that are dealing with thousands, or even millions of documents in different locations daily, it just doesn’t compare with Documentum, Open Text or Interwoven, forcing many enterprises to use two different systems.

MacroView, however, says its new document software will change this. As a completely native SharePoint add-on, WISDOM DMF (Document Management Framework) gives users the power to store and retrieve documents from hundreds -- and even thousands -- of SharePoint libraries with a tree-view navigation of all sites, libraries and server farms.

Aall this is available through Microsoft Office client applications including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

What Comes With WISDOM?

So what do you get with WISDOM Document Management Framework (DMF). There are a number of features which, MacroView says, will catapult it into the top tier of document management software packages.

Key amongst those is:

  • Metadata management and definition across all libraries using a consistent user interface across all Office applications. In can incorporate existing metadata, and in the event of missing metadata prompts the users to add it.
    sharepoint solutions_metadata_2009.jpg

    MacroView metadata for SharePoint
  • Intuitive SharePoint menu items that allow users work in Microsoft Office applications and save, or move the document to whatever library has been allocated for the document. In the menu, users can navigate to the specified library using the tree-view navigation which appears when an item on the menu is chosen. Documents can be moved, or saved across.
    Sharepoint solutions_intuitive menu_2009.jpg

    MacroView menus for SharePoint
  • WISDOM Explorer, which is installed on client computers and gives users the ability carry out common document management tasks. Documents can be checked in or out, renamed, assign permissions and view versions and version history. According to permissions documents can also be edited.
  • File drag and drop capabilities that enable users drag documents from one library to another as well as documents that are stored on local drives. All metadata is preserved as are all versions no matter where the files are moved to. This is also a function available with WISDOM Explorer.
    sharepoint_wisdom dms_explorer_2009.jpg

    MacroView explorer for SharePoint
  • Outlook extension that saves and stores designated emails in SharePoint libraries. This can be done through menus, or even comes as a drag and drop function from the Outlook interface. Messages are stored with metadata in MSG format enabling other users working in Outlook open the email.
    sharepoint solutions_outlook ext_2009.jpg

    MacroView Outlook extension for SharePoint

It all sounds very practical and even user-friendly. Additionally, while there is no price mentioned anywhere both companies say that it usually comes in at about half the price of similar offerings from Interwoven, Documentum, Oracle, or IBM. Probably a good idea here to take note of the qualifying word ‘usually’.

And finally, while not judging the release in any shape or manner, the fact that it comes only a week after all the excitement and discussion around SharePoint 2010, the fact that the company doesn’t indicate whether it is compatible with SP2010 or not, is probably just an oversight. Right?