Dutch-based O3Spaces BV (news, site) has just released the latest version of its document management system and with it continues the development of a product that the company says is a real and viable alternative to SharePoint.

For anyone following us here, this would not be the first time that a company made similar claims. However, the company is not claiming to have the weight to replace the Microsoft heavyweight, just that it is a viable alternative to people looking for a document collaboration system, and an open source one at that.

The kicker is that it provides tight integration of its collaborative abilities into OpenOffice.org, StarOffice and MS Office.

Not Quite SharePoint

O3Spaces’ first outing was at the CeBIT trade show in Germany in 2006, which was quickly followed by its first official release in December 2006.

A year later v2.2 was released, while in June last year v2.3 beta came out offering Mac OS X support as well as support for the Safari web browser. Last January v2.4 offered a few new additions, including email integration.

O3Space is written in Java, and is installed on the Tomcat Server with a PostgreSQL backend.

Even in its later versions, O3Spaces is far from offering all of the features of SharePoint, but it did start off with a list of features that would probably have made it attractive to hybrid Microsoft and open source document collaboration users.



v3.0 Released

And now in v3.0, the company has continued its development of an Open Office, Star Office and ODF-centric application.

It works by giving users a single web-based collaborative environment, with search capabilities and an optional Desktop Assistant. With a tabbed web interface for following document shares, it also allows users to browse and version files directly from the application itself.

O3Spaces search abilities work across PDF, ODF and Microsoft Office document formats.

Solution Packs that you can add on to Workplace 3.0 include:

  • Scanning and digitization
  • E-mail archiving
  • Rule-based document processing
  • Template management and document generation features

The company says that this will streamline the document management processes, while new wiki and labeling features will streamline workflows and improve document tracking and discovery.

It comes in two editions -- Express and Enterprise -- with the Enterprise edition providing a fully functioning document management environment out-of-the-box.

Both can be purchased as a SaaS, or for on-site installation. Interested? Take a trial run and see how it works for you.