Most of us in the industry have heard it by now. Microsoft has sold more than 100 million licenses of Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 (MOSS 2007) and it's likely Microsoft's fastest growing product of all time. According to a recent Osterman study, in 2007 50% of all organizations that use Exchange are also using SharePoint and that is expected to increase in 2008. The number of mission critical applications developed with SharePoint is 20% expected to double this year while the number of SharePoint applications are expected to quadruple.

Why is SharePoint Becoming so Popular?

SharePoint began as a portal solution most often used to replace network file shares. But there is a lot more to it than an elaborate file share. It's a full collaboration and content management suite with the roots of a full ECM. This potential is what's causing so much buzz in the ECM industry. SharePoint is very affordable at $100 or less per client license. And most importantly it's from Microsoft, the leading supplier of technology in the enterprise. A very powerful combination.

Using SharePoint for Document Management

Despite all of SharePoint's buzz and usefulness in enterprise departments and mid sized businesses, there are some serious holes - in particular when considering SharePoint as an ECM. Imaging support out of the box is limited. There is no simple way to capture and index documents into SharePoint without a tedious step-by-step processes. There is little image viewing capability to view PDF or TIFF documents directly inside of SharePoint. To view a document users have to download the entire document to their client PC, then hope their default viewers will view the document properly which is often NOT the case for TIFF documents. While SharePoint has workflow and search capabilities, it's limited. This is where 3rd parties are beginning to step in and if I've learned one thing about working with Microsoft it's that they rely and support 3rd party vendors in extending their platform into viable solutions.

Before the Osterman study was released, we had noticed an increase in customers using our Zero-Footprint Viewing technology in SharePoint. We had to fully understand SharePoint for ourselves in order to support our customer's SharePoint integrations of DotImage. With our innovative and advanced web-based imaging technology, and after some research, it became obvious to us that there is a demand for applying this technology as an imaging solution for SharePoint.

Atalasoft's SharePoint Imaging Solution

For over a year now we have been building a solution to fill the imaging gap in SharePoint by applying the industry's best Zero-Footprint Document Viewing technology available in our DotImage toolkit to SharePoint. The goal is to enable SMB's and Enterprise Departments to leverage SharePoint for a highly customizable and affordable ECM solution.

  • We are providing simple, and FREE scanning to SharePoint that integrates with a leading scanner manufacturer (to be announced soon) for true push scanning into SharePoint.
  • We are providing a Zero-Footprint Previewer application as a totally FREE server application that gives users fast viewing access to TIFF, PDF, and Word documents stored in any SharePoint Document Library.
  • We are providing an advanced Zero-Footprint viewer that will view most common document formats in SharePoint including TIFF, PDF, and Word. It supports editing properties while viewing the document (indexing), annotating and collaboration, and document cleanup without installing any client software in a modern and very usable user interface - all you need is a browser.

This product suite is called Vizit, it's very powerful, very affordable, and will be launched as a public beta, with some pieces production ready at the DMS Show in Germany on September 9th - 11th.