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Nov 06, 2007


Kevin E.

The amount of people that know about the live.com work may be sad, but the products that the Live group is releasing is anything but sad.

I think the live group is the best thing happening at Microsoft right now. They have released several free and handy applications. Go to get.live.com to check them out, and don't forget to keep your eye on some new useful applications that will be released in the future.



I have never heard of SharePoint referred to as a search service. Perhaps things have changed in the 5 or so years since I worked with it, but it was an intranet/extranet application we used at the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium to work with their widely distributed development teams. When our ISP overwrote our sharepoint database and couldn't extract the data from a backup (due to SharePoint's method of putting everyone hosted at the ISP into one massive database), we decided to dump SharePoint. We ended up selecting Metadot, a much more flexible, open source solution including calendars, discussion groups, file check out and check in, etc. More information on Metadot is available at Portland Portals.


Ralph, Sharepoint can certainly index information and perform the resulting searches for it, but it can do so much more. I would think of it as a collaboration system where users can create/share a variety of content. There are also two components of Sharepoint. Windows Sharepoint Services and Sharepoint Portal Server. Windows Sharepoint Services is all that is needed to set up a Sharepoint site or set of sites and it is a free component of Windows 2003. So for instance, Solid Edge Insight can be used with just Windows Sharepoint Services. You are correct that the Windows OS must be purchased, and you forgot about the need for a MS SQL Server back end that is also purchased.



The free version of SharePoint is out (WSS 3.0) and being used by many companies. But, AutoCAD files (DWG, DWF, Xref management, etc) are still difficult to work with in SharePoint. We have a solution that fills in these gaps - CADnection.

For more info we have a regular website at http://www.CADnection.com/. Additionally, you might also be interested in our blog at http://www.CADnection.net/. We post our newsletters and other product updates on a regular basis at the .net site.

I hope that this information will be useful.


Dave Opsahl

Couple of points of clarification.

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 is indeed a free "add-on" to Windows Server. Accordingly, users would need to have Client Access Licenses (CAL's) to Windows Server in order to be able to use any SharePoint site set up on that server. However, WSS does NOT need MS-SQL to be purchased to run. SQL Express will support WSS; however, all the limitations of SQL Express apply.

The "search" capability contained in WSS is limited to information that is contained within the WSS repository itself. If a second server is set up and WSS installed on it, you cannot do cross-site searching with WSS. Nor can you have single sign-on; you would have to re-authenticate each access session. These are but two points where the licenses SharePoint product is required.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Services (MOSS) 2007 does require MS SQL with associated CAL's and also requires CAL's for MOSS to enable access to the feature set of MOSS. In addition to what's mentioned above, there are other features where MOSS is required, such as the integration of Excel Reporting Services. Integration with enterprise search also requires MOSS. MOSS CAL's do cost money, but MSFT's licensing is nothing if not complex, and we have found numerous customers that were provided MOSS CAL's as part of an Enterprise Agreement renewal incentive. In other words, customers may have the required access and not even know it.

No, I do not work for Microsoft... :-)


To follow up on my previous comment, there is a review of CADnectionin in the October 2008 issue (Volum 14, Issue 2) of Desktop Engineering. It was written by Richard Bourke and offers insights into the important features of CADnection and its seamless integration between Autodesk and SharePoint. Check it out at http://www.deskeng.com/articles/aaamak.htm.



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