Friday, 30 October 2009

SharePoint 2007 vs SAP DMS vs SAP KM vs OpenText for Document Management

Differences between SAP DMS and SharePoint 2007

With SharePoint 2007 having such an incredible level of growth and popularity in the CMS, Portals and Collaboration space, questions arise as to whether the document management system (DMS) that comes with SAP should be used at all if both co-exist in the same enterprise environment. Here are some of the advantages as I see them when comparing the 2 systems:

SharePoint 2007 Advantages
  1. Familiarity to MS Office users and reduced training
  2. MS Office Integration e.g. Check in, check out and update document metadata from within Word/Excel/etc itself - without Install of SAP Easy DMS
  3. Offline capabilities i.e. checkout to "SharePoint Drafts" folder so you can work from home without a connection - without SAP Easy DMS
  4. Licensing - Licensing models are different - no SAP licenses required - esp if most users are not using SAP.

SAP DMS Advantages

  1. No Additional Licenses required if all users are using SAP
  2. Direct link of document to Business Entities directly without specifying additional metadata (e.g. supporting documentation for invoice) - this is sometimes a more natural linkage.

As desribed in this Cap Gemini blog on the subject - "Will we get to the point where companies just have their SAP system as a backend database and have SharePoint vNext (SharePoint 2014) as the integration platform? "

[UPDATE 2nd November 2009 - 1]
It has been pointed out to me that a comparison between SAP KM and SharePoint 2007 would be a more relevant comparison.

SAP KM Advantages

  1. Doesn't have requirement for client (like SAP Document Management System (DMS) does)
  2. Can preview CAD and other documents within the Web UI directly, unlike SharePoint
  3. Closer integration with SAP Business Data versus SharePoint

[UPDATE 2nd November 2009 - 2]
SAP Document Management offering with OpenText

One of my Oakton colleagues brought this to my attention - SAP now has a partnership deal with OpenText.

"The last option (out of SharePoint/DMS & KM/OpenText) is really powerful but comes at a price as OpenText is a leader in Document Management and integrates into SharePoint seamlessly. For large organisation with strong records management requirements with industrial class DM requirements option 3 would be a good choice, hoping that OpenText has done all the heavy lifting in terms of SAP Integration."


SAP ECM (Enterprise Content Management) said...

Hi David

Its an interesting evaluation however, I don't believe that its suitable to compare SAP DMS and SharePoint. SAP DMS is a controlled document management system designed for maintenance, SharePoint is designed more for adhoc documents and competes head on with a product like SAP KM.

If you do compare the two head on, then SharePoint does not have the ability to manage controlled documents in the same manner that SAP DMS does. For example, without external products, SharePoint cannot managed drawings or files with XREF's which SAP DMS can do standard. SAP DMS has built in CAD viewers which SharePoint does not.

SharePoint also does not contain functions like Engineering Change Management to manage to the document change process.

The above examples are not there to highlight SharePoint's weakness, but more to indicate that the two systems are designed for two completely different purposes. Sharepoint is for adhoc desktop documents that would normally be contained in network file storage where SAP DMS is designed for technical drawings and controlled documents like procedures, policies and work instructions which need to be linked to Asset Management. Both have places in an organisation and should not compete head on with each other.

Litéra said...

Nice comparison among Sharepoint 2007 vs SAP DMS vs SAP KM Vs OpenText for Document Management.

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