Mainsoft creates a SharePoint integration tool that lets users access Microsoft documents through IBM's Lotus Notes.
Through its vast business partner network, it's not hard for IBM's
Lotus Software Group to gain some allies in its war versus Microsoft's
formidable SharePoint Services collaboration software.
Mainsoft is one such. The company May 7 introduced SharePoint Integrator for
Lotus Notes, a software add-on for IBM Lotus
Notes 8 that creates a bridge between rival Lotus Notes and SharePoint
The tool, which users can download here for a free 30-day
evaluation, lets users pull SharePoint content, including Word documents,
Excel worksheets and PowerPoint presentations, from within Notes. Businesses
that decide they can't live without it may purchase it for $12,500 per 100
The SharePoint Integrator comes at a time when knowledge workers have
created silos of information that are sealed off from one another. Businesses
under contract for Lotus Notes are unlikely to rip and replace their existing
Notes infrastructures to access SharePoint, and in some cases they would be
prohibited by contract from doing so.
However, some large enterprises are using both Lotus Notes and SharePoint
software, making it hard for different workgroups to share information created
and stored in the different repositories. In other cases, employees use only SharePoint
or Notes, but need to share content created in either platform with other
Mainsoft is essentially cozying up to Notes users by letting Notes and
SharePoint content coexist, Mainsoft CEO
Yaacov Cohen told eWEEK.
"Customers are sick of all these migrations," Cohen said.
"Customers are saying, 'Show me how I can leverage what I've already
Some features of the SharePoint Integrator, which Cohen demoed for eWEEK May
6, include the ability to drag and drop Word documents, Excel worksheets and
PowerPoint presentations from a Notes sidebar into Lotus Notes e-mails,
calendar appointments and task lists. This is extremely useful for Notes users
who need to make SharePoint files actionable through Notes.
Because Integrator maintains connectivity with the SharePoint server,
workers can open Microsoft Office documents stored on SharePoint without
leaving the Notes user interface. Users can then check documents in or out and
access version history and document workflows.
For users requiring a little more application creativity, Mainsoft's
services professionals can help users add SharePoint content into workflow
mashups with Java and .Net business applications.
For example, Cohen said business users will be able to access a customer
list stored on a Windows SharePoint Services site, sort and filter this list by
sales territory, plot the contacts on a Google map, and communicate the results
to the enterprise CRM (customer relationship
management) system from within Lotus Notes.
SharePoint Integrator comes on the heels of IBM's
release May 2 of its own integration tool. While Mainsoft is preaching
coexistence, IBM is looking to get data out of SharePoint for good
with Lotus Quickr Content Integrator, which helps
migrate data from SharePoint repositories and Exchange folders into Quickr team