By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-09-18 Print this article Print

While portal applications can be a great boon to productivity, they dont travel well with mobile users. Colligo Networks does a good job of solving this problem for Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 customers, particularly when SharePoint Workspaces are more for content consumption than collaboration.

Colligo for SharePoint, released in June, consists of two Windows applications—the free Colligo Reader for SharePoint and the $99-per-user Colligo Contributor for SharePoint. Neither Reader nor Contributor presents a full-fidelity reproduction of a SharePoint Workspace offline; rather, they organize SharePoint Portal Server 2003 content in a rich client interface with the ability to search and sort documents and list content.

Colligo Reader can only view data and then synchronize that data back with SharePoint Workspace.

Click here to read more about the the SharePoint-based collaboration capabilities of Office 2007. Colligo Contributor allows users to manipulate data, but it lacks the sophisticated check-in/check-out features needed for applications that require document-management-style workflow.

Colligo Reader is a good solution for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 content consumers, such as sales team members, who are frequently on the road but need an organizational tool to help keep up-to-date on product information. Colligo Contributor is geared toward SharePoint users with a need for more interaction, such as the members of a project management or marketing team.

Both Colligo Reader and Contributor allow users to pull tasks, events, links, contacts, issues, announcements and documents down from SharePoint Portal Server 2003 based on Workspace organization. Users can connect to multiple Workspaces, which are organized in the client applications through a pull-down menu.

The ability to pull down custom metadata, as well as supported lists, differentiates Colligo for SharePoint from the SharePoint-oriented collaboration features users will eventually see in Microsofts Office 2007.

There are a couple of features we would have liked to see in Colligo Reader, including the ability to schedule regular client updates and an option to update SharePoint Portal Server 2003 automatically when we logged off. While Colligo isnt charging for a Reader license, maintenance and telephone support will cost $10 per user per year.

The main difference between Colligo Reader and Contributor is Contributors ability to perform two-way synchronization with SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

We found Colligo Contributor to be a good tool for situations in which each user will have control over his or her own content and wont have to worry about other users working on the same documents at the same time. We liked the way Contributor allowed us to update and resolve conflicts with lists of metadata. When there is a version conflict with a document, however, a user has to go through the process of merging documents if he or she wants to preserve another users edits.

Colligo Contributor does a good job of reporting synchronization results: It sorts by item type—such as tasks and documents—and provides error messages when an item doesnt synchronize. Centralized reporting of synchronization events and results would be a useful addition, however.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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