I have been using Sharepoint at work for a number of years now. In theory, it is a good product that takes away some of the anarchy that usually is the result of a just using a file share to exchange documents. In practice the benefits are less stellar, especially in a mixed environment.
Since starting to use a Mac in what is otherwise a Windows shop, it has become painfully obvious how much one ties oneself into the Microsoft world by using Sharepoint. People might be concerned about being locked in to Office but that is nothing to Sharepoint. Unless you run the combination of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer you are in for a rocky ride indeed.
So, trying to get out of Sharepoint, what do you do? You may still have a lot of documents saved there that you don’t want to lose.
I tried using wget but it wouldn’t download everything. I then tried httrack but it wouldn’t follow links into subfolders in document libraries (I did keep a copy downloaded by httrack though since it managed to keep most of the contents). I also tried to map UNC paths to the document libraries to be able to copy the documents that way. Didn’t work. I tried various freewares that were supposedly able to archive documents from Sharepoint. Not so.
Then I tried Sharepoint Documents Exporter by Brennan Stehling and that did the trick. Finally, I got a complete set of files directly from the MSSQL server, including files saved on the users’ private pages.
Now the big question remains: Should I head back to the file share or is there some open source Sharepoint wannabee solution with support for multiple client platforms, full browser compatibility and support for both Office and OpenOffice? Drop a comment if you have a suggestion.