Free SharePoint?



  • We're currently using WSS 3.0 (it was setup before I started working for this company; over 5 years ago). The specific version of SharePoint that we're using is v12.0.0.4518, and our SQL version is 2008 (v10.2.4000.0). The server that this is running on is a domain controller, and it's configured so all of our staff can access it from outside the network (https://intranet.lakeimaging.com).

    We would like to decommission the physical host that this is all currently running on, so we've been looking into options to migrate our SharePoint data to either the cloud or to another host in-house.

    If upper management doesn't approve us to go with SharePoint in the cloud, I wanna be prepared to migrate this in-house, so I'm trying to find out more info about my options.

    As you can imagine, one of the hot comments that has come up from management is: "Well, So-and-so setup our current SharePoint for free, so we should be able to either use the same version we're using right now, or we could go with a newer free version". Without knowing any details, I tried to tell them "Even if we go with a newer free version, I'm not sure we would be allowed to let our 250+ users access it without some sort of licensing compliance". Can someone confirm if this is true or not?


  • Service Provider

    The free version of Sharepoint is gone.



  • Sharepoint Foundation is free. Though i think 2013 is the last version of that. Not sure about SP 2016.
    YOu can still download 2013 foundation


  • Service Provider

    @momurda said in Free SharePoint?:

    Sharepoint Foundation is free. Though i think 2013 is the last version of that. Not sure about SP 2016.
    YOu can still download 2013 foundation

    It's fully gone now.



  • Sharepoint Foundation 2013 was the last "free" version of Sharepoint. Although it had some major limitations associated with it. You can still download it here.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42039



  • @scottalanmiller That's really great. Now my boss wont ask me to make a SP server if i tell him itll cost thousands of dollars. And i will be happy.



  • @momurda said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller That's really great. Now my boss wont ask me to make a SP server if i tell him itll cost thousands of dollars. And i will be happy.

    He'll start asking you about Alfresco instead.


  • Service Provider

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    Sharepoint Foundation 2013 was the last "free" version of Sharepoint. Although it had some major limitations associated with it. You can still download it here.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42039

    The free versions always did. Did they get worse?


  • Service Provider

    @momurda said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller That's really great. Now my boss wont ask me to make a SP server if i tell him itll cost thousands of dollars. And i will be happy.

    Yup, the last, highly limited free version was FOUR years ago. At this point, even that one is old enough that it sounds like a bad idea for a new deployment.


  • Service Provider

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    @momurda said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller That's really great. Now my boss wont ask me to make a SP server if i tell him itll cost thousands of dollars. And i will be happy.

    He'll start asking you about Alfresco instead.

    Way better :)



  • @scottalanmiller said in Free SharePoint?:

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    Sharepoint Foundation 2013 was the last "free" version of Sharepoint. Although it had some major limitations associated with it. You can still download it here.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42039

    The free versions always did. Did they get worse?

    Nope still the same stringent limitations just wanted to make mention of it.


  • Service Provider

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Free SharePoint?:

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    Sharepoint Foundation 2013 was the last "free" version of Sharepoint. Although it had some major limitations associated with it. You can still download it here.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42039

    The free versions always did. Did they get worse?

    Nope still the same stringent limitations just wanted to make mention of it.

    LOL, okay. Is there a user limit? I don't think that there ever was.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Free SharePoint?:

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Free SharePoint?:

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    Sharepoint Foundation 2013 was the last "free" version of Sharepoint. Although it had some major limitations associated with it. You can still download it here.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42039

    The free versions always did. Did they get worse?

    Nope still the same stringent limitations just wanted to make mention of it.

    LOL, okay. Is there a user limit? I don't think that there ever was.

    No, no user limits. But there a limits on pretty much every feature of Sharepoint. Even searching gets hit.



  • I wonder if this would work as a replacement?
    https://www.bitrix24.com/prices/

    We could roll with the free version, but our users couldn't access it externally. Their versions that support external access though are only $99/month.

    I'm a little leery about going down an alternate road though for fear that the staff will freak out from such a drastic change (although the alternative of not having SharePoint at all could be just as freaky, lol).



  • @Shuey Look at Alfresco. https://www.alfresco.com/


  • Service Provider

    @coliver said in Free SharePoint?:

    @Shuey Look at Alfresco. https://www.alfresco.com/

    That's pretty much the standard answer.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Free SharePoint?:

    @momurda said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller That's really great. Now my boss wont ask me to make a SP server if i tell him itll cost thousands of dollars. And i will be happy.

    Yup, the last, highly limited free version was FOUR years ago. At this point, even that one is old enough that it sounds like a bad idea for a new deployment.

    That's not that old. I don't think it deserves writing in upper case :) It's under mainstream support until 2018. I'd be more concerned about still using SQL Server 2008 with it. Now that is old, and expensive to upgrade.

    We're using 2013 Foundation. I've never ran into limitations that bother me, it's a great product. We are moving to Sharepoint Online in the next 12 months though. If you're used to free, and you don't use O365 already, the $60 per user per year may sting a bit, especially if you don't really need the extra features versus Foundation and you already have SQL Server on-premise.

    I imagine that migrating a 250+ user Sharepoint server to Alfresco is a massive project. Good luck.


  • Service Provider

    @Carnival-Boy said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Free SharePoint?:

    @momurda said in Free SharePoint?:

    @scottalanmiller That's really great. Now my boss wont ask me to make a SP server if i tell him itll cost thousands of dollars. And i will be happy.

    Yup, the last, highly limited free version was FOUR years ago. At this point, even that one is old enough that it sounds like a bad idea for a new deployment.

    That's not that old. I don't think it deserves writing in upper case :) It's under mainstream support until 2018. I'd be more concerned about still using SQL Server 2008 with it. Now that is old, and expensive to upgrade.

    We're using 2013 Foundation. I've never ran into limitations that bother me, it's a great product. We are moving to Sharepoint Online in the next 12 months though. If you're used to free, and you don't use O365 already, the $60 per user per year may sting a bit, especially if you don't really need the extra features versus Foundation and you already have SQL Server on-premise.

    I imagine that migrating a 250+ user Sharepoint server to Alfresco is a massive project. Good luck.

    Using something with six months of support left is.... questionable. Deploying something new that will be out of support before you are done installing it though.....


  • Service Provider

    Using 2013 still today with a plan to update seems just fine. Rolling it out now seems crazy. No support from day one. Dead product with no future. That'll be a major problem very quickly.



  • I'm not recommending it. Depends on the OP's circumstances. But you could probably get the whole thing, installed, migrated and live in a couple of hours (he says, having never actually done it). Sure, there's a massive element of kicking the can down the road by sticking with free Sharepoint, but sometimes kicking the can down the road is a good idea. Only sometimes though!





  • @Carnival-Boy said in Free SharePoint?:

    I'm not recommending it. Depends on the OP's circumstances. But you could probably get the whole thing, installed, migrated and live in a couple of hours (he says, having never actually done it). Sure, there's a massive element of kicking the can down the road by sticking with free Sharepoint, but sometimes kicking the can down the road is a good idea. Only sometimes though!

    Getting the services installed is much different than it being ready for production. Even if you moved fast as hell on it, 3 months would be hard to achieve to get something like this in any actually useful production.


  • Service Provider

    @Carnival-Boy said in Free SharePoint?:

    I'm not recommending it. Depends on the OP's circumstances. But you could probably get the whole thing, installed, migrated and live in a couple of hours (he says, having never actually done it). Sure, there's a massive element of kicking the can down the road by sticking with free Sharepoint, but sometimes kicking the can down the road is a good idea. Only sometimes though!

    I mostly agree. Although in this case, the decision to kick that down the road in this way had the most value in 2013 and has diminished since then with it falling off a cliff in a few months. Totally basing current decisions on the past three years is a little like sunk cost thinking, but something made 2013 not useful until now - what would make it suddenly so valuable to change that decision at a time when the general value is plummeting.


  • Service Provider

    @IRJ said in Free SharePoint?:

    @Carnival-Boy said in Free SharePoint?:

    I'm not recommending it. Depends on the OP's circumstances. But you could probably get the whole thing, installed, migrated and live in a couple of hours (he says, having never actually done it). Sure, there's a massive element of kicking the can down the road by sticking with free Sharepoint, but sometimes kicking the can down the road is a good idea. Only sometimes though!

    Getting the services installed is much different than it being ready for production. Even if you moved fast as hell on it, 3 months would be hard to achieve to get something like this in any actually useful production.

    True. That's very fast.



  • I've been thinking a lot about this and have an idea:
    We've been using this server for the last 5 years without any support, and without any on-site staff who know how to manage it (other than the daily backups I do). So I'm considering two options:

    1. Perform a P2V of the server and host it in our existing VMware environment.
    2. Build a new virtual member server in our existing VMware environment and migrate the data from the existing WSS 3.0 server to the new VM (using the same versions of everything; Server 2008 R2, WSS 3.0 and SQL Server 2008).

    I'd prefer to go with option 1, but I've never virtualized a DC, so I'd like to hear some feedback on what you guys think of this and if there are any specifics I need to be aware of when virtualizing the existing DC.



  • @Shuey said in Free SharePoint?:

    I've been thinking a lot about this and have an idea:
    We've been using this server for the last 5 years without any support, and without any on-site staff who know how to manage it (other than the daily backups I do). So I'm considering two options:

    1. Perform a P2V of the server and host it in our existing VMware environment.
    2. Build a new virtual member server in our existing VMware environment and migrate the data from the existing WSS 3.0 server to the new VM (using the same versions of everything; Server 2008 R2, WSS 3.0 and SQL Server 2008).

    I'd prefer to go with option 1, but I've never virtualized a DC, so I'd like to hear some feedback on what you guys think of this and if there are any specifics I need to be aware of when virtualizing the existing DC.

    Virtualize is always highly recommended.

    The VMware P2V converter is kind of clunky but it works. You will have to put a client on the machine that you want to virtualize, make a few settings, tell it where you want it to go, and press start. Typically you want to shutdown the old one after it is done converting if you start up the virtual after completion.



  • @NerdyDad Cool, I've already done a successful V2V of another server months ago and it was pretty slick (as well as some P2Vs of other servers). I've never run into any problems and can see this as being a good way to go.



  • @Shuey said in Free SharePoint?:

    I'd prefer to go with option 1, but I've never virtualized a DC

    Do it offline, not hot. That's about the only major thing to know about P2V of DCs.

    Really though, you might want to rethink the plans here. First off, it's trivially easy to deploy a new DC, so why keep around an ancient install when you can clean up your environment. Second, you are running "critical" services on the same box as your DC, not to mention you have SQL Server installed on it as well. That is strictly verboten by Microsoft. Dumb is dumb. Now is the time to fix it all up.

    What are you running in Sharepoint? Flat repository? Full workflow? Customized templates? This is what makes the determination of where you need to go with it. Most of the people I've seen with this kind of setup are using it as a glorified file system with a minor amount of workflow in it. Would take me about an hour to migrate it to even the newest version or 365.



  • @PSX_Defector I've never done a cold P2V :-/... do you have any extra info on how to do this?

    I have no need to deploy a new DC; I already have another one in this same ADSS site. I totally realize the way it's currently setup is seriously jacked up, so I'd be happy to get it all fixed up.

    The two major road-blocks to getting this accomplished are:

    1. Upper management doesn't want to spend what it would cost to either get us out to the cloud (via O365)
    2. We don't have anyone on our team with the necessary skills to do the migration, so we'd have to pay someone to do it for us (and it would have to be migrated to the same version to keep the cost as low as possible).

    One of the possible benefits to do the P2V is that, if we ever run into an issue where the virtual server takes a dump and it can't be restored, upper management would likely be forced to pay for a more modern replacement.

    I'm not sure how our current SharePoint is setup or used :-/... I didn't setup and I don't manage it.



  • I missed the point of the DC. I would just decom the DC, then P2V the rest of the host. If you need a secondary DC then just spun up another VM and dcpromo it.


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