Lemme let ya in on a little secret. If you're recommending a solution to a client - any client - one question they will always ask is "How much $$$?". So, I figured it couldn't be such a bad idea to demystify it, once and for all.
SharePoint cost is composed of two portions -
a) What you pay for the server, The server may cost you anywhere from free (WSS) to $57,670 (MOSS for Search Enterprise).
b) What you pay for the client (CAL) (on a per-client basis). CALs may cost you from $0 to $94+$75(Standard + Enterprise (includes forms cal)).
There are various editions of SharePoint 2007 available. If you wish to see a good comparison between them, here is the simple manager/marketing version, and here is the detailed architect/less bullshit version. Once you have decided based on the above, what exactly you need, here is a price sheet. The above approach IMO, works the best. But you could also use the MS Volume Licensing Wizard.
Broken down into simple terms, here is what stands out from atleast what I can see (CAL costs not included below):
- MOSS for $4K is a decent collaboration platform. Don't let the name fool ya - it does have search, even WSS can search, but cool stuff like search across collections etc. ju gotta pay more.
- MOSS for $8K is a fairly sophisticated platform - this will be the sweet spot for many mid sized businesses. But search is limited to 500K docs.
- If you get wow'ed by fancy features such as forms server, BDC etc. -> Guess what, the costs skyrocket. So architect a solution based on BDC/Forms Server - if you really really do have a good business case to support that.
- Personal View: In real terms, frequently writing some ADO.NET or Web Service code will be both cheaper, quicker, and more maintanable than a BDC XML hell. Forms Server may or may not present a valuable offering, depending upon your specific needs. InfoPath 2007 is indeed impressive, but not a one size fits all.
- For internet facing sites, you won't need CALs for every visitor that comes to your site (Duh!) - but the initial investment in an internet environment, for both Forms Server and MOSS is significant.
In short, when explaning to a CxO dude,
- MOSS for collaboration in small and mid sized organizations - is a very appealing platform.
- MOSS for collaboration for a large organization - is still an appealing platform, but requires a more thorough consideration for two reasons -
- Customizability required, as large orgs seldom can make use of a one size fits all approach and are more concerned about branding and custom rules and policies etc.
- Significantly higher costs for the software itself.
- MOSS for CMS - is a somewhat of an appealing platform. There are some advantages, but the cost is high, and that warrants a good second look at other CMS offerings. (Okay, sorry if this disappointed anyone, but hey $40K don't grow on trees, and many other CMS's cost a LOT lesser).
- MOSS CMS may still be a decent choice for you, if you need to provision multiple sites with common branding, need sophisticated search etc, and you don't have wet dreams about things such as pure CSS sites and XHTML 1.1 compliance and top notch SEO.
- Forms Server - costs a significant extra amount of $. If you don't have a serious use for it, don't dump your ASP.NET pages for InfoPath - just because they're cool. As an architect - feel comfortable adding ASPX's to SharePoint, because that saves a lot of $ at times.
.. anyone have anything to add/correct/express views on?