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Anyone putting off archiving their SharePoint files is running out of excuses.
Metalogix Software this week unveiled a free SharePoint archiving tool, following a similar move by AvePoint. And Bamboo Solutions is another company giving away free SharePoint tools.
So what's behind the free archiving tools for Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) popular collaboration program?
Taneja Group analyst Christine Taylor sees smart business.
"Giving away the software is an excellent way to accomplish several things," she said.
One is to "shorten the sales cycle for paid products down the road," while another is to "get actual field deployments under your belt."
It's also a quick way to break into tough markets like managing archives for compliance and e-discoveryand to build brand recognition in small and mid-sized business markets.
And lastly, it's a good way to "prove yourself as a player to Microsoft," Taylor said.
Metalogix, which also offers solutions for Microsoft Exchange, claims that its Archiving Express for SharePoint offering "supports even the most complex compliance retention policies while also dramatically improving SharePoint system performance and reducing overall backup and restore time by 50 percent."
David Ferris, president and senior analyst at Ferris Research, said in a statement that SharePoint performance "can slow dramatically as content databases grow. Metalogix is helping to fix this problem by offering a free archiving solution that features single-instance storage and federated search. It will make backups and restores easier for administrators while helping them to comply with retention policies and regulations."
Archiving Express for SharePoint, the fourth generation of the company's archiving solution but the first free version, sets retention policies and reduces the SharePoint production database to improve system performance while giving online access to archived documents directly from within the SharePoint application. With features to automate disaster recovery and shorten backup times, the product also provides central search, retention and disposition capabilities to help meet internal policies and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).
"We are happy to offer our SharePoint archiving solution for free to the SharePoint community because we know that administrators are struggling to optimize the performance of their content database," stated Metalogix CEO Chris Risley.
The only thing users need is hardware to back up to. The software resides on the SharePoint server. There is an option to pay for support, but a company spokesperson said "the real goal here is to encourage more SharePoint administrators to archive. They anticipate a robust community to build from this announcement for community support."
The company is offering the software "with a perpetual license for free to get SharePoint users more familiar with the need and value of archiving SharePoint content," the spokesperson said. "Metalogix also sees this as a way to accelerate the market for SharePoint archiving and is anticipating that freeware users will offer valuable feedback for future product releases."
The product can be found at https://www.metalogix.com/content/archive-manager-files-edition.