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Switching to Alfresco Share: Questions

Question asked by kseropoupoulos on Mar 1, 2011
Latest reply on Mar 1, 2011 by mrogers
Hello everyone!

This is my first post in Alfresco forums! :D
In my company we are using Microsoft SharePoint for our collaboration platform. But we want to get rid of the "Microsoft Stack" and we are looking for alternatives.
I had a look at the Trial version of Alfresco Share Enterprise and I can say that I am amazed. So, I would like to ask you some questions. Please note that I am MS SharePoint user, not a developer. But I am doing the research for our new collaboration platform. So, I would be grateful if you could answer me some questions.

*** SharePoint has Visual Studio and SharePoint Designer for developing applications for it. Visual Studio is mostly for programmers (more low level stuff) and SharePoint Designer is mostly for designer (more high level stuff, how the page will look like etc). What is the Alfresco equivalent tools? From what I understand Eclipse or NetBeans can be used in place of visual studio. right? And what about a SharePoint Designer Alternative? Is there something like this for Alfresco?

*** Java is the main programming language for Alfresco Development. Right?

*** The functionality I saw in the Alfresco SHARE enterprise trial is provided out of the box in the community edition?

*** The truth is that Alfresco SHARE already provide us with almost all the functionality we need out of the box. (if the functionality I saw in the Trial version is provided out of the box in the Community Edition). We don't want any advanced features for now. The only thing is not provided is a Timetable page. (a lot of other calendar/meeting management tools are there, but I couldn't find a timetable tool). Can someone describe me how a custom page (e.g.: a timetable) can be created? Not the low level technical stuff but the whole procedure. ( e.g.: You use eclipse, you create a new jsp page, you add some custom tag for alfresco, you code a timetable in java, you save the page in alfresco root folder blah blah blah and you are done). If you want to create a timetable, sre you creating a page? Or some kind of "component" that you can reuse in every page?

Thank you for your time and sorry for all the silly questions. :)