Adoption of Microsoft SharePoint is growing rapidly, with Microsoft reporting “double-digit growth” in its latest financials, yet it remains widely misunderstood. What can you do with SharePoint, what is the difference between the free SharePoint Foundation and the full product, and what are the pros and cons? Microsoft calls …
Q: So what is SharePoint really?
A: A Lotus Domino-killer. Like that battle still needs fighting
A: A solution in search of a problem
A: A way to use proprietary technology in place of better-fitting open solutions
A: A very expensive way to build an intranet
A: A very, very expensive way to build a website
A: A nice little earner for SharePoint developers
A: A bowl of cold spaghetti garnished with steaming dollops of mess
Q: So who is FatsBranningan really?
A: Someone who clearly has no idea what they're talking about
A: A problem with no solution, other than an untimely death
A: Someone who clearly doesn't realise that "ASP.Net", while Proprietory, is easily as popular as other languages for web development, and very versatile.
A: Wasn't paying attention to the bit about "free" versions available.
A: See above.
A: Someone who must think "SharePoint Developers" are the only developers out there - like Google isn't a nice little earner for Google Developers?
A: See Answer A.
If my death were the solution, it would hardly be untimely.
Bit grumpy today, are we?
It's better than Livelink, but
... about 15 years behind Lotus Notes/Domino. Although the Office integration is nice.
Microsoft needs to get their advertising act together
Microsoft has made some dramatic steps forward when looking at their business solutions. For both the low/mid range as well as the enterprises. Still, its the low/mid range which I'm interested in since that's my category. I can now utilize solutions for a reasonable price which several years ago would have been nearly unreachable for me.
I don't think its the technology anymore. With their 2010 Office suite they have made some tremendous progress, and I'm not talking about the interface but the technical aspects of what you can do with it. Even a computer illiterate can now easily save their document online thus allowing others to access it (without risking to accidentally sharing it with the world).
Yet Microsoft seems incapable of selling their goods. As the author states: "What is Sharepoint, what can you do with it?". Its a very fair question, one which Microsoft usually can only answer with: "Here's our demo version, try it out yourself!" (not with all of their products, but many have a demo available these days) OR they'll bury you with a load of marketing phrases which sound "cool" but are totally meaningless.
Take a look at their Outlook product page; it starts with a link to get video training! "Lesson 1, Master the basics of email". Can you see it? "Oh, if sending an e-mail requires a study of some sort then Outlook definitely isn't for me, too complex" (my opinion a few months ago).
Same applies to SharePoint, as rightfully noticed by the author. Good article IMO!
by the way; who said that El Reg was negative (per definition) towards Microsoft again? ;-)
I've been working with SP for a few years now and this is one of the better 5 minute summaries I've read.
SharePoint does suffer from neither being fish nor fowl. Its a bit of everything without the full function of anything (without a lot of custom work). But if you go into it with your eyes open and don't over pay for it the ROI is pretty good.
The only thing I would add to the article is that Remote Blob Storage (available from SQL express upwards) goes some way to removing that 10GB limit. Use with caution, technical and functional constraints do apply.
I love the fact that people who are obviously the proud holders of a formal education in CS (and hence have an in-depth formally-taught knowledge of Unix not owned by the Unwashed) believe that MS solutions should be self-explanatory or "just work out of the box".
I think it is that the GUI-based design ethic seems to make everything look so trivially easy that there could be no possible complexity that needs to be learned in order to get the best from the product hiding under the hood.
Thus, Sharepoint and Outlook must be idiotic products because they don't need any explanation to use (wrong) so providing some means the people who would want to use them are idiots (arguable, but not from those premises).
Before anyone screams and leaps they should know that I work as a Unix SA, but because I can remember when computers were actually as secure as people thought and don't believe the world of computers is bounded by MS Windows and Unix-like OSs I can use a GUI without undergoing deep suicidal urges, and I'm willing to read around in any product line to see what can be done.
Strong summary of SharePoint features, enterprise purposes
Thanks for posting. I agree with 'anotherfish' this is among the best concise summaries of SharePoint I've read. There is a lot of confusion surrounding SharePoint- especially because it has so many potential uses. You've done a good job of explaining SharePoint as a platform that can be customized and extended through various third party tools and applications.
The final part of this article, regarding Office 365 and hosted SharePoint, could be elaborated on further. Hosted SharePoint offerings- including private cloud/ dedicated server implementations- are popular, in part, because SharePoint specialists handle the deployment and management tasks so companies can focus on their core competencies without getting 'bogged down' by the complex technical nature of the SharePoint product.
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