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SharePoint: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly SharePoint as a Content Management Platform for the Uninitiated 12/1/20091Marcel Meth.

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Presentation on theme: "SharePoint: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly SharePoint as a Content Management Platform for the Uninitiated 12/1/20091Marcel Meth."— Presentation transcript:

1 SharePoint: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly SharePoint as a Content Management Platform for the Uninitiated 12/1/20091Marcel Meth

2 Agenda What is SharePoint Preliminaries SharePoint By Example Beyond the Example Take Aways 12/1/2009Marcel Meth2

3 What is SharePoint? “SharePoint is an enterprise information portal, from Microsoft, that can be configured to run Intranet, Extranet and Internet sites. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 allows people, teams and expertise to connect and collaborate. A SharePoint enterprise portal is composed of both SharePoint Portal and Windows SharePoint Services, with SharePoint being built upon WSS. WSS is typically used by small teams, projects and companies. SharePoint Server is designed for individuals, teams and projects within a medium to large company wide enterprise portal” When I hear people answer the question, this is what I hear: 12/1/20093 “It is both a floor wax and a dessert topping!” Here, I'll spray some on your mop, and some on your butterscotch pudding. Marcel Meth

4 SharePoint To me, SharePoint is: The ability for end users to manage content in a variety of forms online without necessarily having to enlist IT to do so. My working definition: 12/1/20094Marcel Meth Enterprise Content Management Document Management Records Management Web Content Management

5 SharePoint by Example 12/1/2009Marcel Meth5

6 Preliminaries: SharePoint Timeline Confusing Offering SPS 2001 Doc Mgmt Portal Basic search Personalization Forms Webparts Web Content Mgmt SPS 2003 SPS 2003 + BI & Connect to data Search ++ Excel Services Extranets Records Management WSS, MOSS, Search 2007 Firefox & Safari Ajax Connect to data ++ Internet 2010 12/1/2009Marcel Meth6 Painful upgrade Upgrade is supposed to be better GoodBadUgly Quick to stand up a site.Need clients to be MS friendly & carefully setup UI is clunky, not pretty, & everything looks like SharePoint. Works well for closed/controlled communities Too many SKUsNavigation MS Documentation is poor. User management / creation Lists – End users can create pseudo databases Lists are limitedList interfaces are ugly Repositioning

7 Preliminaries: Who’s involved? Anonymous viewer Contribute content Participate in business processes Non Technical User (Browser Only) Gather User Requirements Customize Sites and Libraries Customize Look & Feel / Branding Build custom solutions SharePoint Analyst ”Technically Savvy User” (Browser & SharePoint Designer) Hardcore.NET Developer: Builds code that must be installed through the back end interfaces. Build repeatable solutions Developer (Browser, SharePoint Designer, & Visual Studio) System, Network, Desktop, Security, and Database Administration Administrator (Browser, Server Consoles, Desktops) 12/1/20097Marcel Meth

8 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) Request – “Build an interactive web site for the Newton Eco Teams Project.” Newton has ~80,000 residents No real requirements up front: Site evolved in a series of iterations. Mission: 12/1/2009Marcel Meth8 Eco-Teams, groups of 5-8 people from different households, meet three or four times to work through a fun, easy-to-use workbook called The Low Carbon Diet, which shows, step-by-step, how to dramatically reduce CO2 output in just a month's time. You learn to: Calculate your CO 2 footprint with an easy-to-use online carbon calculator. Create cool household systems that save the earth while saving you money. Take on cool lifestyle practices to reduce CO 2 emissions.

9 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 2 What you should know – This site is hosted by apps4rent on a WSS server. – Cost is low ($9 / month, unlimited users, performance is good) – Numerous occasions I would have liked to use MOSS. – No access to back end No developers Very little ability to administrate 12/1/2009Marcel Meth9

10 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 3 What an anonymous user sees – Brochure ware 12/1/2009Marcel Meth10 User Clicks here to sign in Clicking on “form a team” initiates a human workflow process

11 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 4 SharePoint Analyst – User can contribute content. In WSS vs MOSS – WSS has no publishing model. – MOSS does have an approval workflow & publishing model. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth11 User Clicks here to sign in

12 Anonymous user requests access SharePoint Anlyst Creates an account Sends back email Anonymous user logs in, they are now an authenticated user. SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 5 Adding an account (Ugly!) – This is usually done by using Active Directory in a closed community. – For our example, apps4rent uses custom forms based authentication. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth12 There are third party products that can improve user account handling and password reset. But you need the Administrator to install them.

13 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 6 SharePoint Analyst – User can connect web parts so that they pass data to each other. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth13 Text box passes term to filter contacts.

14 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 6 SharePoint Analyst creates a list. Non Technical User can now enter data in a form that is associated with the list. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth14 GoodBadUgly Forms come for free as part of a list Forms are not very friendlyDifficult to get a User Interface that makes sense. Lists provide a good repository for data. (Pseudo Database) List functionality is limited SharePoint 2010 has improved lists significantly

15 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 7 Comparing Excel with a SharePoint list – Excel provides a much richer user experience with immediate graphical feedback and totals. – SharePoint lists are able to prefill somewhat intelligently. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth15

16 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 8 SharePoint can retrieve data that is embedded in Excel Why not store each household's data in their own personal Excel file?. – This would be a good solution if you could control the end user desktops. In enterprise settings you can do this. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth16 X

17 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 9 If we wanted to create a repeatable solution for each town in Massachusetts, then we would definitely need a developer. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth17 Eco Team site for Boston Eco Team site for Everette …

18 SharePoint by Example (Eco Teams) 8 Dashboards in SharePoint – WSS enables a summary view – MOSS enables charts & – MOSS can connect to data on other data providers. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth18 GoodBadUgly Concept of showing aggregate data is great. Aggregate views are not very rich If you use the SharePoint charting and data connectors, then the solution requires MOSS enterprise, which is very expensive SharePoint 2010 promises to fix a lot of issues. Lots of bugs with Office files and SharePoint (Hoping they get this right in 2010) Work around: 1.Proficient jQuery guru 2.CorasWorks 3.Bamboo web parts

19 SharePoint Beyond the Example Excel Services – Can serve as a reporting tool. – Upload spreadsheet to SharePoint. Users do not need Excel on their desktop. – Not a replacement for data collection (forms) 12/1/2009Marcel Meth19 GoodBadUgly Concept is great!Excel Services is V1, and still limited Very limited user input capability. Allows workbook to connect to data from server. SharePoint 2010 promises to fix a lot of issues.

20 SharePoint Beyond the Example 2 – My Sites – Blogs – Wikis – Discussions – Surveys – User Profiles 12/1/2009Marcel Meth20 GoodBadUgly Concepts are good.In 2007, these were all V1, and it shows They are not very rich and the UI is not intuitive. SharePoint 2010 promises to fix a lot of issues. “Social” SharePoint

21 SharePoint: Beyond the Example 3 Data Gathering and Business Process Workflows – Requires careful planning and customization to setup. Info Path SharePoint Designer Workflows Visual Studio 12/1/2009Marcel Meth21 GoodBadUgly One can build a powerful automated workflow that can capture data from humans Users need to have the InfoPath client installed. (Windows friendly client machines) Alternative: Use the forms server. This is expensive and requires a developer or Administrator to deploy the forms. Really sophisticated workflows requires the use of Visual Studio, thus a developer needs to be engaged. Alternative: *Use the third party tools from: Nintex K2 A SharePoint Analyst can accomplish a great deal. * Tech Savvy User Developer

22 SharePoint: Beyond the Example 4 Web Content Management & Deployment – This is a V1 feature set (Comes from the old Microsoft CMS product) – MOSS Enterprise – Requires Back end administrative privileges to deploy content. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth22 GoodBadUgly Good strategyBuggySharePoint User Interface is not elegant enough for a customer facing site. Thus one must spend quite a bit of time and energy to get a functional and aesthetically pleasing branded site. 2010 has a great deal of improvements. Need to involve administrator. Need MOSS Publishing functionality is confusing and requires users who are savvy.

23 SharePoint: Beyond the Example 5 Search – One of Microsoft's biggest competitors is Google – Google sells an appliance for enterprise search. – Microsoft has a spectrum of search solutions that are coupled with different versions of SharePoint. – What you should know about enterprise search: People are often disappointed by enterprise search Getting Enterprise search to work well is resource intensive You can purchase starter dictionaries You probably want someone who specializes in search. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth23

24 SharePoint: Beyond the Example 6 Records Management 12/1/2009Marcel Meth24 A record is a document or other electronic or physical entity in an organization that serves as evidence of an activity or transaction performed by the organization and that requires retention for some time period. Records management is the process by which an organization:  Determines what types of information should be considered records.  Determines how active documents that will become records should be handled while they are in use, and determines how they should be collected once they are declared to be records.  Determines in what manner and for how long each record type should be retained to meet legal, business, or regulatory requirements.  Researches and implements technological solutions and business processes to help ensure that the organization complies with its records management obligations in a cost- effective and non-intrusive way.  Performs records-related tasks such as disposing of expired records, or locating and protecting records related to external events such as lawsuits. GoodBad Good strategy Difficult to debug. 2010 should be better Need to involve administrator.

25 Take-Aways 1.SharePoint consists of a broad portfolio of tools that allows you to quickly standup solutions in a browser. 2.SharePoint works best with a controlled “Microsoft Friendly” desktop environment. 3.SharePoint users: Non Technical Analyst Programmer Administrator 4.SharePoint sites require effort to make them look good. 5.Authentication needs to be carefully planned SharePoint Authentication designed to be used with Active Directory. 6.UI is clunky, but SP 2010 shows a lot of promise. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth25

26 Take-Aways continued 7.Third party eco system can be helpful, need an administrator to install CorasWorks – Charting & Data Connectivity Nintex & K2 – Workflow Bamboo Solutions – Variety of Webparts 8.“Social” SharePoint – Not really for external use. 9.Don’t be fooled by Search, it is hard to implement well. 10.Records Management and Web Content Management will probably be robust in 2010. 11.“Repeatable” implementations often need a developer to be involved. 12/1/2009Marcel Meth26

27 Marcel Meth Questions The Mathft Technology Group - specializing in SharePoint configuration and customization for real world businesses 12/1/2009Marcel Meth27

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