My thoughts on SharePoint

December 23, 2006

I’ve spent the last month or so playing with Windows SharePoint Services. In total I’ve probably spent 20-30 hours working with it so I’m by no means an expert. SharePoint is a fascinating product allowing organizations to easily setup intranet or web based portals. You can setup sites for departments, teams, projects, basically whatever you want. There are quite a few templates that have different features based on the purpose of the template. Some of the available features include Blogs, Wikis, document libraries, to-do lists, calendars, surveys, etc. Most of this is fairly simple to setup but the management interface is not intuitive.

I’ve also spent a decent amount of time researching SharePoint on the web but I have yet to find a good resource for beginners. Most of the documentation assumes a certain baseline of knowledge but doesn’t describe what that baseline is. I would appreciate it if someone would leave a comment with good resources if they know of any.

My company is planning to convert our entire intranet into SharePoint with the hopes that the features and interface will make things easier and more productive for each department. From what little I’ve learned so far I think there is some potential of this actually happening. However, there will be some resistance from the employees that have been there longer. We are hoping that each department will be able to take ownership of their intranet presence so IS can worry about other things.

So far I like SharePoint but I will need to go to a class or get a good book to build my baseline knowledge. My IS department will probably get pretty good use of the document library, wiki, and site building features. Most likely we will create a new site for each project we have so other departments can see our progress and have easy access to our requirements documents. Since we are still just starting this process I’m not entirely sure where we will end up but I like where we are heading right now.