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SharePoint Review
It has an easy to distribute administration capability. The licensing structures don’t fit the needs of their products.


Valuable Features

It has an easy to distribute administration capability, and can also scale to meet a large number of future needs. It also has the ability to produce very simple web application development products, freeing up my team’s development activities for more advanced needs.

Improvements to My Organization

We mainly use this product for our intranet and capital projects team. It has allowed each business unit the ability to “own” their portion of the intranet, and allowed our capital projects team the ability to effectively manage projects that require a multitude records request requirements and archival tasks. It is very customizable, and it possesses a very logical architecture.

Room for Improvement

As usual, Microsoft’s licensing structures don’t really seem to fit the needs of their products. This leads to always paying for a project you will never use fully or always be adding to. Also, the product does not perform 100% when used outside of a Microsoft based browser, Chrome, Firefox, etc. It’s getting better, but the architecture is still behind. This is largely the case for mobile as well.

Use of Solution

We have used this solution for almost nine years.

Stability Issues

The stability of the system is fine, so long as you have a well prepared support team for your Windows offerings.

Scalability Issues

Scalability is one of the great strengths of the product, in that it scales very well. As an added benefit, due to the ease of administration, a lead in a business unit can take over such responsibilities.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The level of technical support from Microsoft is very little to poor.

Previous Solutions

We did not have a similar solution in place. Our intranet was previously an added product to our hosted CMS. And for Capital Projects, we were using a mixture of standalone Microsoft Project install and file shares.

Initial Setup

After getting the infrastructure setup and deployed, installing and rolling out the product was fairly straightforward. A little bit of planning was required to better understand the differences in Web Applications from Site Collections, but that was largely straightforward.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Really take your time in planning the needs you are trying to meet. The licensing is very difficult to get right, and not as easy as many other alternative. Add in about a 15% cost to the initial cost estimates. You will find yourself needing to add something.

Other Solutions Considered

We did a brief overview of the market, and found that 9 years ago, SharePoint was a viable solution. Since then, we’ve settled on using it in very narrow cases, and fill the majority of our needs with custom development.

Other Advice

Invest a lot of time and energy in the planning for your needs. You will find that infrastructure needs are imperative to map out in the finest detail. Otherwise, your system will be continually under-performing. Also, pay special attention to the CAL needs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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