SharePoint Review

Offers an easy way to store unstructured content and to tag it with metadata


What is most valuable?

It offers an easy way to store unstructured content (.pdf, .doc, .xls, images) and to tag them with metadata. More complex solutions may involve workflow up receipt of the content.

How has it helped my organization?

Replace paper file cabinets with electronic images which can be duplicated for disaster recovery purposes. Workflow can be used to notify or obtain approval covering the document.

What needs improvement?

Too many versions being released in a short time period. Too much time being devoted to migration planning.

For how long have I used the solution?

Over 10 years, working with different versions up through 2013.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability issues are usually related to poor architecture planning, or solutions developed without a knowledge of how the tool works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If properly deployed, the solution is very scalable. It’s really easy to have many servers in a farm solution, and many farms in an enterprise solution.

How is customer service and technical support?

Trying to get technical support from Microsoft is always challenging. It seems large Fortune 1000 companies can get support.

Which solutions did we use previously?

You can deploy a web/database solution but it will take a lot of development time. SharePoint is a Rapid Application Development platform where a simple library, indexed, can be deployed in minutes.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward, however many of the architecture issues should be discussed prior to deployment. Matching the setup to the organization’s needscan make the installation complex.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It’s not cheap. Through version 2010, there was a "free" version called Foundation. All of the good features are in the Standard and Enterprise versions. Starting with 2013, the Foundation version was discontinued.
Licensing can be by server or by seat.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are similar solutions, like Lotus Notes/Domino and open source versions.

Open source rarely offers support, and I wouldn’t want to have a systems issue with all of my content locked up.

What other advice do I have?

As long as you work within the constraints of the software, working with out-of-the-box tools, the product is great. If you start to customize the solution too much or install code on the servers, migrations and upgrades become a problem.

Spend some time and money up front discussing your wants and needs with someone who is knowledgeable. For content management, think about the whole lifecycle, from receipt to purging the content from your system.

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