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SharePoint OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SharePoint is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Enterprise Content Management tools. It is most often compared to WordPress: SharePoint vs WordPress

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a Microsoft-based platform for building web applications. It covers a widerange of capabilities and while it is appropriate for experienced webdevelopers, even non-technical minded users can easily navigate through thesystem and execute functions such as collaborating data, managing documents andfiles, creating websites, managing social networking solutions, and automatingworkflow.

Major areas that SharePoint deals with are websites,communities, content, search, insights, and composites. The purpose is to give usersthe ability to create or develop these key business components on their owneven without technical knowledge of, for example, how to build a website or howto integrate coding. Configuring SharePoint into a business's system is meantto cut out all of the complicated steps, and pave the way for easierimplementation all around.

SharePoint is also known as SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010.

SharePoint Buyer's Guide

Download the SharePoint Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

SharePoint Customers

Toyota, Aeroports de Paris, ASBBank Ltd., Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals, CambridgeshireConstabulary, D&M Group, NPL Construction Company, and The Regional Municipality of Niagara.

SharePoint Video

SharePoint Reviews

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Ram Chenna
Enterprise Architect at Blueray Digital Services
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Offers great OCR capabilities, metadata storage and proficient archiving

Pros and Cons

  • "Ability to store files of any type."
  • "The solution lacks collaboration features."

What is our primary use case?

We work with the on-premise version of this product at our client's site. The solution is used in specific industries like banks and insurance companies where a local solution is needed to satisfy document storing requirements. 

How has it helped my organization?

The organization where the sharepoint solutions are deployed have benefited immensely in terms of the document managment system requirements. Storing all their digital assets in document format. Scanned documents and later use it for reference and legal and regulatory requirements.

Other features being the collaboration, web content management, workflows, analytics available within the product has helped the organization in not going in for separate products. Cost is a big factor when it comes to IT implementations and products usage.

What is most valuable?

SharePoint has many good features. You can store files of any type, whether office-related documents, videos or MP4 recordings. Metadata can also be stored which makes searching, categorizing and grouping of documents easier. At the same time, the database doesn't take a huge amount of space because documents are on a storage device, unlike other solutions. You can also create forms, have workflows, approvals, scan and upload documents. The solution also has OCR capabilities which are key for the banking and insurance industries. It also has a good forms feature and approval. The DocuWare archive fits very well with that. The solution is cost-effective and has a perpetual license per environment. The product fits neatly within small and medium enterprise banks. It's very cost-effective.

What needs improvement?

The solution lacks collaboration features so that I am unable to collaboratively create and work on a document with others. The second element that is lacking is compliance or records management so that certain documents, of a legal nature, for example, are only accessible to certain users. I would really like to see that kind of feature.

From a compliance perspective like GDPR  and if the document or data contains personally identifiable data PII data, the SharePoint feature for records management should allow to identify the data being PII data and also provide feature for GDPR wherein the customer is asked for confirmation if needs to be stored and how the data and documents will be used and for what purpose.

If the customer does not confirm should not allow storage of documents and data that contains personal information should not be stored without customers consent. It should allow for archiving feature post the period for which the customer has given the consent for the data and document to be stored  is over should allow to delete the data and document.

Looking for GDPR and other compliance features built into the product as a workflow

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 21 years. From its 1st version in 2001 till date. We have moved to the cloud version and offering of SharePoint i.e. 0365/SharePoint Online as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For a company like ours with around 25,000 users, this product is good and quite stable. We need to explore what happens when the data increases beyond 1 million or 10 million records. At that point, we may need to look again at scalability and what the product can support. They have support for vertical or horizontal scaling. They have a feature where you can increase server hardware, but that needs to be checked. We have two people assisting with maintenance. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has a good ability to scale up in terms of number of documents and number of users.

How are customer service and support?

Microsoft has the best customer service and support both on web, online, on calls, emails and if you are one of those partners it becomes all the way easy to get the support needed.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Some of our client were first time users of SharePoint so going from no prior system for document storage, collaboration, content management, workflows, application development platform was a boon.

For all of our client who have moved from one version to another version of the product, they always found the product improved in terms of features and functionality and performance.

How was the initial setup?

They have good documentation for deployment so it was quite straightforward. I was involved along with the vendor, setting up the environment, setting up the product, the infrastructure and configuration. We had some minor issues but deployment was quite seamless. It took two or three hours, we had one infrastructure and one technical person working on it, that was enough for us. 

What about the implementation team?

This was implemented using Vendor as well as an in-house team with the client. A kind of hybrid development team created for application development, product deployment and configuration.

What was our ROI?

I should say if an organization has decided to go for the flagship Microsoft product i.e. Sharepoint, then they should start thinking ahead and plan a roadmap of moving their department applications to Sharepoint and also use the other pillars/features to their advantage the ROI and TCO will be shorten and the organization will gain immensely from early usage of the product for all their development needs.

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

The license is a one-time cost when you purchase the solution, but there is an annual support fee.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have worked with products similar to SharePoint such as Documentum, and others. They are heavily loaded with a lot of features, which small and medium enterprise banks, catering to anywhere up to 20,000 users, may not require. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate this solution nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Gold Partner
Flag as inappropriate
Toby Ward
President at Prescient Digital Media
Consultant
Top 5Leaderboard
Plan, plan, plan. Over-budget.
There are in fact two versions of SharePoint: the on-premises version, SharePoint 2019, and SharePoint Online, which comes bundled in Office 365 (the Cloud). Though those with Office 365 automatically have the latest features in SharePoint Online; those with on-premises SharePoint, have to wait for the next release to get the latest and greatest. SharePoint’s greatest strength is it’s an all-in-one approach – it’s a portal, a content management system, a search engine, a social collaboration platform, a web development platform, and so much more. Its greatest weakness is that it’s an all-in-one solution – everything and the kitchen sink; a jack-of-all-trades, a master of none. Some argue that SharePoint is a “mile wide, but a foot deep.” It offers so much, but some features are seen as…

There are in fact two versions of SharePoint: the on-premises version, SharePoint 2019, and SharePoint Online, which comes bundled in Office 365 (the Cloud). Though those with Office 365 automatically have the latest features in SharePoint Online; those with on-premises SharePoint, have to wait for the next release to get the latest and greatest.

SharePoint’s greatest strength is it’s an all-in-one approach – it’s a portal, a content management system, a search engine, a social collaboration platform, a web development platform, and so much more. Its greatest weakness is that it’s an all-in-one solution – everything and the kitchen sink; a jack-of-all-trades, a master of none. Some argue that SharePoint is a “mile wide, but a foot deep.” It offers so much, but some features are seen as still ‘developing’ or even sub-par. But there are a lot of tools and features, and with each release, it gets better and better (though more complex).

“With Office 365, Microsoft currently offers the most powerful communication and collaboration suite on the market. And the latest announcements from the Microsoft Ignite conference across the main workloads like SharePoint, Teams and Powell Apps prove that they continue to move forward fast in order to stay ahead of the game,” says Antoine Faisandier, CEO of Powell Software, a Digital Workplace software that extends and enhances the Office 365 capabilities.

It’s important to note that SharePoint is still a technology. It doesn’t include all of the people, process and planning that is required to make any intranet technology work. Intranet technology will fail without careful planning, process and committed people. Most of the key ingredients of a successful intranet in the digital workplace are based on people, and process; technology is merely an enabler.

Among the latest features, building upon the SharePoint 2016 version:

  1. Delve / My Profile (About Me) - My Sites disappears in favor of a new profile, About Me, that also uses the Delve inference engine.
  2. Cloud / Hybrid - Hybrid enables you to integrate your on-premises farm with the cloud, at your own pace.
  3. Durable Links - Resource-based URLs now retain links when documents are renamed or moved in SharePoint.
  4. Image and video previews - Preview images and videos in SharePoint Server 2016 document libraries.
  5. Large files - now supports uploading and downloading files larger than 2,047 MBs
  6. Mobile - an improved mobile navigation experience.
  7. Search - SharePoint Search has now fully integrated the FAST Search engine, with more features, and indexes up to 500 milliion documents (per app).
  8. Sharing - better user sharing options, including a Shared folder, and invitation email notifications.
  9. Microsoft Teams - social project sites, akin to an enhanced Team SIte, but with chat, presence, inline calling and messaging, including Skype and other third-party apps. It now includes voice mail.


We are Intranet consultants (www.PrescientDigital.com) and we principally use Office 365 - SharePoint Online (almost complete feature parity with SharePoint 2016) for Enterprise Content Management; improving the way our organization functions in terms of employee collaboration and knowledge sharing specifically via document management, and social collaboration (discussion groups, profiles and blogging being the most used social tools). Increasingly we use Teams, and use it with external clients that can be invited to a specific Team.

The solution could use improvement, however, in terms of Web content management / social media tools (e.g. wikis), and general usability. We also encountered many, many problems with deployment -- customization and implementation requires more work than you expect. Additionally, like most organization, we customized the user experience, which can break (particularly specific webparts) with every SharePoint patch and upgrade. However, we found no issues with stability or scalability.

We switched to SharePoint Online because its the market leader, and 80% of our clients use SharePoint. We are first and foremost SharePoint intranet consultants, so we build and design other intranets, and need to deeply understand the ins and outs of SharePoint. 

The initial setup of SharePoint is very complex and requires a lot of work to customize, including hiring outside experts. The advice I would give to others looking into implementing this product is plan, plan, plan, and plan to run over-budget (unless you hire very strong outside experts to develop and run your plan and budget) for customization activities. And do not underestimate the infrastructure required (servers and farm configuration).

Additional changes and improvements were announced to the SharePoint Online in Office 365. An overview of the changes are here: Big Changes to Office 365 / SharePoint Intranets

SharePoint 2019
SharePoint 2019

SharePoint 2019 features major upgrades to the user experience design and mobile access, including a new dedicated SharePoint app. The UX for SharePoint 2019 is noticeably superior to previous versions of SP. It’s very clean and modern, with a major emphasis on images, and video. The new "modern UX" is fully responsive, and has it's own dedicated mobile app.

“SharePoint 2019 has the most UX (improvements) than we’ve ever delivered before in a SharePoint release,” Hani Loza, of the Microsoft SharePoint team, on www.IntranetBlog.com.

Among the new UX features, particularly noticeable in the new SharePoint Communications Sites, are drag-and-drop web parts for image galleries, slideshows, hero slideshow, and video.

Continue reading: The New SharePoint: SharePoint 2019

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about SharePoint. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
541,462 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Toby Ward
President at Prescient Digital Media
Consultant
Top 5Leaderboard
SharePoint for Intranets
SharePoint is appreciated for its simplicity of use out-of-the-box, though derided for problems (and the expenses) customizing the user experience (design, navigation and information architecture). SharePoint is replete with functionality and applications, and is the most comprehensive intranet development platform on the market. It is, unfortunately, expensive, and most of the feature set that we use, and that our clients use, fall short of expectations, and often below best-of-breed. SharePoint isn’t a niche product that is supposed to be superb at web content management, or social networking; it’s a broad solution, one that has something for everybody; a solution that can please some, but not all. SharePoint’s greatest strength is that it’s an all-in-one solution – it’s a portal, a…

SharePoint is appreciated for its simplicity of use out-of-the-box, though derided for problems (and the expenses) customizing the user experience (design, navigation and information architecture).

SharePoint is replete with functionality and applications, and is the most comprehensive intranet development platform on the market. It is, unfortunately, expensive, and most of the feature set that we use, and that our clients use, fall short of expectations, and often below best-of-breed. SharePoint isn’t a niche product that is supposed to be superb at web content management, or social networking; it’s a broad solution, one that has something for everybody; a solution that can please some, but not all.

SharePoint’s greatest strength is that it’s an all-in-one solution – it’s a portal, a content management system, a search engine, a social collaboration platform, a web development platform, and so much more. Its greatest weakness is that it’s an all-in-one solution – everything and the kitchen sink; a jack-of-all-trades, a master of none. Some argue that SharePoint is a “mile wide, but a foot deep.” It offers so much, but many features are seen as sub-par. 

SharePoint is part enterprise content management (ECM) solution, part portal solution, part web development platform, part social media platform. It offers many, many solutions and functions – often too much for most organizations – but it is Microsoft’s hope that it will become everything to everybody including the de facto platform for the company intranet, website(s) and extranet(s). In sum total, it is an amazingly powerful solution, but often fails to live up to expectations.

SharePoint 2013 was a fair solution, with an abundance of time, patience… and money, it could work; SharePoint 2016, is even better, but still requires a lot of care, and investment.

The latest, SharePoint 2019 (and SharePoint Online in Office 365), further improves upon previous versions, notably the mobile experience and the user experience. 

SharePoint has a new mobile app, so you can access your intranet using a phone app, instead of using the browser. Outside of the app, SharePoint has a new, clean mobile experience – greatly enhanced over the mobile experience in SharePoint 2016.

Another big, major improvement to SharePoint is the new user experience (UX) design and general usability of SharePoint. It is noticeably superior to previous versions of SP. It’s very clean and modern, with a major emphasis on images, and video.

“SharePoint 2019 has the most UX (improvements) than we’ve ever delivered before in a SharePoint release,” Hani Loza, of the Microsoft SharePoint team.

Among the new UX features, particularly noticeable in the new SharePoint Communications Sites, are drag-and-drop web parts for image galleries, slideshows, hero slideshow, and video.

Microsoft has released a new video function and portal, called Stream. Using Microsoft Stream, videos will play automatically in a page, and it includes auto transcription, face detection, and enhanced sharing and tagging. The Stream team say “audio transcriptions and face detection make finding relevant content easy—even for specific words or people shown on screen, whether in a single video or across all your company’s videos.”

From a governance perspective, SharePoint is good, when compared to other platforms. It is not perfect, but no solution is.

Like the content of your website or intranet, planning and governance is technology agnostic; whether it’s SharePoint or another portal or content management platform, the necessity for and the approach to governance is the same. In short, governance lives and dies with its owners, and the rules they put in place, regardless of the technology. Governance is largely applicable to any technology platform and as such is generic to start.

When building a governance model for SharePoint, the major components should include:

  • The umbrella ownership model – Centralized? Decentralized? Collaborative?
  • Defined ownership structure (names and titles)
  • Roles and responsibilities (jobs and duties)
  • Decision making process (who is responsible for what and when)
  • Authorization (who is responsible for what and when)
  • Policy (what is allowed, and what is not allowed)

While governance is generic in nature, regardless of the software and hardware, there are some components of SharePoint that require specific consideration. Site Collections and Team Sites are so easy to deploy, and it is so easy for even the most neophyte web users to create a site (e.g. Team Sites, My Sites, Publishing Sites, etc.), SharePoint sites can easily grow at exponential rates and amount to tens-of-thousands in a short period of time. ‘Baking’ in rules and inheritance to site collections is critical to ensuring a consistent, uniform user experience.

These issues and others are discussed in-depth including, SharePoint governance, and some of the specific, requisite steps and policies for implementing intranet and in the SharePoint Governance white paper.

To learn about the specifics of intranet design with SharePoint, see the Intranet Design white paper.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Toby Ward
President at Prescient Digital Media
Consultant
Top 5Leaderboard
The SharePoint Intranet – Pros and Cons
SharePoint has conquered the enterprise intranet. Although the conquest is never as bloody nor expensive as more invasive conquests, such as the Mongols under Genghis Khan, intranet citizens are not always thrilled by the new system and structure under Gates Khan. SharePoint is present in 80% of the Fortune 100; and plays a prominent intranet role in about 70% of knowledge worker intranets (either powering the main intranet portal, or delivering associated collaboration sites and/or document repositories). This in spite of its history. SharePoint 2007 was a dog; SharePoint 2010 was a dressed-up dog; but SharePoint 2013 represented a leap forward to a more user-friendly, true web platform. SharePoint 2016 saw improvements, but perhaps the most significant advances have come in the…

SharePoint has conquered the enterprise intranet. Although the conquest is never as bloody nor expensive as more invasive conquests, such as the Mongols under Genghis Khan, intranet citizens are not always thrilled by the new system and structure under Gates Khan.

SharePoint is present in 80% of the Fortune 100; and plays a prominent intranet role in about 70% of knowledge worker intranets (either powering the main intranet portal, or delivering associated collaboration sites and/or document repositories). This in spite of its history.

SharePoint 2007 was a dog; SharePoint 2010 was a dressed-up dog; but SharePoint 2013 represented a leap forward to a more user-friendly, true web platform. SharePoint 2016 saw improvements, but perhaps the most significant advances have come in the last couple of years with the release and evolution of SharePoint online (and eventually SharePoint 2019) with the advent of Office 365.

SharePoint Online, and the on-premises version SharePoint 2019 (though the Online version is constantly being updated and improved upon; 2019 will not be upgraded until 2021 at the earliest) represent considerable improvement to a a very usable, complex digital workplace solution. SharePoint Online Modern Experience has become a truly mobile friendly solution, with a number of improvements to collaboration (particularly Teams and a dedicated mobile app) and for hybrid cloud scenarios.

There are a lot of reasons to buy into or upgrade to Online or 2019: the latest iteration of Microsoft’s portal-web development platform represents a massive, multi-million dollar upgrade on the previous versions of SharePoint (a version that was typically oversold given its underwhelming if not frustrating performance and lack of execution). SharePoint Online and 2019 are massive upgrade from 2013: noticeable improvements to social computing (social networking via Delve and Teams), mobile computing (responsive design with "modern" pages and a dedicated mobile app), better Office integration, cloud and hybrid integration, search and more.

But it’s not all good news, and it’s not a solution that fits every organization.

Here at Prescient Digital Media, we upgraded move to SharePoint Online in Office 365 (which is more feature and functionally rich than SharePoint 2019). Though some problems persist, the bugs and challenges are not as persistent as versions 2013 and 2016. There are some obvious improvements (pros) and some persistent issues (cons): 

  • Cloud – you no longer need to worry about patches, maintenance and security; Microsoft takes care of this for you
  • Mobile – enhanced mobile access experience with completely responsive sites and apps, and dedicated single sign-on apps for each of the tools in the Office 365 toolset
  • Social – enhanced social networking via Delve, Teams and Yammer
  • Web CMS – enhanced publishing and management interface (employing the ‘ribbon’ from Office)
  • Branding – the new "modern pages" are slick and responsive; it can be more challenging to implement new custom designs using the new modern pages versus classic, and MS has openly cautioned against customizing the home page
  • Search – search is much improved with the full integration with the FAST search engine, but requires some configuration work

There are far more pros than cons, but there should be at the price MS charges. SharePoint is very good for a small to medium-size intranet in a .NET environment that requires a web development platform focused on enterprise content management. In some scenarios, SharePoint can excel as a large enterprise intranet, but it can cause headaches if its overly customized .But it is not cheap, typically requires a lot of work and customization, and doesn’t always work as promised.

Speaking of conquest, the Chinese learned Mongol lessons the hard way, and built the Great Wall. Although a firewall is requisite with any intranet, not just a SharePoint intranet, walls kill collaboration and employee knowledge management. More salient, key lessons can be drawn from implementing and working with SharePoint:

  • Licensing represents a fraction of the cost
  • Planning and governance are mission critical – mission critical
  • Custom or third-party web parts and applications can really enhance the experience
  • Social collaboration doesn’t just happen, it’s earned
  • Change management is the key to success
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Cesar Danecke
IT Supervisor at HORSCH BRASIL
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Enables us to share information more securely

Pros and Cons

  • "The online editing capabilities, file sharing, auditing, information security, ease of solution management, and the easy user adaptation to the platform are the most valuable features."
  • "The way to change the version of the files in SharePoint should be improved. The method of synchronizing files from local to cloud can also use improvement."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for file sharing. SharePoint is implemented in our environment for files and user sharing. We also use it for simultaneous editions.

How has it helped my organization?

We had all the group files registered in SharePoint, including all local files. It was possible to share the information more securely. 

What is most valuable?

The online editing capabilities, file sharing, auditing, information security, ease of solution management, and the easy user adaptation to the platform are the most valuable features. 

What needs improvement?

The way to change the version of the files in SharePoint should be improved. The method of synchronizing files from local to cloud can also use improvement. 

I would also like to see improvements in the interface, speed to load the page, mark favorite directories, synchronize the most recent, and the least accessed files automatically do the archiving. I would like to have an option at the first sync to choose more locations on your computer.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of SharePoint is very good, amazing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SharePoint is easy and has new features now. Scalability with SharePoint is good and easy for us at work. To maintain the product, we do not need a large amount of professional, we currently have three professionals to administer the platform.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support with SharePoint is very good, very easy and includes support for multiple languages. It can be opened by several channels.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

What motivated us to switch solutions was the easy solution management, space scalability, additional features, easy synchronization, data security, and sharing control.

How was the initial setup?

The initial configuration of SharePoint was very easy. The configuration, training, and communication with the users took less than two months.

What about the implementation team?

Internal deployment of the system was conducted through a Microsoft partner and was very easy. We had our internal professionals deploy the system together.

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

about licensing, it depends a lot on what you need to do, there are many plans, options to choose from, you need to plan, enjoy 100% of what the product offers, so you can decide if the value is right

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I used several products, but sharepoint brought them all together. I used windows file server, linux, file versioners, website to share documents.

What other advice do I have?

Compared with other products, SharePoint is very good. We do not have other products that are as good as SharePoint.
SharePoint is definitely richer in features with functionality which helps us to get our work done. I would rate SharePoint a 10 out of 10.
The solution is integrated with the entire Microsoft platform, from e-mail to Azure computing, so the solution as a whole is easy to manage and has a central administration that facilitates the view of the entire environment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mordhi Alenazi
Business Application Development Manager at NWC
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Good collaboration and sharing but the workflow engine cannot support business needs

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are the collaboration and sharing."
  • "The workflow engine cannot support the business needs."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use cases are for 

  • Central repository for document integrated with a core application.
  • The integration through web service with Oracle ERP and Oracle CCB 
  • In addition, we use SharePoint two build a library for different projects for collaboration and sharing propose.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved my organization in the following ways:

  • Gave us the ability to integrate with other systems that need a lot of customization.
  • Offers alignment between user permissions in SharePoint and other systems is not exist.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are collaboration and sharing.

What needs improvement?

  • Workflow engine
  • Video streaming and huge file retrieving and uploading
  • It does not support video streaming and huge file retrieving and uploading
  • The workflow engine cannot support business needs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used SharePoint for six years.

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

It's not expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other options.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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