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SharePoint from a non developer
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July 21, 2016

SharePoint from a non developer

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with MS SharePoint

SharePoint is used as a document management portal, as an intranet and extranet platform, as a collaboration platform across the organisation and inside divisions. We use workflows built in SharePoint and we use SharePoint developer for implementing workflows. The problems it addresses are announcements, phone book, master database for bidding and contract management, BDM management platform, extranet site for collaboration with partners outside our company and for document management within divisions.
  • Very robust, never crashes
  • With minimum investment apart from licensing it can address most business processes
  • Good search capabilities (SharePoint 2010)
  • Same ergonomics as late office editions
  • Referential integrity between lists
  • Better no programming application development capabilities
  • Simple solution to keep big data outside the database
  • Divisions document generation much better coordinated
  • It serves us as a CRM without the need to buy one
  • Very well adopted so the demands ever increase
  • Need to have outside consultant
None. We considered K2 however, too expensive so far. We selected SharePoint because it came years ago with a subscription and we needed a collaboration platform to begin with.
Less appropriate as a web application against database data. It doesn't have built in referential integrity within lists. Well suited for publishing and approval of documents. Very robust, so not much maintenance is needed if used with built in functionality. Some third party solutions add much more capabilities to out of the box SharePoint for not much of an increase of the price. Very good security, if a little complicated with later editions.

Can authorize both against active directory and LDAP for outside partners. Very well developed community.

However, if migrating, if doing some more in depth customization, a professional is very much needed since it's a very complex environment and easy to lose a lot of time on tweaking, debugging and navigating through numerous options.

MS SharePoint Feature Ratings

Task Management
6
Gantt Charts
7
Scheduling
8
Workflow Automation
3
Mobile Access
9
Search
10
Visual planning tools
6
Discussions
7
Surveys
4
Internal knowledgebase
6
Integrates with Outlook
8
Versioning
7
Document collaboration
8
Access control
10
Advanced security features
10
Device sync
7

Using MS SharePoint

300 - working as engineers, designers in civil engineering industry
2 - Microsoft background. Out of the box support is not demanding but developing its capabilities, which are vast, requires engagement of the professional. Experience withVisual Studio, html, css, javascript is mandatory to develop custom capabilities. Good SharePoint environment also requires well versed engineer with "under the bonnet" capabilities of debugging SharePoint problems.
  • Extranet collaboration with partners outside our company
  • CRM platform, tracking of project pipelines
  • Project collaboration
  • To facilitate basic CRM functionality
  • Bid tracking
  • Receivables management
The only drawback is the price, it's quite costly to buy and requires Microsoft professionals to run at its peak capabilities. It works very well with large quantities of employees, has powerful search capabilities and a huge community. However it might not be a good fit for smaller companies who don't handle a large number of documents and employees and who don't exert high security requirements.

Evaluating MS SharePoint and Competitors

Yes - SharePoint partly replaced both ViewWise, a document management software and Metastorm e-work, a process management tool.
It was a change in company management and IT management that spurred the change of platform, and since we were under a Microsoft subscription at the time, SharePoint was an obvious choice. Through the word of mouth, the number of users eventually spread through the years.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
It was under an enterprise subscription model, plus we are a Microsoft experienced company. So seemingly, at no extra cost we could implement a platform we could use for a number of different purposes. Many out of the box features can be used very efficiently and with some imagination you could achieve many business goals.
The total cost of ownership (TCO) was not considered at the time. SharePoint is not for companies short on budget. That is a very important fact. However, if you don't lack financial backing, with some extra cash invested in add-ons, you can build very nice applications without the need to hire many Microsoft professionals. We mostly outsource in depth Microsoft knowledge.

MS SharePoint Implementation

Beware of switch in authentication methods!
  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
A Microsoft professional performed the implementation. In my opinion, it pays back to really engage a SharePoint professional for implementation, because it is vital to set up things right. It is very painful and time consuming to change setup settings later especially if users start filling up content. Also, it is important to get good tips on resolving issues, technology shortcomings and in essence get a good pitch in order to solve business requirements. SharePoint has a large number of templates and if you are not dedicated just to SharePoint, you are never going to test them all. So a good tip on best practice approaches pays back very soon!
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - Again, hire a sharepoint professional with a number of sharepoint projects behind him. Since sharepoint will most probably handle many business processes and large quantities of documents, downtime should be minimal and functionality setup as quickly as possible. It is impossible to pilot all new features, lessons learned on other peoples cases hurts the least. So hire a professional to setup your sharepoint.
  • Switching authentication from regular to claims based in 2010
  • Finding new versions of third party add ons, since sites would break if add ons were not updated
  • Takes a while for users to get accustomed to new ergonomics

MS SharePoint Support

We never actually used Microsoft support. We mostly use forums, user groups and Google to handle issues.
No - we never actually used microsoft support

Using MS SharePoint

A lot of users can give you many great ideas how to cleverly use SharePoint's core functionality to implement almost any process you need. It is very sturdy, never crashes. Many applications and third party solutions are built for SharePoint so even customization without Microsoft programming skills is rather easy and low cost.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Setup of security
  • Integrating with active directory
  • Integration with other microsoft products
  • New Microsoft Project is awesome! It's built upon the SharePoint platform
  • House cleaning the platform. It requires period maintenance to operate efficiently
  • Some list functionality is lacking for example cascade lookup
  • Security is at the item level, not column level
Yes - not sure, we don't use it much since it's an intranet platform. We don't host our external web on SharePoint.