SharePoint/SQL 2010 for a Large Enterprise with Multiple Needs
September 15, 2014

SharePoint/SQL 2010 for a Large Enterprise with Multiple Needs

Tim Ritter | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with MS SharePoint / SQL

SharePoint is used across the entire organization, although more heavily by some business units than others. It is utilized in two primary ways, as a shared space and storage architecture, and under a fully branded and customized solution for our Intranet. As a shared space, with nearly 2000 separate sites created, some are fully secured due to sensitive or restricted information being stored, while others serve both small and large teams, and a number of cross-department or corporate-wide purposes for sharing information. These all can range from simple to complex sites, with some being primarily document sharing sites (a clear strength in SharePoint space), and others being more page/list/post driven (most often still with some documents sharing as well). As an intranet, SharePoint 2010 was selected as the platform for a wholesale replacement of a previous internally developed web platform intranet. The new solution leverages the strengths of SharePoint, but presents all users across the enterprise with a dynamic and branded website UX that does not have any look and feel of a typical SharePoint site. We studied some best-in-breed public sites, as well as some other corporate intranet sites, that were all based on SharePoint. In addition, this platform has allowed us to easily train and implement a user self-service model for content. Content creators can exist throughout the enterprise, with permissions set to customize their level of involvement in the pre-production environment. Publishing features allow quality control with approvals required by designated persons responsible for each subsite throughout the intranet hierarchy, prior to any content migrating to the live intranet site. Additional areas of the site for news, blogs, and others allow all users on the live site to comment on certain types of comment, provide feedback (including likes), and to follow authors of blogs (receiving custom emails when new posts arrive, for example). It is a media-rich site, and we have been able to both extend some of the more advanced SharePoint features in development, as well as integrating with plug-ins and with third-party sites/services that were already being engaged by various areas of the enterprise. This has allowed us to pull many areas of content together into a more tightly integrated solution that is effective for communications and productivity in the organization.
  • Document publishing, sharing, and versioning
  • List management
  • Stable performance of the platform
  • Typical UX is perceived by many users as difficult or clunky
  • Help is often obscure or too general for typical users
  • WYSIWYG editing of content for pages/posts is feature-rich, but still lacks some more advanced capability for layout control.
The internal document repository features are very robust and strong, so there are few solid competitors without going into far more complex territory for specialized solutions using Documentum or other packages. Being a strong generalist is really the greatest strength here for SharePoint/SQL, along with having a common MS architecture which makes finding developers who can code custom solutions an easier proposition than with many other enterprise architectures. For the intranet development, we moved away from original plans to use a Websphere platform that is used for our external site content management, due to the complexity and cost of development not being needed for internal communications. We also considered some other strong content platforms, like WordPress. While these are great on the ease of building a custom UX and for users to easily do content self-service, and they did have some levels of publishing and permissions based access, they lacked the more robust enterprise features for document sharing and management, list and data services, and other features that we already had implemented across the enterprise in our regular SharePoint space. Keeping both of these internal spaces on the same platform allows us to plan for further and deeper integration in the long view, and allows for more consistent governance of content to be developed and grow over time.
This was a long-term buy-in from a corporate perspective, to remain in the SharePoint space. Migration is certainly possible, which is good for planning and having options further out. At this point, the only planned migration is to eventually move the architecture up to SharePoint/SQL 2013. At that point, we will be able to leverage some greater efficiencies, some enhanced content design and management features, and some more current social features. It is well worth a full consideration in any shop looking at a new implementation of or migration to SharePoint (although you will probably be considering 2013 versions or beyond in those discussions), but the platform should be a strong competitor to any alternatives. Realizing the capability of a fully-branded and customized website was not part of the original choice for the architecture at Lincoln, but seeing it implemented and functioning now with this capacity far beyond original expectations has certainly cemented plans to continue using it.
I think MS SharePoint / SQL is well-suited to most enterprise needs. It would be less appropriate for a smaller organization, or for a larger organization looking for a simple blog or internal web solution without the document repository features.