SharePoint as an Application Platform

Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 3:01 PM by C-Dog's .NET Tip of the Day

I normally focus on actual useful information rather than just opinion, but today I am going to deviate a bit. After attening Tech Fest and listening to the elitists bash SharePoint as usual, I thought it was time for a post. I'll be the first to point out that I am not a hard core SharePoint supporter but I do think its good at certain things. There are a lot of things that such about SharePoint / MOSS, but when used properly I think it is a viable solution for various things. I think most of the stigma about SharePoint comes from version 2 and how bad it sucked and inexperience.

So what is it good for?

Document Management - SharePoint / MOSS is a decent repository for storing documents. There are other products that have things that may be better such as LiveLink, but all in all its not bad for document storage. Couple it with search and you have a decent solution. Don't go telling me you are going to custom dev a document management solution. That is just reinventing the wheel and being stupid. Use a product that is already out there to do most of the work for you.

Enterprise Search - With MOSS comes Enterprise Search. The Business Data Catalog gives you the ability to index line of business data from other systems via database or web service. It can index your documents in sharepoint or off the file system. It can bring in information about people from active directory. One you have all these data sources indexed, MOSS can search all of them simultaneously and provide relavent results across data sources. I haven't tried any other Enterprise Search products out there, but I have to say MOSS is pretty easy to use in this regard.

Ok so those are really the two things that I think MOSS does well. Does this make it an apoplication platform? I don't know. The main thing I wanted to say is that I don't think MOSS is a good solution for everything. There are things that it is good at and there are things that its not good at (i.e. content management). Use it for what it is good at, use something else for what it's not good at. None the less, there are a ton of jobs out there for people with SharePoint experience, so its not a bad skill set to pick up.

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