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2006.10.31

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Anyone attended PDC last week? There was great couple of demos of next version of SharePoint and the office system

http://www.sharepointrangers.com

What is sharepoint..Heck ask me. Its the biggest piece of S**ty s/w I've ever come across.You would realize this not when you are buying it . The rosy picture on the website is not what you get.. you get this..

*****************************
2008-05-12 15:11:09.83 spid142 External dump process return code 0x20000001.
External dump process returned no errors.

2008-05-12 15:11:09.83 Server Error: 17310, Severity: 20, State: 1.
2008-05-12 15:11:09.83 Server A user request from the session with SPID 142 generated a fatal exception. SQL Server is terminating this session. Contact Product Support Services with the dump produced in the log directory.
2008-05-12 15:11:09.89 spid143 Using 'dbghelp.dll' version '4.0.5'
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 ***Stack Dump being sent to E:\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\LOG\SQLDump0767.txt
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 SqlDumpExceptionHandler: Process 143 generated fatal exception c0000005 EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION. SQL Server is terminating this process.
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 * *******************************************************************************
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 *
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 * BEGIN STACK DUMP:
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 * 05/12/08 15:11:09 spid 143
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 *
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 *
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 * Exception Address = 01105772 Module(sqlservr+00105772)
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 * Exception Code = c0000005 EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 * Access Violation occurred reading address 00000000
2008-05-12 15:11:09.91 spid143 * Input Buffer 109 bytes -
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And not one but tons of it. I couldn't figure out why the sql server is dumping 5 GB of log file in a day with above mentioned s**t till some honky ponky tech support guy told me to reinstall the edition.

On the other hand, try Alfresco's Bitnami stack and its as smooth as I would install my gtalk messenger. up and running in matter of minutes before you hop onto configure the content repo.

I feel guilty sometimes that I couldn't convince my management with proper comparison data between Sharepoint and Alfresco cause I didn't have it that time. But now I have my next project I was able to grab some of it. Would love to buy a drink for Anybody Who's got a pointer to good product comparison sheet.

And Joep Lauret, Here I am.

I think professionals need structured training to better understand and leverage a product like SharePoint 2007. Please contact us at http://www.aivea.com/sharepoint-training.htm

Thanks
~Scott

SharePoint is difficult to define as it is not exactly one particular thing, rather it is a collection of multiple related and useful services tied together to create a comprehensive suite for meeting an extremely wide variety of business needs. It also performs multiple functions at once, like collaboration and automation that work together, but describing how one works creates a large detour from explaining how another works.

First and foremost it is a collaborative platform that connects company members and departments to each other to provide and collect needed information. Second, it provides a method of automating and standardizing procedures that increase efficiency. Third it provides end users with extremely little programming knowledge, the ability to work with information and create processes that would otherwise require IT knowledge.

Let’s give an example.

I work in a Legal Department which means a large part of my job is to make sure that products, marketing collateral, and business practices are in compliance with the laws of multiple countries which each have different requirements. SharePoint allows me to maintain a list of what is required where, allows this list to be updated as requirements change, provides multiple versions of the list specific to the needs of those accessing it, and can be accessed by Marketing, so that they can perform a quick check of requirements and meet them, often copy pasting the same standardized warnings/logos/etc into new documents.

It is displayed in a very simple way and is easy to maintain, so that when my duties in the company change, the next person assigned will be able to smoothly transition in. It is very simple and very powerful.

It also serves as a document retention and version manager suite. Companies are literally overwhelmed with documents that continually stack up and become less and less organized. SharePoint helps manage these documents, presents them in ways that maintain relevance, and it also retires documents when they are no longer functionally useful.

I think it’s one of those things that you have to use in practice to really appreciate it. I don’t know what people without it are doing, or how other companies keep up without it – frankly I think it provides a huge competitive advantage. Keep in mind – I’m only using SharePoint 2003… and I find it extremely useful. SharePoint 2007 looks even better, but it probably would not be worth the cost to upgrade until the next iteration.

It isn’t really something you can “try out” but I would say it is a very excellent product.

We at Aivea (http://www.aivea.com/enterprise-content-management.htm) is building a 50M+ document management system for a telecom provider in TX. If you want data on scalability, Please contact us.

Hmm... Interesting what time does to such comments that last forever. Obviously Microsoft know what they are doing here ;) SharePoint has proven so many doubters so desparately wrong.

If you are that big, get an EA to cover the CALs and all you have to purchase are the server licenses. Trust me, it's not six figures.

From my experience MOSS 2007 for an intranet is not cheap. You will need standard and enterprise user CALs to use all MOSS 2007 features, plus you will need SQL Server user CALs per intranet user as content is stored in a SQL database. This in my experience can soon hit 6 digits. For example, a 1,000 intranet can cost in excess of £200K, excluding Microsoft Form Server licences and Windows Server licences. Check-out the following link for licencing requirements: http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/8511d613-f950-4041-9497-93f986324f991033.mspx?mfr=true

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is (to put it simply) an out-of-the-box intranet portal solution. It provides any company with the tools to quickly build an intranet based on a collaboration framework with workflow, news & announcements, tasks, issues, calendaring, discussion boards and more. Once created and departmentalized, the IT bottleneck goes away - each department now owns and maintains their own pages.

It's basically a toolbox with a ton of stuff inside. The trick is understanding how to mold the tools to meet the business objective of your company.

Are you looking for a basic intranet portal with document management capabilities? Most would say yes. Once you realize the power inside, executive dashboards, report integration, and project workspaces usually become the next topic. It definitely serves 90% of the businesses out there bar-none and without much customization (.NET code). Most of the heavy lifting is done within the SharePoint Designer (was FrontPage) - including a powerful workflow design tool.

For list and document management capabilities, it's got versioning, check-in/check-out, multi-stage recycle bin, integration with AD (for profile attributes and login), integrated employee directory, tight Excel/Access integration with datasheet views and the ability to create a bi-directional link between a spreadsheet/db and SharePoint.

Oh, and did I mention the license is cheap? I think it's about $5k a pop with a $80-90 user CAL. Not bad when you compare to some of the big boys out there with six figure licenses.

I've been in the SharePoint business for three years, I have case studies written about me BY Microsoft, not to mention I've built out some of their largest internal portals. Call me, I'll build you one.

805.445.6653

Interesting though is the fact that there is still no definiton for Sharepoint and the commentary that you has not add one.

Here is a simple test: "Sharepoint is a ..." and use no more than 10 additional words.

I can answer it for them: "Sharepoint is a platform to build knowledge worker applications"

And I'll add: "to extend Microsoft's Office monopoly." As you mention, 90% market share is a real competitive advantage and a monopoly. A monopoly gained while it had an operating system monopoly. As most office workers who have ever experienced a loss of files or the frustration of how you do a particular function knows, it is not from ease of use.

That's 11 words, but it says a lot. Office integration is the make or break of Sharepoint and it is the thing that other ECM platforms covet. They don't really consider Sharepoint best of breed in portal, content management, BPM or collaboration. Their business intelligence is a joke.

Either Microsoft is waiting or they don't know how to position SharePoint. It is probably a combination of the two. The launch of SharePoint 2007 went very uneventfully to avoid conflict with with the Vista ("WOW - No YAWN") launch. Perhaps when they really launch it (June? July?), then they will finally define it.

You're right, MSFT should build a collaborative document management system based on, oh say OpenOffice. Or add-ons for the online document thing Google's doing. That would make perfect sense. Okay, on to substance, well almost. Wishy-washy begets wishy-washy.

You cited, "a circular diagram that lists: Collaboration, Portal, Search, Content Management, Business Process Management and Business Intelligence, surrounding a platform core circle." You even started with the right one because it's the same colour as the core. WSS is about Collaboration (Team Sites), and the remainder are MOSS features. I suppose it's easy once you know the answer.

You spoke with someone who said "'although they were interested in pursuing the shared source path, some pieces are clearly competitive advantage.' I would say that a 90% market share is a very competitive advantage."

The new Office document formats are "Shared Source" (that's MSFT-speak for "Open Source"). They're zipped XML. Seems pretty simple. Go nuts, build your own document collaboration based on it. Break that monopoly.

Even as you wrote this back in August 2006, public betas were available. Your post just turned up in a search, thought I'd drop in to see whether you've got this figured out yet. Hope so.

Cheers,
-e.

The part of the article where FileNet accuses Microsoft of having proprietary file formats is my favorite part.

My company has been trying for months to bulk extract docs from FileNet and their proprietary file format without bringing down production.

API you say..tried that, Max-cd...tried that, Latitude...tried that too.

Hmmmm...Reminds me of an old saying..."sounds like the pot calling the kettle black".

I admit that the sharepoint "product definition" is lacking, a bit like IBM WebSphere, both are really "bundles" of functionality .... but Sharepoint is not as lacking as you portray it, you're fudding slightly ...

Hi, opinions, opinions, opinions. Any real experiences from people who have been implementing Sharepoint 2003? Perhaps they are able to tell best what Sharepoint is and what v.2007 would offer...

John,

I was at dinner with a great friend of mine tonight and we were discussing this identity crisis. You know... another product in another time had a very similar issue. Funny... Similar space, and "similar" leadership. Can you guess which one?

Hi John - i too have been trying to figure out the enigma of what exactly Sharepoint is?

One thing to add to the mix here: don't forget that when Office 2007 ships you'll also be able to buy Groove.

Groove focuses on team-centric collaboration and content management. It has a loose integration with Sharepoint that allows teams to publish documents into Sharepoint when they are finished with them.

It competes and compliments Sharepoint. But it also confuses. What tool should I use?

Plus, there is "Microsoft Office Live Collaboration" which ships this month. It seems to provide a 1-stop-shop hosted service to manage contacts, campaigns, documents, project info, everything.

I feel like i'm swimming in branding soup trying to figure this stuff out...

Tony Bierman -

Thank you for your reassertion that Microsoft Office is a monopoly.

However, your comments about choice completely ignores the last decade of anti-trust cases and activities, including on-going activities by the European Union. Monopolies have the power to impose decisions on us for reasons other than having the best product.

I would argue that there is lots of choice out there. But will Microsoft eliminate that choice by locking out the others through their monopoly of Office software?

Hi Tony Byrne -

Hope you are feeling better. We missed you in Rotterdam.

I am flattered that you would compare Alfresco, a company funded with $10M, with Microsoft, a $283B market cap company. Having said that, wikis and blogs are on the road map with wikis being a higher priority. Even higher priority has been to build out a proper platform to make it easy to develop applications like wikis and blogs.

My point of bringing up the wikis and blogs is the confusion as to what Sharepoint actually is. Tell me Tony, what exactly did Microsoft tell you and Janus as to whether wikis and blogs were in Sharepoint when you were doing your Portal review?

None of this helps clarify what Sharepoint is. As Tony Bierman points to the MOSS 2007 Product Guide, I still don't find a clear definition of Sharepoint. The circular diagram I described in the demo is there minus the platform piece in the middle. And by the way, there are no wikis or blogs on that wheel unless they count as collaboration or integrated ECM.

Have you seeen the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Product Guide?

http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/servers/sharepointserver/guide.mspx

Why wouldn't a company in our free-market economy make every attempt to grow revenue by releasing additional SKUs that augment existing product offerings and generate additional revenue? Isn't that what makes free-market economies the most successful in the world?

If Office is a monopoly, isn't that because we as consumers cast our votes by making purchasing decisions in favor of the best available products and services on the market?

If not Office, then what? If not SharePoint, then what?

And when will Alfresco have a production-ready blog and wiki?

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