Friday, August 23, 2013

Sharepoint Project Management

Some of the key topics in Sharepoint 2007 & 2010 are discussed  here.

Inputs from Wiki and Microsoft portals on Sharepoint.

Sharepoint as a tool helps using power of Microsoft's web application platform, including document and content management

It is wise to have a have a .NET developer background.

Sharepoint is a tool to centralize an organizations digital resources for centralized collaboration or working together in a centralized way.

The best explanation of What Microsoft Sharepoint is and does from the WROX book "Beginning Sharepoint 2010 - Building Business Solutions"

"Because computers play such an integral part in any business, not surprisingly, more and more of the information that is created, consumed, and shared in an organization is digital. The more business that you conduct and the more successful your business becomes, the more information you have to manage. Usually, you have some form of document for just about every process and transaction that plays out during the day-to-day operations of your company. From proposals to legal documents, from sales receipts to human resources policies, the amount of information required for a company to function is staggering.
To manage your information overload, SharePoint offers tools with which you can build business applications to better store, share, and manage digital information. With it, you can create lists, libraries, and websites for your various company teams to help run your business processes more efficiently. By locating your organization’s important business data in a single location, it becomes much easier and intuitive for users to find the right information when they need it rather than searching through disparate locations such as email, computer hard drives, or file shares.


SharePoint 2010 is an extensible and scalable web-based platform consisting of tools and technologies that support the collaboration and sharing of information within teams, throughout the enterprise and on the web. The total package is a platform on which you can build business applications to help you better store, share, and manage digital information within your organization. Because you can build with or without code, the package empowers the average business user to create, deploy, and manage team websites, without depending on skilled resources, such as systems administrators or developers. Using lists, libraries, and web parts, you can transform team websites into business applications built specifically around making your organization’s business processes more efficient."

Creating a schema for an organizations Sharepoint deployment is not rocket science.
1. Determine the structure of the organization
2. Determine what Sharepoint can do as far as centralizing the organizations digital resources.
3. Create a Sharepoint construction plan.
4. Build it, test it, refine it.
5. Maintain it, test it, refine it, add onto it.

There! Not so tough.


Which SharePoint development tool works best to create custom workflows?

Directly using SharePoint Designer may not be well-suited for building complex workflows.

Using Visual Studio, which allows the workflow to be installed at multiple locations and can include more than 20 steps in the workflow process. Additionally, only Visual Studio allows for workflow to move back and forth between status changes. Using SharePoint Designer, work only moves forward through states, never backward. This can be problematic when you need to send something backward in the process.

How to handle Databases?

It is not wise to upload directly to SharePoint databases, however - the use of libraries and lists for data management. Uploading directly to SharePoint databases is very much like doing your own oil changes on a brand new car. It might be faster and more convenient in the short-term, but in the long-term it voids your warranty. Microsoft gives no support when you directly modify a SharePoint database.

Main differences between SharePoint 2007 and 2010?

Any of the new tools introduced in 2010. For example:
  • Service Applications
  • Business Connectivity Services
  • Claims Based Authentication
  • Sandboxed Solutions
  • Developer Dashboard
  • Throttling and List Controls

Here are more areas that a SharePoint architect can help with:
  • Capacity planning - running multiple servers in a farm. Scalability and other magic words.
  • Knowing the capabilities and business scenarios of using SharePoint - this is a very common one.
    The manager asks: what can SharePoint do for me? The developer asks: well, what do you want it to do. The manager then asks: well, I don't know what it can do for me so how do I know what do I want it to do?
  • Closely related to SharePoint capabilities are the various licensing costs related to each component.
  • As well as familiarity with development and customization costs. Take the same project time that would have taken in ASP.NET, then multiply it by a large coefficient, and then add an additional constant.
  • And closely related to what-can-it-do, and how-much-does-it-cost, is the all important question of Return-Of-Investment.
  • SharePoint deployment can be a massive issue and a lot of pain.
  • SharePoint upgrade from v2 (MOSS 2003) to v3 (MOSS 2007). We should be seeing a new version of SharePoint in 2010(?). Well soon after the next version of Office goes out the door. So past upgrade experiences may be useful.
  • Knowledge of 3rd party webparts. I believe a SharePoint architect should be able to give you at least 5 webparts that they've tried from CodePlex and tell you what they think about them. These are free and easy to grab and play at your own leisure.
  • Some knowledge of commercial webparts. Because they are still cheaper than writing your own.
  • Experiences with SharePoint Integration - this comes in two equally important flavours - both from SharePoint accessing existing systems (business catalogs, webparts, etc), as well as other systems accessing SharePoint content via webservice or API.
  • In addition, SharePoint works with (or works well) with Office, OCS, reporting services, performance point, project server.
  • SharePoint hosting arrangements - Microsoft SharePoint online services can be a popular and cheaper option to start using SharePoint. It can be hosted inhouse, or with a 3rd party company. Knowing the options is always useful.

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