SharePoint - Subversive?

  • Bill Nicolich

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1865

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item SharePoint - Subversive?

    Bill Nicolich: www.SQLFave.com.
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  • vmit02

    Say Hey Kid

    Points: 682

    You are totally correct that management don't want to hear. Yes I suspect they think they are the only ones with ideas that can make a difference.

  • tnpich

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1081

    I don't know if its just management. There are a lot of factors:

    I've seen where senior management has said lets try collaboration and then the idea dies because no one else wants to go through the effort of learning the new way of doing things.

    Middle managers don't want to, or won't, assign resources to reconfigure SharePoint, or other tools, to be truly collaborative.

    I've also seen where team members say that want to use collaborative tools but then don't share data/knowledge because then they are no longer the heroes that people go to get information/reports.

    I've also experienced team members (being too lazy?) to read posted documents because it's just easier to ask the SME about a topic rather than read it on a collaborative site.

  • Doctor Who 2

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7740

    This is a very good topic, I think, because we're facing this situation now. I've been at my current location for a very long time. When I started there we set up a shared folder on a Windows server where we put everything. Back in the day, that worked out well, everyone could find documentation and it was great. However, that was well over 10 years ago, and as time has passed new people that have come on board just don't get the idea of going to this shared folder to look for documentation; and this includes new developers who've been hired the last 5 years. (I don't get why looking on a shared folder is so hard to understand, but believe me, it appears to me true.) But also, as time has gone by different documents have gone into different sub-folders, etc. I think it's become something of a mess.

    So I've been thinking very seriously of SharePoint, at least at this point as a document repository. I'm very interestd to see how this discussion works out, because I'd like to see how it's worked for other people.

    Rod

  • Revenant

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 42467

    The problem I have repeatedly experienced is that SharePoint adds one more place to maintain. For me the place where I/we keep all and most of the documentation is TFS. We keep track of user stories, deliverables and bugs. We are learning to use Test Manager, although we now slowed down because we are waiting for 2012 which will do some of the things differently.

    Then there is e-mail. People keep e-mails with pieces of important information, but not everyone was on TO or CC. So if the question pops up again later, someone has to find the old message and forward it to the newbie.

    So SharePoint just adds a third method of documentation storage. I would use its wikies, not the storage of Office documents.

  • sqlsolver

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 233

    [font="Tahoma"]Your article hits on a key reason why organizations adopt SharePoint to begin with; to pass on experiential knowledge of an organization, and also why that objective is often not realized. For SharePoint to be an effective vehicle to allow senior team members' insights to reach the rest of the group they have to be made a focal point rather than, as other posters noted, buried in a document store. Two very effective tools to accomplish this are the virtual meeting space and metadata tagging. Meetings should target a chunk of information that is narrow enough to be consumable by team members who are already occupied with their own workflow, and be supported by accurate tagging that will lead them straight to documents relevant to the meeting topic when they need reinforcement. It may not be that a great volume of unorganized content obscures information, rather than managers selectively withholding. SharePoint can be a great tool to sort that out if it's wielded effectively.[/font]

    [font="Verdana"]Ramona Maxwell MCPD SharePoint 2010 @sqlsolver[/font]

  • Charles Tsang

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 134

    I went to some of the first Sharepoint implementation tutorials at Microsoft campus in Reading UK when it launched. They had some really good ideas for getting people out of the "shared folder" to the Sharepoint repository.

    The main thing was doing a search index on the shared folder so that people searching in Sharepoint found the stuff that was still in the "shared folder".

    The other bit to the main thing was making the shared folder read only!

    I think however that the main reason Sharepoint hasn't taken off is that it is a responsibility much like any website content and it needs to be managed. It's difficult enough getting a company to find someone to look after it's main website content, now with Sharepoint, it's possible for each department to have it's own little web portal....

  • tfell

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 30

    I think most 'techies' tend to want to concentrate on the problem in hand rather than be constantly disturbed by constant 'collaboration', then when they need input would probably go to a community forum where many 'large-brains' with the skills needed to answer the problem will contribute advice. Even in large corporations, there often isn't a huge wealth of relevant skills as the company will be relying on a relatively small collection of specialist individuals to provide the overall skill coverage they need.

    The best exceptions will probably be found in organisations lik Microsoft and IBM where the internal community is vast and experienced.

  • brosspaxedi

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1591

    Some thoughts (which may or may not be half baked, as my knowledge and experience with SP is limited)...

    * Isn't storage of documents inside of Sql Server more expensive than on disk?

    * Isn't document sharing about the least $$$ profitable reason to implement SharePoint? How does that provide a return on investment?

    * Since Search can now catalog files on disk, and with full text searching, why bother "cataloging" manually by providing tags and the like?

    * Some reasons you might want to bring docs into SP might be SOX, HIPAA and other secure access issues.

    * SP requires an expensive person to configure and maintain, so you need some $$$ impetus ore a need to satisfy a requirement.

    * The best stuff is only in Enterprise, (ie: PerformancePoint dashboards), and that costs a lot more, so you need to be sure you can't service your stratgic decision maker(s) any other way just as well. SSRS can provide report subscriptions, for example.

    * If indeed, SP is the future, *which I think it is*, since it is web based, then it is useless to resist the Borg. But like the Cloud, when must you surrender? Maybe not for three years.

    * Organizational tools are wasted on people with no knack for creating effective teams to begin with.

    *******************
    What I lack in youth, I make up for in immaturity!

  • Revenant

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 42467

    brosspremier (1/3/2012)


    Some thoughts (which may or may not be half baked, as my knowledge and experience with SP is limited)...

    * Isn't storage of documents inside of Sql Server more expensive than on disk?

    With 4 TB disk drives expected to dip under $200 once the Thai plants are fully back, space is usually a non-issue.

    * Isn't document sharing about the least $$$ profitable reason to implement SharePoint? How does that provide a return on investment?

    In my experience, document sharing itself does not. It is when you also implement workflows and use reconciliation of concurrent edits that SP starts showing its strengths.

    * Since Search can now catalog files on disk, and with full text searching, why bother "cataloging" manually by providing tags and the like?

    You can indeed use automated indexing. That, however, assumes that all users adhere to a strict discipline and all documents have mandatory headers that contain all information needed for indexing.

    * Some reasons you might want to bring docs into SP might be SOX, HIPAA and other secure access issues.

    * SP requires an expensive person to configure and maintain, so you need some $$$ impetus ore a need to satisfy a requirement.

    True. However, your SP admin will likely double as a TFS admin, because TFS is just a specialized SP, so the skills are transferable.

    * The best stuff is only in Enterprise, (ie: PerformancePoint dashboards), and that costs a lot more, so you need to be sure you can't service your strat[e]gic decision maker(s) any other way just as well. SSRS can provide report subscriptions, for example.

    If you look only on IT operations (including development), TFS provides much better management reports.

    * If indeed, SP is the future, *which I think it is*, since it is web based, then it is useless to resist the Borg. But like the Cloud, when must you surrender? Maybe not for three years.

    * Organizational tools are wasted on people with no knack for creating effective teams to begin with.

    Absolutely.

    I have been using both TFS and SP for several years. Personally, I prefer TFS and I asked for better document handling in TFS, which would make SP redundant.

  • brosspaxedi

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1591

    >>>With 4 TB disk drives expected to dip under $200 once the Thai plants are fully back, space is usually a non-issue.

    I was thinking of the stress on the SQL/SP instance, where it has to handle all of the documents in addition to whatever else it has to do. I hundred people reading/writing to a share wouldn't tax SQL at all, but if they are putting it in and taking it out of SS/SP, it then can slow other processes.

    *******************
    What I lack in youth, I make up for in immaturity!

  • Possinator

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3402

    I agree with several of the posters that have indicated a general lack of business interest in making a full commitment to the full use of SP. It may be that the “idea” men feel threatened by sharing their arena, but I think it’s more fear of change. As DB pros, we look at it from our mindset, you know, “whoopeee, woo-hoo, we have new toys!”. We like to play with new tools and find the best and most efficient ways to do things. I think this makes us a little unique in the world of carpeted cages. Most folks get set into their processes and get comfortable with their routines, and change becomes difficult.

    I’ve designed some pretty cool SharePoint implementations, and the most difficult thing by far has been getting the buy-in from management and operations. Sadly, I’ve rarely seen it used for more than a interface to manage the same nasty messy underlying file system they are trying to replace.

    Getting anyone to the point of actually using the collaborative features, even to the simplistic end of keeping 6000 copies of the same-ish document off of the exchange server, has been nothing short of – ummm- impossible. Nobody wants to take a few weeks now to save time in the future. Why do today what you can put off til tomorrow, right? You’d think seeing the beauty of easily finding content using metadata and custom views would be a snap to sell. Nah, rather poke around folders for days. Manage document approval with a three-state workflow? Bah. Print it and run around the office.

    Sheesh. Now I’m getting all het-up thinking about it. Off to hunt down some beer popsicles…

    [font="Courier New"]Looking for a Deadlock Victim Support Group..[/font]
  • brosspaxedi

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1591

    Since you've done several implementations, maybe you can say whether any of them have not been financially beneficial, or if they all, to some degree or another, have been, and whether they were implemented solely for compliance issue... or to hopefully be in synch with the future...

    *******************
    What I lack in youth, I make up for in immaturity!

  • Revenant

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 42467

    brosspremier (1/3/2012)


    >>>With 4 TB disk drives expected to dip under $200 once the Thai plants are fully back, space is usually a non-issue.

    I was thinking of the stress on the SQL/SP instance, where it has to handle all of the documents in addition to whatever else it has to do. I hundred people reading/writing to a share wouldn't tax SQL at all, but if they are putting it in and taking it out of SS/SP, it then can slow other processes.

    If you experience that type of load, you can install SP in integrated mode, which spreads the load between two or more machines.

  • Doctor Who 2

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7740

    Revenant, you brought up a couple of things. First, I think you made an excellent point that users would have to have to adhere to properly putting in header information into documents. Where I work, that isn't ever going to happen. So SP does that for you, then? I also notice that you mentioned that TFS is a specialized version of SP; that's interesting, as I've been thinking it would be good to migrate our very old instance of Visual SourceSafe to TFS. But the problem is identifying a server to put it on.

    Lastly, does SharePoint require an administrator?

    Rod

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