Why SharePoint Doesn’t Suck …

I’m an avid reader of Bjorn Furuknap’s blog.  I’ve only just been made a SharePoint MVP and I gather he’s not a popular guy amongst the Microsoft SharePoint MVPs, but I happen to think his latest book is really good. It’s emminently readable and full of great examples (if slightly typo-error prone …), however I’m somewhat mystified my his latest blog posting on Why SharePoint Sucks … .  He doesn’t think it sucks, by the way, it’s just a provoking statement a bit like Mike Parry on Talk-Sport who just says things to wind people up and get people talking, so full marks to Bjorn for that !
And he makes some great points, but it isn’t that SharePoint Sucks,  it’s that the whole marketing machine around SharePoint have made it appear to be something it isn’t.  Much as I happen to like Microsoft and think they make some great stuff, it’s the marketing machine that does their products the most dis-service.  And it ain’t just Microsoft, other companies are just as guilty.  We’re again and again shown how we can simply ‘drag and drop’ any bit of data or widget and all our business problems will be solved!!  Poor old SharePoint get’s it in the neck because of this promise, and because you can really do some really simple and easy demos which seem to result in fully functional data driven web sites, but as always that’s only part of the story.
The reality is that SharePoint is an ASP.NET based platform which provides an incredible array of functionality which can be programmed to solve just about any business problem you have.  Compared to building an ASP.NET application from the ground up, it is streets ahead.  Content Management, Collaboration, Publishing, Office Integration, Workflow Integration, Web Site Provisioning are just a few of the features which do come out of the box ready to be moulded, styled, coaxed into the final product the customer wants.  A product that is scalable and expandable.  Just what the doctor ordered.
What do we hear about though all the bloomin’ time?  You can have a Wiki, a Blog – big deal! It does make you wonder if Microsoft know what they have on their hands.  Where I’m standing everybody is talking about SharePoint, all our customers are talking about it, and we tell them – it’s a platform for building on, incredibly powerful, it can be your delivery platform for your corporate applications for years to come.  I really believe that!
I’m really looking forward to telling you about Sharepoint 2010, unfortunately my NDA with Microsoft prevent me at the moment.  I’m hoping that this version will take SharePoint on the next step, solve some of the issue with the current product – I know from what I’ve seen it certainly does resolve several issues. 
So is Bjorn right?  Does SharePoint Suck?  No ‘course it don’t (well some bits do – let’s be honest nothing is perfect!!!) , does the marketing blub about it suck?  – ‘course it does ( and that is partly what Bjorn means) , but who believes the marketing stuff anyhow from anyone?  Best advice – check out SharePoint yourself – make your own decision!
Dave Mc

About davemcmahon81
Software Developer & Architect, User Group Leader, Speaker, Writer, Blogger, Occasional Guitarist, Man-made Global Warming Sceptic, Climate Change Believer, General Optimist but most of all proud Husband and Dad ...

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