My Take on SharePoint

I first got my exposure to SharePoint back with version 2003 almost ten years ago as an end user. It intrigued me but did not really see it as a valuable tool for my work or for the company in general. Rightly so, SharePoint was a bit archaic as a utility back then. Along with minimal functionality and manageability. Though it had one uncompramising feature that has kept true to throughout it's life, collaborration. One of these days, that word will just get over used. But not today!

I did have past experience with web design, flash, html/action script, etc. So when I was offered a chance to stand up and administer SharePoint 2007, I took them up on it without hesitation. SharePoint 2007 was an unfriendly behemoth. I took some excellent training and got up to speed on some of the administrative and UI areas. This was a big help as it showed me that SharePoint has become a much larger venue for sharing content and collaboration than I previously knew and could comprehend at the time.  

As my experience and exposure to SharePoint grew, I started getting much fonder of it as a whole. Because once you begin developing for it, you realize how much it has changed since 2003.

When SharePoint 2010 came out, Microsoft proved they put almost all their eggs in this basket. The ability to develop for it became significantly easier with the built in compatibility of Visual Studio and the ability to fully synchronize with the Office products and CRUD with external databases of almost any type.

With all that said, it makes me sort of sound like a spokesman for Microsoft. I just know what works. With every company I have implemented SharePoint with, I have yet to find a use case against SharePoint as a collaboration, process or content solution.  Microsoft MVP Rob Windsor, who is a brilliant SharePoint developer and trainer once told me, "I try to code as little as possible. I try to live by that and would have to say, that I can save about 80% of coding by just using OOTB SharePoint features."

The single hardest part of integrating SharePoint into any company is user buy in. The end users make or break the product. That is why educating the audience and helping them understand the utility is just as important as building a solid and secure SharePoint farm.