A SharePoint/SBS Clarification

I’ve been called out on my last post regarding SBS and SharePoint as it may be confusing.  Well, welcome to the world of SharePoint!  It can be VERY confusing!!

The thrust of my last post is that you *really* need to think about what it is you want to do with SharePoint before you jump in and this is specially true for SBS users.  SharePoint, by its very nature, is an accommodating mistress; it will draw you in with all of its abilities and then present you with a major headache when you discover you made some bad choices when it was first being set up.  The choices made for you by the SBS team in setting up Companyweb are by necessity limiting as they have to make some very broad assumptions about the needs of their target audience.  For many the constraints imposed by Companyweb are not an issue, for others they are.

The bottom line here is to try and understand what you can do with SharePoint. Spend some time to do the reading and gain an understanding of what you can do with the Microsoft supplied tools in the various editions – Foundation, Server and Enterprise and also wrap your head around the things you can do with third party tools such as Nintex. That will help you to decide what the best type of installation should be for you, the edition you should select and whether or not it is on-premise or hosted/cloud. There are definite advantages to each type of installation as on-premise gives you total control and hosted/cloud gives the management headache to someone else.

I was also taken to task for not mentioning Office365 as a SharePoint alternative and for that I apologize.  However, Office365 in its own way can be as limiting as Companyweb IF you don’t do your homework.  Hosted SharePoint offerings such as that included with Office365 generally do NOT allow you to add in third-party products.  If you are planning to use third-party products then you might have to rethink the hosted/cloud strategy.

Hope this helps to clarify things a bit.  When in doubt your best bet is to work with a consultant or firm that understands SharePoint as they can help you wend your way through all the choices.  A little work up front will pay big SharePoint dividends down the road.