SharePoint: In a Tuxedo and Ready for the Big Time

May 20, 2011

We at Search Technologies read the short news article called “SharePoint Naked” in Beyond Search on May 18, 2011. We found the write up somewhat amusing, but we also think that the comments about SharePoint as a development platform were at odds with our experience.

First, please, point your browser to the MSDN Developer Team Blog and the story “SharePoint 2010 Development Platform Stack.” The diagram presents the major building blocks of the SharePoint system.

This type of diagram presents what my college psychology professor called the gestalt.These types of broad views serve the same purpose as a city map. One has to know where the major features are, what roadways lead into and out of the city, and a range of other high level information.

The Microsoft blog diagram serves this function for a professional working with SharePoint.In fact, I doubt that a busy financial officer would look at this road map. Financial people monitor other types of information. The CFO works in one city and the SharePoint developer in another.

Both use maps, just different ones.Second, we think this diagram is extremely useful. It identifies the relationship among key components of the SharePoint development stack.

I found the inclusion of the Windows Server 2008 and the SharePoint Server 2010 as “book ends” insightful. Between these digital bookends, the focus on SharePoint Foundation 2010 was useful, clear, and complete. Third, the number of components in an enterprise system does not automatically mean increased costs.

Microsoft is doing an outstanding job of providing “snap in” components, tools, and documentation. In our experience, Search Technologies’ engineers can move from concept to operational status in a short span of time.

The foregoing does not mean that SharePoint is easier or harder than any other enterprise software. SharePoint is a robust system, which when appropriately configured and provisioned, can deliver outstanding return on investment and an excellent user experience.

Encouragingly for us, we’re finding that SharePoint adoptees– especially the big ones–get the importance of great search functionality as a foundation of productivity across the application spectrum. Encouragingly for Microsoft, who paid $1.2 billion for a Norwegian search company a couple of years ago, Fast Search for SharePoint fits the bill very nicely.  We currently have a dozen organizations using our Fast Search for SharePoint proof of concept service.

Iain Fletcher, May 20, 2011

Search Technologies

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