Microsoft SharePoint: Three Tips for Making It Behave

Get a grip on this complex software and the forthcoming upgrade.

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Because it is so alive though, SharePoint can grow out of control and become unusable. With too much end-user control and not enough administrative oversight, too much content can be piled into SharePoint.

"Users won't be able to find what they need," says Gode. "There's a fine line for IT to let users run with SharePoint but also reign them in."

Don't Rush into SharePoint 2010

Companies not ready for the learning curve of an upgrade or prepared to buy the 64-bit hardware required for SharePoint 2010 should neither rush to it nor sit by waiting, says Gode.

To be proactive, companies should test SharePoint applications now for compatibility and not rely on beta software or wait for Microsoft to release the product.

"I've heard ship dates for SP 2010 range from April to September," says Gode. "To set testing for collaboration apps or document management around Microsoft's schedule just doesn't make sense."

Don't Buy Into the Wrong Configuration

When Azaleos is brought in to help customers build up a SharePoint environment, it often finds that customers don't know what they want from SharePoint. Is it for a bunch of wikis? Is it a document management system? Is it a file system on steroids?

Some organizations build up SharePoint too big and make it more complex than it needs to be, says Gode, or they under-invest by using Windows SharePoint Services (a free add-on to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and 2008) as a full-on enterprise document management system.

Gode urges enterprises to plan how many application servers and how many back-end database servers they should set up, and whether they should use virtualization or run everything on physical hardware. They should also devise a backup and recovery plan and figure out how much high-availability is needed with regards to the SharePoint data.

Gode likens SharePoint to a Swiss army knife, but one that offers more tools than most companies make use of; in fact, many customers struggle to find the one or two killer SharePoint functions that make sense for their enterprise.

"The trick is to figure out how best to use SharePoint and then architect the back end accordingly," he says.

Shane O'Neill is a senior writer at CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter at twitter.com/CIOonline.

Read more about web 2.0 in CIO's Web 2.0 Drilldown.

Originally published on www.cio.com. Click here to read the original story.

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