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SharePoint: 10 Things You Wish They Had Told You, Part 1

SharePoint customers and developers often experience common problems; these solutions can help.

n this article, I am going to talk about five things from an architect or management point of view that you will probably end up wishing you had known before you started your SharePoint project. In part two of this article I will follow up with five more things targeted specifically for the SharePoint developer.

One fine day, I put my customer hat on and decided to learn about "What is SharePoint?" I browsed around to find Microsoft's description of the product, and found the following:

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a new server program that is part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Your organization can use Office SharePoint Server 2007 to facilitate collaboration, provide content management features, implement business processes, and supply access to information that is essential to organizational goals and processes.

Brilliant. That helped a lot. I am now thoroughly convinced that there is actually a department at Microsoft whose sole focus is to come up with boring product names and mind-numbingly generic product definitions.

But collaboration, and being productive, and meeting organizational goals (whatever they may be) is what everyone wants, right? Of course! And thus, SharePoint entered the organization and was installed. It empowered end users. They created lists, and document libraries, even sites and sub-sites willy-nilly. It was a beautiful honeymoon.

And like all honeymoons, it was short. Two blinks and you had three crying kids, a mortgage, and a recessionary job market. Users found themselves a bit lost in the UI. They really didn't want to share information, so they broke site permission inheritance, locked out the administrators—and then forgot their password. A wild sprawl of SharePoint sites ensued, and the search indexer kept getting stuck. Users were not happy, and it was all the IT department's (your) fault.

Now you'll find out: It didn't have to be that way! You don't have a time machine, but if you did, and for the sake of your next SharePoint project, I will share some tips to keep your life in a SharePoint project sane.

Editor's Note: This article was first published in the July/August 2008 issue of CoDe Magazine, and is reprinted here by permission.

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