Long time no… …post?

Dear reader,

Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2007

Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2007

Ok, now it has officially been “a while” since my last post. But as always, there is a relatively good reason for that. Lately I have been very busy with the launch of my very first MOSS project. This has definitely been a big learning process for me and more than ever I think I’ve learnt the hard way. There have been quite a few obstacles on the way and the project has lasted from late 2006, so the way has been quite a long one.

I thought shortly mentioning some of the key points and problems in bullets might be of help to others, so ‘ere goes:

  • Think about the architecture before asking for an ITT. Since the cost of MOSS enterprise license is high, you might end up with multiple times the cost given on the ITT if you have to scale out the architecture. Remember that MOSS is an enterprise solution – b2c companies (and probably even b2b) cannot handle their traffic with a single-server farm.
  • Telerik RadControls are a nice addition to the MOSS GUI and give a good deal of configurability to the editor. I love the combination of being able to limit fonts and sizes and the excellent format stripper for stripping out horrible Word tags that evidently will sooner or later find their way on your website. However there are some problems in RadControls that can make content production a bit hard:
    • Reusable Content does not work correctly if Telerik RadControls is installed. This can be a showstopper to some. Anyway, at least it’s good to know beforehand. We didn’t. The real unfortunate part is that it seems like Telerik might not be able to fix this at all. This reusable content problem is discussed in Telerik forums: thread 1, thread 2 and in my blog.
    • There are also a couple of smaller bugs that can still be a bit challenging for content editors who are not very experienced. See my blog: post 1 and post 2.
  • MOSS is hot right now. This means that at least in a country as small as Finland, the good consultants, developers and architects are scarce and overbooked. Be alert for multiple interest groups and partners in the project, managing them is a nightmare.
  • Make sure anything of importance gets documented. This belongs to project management fundamentals, but cannot be stressed enough. It tends to be forgotten as soon as deadlines close in. Also, to be able to accurately document needs, requirements, who has requested them and if the request was accepted, will greatly help in the project.
  • Specify your form needs beforehand and specify them well. InfoPath 2007 might sound tempting but using it requires licenses and deploying the forms might be really difficult depending on the form functionalities, MOSS customization and probably the star constellations. If your target is to have many many people edit and create forms, InfoPath might not be a good choice if the editors are not well-versed in web mysteries. Good suggestions for using forms with MOSS are appreciated…

Silverlight blueprint for SharePoint

Dear reader,

Just a short note this time: Microsoft has announced the Silverlight blueprint for SharePoint today. It contains source code and guidance for developers working with Silverlight on websites and webparts.

MOSS buzz

There’s quite a buzz going on about Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007) in the world right now.

Microsoft must be quite pleased — judging from the amount of communications and marketing — about the fact that their 2008 MOSS conference at Seattle was sold out with over 3,200 registered people.

The last time I went to a .NET course at FC Sovelto in December 2007, there were 4 or 5 MOSS courses going on at the same and I bet that’s 10 – 20% of all the simultaneously ongoing courses in the company!

There’s also recently been quite a lot of demand for MOSS 2007 specialists in the Finnish as well as international job advertisements and I believe the platform has spread worldwide like plague (but in a good way :-).

All this is good to know, because even if the system is a great enterprise platform (at least when combined with Dynamics CRM for customer relationship management and BizTalk for defining and deploying the business logic), it is still not a perfect product. And in this case I believe there to be strenght in numbers: the more people there are complaining about MOSS’s certain bugs or missing features, the more likely they will come in a future SP or main release.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 user survey

Dear Reader,

Microsoft has released a MOSS 2007 user survey yesterday in order to further develop future MOSS versions. I’m being positive here and think answering might make a difference, so please go on and fill the survey (and remember to nag about the bugs and other still missing or badly thought-out features)!

Direct link: To the survey.

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