[There's a reason that Yoda is the unofficial mascot of SBS.  Size indeed matters not.] Resources and tools for online SharePoint - THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE SBS DIVA
Thu, May 12 2011 22:58 bradley

Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Playing around with Office 365 SharePoint and I wanted to do a email into a SharePoint archive. In the hosted Office 365 version you need a third party tool as the native Office 365 won't do it.  Here are more resources for tools for online SharePoint deployments:

Third-party tool or resource

 URL

 More information

 Metalogix

 http://www.metalogix.net/bpos/

 

 Quest

 http://www.quest.com/bpos/

 

 Binary Tree

 http://www.binarytree.com/Products/Migrate/CMT-for-Sharepoint.aspx 

 This tool, CMT for SharePoint, is primarily for migrating Lotus Notes applications to SharePoint

 AvePoint

 http://www.avepoint.com/sharepoint-migration-tools/

 

 MessageOps

 http://www.messageops.com/software/sharepoint-bridge

 This tool copies messages that arrive in Exchange Online mailboxes to SharePoint Online document libraries, similar to on-premises mail-enabled libraries.

MetaVis Technologies

http://www.metavistech.com

Office 365 Marketplace

http://office365.pinpoint.microsoft.com

SharePoint Online for Office 365 customers can go here to find a range of third-party partner solutions.

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# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Friday, May 13, 2011 5:39 PM by Dean

What's your honest opinion on the USEFULLNESS of Sharepoint.

If it went away tomorrow would civilization as we know it collapse ?

# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:26 AM by Robert Crane

Dean,

SharePoint is a tool like any Office Apps (e.g. Excel). Will the world stop without it? No. However, could the world be a better place if people effectively utilized the tool - most definitely. It something that is grossly under utilized and in that respect alone it provides opportunity for customers and resellers.

Thanks

Robert Crane

www.ciaops.com

# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Saturday, May 14, 2011 7:53 PM by Dean

Robert,

         I guess my point was is it really a tool or just another layer of complexity put in place so that you use a web browser instead of a file explorer ? Does Sharepoint really serve a purpose or is it just something for resellers to sell as you say ? I'm not trying to be smart, I have my own opinion on it, and I really just want some honest, well thought out opinions on whether or not Sharepoint really accomplishes anything that could not be done without it.

# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Sunday, May 15, 2011 12:28 AM by Robert Crane

Dean,

Here are some reasons in my experience:

- The 'younger' generation are much more familiar with a web interface than windows explorer. As they become a greater component of the work place it is important to allow them to be as productive as possible.

- A web interface prevents a certain amount of 'boo-boos' i.e. accidental deletion, accidental drag and drop, etc.

- SharePoint document libraries support version control and approvals which normal file shares don't.

- SharePoint document libraries support meta data. This means you can tag documents with relevant keywords to allow to filter and sort documents faster.

- SharePoint allow you to create meta data to better describe your files. This 'tagging' provides a much improved method of locating the data you desire.

- Everything you save in SharePoint, generally, is indexed including the contents of files.

- etc, etc

Anything that doesn't reduce complexity doesn't make sense. Like any tool, when implemented correctly and with suitable user training SharePoint is fantastic tool for not only file data but lots of adhoc data around the office.

Go to any client's workstation. Look at all the bits of paper on their monitor, on the walls, on the desk, etc. That should saved into an IT system so it is backed up, searchable, and indexed. If it isn't why did the company spend $2K on a workstation when a user still has to use paper? This is where SharePoint shines, getting at that unstructured data in a place where it cane realize business value.

Thanks

Robert Crane

www.ciaops.com

# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Sunday, May 15, 2011 11:28 AM by Dean

The 'younger' generation are much more familiar with a web interface than windows explorer. As they become a greater component of the work place it is important to allow them to be as productive as possible.

OK, I agree with that, to a point, and that alone may override anything else

- A web interface prevents a certain amount of 'boo-boos' i.e. accidental deletion, accidental drag and drop, etc.

Ok, I get that too.

- SharePoint document libraries support version control and approvals which normal file shares don't.

You can use the Previous Versions feature for version control although it may be crude.

- SharePoint document libraries support meta data. This means you can tag documents with relevant keywords to allow to filter and sort documents faster.

All Microsoft Office files in Windows support meta data. Right click the file, select Properties, select the Details tab and then go to the Tags field. In the real world how many people want to spend time trying to think of keywords for every document they create and type them in. If you template it and put the same keywords in for every document then it defeats the whole feature.

- SharePoint allow you to create meta data to better describe your files. This 'tagging' provides a much improved method of locating the data you desire.

Same as above.

- Everything you save in SharePoint, generally, is indexed including the contents of files.

Indexing can be done in many ways without Sharepoint.

What about the rest of the features in Sharepoint or are document libraries the only things that are worth it ?

# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Monday, May 16, 2011 11:33 PM by Robert Crane

Dean,

>>You can use the Previous Versions feature for version control although it may be crude.

That doesn't provide you with the ability to have major and minor versions. It doesn't allow content approval. Previous version is simply for backup. SharePoint document libraries support more document management than traditional files and folders.

>> In the real world how many people want to spend time trying to think of keywords for every document they create and type them in

With SharePoint you can tag a document with a style of technology, let's say 'windows' you can then filter out files that don't match that tag. You can enforce the requirement to have tags saved with the document (thus can be saved unless tagged appropriately.

>>Indexing can be done in many ways without Sharepoint.

SharePoint provides a single location to search SharePoint, network shares, people, exchange public folders and web sites. There are few product I know that do all that and can do it for free!

>>What about the rest of the features in Sharepoint or are document libraries the only things that are worth it ?

There are heaps of features:

- Ability to view and edit Office docs via a browser

- Ability to view Visio files without visio

- Ability to interact with MDB's without needing access

- Ability to create intelligent forms with Infopath and have them accessible from a web browser for users

- the list goes on.

- social networking (tagging, My sites, blogs, etc)

- Document sets

- Workflow automation

It seems to me that you are very ant-SharePoint and these arguments can go backwards and forwards on each point. Like any product, SharePoint has its strengths and its weaknesses. There is a reason that it sells 20,000 licenses a day. However, that fact doesn't make it suitable for every business but many do see the benefits it can provide but it is not a replacement for everything we have today. Many other components combined do what SharePoint does I grant you, but few on their own does as much.

Thanks

Robert

# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 12:08 AM by Dean

Robert,

          As I said I was just trying to get honest opinions and you were nice enough to give me yours. I wish I could have gotten more. I had to edge you on a little otherwise you would have stopped after your first post and I would not have learned as much.

         The thing I don't like about Sharepoint is it's extreme underlying complexity. There are way to many parts under the hood to make it work. Before the latest version of SQL Server even Microsoft recommended that you NOT use Sharepoint for storing documents because previous versions of SQL server were never designed for storing large numbers of documents efficiently. The new version allows you to store the documents in regular file folders outside of SQL Server. SQL Server then performs the rest of the Sharepoint database duties.

    The gold standard for document management is Documentum BUT it's not a Microsoft product.

    Like all Microsoft efforts thier first attempts are not good and Sharepoint is their first attempt at document management. But history has shown that their 3rd, 4th and 5th attempts become much much better.

# re: Resources and tools for online SharePoint

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 12:56 AM by Robert Crane

Dean,

SharePoint is NOT a document management tool. It provides the functionality but if that is what your primary need is then you are better looking elsewhere.

However, most businesses are looking for tools that include document management, network search, Office integration, etc.

SharePoint is a 'Swiss Army knife' for information management, however for one specific feature (like Document management) dedicated apps do a better job since they are specific. However, as I say most business don't just want a document management system.

SharePoint is no more complex than any other app. It is simply a web front end on a database. However, like any tool if you don't put some time into learning it you will never get the results from it. I think much of the misunderstanding about SharePoint is because Microsoft has pitched at the Enterprise which has all the support options. It is a great solution down to the small business BUT it still requires an investment of time to produce the best results.

I would never say that SharePoint is a document management solution. It is a tool that can do that but should only be implemented if you need (or will likely need) something beyond just document management.

Implemented correctly is greatly reduces complexity for users. However, many implementations have not been don correctly and thus it has gotten a bad name.

Thanks

Robert