My Search for the Perfect Way to Categorize SharePoint Products

My college sophomore said he learned in one of his classes about using a "memory palace" to organize his thoughts and facts he's learned. I'm not exactly sure which class he learned this in, given that he's a biochemistry major, but he added his Good Housekeeping seal of approval: "Hannibal Lector used a memory castle."

Now that I've successfully accomplished a lifelong goal of using the words "Hannibal Lector" and "SharePoint" on the same webpage, I can rest on my laurels and tell the true purpose of this post: to organize for myself and readers the huge number of SharePoint third-party products into some logical categories.

As you might imagine, I come across a LOT of products in my daytime gig as SharePoint editor. In the past, they've struck me as a large jungle looming behind my office chair, humid and with lots of grasping vines. Originally I had thought to deposit each one in a mental box, labeled A to Z, an ABC-darium of SharePoint categories. But that was obviously way too cumbersome.

So I've gone the simple route: Large and lumpy. In other words, big-picture functions:

Administration: Everything from auditing to security to user provisioning and management, including code-less and low-code solutions, backup/recovery, archiving, performance, and storage optimization.

Business: Every way you or an end user could use SharePoint or a third-party solution to promote productivity in the business world.

Content Management: Where and how to stash your content and work with it, whether it's records, documents, images, and so on.

Deployment: Migration, replication.

Development: Some would say this goes under deployment, but I'd be more apt to make this its own area and include branding and customization here.

Flashy things: Cool Web Parts, some customization. Things that make you go "Wow, that's really SharePoint?"

Search: Stuff to find stuff.

Social: The things most companies are afraid of for internal use and want to moderate the heck out of  when they do use it.

And finally, my favorite category: FREE.
More later on this.

So where are you finding the bulk of your spending on third-party products goes? Or do you have any money to spare?





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