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What You Need from SharePoint: Your Turn

During the holidays, I asked several SharePoint MVPs to share their predictions about 2011. You can find those predictions—including some recent additions—in "SharePoint in 2011: MVP Predictions."  This week, I turn the “spotlight” on you.  I’m curious as to what you need, both from SharePoint, from Microsoft and from the broader SharePoint community.  Read on, and then send me your thoughts!

1. What do you need from SharePoint?

I’m constantly amazed at the diverse scenarios to which SharePoint is applied, from a small skincare company to a global mining company to a university to a government agency. And in every new scenario, new needs arise that push the envelope of SharePoint’s out-of-box capabilities.  SharePoint is an incredible product, but Microsoft simply cannot meet every need, all at once, if it ever hopes to get a product out the door.  What are some of the “gaps” in SharePoint that affect you—that make it challenging for you to address your requirements with SharePoint, out-of-box?

2. What third-party and community solutions have you applied successfully (or not)?

SharePoint is an even more incredible platform, supporting an ecosystem of talented ISVs that extend the product to meet needs that SharePoint doesn’t fill out-of-box. What third-party and community solutions (such as those from Codeplex) have you applied to meet your business or technical requirements?  This isn’t a popularity or a voting contest, so please don’t flood me with “votes,” but rather I’m interested in names of—or better yet stories about—tools that you’ve applied successfully, or unsuccessfully … after all, we often learn more from failure than from success, right?

3. What kind of information, training, resources, and support do you need from the SharePoint community, and where are you finding it?

For me, personally, one of the most exciting aspects of working with SharePoint is the opportunity to connect with and interact with the community of talented developers, IT pros, and users who also work with SharePoint. I’ve met some truly outstanding people in the SharePoint “space.” People seem willing to share their experience and expertise, their “product” (e.g. code), and their war stories. 

Sometimes, though, I find it hard to find just the right information that I’m looking for.  It’s easier at live events, such as SharePoint Connections (which, by the way, is March 27-21 in Orlando), but finding just the right information online can be a challenge.  Seems that every Bing or Google search unveils scads of redundant, reused, and outdated information, along with threads that have digressed into religious battles about Google vs. Apple vs. Microsoft.  What information are you looking for that you can’t find easily, or in one place?  When you look for SharePoint information online, where do you go?

4. What do you hope to achieve with SharePoint in 2011?

You've seen the MVPs' predictions about the future of SharePoint across the market, but what do you hope to do with SharePoint this year?  What challenges do you expect to have to address?


I’m really curious to hear your responses to one or more of these questions!  Write me at [email protected]. I’ll compile the information and share the results in upcoming columns.  I’ll assume that any personal or corporate identifying information is confidential, and it will be removed, but if you don’t mind me sharing your name or company name when I share your story, please give me permission to do so when you write.  It’s your turn!  I look forward to hearing from you!

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