April 7, 2008
Big News on the Collaboration Front from Telligent
Last week, the "collaboration" scenario got a big boost from Telligent, which announced that Community Server 2008 would be tightly integrated with SharePoint, with single sign-on (SSO) and custom Web parts to expose Community Server's incredible blogging and discussion forum capabilities. I can't wait to put their solution to the test. I'm a huge fan of Telligent. Community Server is behind the OfficeAndSharePointPro.com blogs and forums, and I use their Graffiti CMS to power my own Web site. The feature set of its tools, the elegance of the administrative consoles, and the pricing are all "just what the doctor ordered," so I was personally thrilled to find that I might have the possibility of replacing SharePoint's fine but not extraordinary blogging and discussion forum features with Community Server. There will also be enhanced social networking and reporting capabilities that are really cutting edge. If you're implementing a collaboration solution with SharePoint, be sure to learn more about Community Server 2008's SharePoint integration.
Microsoft Revises History: Public Folders Aren't Dead Yet
Although this news will be welcome news to some, it's more of a curiosity to me. First, I'll be retiring sometime in that decade too. Second, because the idea that Microsoft will support public folders for 10 years after Exchange 20xx is released is laughable first because you have to pay for at least half of that extended support (the 5-10 year timeframe) and second because it's hard enough to find someone at Customer Support to answer a question about a current technology, let alone one that is 10 years old.
But the most curious thing about the blog posting is that it suggests, "Microsoft never said public folders were going away. People just misunderstood us." Puh-lease. I know I heard, directly, from more than one Microsoft employee, that public folders were going away. I lived through the 70s and 80s. I remember when the Soviet Union would remove people from photographs and even entire villages from maps and say they never existed. What really happened is that some of Microsoft's more important customers cried "uncle" about migrating from public folders so Microsoft backpedaled.
When you read the blog entry, you can see that Microsoft will support public folders in the next version of Exchange, and for 10 years after that (if you can get someone to answer your questions), but that Microsoft's investment and effort are going to SharePoint for most or all public folder collaborative scenarios. You will be well served to move quickly to SharePoint wherever prudent and possible. You may need some third-party support if you want to replicate SharePoint lists or folders (there are at least three great solutions out there for SharePoint replication), and you will have to do some technical and cultural migration. But then you'll be on a truly vibrant and growing platform that unlocks far more value than public folders ever did. Do it now, and thank Microsoft's important customers for the extra breathing room.So public folders are not dead, but they sure aren't living either… they are "undead." Move on, then take a shovel and whack them on the head, just like the Monty Python sketch. Now they're dead.
Until next week, all the best!
Events and Resources
Get the facts about Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Windows SharePoint Services in this free, online event on May 13, 2008. This event addresses common business uses of SharePoint and is relevant for companies of any size and any vertical market. You'll come away from this event with an understanding of how to deploy and implement SharePoint effectively in your organization.
Top 5 Advantages of Using Hosted Microsoft Exchange 2007 and SharePoint Services
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