Sunday, January 01, 2012

SharePoint in the year 2011

While a new version of SharePoint did not come out in the year 2011, it does not mean that nothing happened in that year.  This post will highlight the key achievements of SharePoint in the year 2011 and also my predictions in the year 2012.



The phase out of SharePoint 2007:  SharePoint 2010 was introduced in the 2nd half of 2010.  The year 2011, started the phase out of SharePoint 2007 and the phase in of SharePoint 2010 – this is evident when you look for SharePoint training currently available.  At the start of 2011, Good (or any) SharePoint 2010 training was few and expensive, and now, at the end of 2011, SharePoint 2007 training has been completely phased out.

Using SharePoint better:  People loved SharePoint 2007, but they were not using it correctly, which introduced many pitfalls, as mentioned in my blog post written exactly one year ago  (http://nadirkamdar.blogspot.com/2010/12/common-pitfalls-in-sharepoint-projects.html) .  The year 2011 shows that we are starting to use  SharePoint better, we know the potential risks and pitfalls are have taken the additional steps to mitigate it.  This is evident as more emphasis/training/articles is now placed on planning and governance.

Improved stability, performance and security:  The latest Service Pack for SharePoint 2010 was released in November 2011.  The service pack included the following improvements:
Improved support for Internet Explorer 9.
Recycle bin: Lets you restore a site collection or a web that was deleted.
Remote Backup Systems (RBS) and shallow copy can decrease downtime and increase efficiency by moving pointers to databases instead of moving databases.
You can see which folders are taking up valuable space with the improved Storage Management feature in site settings.
Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2012.
A more robust Search Host Distribution service that improves error recovery and performance during the search crawl.
Adds backup and restore functionality to recover deleted site collections and webs.

Microsoft Launches Office 365 and places SharePoint in the Cloud:  In June 2011, Microsoft officially launched Office 365.  This includes the launch on the cloud based version of SharePoint 2010 (called SharePoint Online).  This positions SharePoint as an essential productivity and collaboration tool, placed in the Cloud making that is affordable and appealing to any businesses.



SharePoint matures with BI and Visio 2010:  While BI functionality was available on SharePoint 2007, great improvements were introduced in SharePoint 2010 with the much needed integration into Visio 2010, but we only understood the power of these advancements in 2011, when Microsoft introduced BI and Visio specific Demo VM and videos.  Theses Demo VM’s can be sound here : http://mssalesdemos.com/ .

SharePoint designs are better:  A very common request when deploying SharePoint solutions is to make SharePoint not look like SharePoint, achieving this compromised the functionality, and I complained about this in my earlier blog posts ( http://nadirkamdar.blogspot.com/2010/07/please-dont-pimp-your-sharepoint-site.html ).  Today, I’m not complaining.  As a balance can be reached where there site is fully functional with a strong look.  This balance is achieved after a years’ worth of lessons learnt and new design related articles and guides.  A good showcase on what can be achieved can be found here: http://www.topsharepoint.com/

So what’s in store for SharePoint in the year 2012?

Well, Office 365 will receive better adoption, and the shift to the Cloud will be more prominent.

The new SQL Server will launch, resulting in better BI functionality, which will directly affect SharePoint.  Maybe improved speed and better functionality in features like Reporting Services and Power Pivot.

Better support for mobile devices:  I don’t believe they got this quite right as yet, as seen in the video below (its good, but not perfect), and mobile support is just too big to ignore.



What I am expecting is a service pack that provides site templates that makes better use of HTML 5 and CSS 3 or at least templates that make better use of W3C compliant code and JavaScript so it works well on these devices.

The end of SharePoint 2007, If you or your corporation are using SharePoint 2007, it will most likely reach its end of live in 2012, which means upgrade/migrate or use what people will soon call the “Old SharePoint”.  Due to the reduction (or complete removal) of SharePoint 2007 training, there will soon be no resources available to support the environment.  No support means no growth and if your technology cannot grow, its becomes a liability.

While 2011 was about strong awareness on how we are destroying the world, 2012 is about us doing something about it.  2012 will see SharePoint as a strong paperless option for collaboration and productivity.

So that’s my take on SharePoint in the last year with a few predictions in the year to come.  Tell me what you think?