Today I attended an “executive briefing”* on Microsoft’s SharePoint technology, with m’colleague John Barrow. This free seminar was hosted by Xpertise partnered by the Ashton Court group. This was quite interesting. To be frank, I can’t see my organisation taking on something like SharePoint, but nevertheless, anything that gives IBM and co. a kick can’t be bad. The interface is slick, the integration with Office 2003 (predictably) is very good, and the products tick a lot of boxes…

If you’re a Microsoft shop.

And you don’t use anyone else for your main IT investments (CRM, HR systems, content management, finances, etc.).

I must confess, when we covered the document library and Microsoft’s ridiculously proprietary “web-parts” (translation: portlets, MS-style), we didn’t have the guts to ask whether JSR-170 and JSR-168 compliance were on the table. I don’t imagine they are

So… an interesting set of technologies, and some good ideas in there. But nothing new. I can’t quite see what the Groove acquisition may mean for this area, beyond beefing up real-time working in Office, but then again, maybe that’s enough. Either way, will MS get enough done to seriously compete with the Workplace rich client I wonder? IBM, it’s over to you…

* - what does “executive” really mean in this context anyway? I’ve never understood that one. In the UK we have “executive homes”, “executive briefcases”, and now “executive briefings”… all aimed at senior manager types, i.e. the kind of people who actually “execute” naff-all… LOL.


  1. "Executive briefing" means "briefing at a level that won't raise technical questions -- these guys probably aren't all that bright, and we don't want to sprain their brains." Executive briefings are generally good for showing off features and generating sales. They gloss over things like implementation details, how much expertise, time and effort will be required, and so forth.Stan Rogers#
  2. Do people still use MS Office? Eeek!

    :)Justin Freeman#
  3. I was at a similiar seminar hosted at the Microsoft MSN offices in SOHO, hosted by Domino Systems, and I'm thinking that Sharepoint is something that will start to gain a larger and larger user base because it integrates so well with the office suite. Simply put, most people use office, so the transition is a natural choice (IMHO) and I think that is enough.

    That said, from what I saw, and I stand corrected, there is the ability to connect to external databases - and web parts, although once again IMHO they have a horrible name, are pretty much pages that you can make do what you want. I don't like anything that uses Frontpage (I am bigoted towards that, yes) but there does seem to be a lot of good stuff that can be done, if you know how…

    Overall - if you're using Office, then I think it's worth it just for that - we've implemented it internally, and it's already making the obvious benefits apparent.

    PS - check out the Domino website, looking for the white paper they published - it's quite a good read.

    PPS - here's">">here's my post FYI…Gareth Knight#
  4. Bollocks - the link is buggered ;-)
    here">">here it isGareth Knight#
  5. Bollocks!!!

    You're HTML doesn't work ;-)
    What does "line breaks and links converted" actually say? ;-) Knight#
  6. Heh. Well, it means what is says: "… links get converted, so don't use anchor refs.". i.e. if you paste in or type a URL, it will be converted into a link. That't it :-) Ben Poole#
  7. Ben,
    I've been working with an ISV here in Calgary that runs both Sharepoint and WebSphere Portal Server. Here's the amazing thing about Sharepoint…it runs like an absolute speed demon on what IBM would consider to be an undersized box. The Sharepoint offering is running on a server with less than a gig of ram. WPS needs at least 4 gigs and Workplace, my god, needs 6-8 gigs. The funniest part of this little tale is that IBM is trying to tout Workplace as their 'Sharepoint buster'….

    sad.Jamie McIlroy#
  8. Good point Jamie. If you have Win2003, MS Office, etc., then the basic Sharepoint components are already there out of the box. Then, if required, an IT function can enable SharePoint Portal Server, and away they go.

    I would maintain that for the larger enterprise there’s more to consider, but for an MS-equipped small / medium business, IBM have their work cut out selling WSE, no matter how good it is (and it is good, I’m very impressed with WSE and Workplace 2.5).Ben Poole#
  9. Re: JSR 168 etc., there's no way they'll actually try to be compliant, however they do have a conversion tool: JLCA (Java Language Conversion Assistant), which they claim will be "smart" about jsr168 code in a future release. It's already pretty smart about servlets.Bob Balaban#
  10. Actually MSFT has a WSRP compiliant add-on for SharePoint…. one more compelling part of their equation which is setting up the next version to be the 'ueber-Portal platform'robertk#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.