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Posted April 26, 2007
wikis and business intelligence
Noel and Spence have put together a large amount of help on using SharePoint. All about enabling collaborative effort. Typically by employees inside a corporation. Though it's certainly extensible to outsiders, like corporate partners. SharePoint basically deals with portal management, to people who have never used it before. So a lot of the book explains how users can plan/layout web pages and sets of web pages. The pages are typically dynamic, not in the sense of Java Server Pages or ASP. But in that a group of users can be defined by the SharePoint administrator, and anyone in the group can edit those pages. This elides into the concept of workspaces a more general and powerful idea than merely web pages. The word portal is relatively deprecated within the text, for some reason. Maybe because Microsoft wants SharePoint to move away from that concept? Whereas earlier versions of SharePoint embraced the word more strongly. The book makes no mention of Lotus Notes. A competitor (from IBM) that is also in the collaborative field. A comparative analysis might have been interesting. But the book at least mentions wikis. A wiki is a free, open source alternative to some of the functionality of SharePoint. Certainly, SharePoint can do more thus far. However, if your budget is limited and you don't need all the functionality described in the text, a wiki could be a plausible alternative. Interestingly, Microsoft has chosen to explicitly incorporate wikis, as a subset of SharePoint, and the book explains how this is done. Perhaps this ability is meant to draw in people already using wikis. To demonstrate an upward migration path to greater functionality. Part of this extra ability is the so-called 'business intelligence'. Basically, it's a way to pull in data from other packages, especially Microsoft Office suite. Along with some simple means to graph this data. Useful, as it saves you from having to do a lot of low level coding. But the phrase 'business intelligence' is risible. It suggests some deep analytic processing. (Akin to the promises made about AI in the late 80s.) Which is not what SharePoint 2007 offers.
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Posted April 6, 2010
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