Out Of The Box Sharepoint (?)

May 18, 2011

From Alois Senefelder to Bill Gates

Filed under: Sharepoint — Peter Kruisman @ 8:15 pm

Early on in my live I developed a more than average interest in graphic expressions.  I’ve explored it from typography to (stone) lithography invented by Alois Senefelder. Professionally it culminated in teaching art (drawing) and owning a small lithographic atelier.  Mid ’90 I became aware of  javascript and the netscape browser and shifted my attention to ICT.  Since 2004 I am involved in the administration and  implementation of Sharepoint by a school organization in the Netherlands. In the near future this will be Sharepoint2010 with 30.000+ users.
Maybe by now readers of this posting may think “What the.. has this to do with Out Of The Box Sharepoint”. Maybe this question is relevant for most of my postings? 
In the past when I was printing an edition of lithographs all the preliminary work had to be excellent to make this edition printing a success and motivating experience. During this edition printing monitoring the prints and condition of the drawing on the stone, inks and rollers can reveal that minor adjustments are needed. An experienced printer does such adjustments on the fly.  The same principle applies to getting Sharepoint up and running. The tool box, media and most goals is different not so the need for the motivated experienced craftsmen – women. This motivation is frequently challenged by Sharepoint when administrative actions reveals flaws in the software or need overly complex actions.  Can an experienced Sharepoint administrator on the fly make the needed adjustments like the experienced printer? 
 Today stone lithography only exist as a medium for artistic expression.  Contemporary lithography utilizes other media and technologies and is almost always present in paper based mass communication. It does a great job in presenting photographs and other non electronic media like drawings and stone lithographs…. A Jack of all trades,  master of none? Well this depends on your expertise, goals and financial means. A lithographic reproduction of a George Bellows River Front stone lithograph cost about 0,5% of the original.  Assuming that you have the means to buy an original not as an investment it is very probably you want to relate with the artistic expression and craftsmanship needed to capture this in lithographic crayon on stone and its transfer to certain paper. Maybe not your cup of tea but very recognizable for a few others. 
In my opinion is Sharepoint a similar Jack of all trades.  It is presented as a swiss army knife for all IT challenges. Only when you have a very explicit need it weaknesses are exposed. Similar to examine closely the reproduction you have just bought of the River Front. While doing this you want to eliminate the distracting shine of the paper.  If you contact me for a solution I will advice you to alter the viewing distance 🙂  😦 .
Out Off The Box Sharepoint provides a proof off concept which can be satisfying for some. It becomes a challenge to satisfy explicit needs like  “The cost of  text messages per sitecollection” and “Infopath Content Type Syndication” and ……

Is Sharepoint like modern lithography a trade-off? 
Are dedicated IT solutions providing a better (manageable)  job?  
Does the trade-off outweight the effort to wire and maintain dedicated solutions into a coherent infrastructure?

More limitations or overly complex OOTB functions :
User Profile Service
Excell services
Content type syndication
So we need a bunch of extra stuff
( read also my postings about the SMS service,  Visual Studio 2010 and sharepoint templates )

I’ve sold the contents of my lithographic atelier in 2001 and continued lithographing in the Graphic Atelier Kampen 


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