SharePoint 2007 in the Enterprise

There has been much debate lately over how much value SharePoint 2007 offers to the enterprise out of the box.  Many are quick to point out shortcomings, some warrented while others are open to debate.

Sure, SharePoint 2007 cannot do everything you would like out of the box and there are very valid arguments for what consititutes a minimum initial out of the box offering but lets not lose sight of a few things:

  • Regardless of many similarities, almost every organization (enterprise or not) is unique and as such they will have different needs.  At what point do you cut off out of the box functionality?
  • There are many developers out there (including development organizations and partners) depending on the fact that SharePoint 2007 will need some extended development to better fit the corporate culture on an enterprise by enterprise basis.
  • Microsoft has a pretty straight forward business model. They focus on offering platforms to build on, and the tools required to build on them.  I would think going “too far” in either direction would be bad for their personal interests from a business perspective.

I guess in the end it comes down to your own personal mantra, and business model.  Sure it’s not perfect and there is much to be desired especially from an architecture perspective, but that being said the (OOTB) value of this platform has always been to the average Information Worker while the other groups (IT Pro’s, Developers, Designers and Trainers) come in later, helping to extend the OOTB offering and educate people about it.

As the RTM launch nears there will no doubt be questions we cannot explain.  Remember, it’s easy to lose sight of the positive if we dwell on the negative.  I’m as guilty of it as anyone.

If you are feeling frustrated I have a challenge for you to re-introduce the value of the 2007 suite,  take a few days off 2007 and go back to using SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services 2.0.

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