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Is SharePoint overkill?

I have three computers and two users in my home office.  Everything is on a peer-to-peer network and things work fine, but  I'm beginning to run into a problem with file sharing.  Sometimes I use one computer, other times another. 

We have a large number of documents we need to share, from estimates & project plans in Word/Excel to photoshop files to VS projects.  I'm going to install a source control system (probably Vault, maybe Perforce...) but I'd like something more collaborative to manage the image files, the work orders,  the billing reports, etc.

Is SharePoint overkill for two users?  I have MSDN so I'm not worried about the cost.  I just want a nice, easy solution, and if it's pretty then that's even better.

nathan
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Is there  a reason not to use a shared file system?
They have worked for decades now.

son of parnas
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Give groove a look. I used it receintly on a two person project, and it work great. A lot less overhead than using SharePoint (Which I'm currently using on a 18+ person project).

http://www.groove.net/

SW
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

SharePoint also gives you the ability to search the documents. You can also then access the document from anywhere you can use a web browser, while only opening port 80 or SSL on your firewall.

I might also point out that if you're a dev shop, learning SharePoint wouldn't be a bad thing.

[disclaimer: I work for Microsoft]
Philo

Philo
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Windows Sharepoint Services is a free add-on to Windows 2003 Server. It has all the features you listed.  Sharepoint portal server is built on top of WSS.

If you have Windows 2003, it's a no-brainer.

r
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

For the Unix crowd, http://www.epiware.com/ might be the answer.

There are some quirks, and a PHP bug will kill you if you share Office documents, but otherwise it seems to work.

David Jones
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Caveat - WSS does not include the broad search services SPS does, but it will service well as a document library.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Instead of Sharepoint, how about just "net share"? Seriously, you're talking about absolutely rudimentary file sharing, and I see absolutely no benefit to Sharepoint for you.

.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Okay, if being able to share files is the only possible collaboration issue he might ever have to solve, SharePoint is definitely overkill as a file sharing solution.

However, on the off chance he also needs to:
- maintain metadata for each document
- collaborate on specific documents and retain records of that collaboration
- access the files from outside his firewall without opening big fat holes in it
- maintain other information in addition to documents in a centrally accessible area
- manage documents by project with some degree of organization
- maintain any kind of structured data (i.e. forms-based data)
- search across a myriad of documents and data

...then it's possible that SharePoint will solve other problems in addition to the file sharing issue.

[Disclaimer: yes, twelve hours later I still work for Microsoft]
Philo

Philo
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Philo, do I have to have Office 2003 to take advantage of all of the features of Sharepoint?

It seems to me that if you want to use one Microsoft product like this, you have to use ALL of Microsoft's products to really take advantage of any good features.

Also, can Sharepoint do the remote-desktop sharing thing and instant messaging like Groove or do you have to use Netmeeting or something to do this?

I'm asking because after showing my boss the Groove demo on their site, he's ready to buy it.

Wayne
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"It seems to me that if you want to use one Microsoft product like this, you have to use ALL of Microsoft's products to really take advantage of any good features.'

Now that Microsoft faces a revenue crunch, they're pushing this strategy more than ever. Personally I think it's going to blow up in their face. To buy into any of their technologies, you have to buy into all of their technologies in one big circular reference, so rather than being able to say "I like XYZ to fit in my platform", you'd better like the whole damn alphabet.

Regarding the firewall 'benefit" that Philo mentioned above, I always find this laughable - instead of "poking holes in your firewall", the solution is that hell, we'll just do everything over port 80! RPC, data sharing, file sharing, etc. Now it's damn difficult to actually secure your site because every ahole has decided that instead of giving you control, they'll just expose it through port 80.

.
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

No, you don't have to have Office 2003. Office 2003 gives you the document workspace in the task pane on the right, but that's really a major benefit for large teams that work on specific documents; that is *definitely* overkill for a 2-person office.
Note that you can still create document workspaces for document collaboration without Office 2003.

Office 2003 also gives you "Save As" to a Sharepoint library; but since other apps can't do that anyway (PDF, Flash, help files, Photoshop, etc) I don't see it as a huge issue. (In fact, this is also more of a 'large office' thing where you simply cannot train everyone to put their docs in SharePoint, so you use group policies to default their Save As to a sharepoint library).

Yes, SharePoint is very nice with Biztalk and Office 2003 and InfoPath. But it is also a damn fine solution all by its lonesome.

HTTP via port 80 is just as secure as any other web call, and it definitely makes securing a network far easier. Web services blazed this trail; this is just an incremental use of it.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Thanks.  I we just signed up for the MS Empower ISV program, so when we get accepted we will give it a try.

Wayne
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

(not "I we", but just "we" as in me and the boss-man...it's time to go home now!)

Wayne
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

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