Friday, June 17, 2005

SharePoint Portal Server V3.0 and other speculations

Bill has put together some insights about Office 12 and SharePoint Portal Server v3.0 - of course he knows more, he just can't tell us.

Here are some of the things I'm betting on (or hoping for ...):
  • SharePoint and CMS will merge together into one product, I guess SharePoint will be the main component and CMS will be available to plug into SharePoint. This model will more or less ressemble the model that IBM uses with their IBM workplaces

  • There will be more extensive support for workflow out of the box, my guess is that they will base it on the Biztalk rule engine - which works pretty good- and add extra webparts for administering human workflow on top. Although you can never rule out that Microsoft will finally acquire one of their workflow partners, be it K2.Net or Captaris

  • IBF will be integrated into Visual Tools for Office and will be further pushed as a way of integrating different systems - a statement I heard today "IBF is the next generation smart tags". Development with 1.5 has already become a lot easier but especially the Office side - smart tag recognizer still isn't easy enough

  • Integration of features of the newly acquired Groove product set into Office 12 - I especially like the Mobile Workspace for SharePoint. Although there are still some serious limitations which need to be solved - See Limitations in using Groove to Offline SharePoint

  • Possibility to publish InfoPath forms on your SharePoint Portal Server through InfoPath Server - clients do not need a full blown version of InfoPath anymore

  • Full localization of the SharePoint environment - it will be possible to change languages at runtime - this information will be dependent on the user who logs into your portal

  • Single document security (This is definitely a must - we have done a huge project based on SharePoint which needed single document security and I can assure you, it is not easy ...) with further enhancements to Rights Management Server

  • Lots of emphasis on charting, scorecards and data analysis - Maestro will use SharePoint as its main UI

  • Full integration with lots and lots of different Microsoft products and solutions, SQL Reporting Services, Project Server, Team Foundation Server, Biztalk,...

  • SharePoint will be RSS enabled out of the box - it will possible to create RSS driven alerts on all items in SharePoint

  • More consistency in the way that SharePoint uses site definitions - admin and user facing pages should both rely on the same server controls to render their content. For those of you who have been playing with AlternateCSS and AlternateHeader now what I'm talking about

  • A plugin for VS.Net to edit site definitions - we know that CAML isn't going away, but at least provide us with better tools...

  • Better integration of WSS and SPS - it would be quite nice that when a site gets deleted it also automatically gets unlisted from the site directory

  • More options to troubleshoot SharePoint search - this is one huge black box for the moment and quite troublesome if you encounter problems

  • Support for 64-bit (of course since this is a common engineering criteria)
  • Update 23 june:I just read this article by Kay Slagman and it pointed me to another thing - mobile support for SharePoint. I don't think this is a must however, ...

  • Update 23 june:Support for database replication - especially when you have SharePoint Portal Servers in different locations, this is a must

  • For those of you who have more ideas, just leave a comment ... I guess everybody who has done or is doing a SharePoint project still has a list of "most wanted" features...


    CD said...

    RE: # Possibility to publish InfoPath forms on your SharePoint Portal Server through InfoPath Server - clients do not need a full blown version of InfoPath anymore

    This can already be achieved by using a tool like Infoview -

    jopx said...

    I know, ... I have seen your product and I think it definitely is a solution for InfoPath currently. I'm however speculating that this will be available out of the box in a next version of the Microsoft collaboration suite

    Jan Tielens said...

    I would add:

    - proper document library event handlers that have events for *everything* that can happen in a doc. lib.

    - list event handlers (same concept as in a doc. lib.)

    - adaptive UI (e.g. showing no edit links if the user has only reader rights)

    jopx said...

    Thx Jan, list event handlers are definitely a must...

    Anonymous said...

    At TechEd, one presenter pretty much stated that the objective of the WinOE functionality in Sharepoint v3 and Office 12 was to make document-oriented workflow (i.e., a subset of human workflow) easy out of the box. I don't know whether it'll be based on the BizTalk rules engine (tend to think not), use technologies licensed from one of their partners (K2, etc., following the model they used with NetIQ for MOM, or IMlogic for LCS), or if they'll just buy someone outright (as they did with Zoomit and many other companies). I do think they need to address the whole human workflow issue soon, though, across their whole product line and in a standards-compliant way.