Tuesday, January 02, 2007

SharePoint document libraries or ... is the file server really dead?

Update: A couple of hours later - Joel Oleson posted
Is the File Server dead? on the SharePoint team blog - talking about a coincidence ....

I recently saw an e-mail with the next subject -  The File Server is Dead: Implementing Windows SharePoint Services document libraries  ... I shuddered in disbelief. Let me explain you why:

  • Some files just don't belong in SharePoint document libraries - things such as log files, VPC images (they won't fit anyway because of the 2 GB limit in SQL Server - and by the way, don't even go that far, trust me - really large files are not very nice to work with over http connections, ...), source code, installation software, large media files, etc ...
  • SharePoint is an extremy good collaboration system (Most of the collaboration features are already available with WSS 3.0 ) which covers about 90% of the document management features that you will need but using it will probably need a change in your way of working as well. Concentrate your effort on this instead of trying to get everything from your file shares into SharePoint.
  • If you take examine your current file shares, you will probably notice that most of it, is not actively used. Usually, only a small percentage (probably 5% at most) of existing files on file shares are being "actively" worked on.  It is exactly this part of your file shares which you should move to SharePoint since it will benefit most of SharePoint features such as version control, version history, extensibility, meta data tagging and workflow. So when you start using SharePoint, you will probably not migrate all of your files in the file shares into SharePoint. Just index them with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and they will become discoverable as well

Joel Oleson wrote a blog post a while ago - What not to do on SharePoint, it was written for SharePoint 2003 but most of it still applies. Also take a look at this posting from Bob Mixon - Moving files from file servers to MOSS.


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