In January of 2004 I had my first contact with Sharepoint, at that time it was the 2003 version, and my first project was to implement an Intranet Portal for a Government Entity, related to the energy area.
I never heard of Sharepoint before, so when I started searching for information, the first thing that I realized was that there wasn’t that much!
So the beginning was learning to install, configure, administrate, manage and USE!
The first Intranet was implemented without any specific development, only adjusting the clients requirements to the way Sharepoint worked. I have to say that the project was a success, and ever since I have been working with Sharepoint almost constantly, not exclusively, but there seems to exist always another Sharepoint project to me 🙂
So after 10 years, I have followed, implemented and some times been the alpha and beta implementor of some of the Sharepoint versions. Currently I have implementations of 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 versions of Sharepoint.
- Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 – Intranet builder, this version was purely for internal use! A very poor community with very few information.
- Office Sharepoint Server 2007 – The merge between the Sharepoint 2003 and CMS 2002, it was an adventure to start using! a very exciting new approach, that for the first time allowed us to use the same platform for internal and external solutions. Nevertheless it was clear that the merge between the Sharepoint 2003 and the CMS 2002 capabilities was still to be ended. The boost of the Sharepoint community, because the information from Microsoft was limited, the community took for itself to create the information ans solutions, it was the start of one of the most “rich” communities in the IT industry.
- Sharepoint 2010 Server – A much merged platform, giving the social enterprise boost, and with a real document management capability (instead of managing documents). The community keeps growing, beginning to include other products knowledge. A very timid approach to Sharepoint in the Cloud.
- Sharepoint 2013 – The more recent version, were we are all at this moment! A very strong community is still growing, and with the reality of Sharepoint in the Cloud a new approach on implementation is being done.
After 10 years working with Sharepoint, sometimes I am asked if I don’t get bored with it and if Sharepoint’s life is reaching the end . . . well, there is no such thing as a Sharepoint project!!! believe me when I say that every project is unique 🙂
About the Sharepoint’s longevity it seems that for every new version that is released it becomes more of a core platform for Microsoft, some examples of this are the inclusion of Project Server and Commerce Server as services on Sharepoint, instead of standalone products.
A real threat to Sharepoint’s continuous use can be the licensing, because in these times of crisis one of the first cuts of costs that companies do is licensing, and if Microsoft doesn’t adjust to this “new” reality it will suffer, as well as the platform.