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Best Practices

  • Spend some time determining who the solution is for and how it will be used, and defining some specific goals for the SharePoint 2003 implementation to help ensure the success of the project.

  • Implementing Windows SharePoint Services with WMSDE is a great way to quickly and inexpensively introduce the features and functionality of SharePoint workspaces and site collections. However, no searching will be available.

  • Windows SharePoint Services with SQL Server 2000 is a more expandable and manageable environment and offers full text search capabilities.

  • A best practice for Windows SharePoint Services is to look at the structure of the organization and determine what site collections are needed, and who will manage and maintain them.

  • When SharePoint Portal Server 2003 is being used, the design process can be more involved because additional features are available, such as areas, topics, and personal sites.

  • Even if no other SharePoint features are implemented, using its search capabilities will empower users to quickly find the information they need. Documents do not have to be incorporated into SharePoint to realize the benefit of SharePoint’s search because file shares, as well as other external data sources, can be included as content sources to be indexed.

  • Using SharePoint document libraries for storing and accessing policies, procedures, and other types of user manuals that frequently change can save an organization the cost of producing hard-copy documents, the cost of distributing updates, and the labor cost associated with manually updating a hard-copy based manual. In addition, maintaining an online manual ensures that all employees are accessing the most current, up-to-date information.

  • Introducing users to the SharePoint environment through the Microsoft Office 2003 applications they are already familiar with eases the learning curve and improves acceptance of a new way of doing things.

  • Creating a portal structure that has various levels of sites targeted to specific user groups helps to manage the content and provides users with an easy way to get to the information they need.

  • Let SharePoint do the work of letting you know when information has changed by setting up alerts.

  • Take advantage of Web Parts and components already developed to extend the use of the portal for accessing application data and for performing functions such as calculations from within the portal environment as opposed to launching a separate application.

  • Let IT control the overall security and configuration parameters but encourage end users to manage and control the content on non-top-level sites to take the burden off the IT department.

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