Thursday, March 28, 2013

SharePoint 2013

As an information manager, I'm getting a little excited about SharePoint 2013. First impressions are that it's a big improvement on previous incarnations. It isn't the new and much trumpeted social features that appeal to me, or the new look and feel, it's the way that it's been redesigned to make the whole process of managing enterprise, and specifically team site, content more intuitive and user friendly.

The new Windows 8 style metro tiles interface is very visually appealing and the re-classification of lists and libraries as 'apps' is a smart move as is the ability to change various settings on the page. One of the biggest headaches for a lot of site owners was the way user permissions worked. This too has been simplified. There is, in fact, a whole raft of changes that will greatly simplify the entire experience of users, and particularly, power users. Ah yes, power users, those people who sit somewhere between administrators and general users. There doesn't seem to be much material around to cater for them. So where might one turn for insight, help and general awareness of those advanced features?

While there's a huge amount of SharePoint material available all over the web, most of it's geared toward Server Administrators - largely an IT function. What about SharePoint Administrators, those with overall responsibility for managing site collections and those aforementioned Power Users? where might they turn for information and guidance?

Two of the best sources I know are:
  1. the AIIM SharePoint Community blog, where various contributors share their insights, experience and opinions. 
  2. SharePoint Videos a subscription based site which uses videos to explain all the different flavours of SharePoint.
I use both of these on a regular basis and find them invaluable. The chief source is of course the Microsoft site, but as mentioned earlier, it's geared toward IT pros. However, there are several places on this site where you can get an excellent overview and feel for the entire product along with some very useful visual representations of different architectures.

Pretty cool huh?