As a Sharepoint Consulting Company for document management, we (Al Rafay Consulting) are often asked whether a team should use SharePoint for storing documents and the answer is a big yes.
I admit that Microsoft’s marketing has done a great job. Many companies are familiar with Microsoft’s SharePoint collaboration platform. Many companies that use Microsoft server products in the background get the basic version of SharePoint almost free of charge. The developers at Microsoft have also done a good job. SharePoint has many good features. It is well documented and anyone who needs it can find good advice and third-party providers that is to say a Sharepoint consulting company on the market who may provide missing functions.
One of my favorite features of SharePoint is that I can get updates on document changes via an RSS feed. I think it’s justified to ask why SharePoint isn’t used to store the documents.
First of all, Al Rafay Consulting provides advice regardless of which system our customers use. Without a meaningful structure (order), every system is difficult to use. With a sensible structure, the system question becomes secondary. Before you ask what software you need, think about a document order first. After that, you can talk about system support.
But back to the original question
SharePoint or not SharePoint?
Let’s look at the alternatives:
- Most companies already have a so-called file server. For example, if you see a network drive in your Windows Explorer on which all your documents are stored, then there is a file server behind it. Is SharePoint better than a file server?
- An alternative is a so-called document management system (DMS for short). There are really great (sometimes expensive) systems out there. Is SharePoint better than another DMS?
- So-called version control systems (CVS, Subversion, Git) are often used in software development. This is where the developers store the code for their programs. Is SharePoint better than version control?
In this article, I want to go into the comparison of SharePoint with file servers. Sharepoint Consulting Company is a team of highly experienced professionals that has solutions to almost every potential data managing problem. Al Rafay Consulting has already compiled most of the information online. So here are the most important answers.
SharePoint is not a DMS
In his blog, Axel Schneider lists the strengths and weaknesses of SharePoint 2010. In doing so, he points to the origin of SharePoint: It is a platform on which different people work together via the web. This is really a strength: You open your Internet Explorer, enter an address and you have access to the list and documents of the corresponding document library.
SharePoint has some functions that a DMS also has. For example, you can check documents in and out. With SharePoint, you can track who worked on a document better than with a file server. SharePoint has some of the best features available online to take the maximum output from them you need an experienced Sharepoint Consulting Company.
Also Read About: 7 Reasons To Use SharePoint For Contract Management
SharePoint Is Not A Replacement For File Servers
Microsoft’s SharePoint team has published a post on the web asking whether SharePoint should replace file servers. The answer is no. A company cannot do without file servers. SharePoint is good if you want to distribute documents via a web interface. But if all team members have access to the same network drive, they are faster with Windows Explorer.
SharePoint’s way of storing documents is not designed for high performance. The data is stored in a database. Therefore, the access speed in this way is generally slower than if they were located directly on a file server. This has other implications:
- SharePoint is good for documents under 50MB in size, which is probably enough for 90% of all official documents. The system is not so good for very large documents (several 100 MB). From 2 GB it’s over.
- SharePoint’s naming rules are a bit stricter than the file servers. Not all paths and names will work.
- Wolfgang Miedl writes at SharePoint360 that SharePoint is simply more expensive compared to a file server, both in terms of acquisition and operation. A SharePoint server is more complex to maintain and program (if you only use it as a stupid document server).
- A reader commented on Axel Schneider’s contribution and pointed out that multilingualism is not that easy under SharePoint.
Every company will always need a file server in addition to SharePoint.
Sharepoint Is For Teams, Not Businesses
SharePoint is designed to provide documents and lists for individual teams. The basic procedure for setting up a SharePoint server is as follows:
- The server and system software, as well as the database, are installed. There’s a SharePoint server now, but you can’t do anything with it yet.
- A document library is set up for each area of application. Only there can you create folders, upload documents and create lists.
- It is determined who may access the document library and with what rights.
- If necessary, the interface will be expanded to include certain functions (programming of web parts).
In most cases, a Sharepoint Consulting Company advises you to set up a separate document library for each company department or team, because then you can control the rights better and program the user interface more specifically. You can already see from the procedure that it can be fun if you want to store or search for documents across several libraries.
In terms of concept and technology, SharePoint is a collaboration platform that also distributes documents. There is a number of features that can make your data management easy and time-saving but to utilize them to their fullest you need a professional Sharepoint Consulting Company like Al Rafay Consulting to maximize the benefits for your organization. If we’re developing a structure for making documents available across the organization, a file server structure is always a better place to start.