Microsoft is very good at marketing their products. Their product applications receive extensive media coverage. But when functionalities change, Microsoft hardly communicates. That’s why a large part of the world isn’t aware of these changes. Especially when old Power Points and product overviews still roam the Internet. This is very confusing and harmful for Microsoft’s reputation. Often Microsoft partners feel obliged to explain this new situation to their customers. In this blog post I will focus on three existing myths about SharePoint.
Mythe I: SharePoint as BI tool
In 2010 SharePoint was positioned as a Business Intelligence platform, suitable for Dashboards, KPIs and management reports. The SQL Server Reporting Services and PerformancePoint Server were partly integrated in SharePoint, to record, measure and visualize business objectives. Since SharePoint 2013 there’s much less attention for this functionality and lately Power BI has become much more important. That’s why it’s not smart to develop new BI solutions within SharePoint. You can still use SharePoint to create BI dashboards, for SharePoint ISV products for example, or by integrating visually HTML/CSS driven data visualisations. At this moment integration of Power BI within SharePoint Online is the best way to visualize data within a portal. The new Modern team sites will soon get a
Mythe II: SharePoint as WCM
SharePoint is not a Web Content Management system (WCM) for building websites. It’s possible, but not recommended. Microsoft had big plans to make SharePoint more suitable for WCM, but this ambition changed after SharePoint 2013. Who remembers the Ferrari website running on SharePoint 2007? However, the world has changed and so did Microsoft. I still meet clients who are convinced of the Web CMS possibilities. My advice: use WordPress, Joombla or, if there are many custom wishes, DotNetNuke or SiteCore (if a significant budget is available). Just don’t make life too difficult for yourself and your customer.
Mythe III: SharePoint as Application Server
For a while, SharePoint was pushed as an application server for complex custom software solutions. Sometimes it was valuable, but most of the time it turned out to be far too complicated. Clients were dissatisfied with the final product and partners had to pay to solve unforeseen problems. The result: SharePoint got a bad reputation. SharePoint is the perfect base to build applications, as long as there are no modifications on a local server. With the arrival of SharePoint Online you can’t go wrong with custom solutions. It has become less appealing to build applications you actually shouldn’t want to have. SharePoint Add-Ins and the new Client Side Webparts run their codes completely outside SharePoint. This makes these solutions much easier to manage, integrate and migrate. Thanks to PowerApps, Flow and the Common Data Model, you can build powerful and versatile business solutions, without a custom code. And if it’s really necessary to add a unique functionality, you can integrate properly with Azure and Office 365 APIs.