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SharePoint Spaghetti

Everyone who codes is familiar with the concept of 'Spaghetti Code', and pretty much anyone who codes can bring to mind all those unfortunate instances when we wrote such code (you know, before we got good and stuff and so never ever produce it now.....).

I think I've determined that there is a similar phenomenon called 'SharePoint Spaghetti' which, of course, relates to Microsoft's document management system called SharePoint Server.

Document management has always been, and as far as I can tell, will always be difficult.  An organization wants to manage the seemingly endless stream of Word and Excel documents (mainly these as far as I can tell) that get passed around through email and file shares, and so a tool like SharePoint promises to make things better.  Right.

What happens, of course, is that an almost unmanageable structure of sites, sub-sites, sub-sub-sites, etc. gets created.  SharePoint has pretty robust versioning capabilities.  So, of course, someone just renames the particular Word or Excel document they want to modify (since someone else has it checked out) and uploads it.  Occasionally to the same site, but often not.

Do you have a question about how a process should be followed?  "It's on SharePoint."  Is there a server list that tells you which environment has which servers?  "It's on SharePoint."  And so on and so on.  No one, in general, knows precisely where in SharePoint some particularly important document is, it's just 'known' it is there.  Somewhere.

This isn't to say that SharePoint can never be used effectively.  When it is my sub-sub-sub-site, it works really well. 

I'm just not sure if it is ever used effectively otherwise.

posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 8:28 PM Print
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