SharePoint like a messy paintbox, conference told

The first New Zealand SharePoint community conference, held earlier this month in Wellington, pointed to the popularity of the Microsoft platform with a large and participative audience in attendance.

SharePoint combines collaboration and document management, along with web content and process management in a wide range of capabilities, with considerable power for users to create their own applications. It is a popular platform, though some software developers point to SharePoint's limitations and its uneven integration with other Microsoft products.

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A major Microsoft release of SharePoint and SharePoint-related enhancements to other applications, previously known as Wave 14, will be available starting next year with SharePoint 2010. With this long lead-in time, the conference was somewhat disappointing on the information disclosure front. More than one presenter admitted to knowing more about the new offerings than they could reveal.

Part of SharePoint's popularity lies in its power and ease of use the speakers made clear. Yet, this constitutes a danger of possible overreach and scope creep, which should be carefully controlled.

Keynote speaker Joel Oleson is a senior architect at Quest Software, but was involved in the beginnings of SharePoint at Microsoft and is a respected SharePoint blogger (