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Anybody with experience with Sharepoint portal for electronic document control?

N

nomisd

#1
Hi everybody

I am currently in the process of trying to decide what electronic document control system our company is going to use. I thought I had decided on one of the off-the-shelf packages when yesterday until one of our techies came and asked us something about a system he is developing for our Customer Support team using MS Sharepoint (which was a bit of a surprise to us as it is part of an area that is covered in our scope of accrediation and nobody had thought about getting our input - c'est la vie).

Anyway, I spent a couple of hours chatting to him this morning and it seems to me that Sharepoint could indeed be the answer to all those document control nightmares. But I do have a couple of concerns with it, the main one being the effort it will take to set it up from scratch.

Does anybody here have any experience - good, bad or indifferent - of using Sharepoint that they could share (if you will excuse the pun)? I have looked through the archive but couldn't find anything specifically about peoples experiences of the software.

Thanks in advance

Simon
 
O

Oriondad

#2
Good Free Choice

I have used our Sharepoint services for administering our entire quality system. However, it works much easier in you have Office XP installed to administer it.

Within Sharepoint I have created various sites, Quality, Auditors, etc. Within each site you can create links to files, sites, etc. Also you have document libraries, which you can administer within Office. You can assign rights to protect your documents.

Users can set alerts to notify them when updates are made to a site.

One mistake I made was converting documents to PDF for security. This created too much administration issues. I just uploaded everything to the Sharepoint server and administer the documents within Office now.
 
M

msalter

#3
Hi,
I currently manage a Sharepoint Portal to control our documentation...

It needs a small amount of setting up by IT personnel to get its foundation databases talking to its web server front end etc. etc... After that, once you have an administrative user group defined, it's plain sailing. It can be used 'straight out of the box' but is also very easy to customise with your own layouts, colour schemes, company logos/style etc...

Deciding from the start how to structure the areas, sub-areas, libraries etc can be daunting as you know that if you change your mind later, your effort may have gone to waste. However, once you get your head round the benefits of using custom views/filters on a document library rather than a directory/folder structure as might be used on a network share drive, things get a whole lot simpler and ideal structures become more obvious.

For more advanced users, Sharepoint is also fantastic not only for document control but also as the web-based front end for database applications using Microsoft technologies and a little 'Web part' programming.

Martin
 
M

msalter

#4
As a side note, I also agree with Oriondad that MS Office 2000 or earlier only use a small fraction of Sharepoint's functionality. To make administration a lot easier OfficeXP, Office 2003 or better is ideal.
 
L

LilacAngel

#5
Hi, i've searched the elsmar forum for notes on Sharepoint and saw this discussion on Sharepoint and its use with document control elements of aQMS/ISO9001 etc. I work for a service based organisation in the that is implementing a revised QMS and we have SharePoint. However, I'm struggling with an issue around document contol... to see how users will recognise that they have the up to date version of the document they're referring to? I can see that a way around this is to keep a master list to refer to, however, sharepoint has versioning and I can't seem to match the version number displayed on a footer to a version number in a column in Sharepoint. I hope this makes sense?.... I can go in to more detail Thanks
Tony
 
S

somerqc

#6
We are currently looking at the same type of tool. One big difference that hasn't been mentioned, we required the ability to do electronic approvals of AutoCAD and SolidWorks files...can Sharepoint do this out of the box?
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#7
We just switched from FrontPage to SharePoint. Does anyone have any good reference/how to books or dvds to recommend. IT keeps telling me how much SharePoint can do, but when I ask them how, I get deer in the headlights looks.
 
C

cthink

#8
We just switched from FrontPage to SharePoint. Does anyone have any good reference/how to books or dvds to recommend. IT keeps telling me how much SharePoint can do, but when I ask them how, I get deer in the headlights looks.
We too are just going down the Sharepoint path to replace our current intranet (currently using Weblogics). It seem from the presentations I've seen from IT consultancy companies and our IT guys it can do everything except brew my coffee.

IT have given me the Microsoft Press book Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services Step by Step to read.

I must admit I haven't read it yet, but I have had a look at the on-line resources at microsoft website.

For what we want to do it seems this there is quite a bit of set up work and the first quote we have for the time component of implementing Sharepoint is significant for us as a not-for-profit organisation. (A$70,000 approx)

I'd be interested in hearing from others who have had external assistance to set up sharepoint.

We do have an internal IT team of 2 and our systems group, of which I am a member, is the PCG for the project.

As the intranet document management and distribution system is my most important tool as QA Coordinator I really want this to be a good changeover that will significant improve functionality and our staff use of the intranet.

I will be following this discussion with interest and our project group is sure to have questions I can post here.

regards
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#9
Well for the most part, I am the web master, scary thought isn't it? I do get support from an on-site IT consultant (a MS certified IT Guru) but, he helps do all things network related so it is not like he is mine and mine alone. In the land of the blind, the One-eyed Jack is King (or queen in my case). And so, I trudge along trying to learn enough to keep us current, never truly excelling, but not failing either.
 
A

alex_bell

#10
We did a little trial with sharepoint late last year. Things wen't well until about 10 days in and then it just went wrong. We tried as much as we could but couldn't get the thing working again, nor could we get info out of the database and we couldn't even reinstall the damn thing and point it at the existing database. At that point we canned it and decided to continue with what we have.

Let me put it this way, if sharepoint was made by anyone but Microsoft you would never have heard of it. One comment I found on the internet about sharepoint was this:

Using it [sharepoint] is like closing your eyes, holding your breath and spinning around for thirty seconds. When your done you dont know where you are, you are very dizzy, and feel like you might throw up… I might create something in one place, but cant delete it or rename it there. After 15 minutes of searching, I cant find the same tool I used yesterday to do one thing or another. Its like that house in 13 Ghosts, everything SEEMS to move around on you… What really bothers me is this is not version one. It is a great idea gone horribly implemented.
 
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