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SharePoint is like a large commode

“Site collection” and “Site”, I am lost !

… this is what I heard yesterday in a meeting.

To illustrate what it is and give my advice to the person who, I thought, was acting as the company’s SharePoint Administrator, I asked to see the Office 365 Admin Center and SharePoint Admin Center.

What was there: a dozen of size collections and all “pilot sites” that have been requested by a couple of teams to “play with SharePoint”, all of them where just under the Managed Path /Sites/ such as

No no, sir ! Let’s go back to basics and understand why you would like to use a few Site Collections in your environment and where to put the sites.

It has been a few years that I am avoiding technical jargon with my clients because the person who previously only had to be the SharePoint Administrator is now also the head of IT Support, the Infrastructure Manager and oh, may be also managing the 500 staff mobile phones, so I get that they don’t have to remember every systems’ ins and outs.

I used the old analogy that we used to use for Windows Folders:

Would you create a new drawer each time you have a new colours of socks to put together, or would you just find more space within that drawer to add the new item?

drawers

Image courtesy: http://www.noteborn.com

Site collection” would be your drawers, where you would put your “group of items’ in each one (granted, you may however have a very high commode of 20+ drawers, so build it wide!), and your “sites” would be your little compartments in each, to keep thing cleaner, neat and hum.. may be block access to some of them by having a little lock on it.

My user was happy with the explanation and actually was feeling sorry for the messy sites he created, not his fault I said, it’s not that obvious when the names are so similar.

Let’s demystify SharePoint and refer to it in plain English so that everybody gets it, shall we ?!

  • This week I am off to Paris with my little family, and on Saturday I will enjoy spending my day with the French SharePoint community and presenting my views and case study of using OneDrive for Business in Office365. I will be presenting [en Français] which I have not done for years, so be sure to hear some weird "fran-glais" as the technical terms are all in english for me. The title was actually "Shall we forget about taxonomy with Office 365?" which refers to the fact that OneDrive for Business allows users to store a crazy-full amount of files on the cloud and the question that stands: what to do with all this ? What about my team sites, department sites, organised libraries with metadata that I have been telling and training my users to maintain for years ? Do I have to forget everything I learnt ? See you on Saturday to see how some of my clients are managing this question! À Samedi pour voir comment certain de mes clients gèrent cette problématique d'entreprise! 

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