Eight Pros and Eight Cons to SharePoint 2010

If you've been following my twitter traffic as well as others, or following the unending stream of blog entries during and since the SharePoint Conference, you have probably been overwhelmed by the avalanche of information about SharePoint 2010.  There is certainly lots of buzz around the new product. 

From the first keynote to the last session, Microsoft made sure everyone saw the improvements.  Executives like Jeff Teper and Tom Rizzo, product team members like Arpan Shah and Paul Ryan Duguid, and numerous MVPs all demonstrated various changes in the platform.  Steve Ballmer called SharePoint "his favorite product."

But now that the dust has settled it's time to analyze the details.  In a special Advisory Paper for our SharePoint research customers, we describe eight important new improvements and eight significant continuing shortcomings.  As a sample, here's one each from our list of pros and cons:

Pro: New Web Interface 

Microsoft has invested heavily in a new AJAX-based web interface.  The typical "SharePointy" blue, post-back heavy and static "L" navigation layout has been mostly replaced with amore glassy interface, "web 2.0" interactivity, and a slightly different navigation orientation.  For content contributors, they'll find the Office ribbon has made its way into the web.  It still remains unclear whether the new SharePoint 2010 interface will confuse less technical users, but for the more technically inclined administrator or power user, the improvements are mostly welcome.  All this aside, the biggest boon is the new rich text editor, which is finally compatible with more than just Internet Explorer.

Con: File Size Limits 

SharePoint -- or more precisely SQL Server -- has had a limit of 2 Gb size for any single file in the repository.  Unfortunately, the limitation still exists.  Some might respond that 2 Gb is a very large file and very few organizations will even hit that limit.  However, consider the construction industry, pharmaceuticals, media, or even technology firms.  All of these industries have common use cases where dealing with files larger than 2 Gb is a requirement.  Further, these files need to be kept and managed with content commonly stored in SharePoint.  We had held out hope that the newly revamped Remote Blob Storage (RBS) might eliminate this constraint, but it does not.  We listened enthusiastically as Microsoft discussed their new tiered storage for offloading SharePoint content to less expensive storage, but it failed to compensate as well.  In the end, perhaps Office/SharePoint "15" will fix it.

Do you want to receive more in-depth coverage of SP2010 as we continue to filter field reports and experiment more with SharePoint ourselves?  Go here to subscribe to our SharePoint research for a year, or here to download a report that gives three months’ access to all updates.

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