Is SharePoint dying, or already dead?

Perspective on the state of Microsoft's collaboration platform

Mark Rackley

by Mark Rackley on 7/9/2014

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What’s going on with SharePoint these days? Is SharePoint dying? Is it already dead? Do you need to look at another technology? Career? What’s going on??? 

If you listened to some folks, you’d seem to think Microsoft is dumping SharePoint and you should run for the hills and figure out your Plan B. Indeed with the promotion of the “father of SharePoint” Jeff Teper recently, it definitely sounds like there is something in the air. Add to that the griping and moaning around the development community about the change in direction in SharePoint 2013, and you can understand why people are getting frightened and frustrated. The SharePoint they had a love-hate relationship with changed dramatically and not all for perceived good reasons. What’s left to do but argue and complain and pontificate on SharePoint’s demise?

Which brings us to this series of articles. I debated writing them at all. Do I fan the flames and stir the pot (which we know I love to do), or just let the truth win out in the end? As I pondered, I decided that I had to say something. I would hate for someone to stumble on one of the “Death of SharePoint” articles out there and decide to forgo a really great technology without a full understanding of these other people’s fears and frustrations. Yes, things have changed. No, it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, there are even a few very bright spots.

In this first article in the series, I’ll give a quick overview of the issues as I've seen them and as I’ve heard them from other people in the community. We’ll delve into each topic in more detail in the subsequent articles.

Why the “Sky is Falling” mentality?

I get it. Change is here. SharePoint is evolving. Many people with years invested in SharePoint are scared and frustrated. If you listen to some people you should change careers and stop using SharePoint altogether. But should you abandon your SharePoint career and submit that resume to McDonalds? What’s the deal? Why is there so much fear? The reasons vary, which is why I decided to write this series in the first place. 

Major changes for developers

First, we are going to look at how Microsoft has changed the development landscape of SharePoint. Microsoft really shook the foundations of SharePoint developers with the release of SharePoint 2013 and the new App Model. Yesterday’s “best practices” are now considered shunned and antiquated and not in alignment with Microsoft’s current vision. What’s more, Microsoft’s huge cloud push is leaving developers feeling crippled in many ways. In SharePoint Online, gone are the beloved Farm Solutions, and even Sandbox Solutions are now deprecated.  Indeed, the very definition of a SharePoint developer has dramatically changed (or has it??).

Cloud “Complications”

Microsoft wants you in the cloud. I don’t think that’s a secret to anyone. But there are some hurdles getting many organizations there. How do you migrate from On-Premises SharePoint? What about those farm solutions and third party-tools that just won’t work in the cloud? Is it safe to put your data out there? How can you effectively integrate “the cloud” with your business systems? Making the jump to the cloud can be a daunting and scary decision, many believe this “all-in” cloud push could be the death knell of SharePoint, is it?? Hold your horses, we’ll talk more about this later.

Changes within Microsoft

As the outsider looking in, some of the changes Microsoft is making may seem alarming. What does it mean that the main person responsible for SharePoint, Jeff Teper, has been promoted within Microsoft? Meanwhile, it seems as though something going on with the SharePoint brand. Is it fading before our eyes?  Do these changes mean that Microsoft is abandoning SharePoint and moving on to the next big thing? If you are still around for my fourth article, you’ll get to hear my thoughts on this as well, and learn who else has the same thoughts. Right Dan?

What’s really going on?

Should your company continue to use SharePoint? If you are not currently using SharePoint, should you make the jump? If you are a SharePoint professional should you just look for a new job?? In the next few articles on this topic we’ll explore some of the reasons why some believe SharePoint is quickly approaching its expiration date. More importantly, we’ll also discuss why I believe many of these views are unfounded and do little more than promote fear and cause un-needed anxiety. 

Topic: Cloud

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