Software development

Don’t Do That Custom Development!31 Oct

I wrote about the importance of SMBs keeping processes and systems simple.  I recently began work with a new client that was searching for ways to increase knowledge sharing across their organization.  They were just starting the development of a new corporate intranet.  They had spec’d out their needs and identified a sub-site to have custom developed.  The analysts and developers did a nice job and it looks great.

But I recommended they hold on the custom development.  They needed to evaluate MS Sharepoint’s capabilities before proceeding.  Why?  The basic corporate intranet portal has been built 100+ times already.  Sharepoint, Plone, Liferay, JBoss, DotNetNuke and many others are decent out-of-the-box foundations for an internal site.  So there’s just no reason to pursue custom development for this type of project. 

But why Sharepoint?  This client is also upgrading their core enterprise system.  Turns out that the system based on a MS platform and uses Sharepoint for document management.  Doesn’t it make a lot of sense to evaluate whether or not the platform used by your core enterprise system will work for the rest of your needs as well?

Right now, they seem to like Sharepoint and we’re now doing a test project to prove it to the company.  If the test fails, there are other options.  But custom development for an intranet should be a last resort.

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