I have been writing down, in book form, the techniques I use for SharePoint and Office 365 development. The book, Practically SharePoint, is nearing completion. Here is an excerpt.
Chapter 1 – The Practically SharePoint Philosophy
Practically SharePoint is a philosophy: a way of thinking as well as prebuilt tools that leverage that thinking to produce practical results.
- TEMPLATES: Use and reuse standard templates and tested processes to save time and improve quality.
- INVOLVEMENT: Engage and involve a broad spectrum of end-users and decision makers in all aspects of the project.
- KISS: “Keep it Simple SharePoint” and use basic tools as much as possible. The simplest solution is always the best.
- ITERATIONS: Approach your work iteratively: Start rough, and refine over time.
Microsoft has made SharePoint as easy to build and use as they can, but it is a powerful tool, and with great power is great danger (and responsibility!). As features are added to a product, the product necessarily gets more complex, even when well designed.
Yes, SharePoint is complex, powerful, and always changing, but key concepts and methods span SharePoint versions and unlock the secrets to building good systems that help people work better together. Many of these concepts are simple and straight out-of-the-box.
I sometimes compare building an intranet to building a house. SharePoint provides the tools and materials—hammer and saw, nails and locks—that you, the builder, can use to build the house you need. I will talk about efficiently designing, building, and maintaining that house, and how to make sure people enjoy living in it and visiting it.
To engage your users throughout the project and co-create a system, you need the right attitude. Practically SharePoint is about developing an intranet that people will use. With an attitude of openness and curiosity, collaborate to create a collaborative system.
Core concepts will be explained through description and anecdotes. The companion Office 365 site, https://practically.sharepoint.com, provides practical examples and downloadable templates for you to copy and use as you wish.