I have worked closely with Mark Weinstein for most of my career here at ASPE. Not only is Mark the developer of our extremely successful SharePoint training curriculum, he is quite the character. I was able to keep Mark’s attention long enough to talk him into doing a quick Q&A with me about his new book, Pro Project Management with SharePoint 2010.
Q: Your new book Pro Project Management with SharePoint 2010 is now available for Pre-order on Amazon.com. What can we expect from it?
Mark: The book is specifically going to focus on using SharePoint 2010’s out-of-the-box features for Project Management, including the new integration features that can be found in Microsoft Project 2010. It will cover topics ranging from the basics of SharePoint to the more advanced features and will focus on many of the best practices as they relate to Project Management concepts and methodologies.
Mark: SharePoint 2010 improves upon many of SharePoint’s features, as well as introduces a few new ones. Integration with Microsoft Project 2010 is now available, which makes the need for 3rd party tools for synchronization unnecessary. In addition, many of the features of SharePoint 2007 such as the user interface, document and data management, and workflows have been greatly improved. Overall, this should make the overall user experience much better with the new version.
Q: SharePoint has become the fastest-growing product in Microsoft’s history. How do you feel the 2010 release will fare?
Mark: I think that SharePoint 2010 is going to solidify SharePoint’s role in the enterprise. SharePoint 2007 was widely adopted by organizations wanting an easy-to-use platform to manage data and documents for the enterprise and I feel that SharePoint 2010 is going to build upon that solid foundation. Many of the new and improved features have been developed based on feedback from SharePoint users, so Microsoft has been listening to the needs and wants of its customers and has delivered with the new SharePoint 2010. Though it may take a little time for much of the user base to upgrade to the new version, I think that based on what it has to offer, most organizations will see a large benefit by upgrading.
Q: What did Microsoft neglect or miss in the 2010 release of SharePoint?
Mark: Though I don’t feel that it is a “miss”, so to speak, SharePoint 2010 has a few requirements that may prove to slow its rapid adoption by many organizations. SharePoint is now going to be offered exclusively as a 64-bit application and requires a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 as well as a 64-bit SQL Server 2005 or 2008 installation. Because of this, there is no “upgrade” path to the new version of SharePoint since users will have to install a new operating system on 64-bit capable hardware. Unfortunately, since many organizations may not have an immediate budget for a new server deployment, I feel that many people may have to delay their deployments until their budgets improve. Again, it’s not necessarily a “miss”, but it could prove challenging for the product’s growth.
Q: Where do you see SharePoint heading with future releases?
Mark: I think it’s FAR too early to tell. SharePoint is unique in that its capabilities and its ability to integrate with Microsoft’s other business tools, such as Office, Project Server, and SQL Server makes it the perfect back-end companion for Windows-based organizations. I think that the upcoming industry trends for business Intelligence and Data Management will further change SharePoint’s course and the product will continue to adopt to the needs of both small and large organizations as those needs continue to change.