Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Microsoft SharePoint roadmap absence

Nobody but the Microsoft product team seems to know where the next release of SharePoint Services/Portal Server will be heading. Customers don't, Partners don't, MVPs don't, and even Microsoft's own portal guru's/evangelists such as Mark Harrison don't.

Having had a closer look at the SharePoint externals and internals to find out how to get my way with it after all I finally dived into the web service interfaces and the related CAML (Collaborative Application Markup Language) documentation in the SharePoint SDK. CAML first of all provides a flexible schema definition facility that underpins SharePoint's ability to create/modify tables (lists in SharePoint speak) at run-time and thus works around the limitations of SQL Server (and any other RDBMS that I know of). The second part of CAML seems to focuses on the rendering of list content.

So SharePoint defines a data schemas and flexible data storage mechanism, as well as rendering and searching of the this data. Is it just me, or does there seem a lot of overlap between the core SharePoint infrastructure and the functionality that was originally intended to be delivered by WinFS in Longhorn. Before Microsoft's announcement of WinFS delay, it would make sense for a next version of SharePoint to use WinFS instead of its current data typing and storage mechanisms. If the SharePoint product team was indeed heading that way, they are now faced with some serious questions about how to go forward. That would certainly explain the complete lack of clarity about SharePoint's future direction.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jeswin P said...

The next version of SharePoint will come along with the Office 12 "wave". True, there is lack of information. I heard it is coming Q3 2006.

Fri Jan 27, 07:58:00 am GMT  
Blogger Gerke Geurts said...

Microsoft is more clear now on timing and functionality that will be released in the next release of SharePoint/Office 12 (see Microsoft whitepaper for example). It will be interesting to see what functionality will be part of SharePoint services and what functionality will have to be purchased separately. I would not be surprised if Microsoft would offer a number of SharePoint Server flavours focused on parts of the overall vision, such as web content management.

Fri Jan 27, 09:05:00 am GMT  

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