Top 10 annoying things to say to a SharePoint Solution Architect:

(c) Sean Bordner

(c) Sean Bordner

Here’s the countdown, starting with number 10.

#10. “This one should be a quick and easy one for you.”

This statement is often paired with a “no big deal, right?” as a final wrap-up at the end of what amounts to 40 hours’ worth of effort to save one person 5 minutes per year.

#9. “Whatever you do, don’t say the words Share Point.”

I have heard this more than once, and it speaks volumes about what I’m about to get myself into.

#8. “Why wouldn’t we just use Google Docs?”

Whenever I hear this, I know I am speaking with a person which has not actually ever used Google Docs.

#7. “We already own the Google Search Appliance; can we use it with SharePoint?”

Just to be clear, you are asking me to draw up plans to Frankenstein together an existing inferior search engine with SharePoint, and override the out-of-the-box, totally integrated, more powerful, more flexible and faster Search Engine that comes with SharePoint. Right?

#6. “We need a SharePoint guy that also masters _________ (fill in the blank with some extremely outdated dinosaur app)”.

I am constantly amazed at some of the legacy applications companies are still running. This amazement is only overshadowed with bewilderment when they honestly believe that they are going to find someone (one person) that can architect, build, test and deploy bleeding edge SharePoint solutions, which ALSO happens to master some piece of software rolled out in the 1950’s. Sure, this person just might exist – keep asking around 😉

#5. “Your SharePoint looks really, really great, but we have widgets.”

No kidding, this was said to me in a large conference room by a person surrounded by their subordinates. “but we have widgets” – After this statement, the entire room was focused on me, awaiting my response. I couldn’t believe that was the entire statement; I was waiting for more, so many problems with that statement. I was trapped, couldn’t think of any way to respond. After I performed a quick brain-reboot, the sad response that finally came out was “Sorry, I’m not familiar with these widgets you speak of.”

#4. “Does SharePoint have ecommerce?”

I understand they really don’t know the answer to this question, I get that. I do not understand why people can’t use that great big free internet thing to seek out answers on their own sometimes.

#3. “We’ve heard that SharePoint is great for an intranet, but it’s not really a Web Content Management system.”

Now, I do believe they did in fact hear this statement. But, wouldn’t you think they might want to consider the source? Undoubtedly, they heard this statement from some CMS vendor trying to sell their wares, which happens to not be SharePoint. CMS vendors have beaten this same drum for several years now. There was a time when this statement was actually true, back in the year 2003. After hearing this statement and fighting the strong urge to shout out “the Emperor is wearing no clothes!” – I do enjoy walking them through the Web Content Management capabilities of SharePoint 2010, and watching their eyes light up!

#2. “Does SharePoint have SEO?”

Actually, this question doesn’t even begin to come close to anything that might resemble a rational thought. What is actually being said here is “I saw a demo one time and the guy showed us a shiny button that said SEO on it, and he said this is how you get your site ranked high in Google.” I of course suppress the urge to find out who showed them the “magic SEO button”, and explain how SharePoint 2010 is in fact search engine friendly.

#1. *TBD – I’m guessing you might have one to add to this list.
What’s the thing you hear from time to time that just drives you nuts?


About Sean Bordner

CEO, Solution Architect, Co-Author of SharePoint for Nonprofits, Contributing Author MCT, MCTS, MCSD, MCP, MCAD
This entry was posted in SharePoint, Solution Architecture. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Top 10 annoying things to say to a SharePoint Solution Architect:

  1. ricky_elias says:

    But we’ve already got “this” solution for that.

  2. Todd Bleeker says:

    “How can we make SharePoint look and behave just like our old site?”

  3. Hmm I am sure I could come up with a few but possibly “Hey we just spent all this time and money building this custom web part that {insert out of the box SharePoint functionality here}.” Then there is usually a comment about how “hard” SharePoint is.

  4. Nice post but….

    #6: “…legacy applications…” – A legacy application by definition is an application that is really dated, because it has been around for a long time and continued to do what the organization needs it to. That’s why the application has survived most of the modernization efforts that have led to the demise of the organization’s other applications.

    Now I’ll grant you that hoping to find someone who’s really good in the new fangled SharePoint and is also really good with that legacy application is probably wishful thinking. You’re going to end up finding someone who is good in one and training him/her in the other.

    #4 and #3 – A lot of the confusion about SharePoint stems from the fact that the Internet has so much information on “SharePoint”, much of which is contradictory. It also doesn’t help that there are now at least 8 different flavors of SharePoint in the wild (WSS 2, 3, 4, Portal Server 2003, MOSS 2007 standard and enterprise, and Server 2010 standard, enterprise, with FAST, and for Internet sites). This is what happens when the marketing department is allowed to create the SKUs. Remember when everything at Microsoft was “.Net”?

    #2 – This is a valid question. The answer is “no”, SharePoint is not particularly good when it comes to SEO OOTB. Page Urls with ../Post.aspx?ID=3 are terrible for search engines. That’s just one reason why most people don’t use SharePoint blogging OOTB. One of the core components of CKS:Blog edition was the implementation of search engine-friendly Urls for blog posts.


    • Sean Bordner says:

      Great feedback Eugene, thanks. I will point out a few things regarding the SEO portion. OOTB SharePoint 2007 and 2010 are, at worst, search engine friendly platforms. There is an important difference between list item URL’s and Page URL’s in that pages in SharePoint (as in, “Create new page”) do not in fact have query string parameters (as your response might be interpreted as meaning). In fact, in both 2007 and 2010 you have full control over the .aspx file name of the page, lending further SEO opportunities. Many CMS platforms use query string parameters in the URL on every page of the site, and as you pointed out, query strings are less than ideal b/c internet search engines like Google, Bing, etc… will only crawl a set number of those type of URL’s from any single domain. I still feel the hardest part of SEO, regardless of the platform, is the struggle in getting people to understand there is no “magic SEO” anything. SEO is an ongoing discipline which requires a strategy, planning and execution. Some of the things involved include fresh new content, inbound links from contextually relevant sites, keeping the sitemap.xml file updated, quality content for lowering the bounce-back rate, etc…). If only it were as simple as clicking the “magic SEO” button; but I guess if that was indeed the case, we’d all be ranked on page 1 position 1, and we’d be right back where we are now anyway 😉

  5. Tom Resing says:

    I like Amanda’s. Reinventing the wheel isn’t unique to SharePoint, but I do see it a lot more it seems.

  6. Jay says:

    at least 3 times a day…………”Why can’t I create folders with long names 6 layers deep”?

  7. Brian Bedard says:

    “Why can’t I upload this Notes database file to sharepoint and have a working form today instead of 3 months from now?”

  8. John Stover says:

    One of my favorites is: I hear issues about deficiencies in SharePoint – but I can’t tell you what any of those deficienies are. I just hear that there are issues with SharePoint…

  9. Joel Oleson says:

    My favorite… “Can you make SharePoint work like a File Share?”

  10. We want SharePoint but it musn’t look like SharePoint. &^%^%$%$#!!

  11. Sandra Jones says:

    “Can you make SharePoint as easy as my iPod”

  12. Vinod Kevaliya says:

    Why can’t I extract and zip files of 500 mb each on SharePoint without having to use zip extracter? This was the bizzare one user had 20 zip files of 500 mb.

  13. Sean Bordner says:

    ROFL – some of these crack me up every time I think about ’em!

  14. Ryan Steeno says:

    “Can you make my SharePoint team site NOT look like SharePoint?”

  15. Lee Stevens says:

    “Our needs are sooooo complex that SharePoint will probably have to be highly customised”

    ” We really cant justify the licence costs” (says the person who is already paying for 000’s of ECALS and using 0 features)

  16. Kerri says:

    “I have a great solutions to your need for this updated information! How about I talk with our IT guy and see if he can figure out a way to make ‘that Sharepoint’ connect to our file share so you can see the Excel sheet we keep in one of our folders?”
    ~ quote from another division within our organization — yes, they also have ‘that Sharepoint’

  17. Patrick says:

    Just heard this:

    “So the method FindUsersByEmail…we are, we, uh, are going to need some more details about what that is supposed to do and what you expect.”

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