Monthly Archives: July 2013

SharePoint 2013

I have recently taken a short contract with a major specialty retailer of consumer electronics. As their first technical writer, I am introducing standard project document sets with templates and lean approval processes.

Although I’ve worked in a number of document and content management systems, this is my first encounter with Microsoft SharePoint. I’m relieved to report that SharePoint 2013 is not the Cro Magnon blunt instrument I was expecting. I guess all those years of working with open source made me a counter-culture snob.

Some features I particularly like:

  • When you choose New Document, you can pick which template you want to start from. Since you can also supply the templates, this is quite useful in aligning people without the need for a lot of instruction.
  • SharePoint relies on metadata and filters rather than nested folders – this one WILL take training, and I’m curious to see how it goes over with the group.
  • You can write standardized views according to the properties you designed. A feature called “Document Set” lets you create a team project page, for example. Easy-peasy.

As long as you always start from SharePoint, the tool offers quite a lot of help. Of course, that’s the unofficial Microsoft slogan, isn’t it? “My way or the highway?” :-)

I’ll post again once the tool update is released, to let you know how it went.