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How to Maximize SharePoint's Out-of-the-Box Features

  • September 10, 2008
  • By Daan De Brouckere & Raj Agarwal
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Taking It to the Next Level

Now that you know how to extend SharePoint to search for Internet sites, the organization can add competitors' sites to the list of sites to be crawled to keep up to date on their competitors' latest development. This will allow the real estate company to maintain a competitive edge by leveraging SharePoint to provide search results for content both internally and on competitors' site for any specific search query.


As a part of any SharePoint initiative, we recommend that you start by understanding your customer's real business requirements strategically before thinking of it as a tactical implementation. Once you have a solid grasp on the requirements, you can brainstorm multiple options that address those requirements in different ways. The options, together with the pros and cons, can be presented to the customer to demonstrate how some requirements can be met with configuration while others would require customization or programming. We hope that these two scenarios provided you with some insight into the power of configuration for custom lists and searching and encourage you to think creatively about addressing your customer's needs before concluding that programming is an absolute necessity. The scenarios presented above are based on our experience in real projects.

Once a set of options has been created, they can be compared against the requirements and a cost-benefit analysis can be performed to understand the relative value of each option. Do not forget to include the ongoing support and maintenance costs in these calculations.

A follow-up and soon to be published article, "More ways to Maximize SharePoint's Out-of-the-Box Features," will walk you through three more real-world scenarios where SharePoint out-of-the-box features can be leveraged to address client needs without needing to write custom code.

About the Authors

Daan De Brouckere is an executive with Crowe Horwath LLP in the Oak Brook office. You can reach Daan at daan.debrouckere@crowehorwath.com.

Raj Agarwal is a developer with Crowe Horwath LLP in the Livingston office. You can reach Raj at raj.agarwal@crowehorwath.com.

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