SharePoint can make you a superstar

I’ve been thinking about big impact things technology savvy folks at large organizations can do without having to pull out the heaving hitting (and billing) IT department.  I think SharePoint is a huge win here (and quite a liberating tool).  From something as simple as creating a group calendar to something as complex as a forms gathering/reporting engine, you get it all out of the box!

For starters, if your company is lucky enough to have an Enterprise Agreement in place, it means that you can play with Microsoft InfoPath, which, when coupled with a SharePoint library, is an extremely powerful forms solution complete with storage.  Without any code whatsoever you can put together a library where users can go to submit structured data and then (again without any code), you can run reports against that data in Excel.  (There are a few caveats here which I talk about in one of my msdn webcasts.

For example, our doc editor, Phil, was complaining about an aspect of a change management process we were using on one of our dev projects.  I asked him to fix it for us.  In under two hours, he designed an InfoPath form that gathered information about the change, including the build it was developed in, the build it was implemented, who developed it, who implemented it, who approved it, dates, etc.  It was great.  I could run reports until my hearts content in Excel, people had a very clear and accessible vision into the builds and Phil was no longer annoyed!

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