During the last SharePoint Conference in Anaheim last week, I was very impressed with the overall positive response to SharePoint Designer and InfoPath session. All sessions were completely full with dozens of people standing or sitting on the floor to be able to listen to the presentation.
I think the main reason for this is that SharePoint 2010 is a great integration platform that speeds up delivery time for solutions and is much less expensive than code driven solutions. Businesses around the world have no interest in knowing that their SharePoint solution was written with the best C# code or the latest .NET Framework, the only think they care about is that the solution meets their requirements, their cost estimates and that they get the solution ASAP.
I have seen over and over again how architects or developers design the most complex code driven solutions to business requirements that could be met via InfoPath, SharePoint Designer and BCS.
Next SharePoint conference, I hope Microsoft has more InfoPath, BCS and SharePoint Designer sessions. I believe that businesses have seen the power of these technologies and are eager to learn best practices on how to use them. The worst mistake that us as developer can do is to keep pushing for complex code-driven solutions that take longer, cost more and are always late.
My advice to every SharePoint developer out there when figuring out how to deliver a solution is to follow this steps:
- Understand the business Requirements
- Create a solution decision matrix with a list of the all possible solutions with their corresponding pros and cons.
- Always think Out-of-the-box first, then think of InfoPath and SharePoint Designer solutions and at the very last think of code base solutions.
- Create ONE page technical design document for your proposed solution. Most often this will be an OOB solution.
- Present your solution decision matrix to the BA or SA including time estimates and cost.
- Let the business make the final decision. You will find out that they will almost always choose the OOB solutions.