Microsoft provides a great whitepaper on how they designed and deployed the intranet sitting on MOSS 2007. As I read through it I smiled, nodded and really believed that this was what they went through because we have been through this as well. The two major themes that jumped out at me were.
- Use of OOB (out of the box) features. I’m sure Microsoft could find a developer or two to really tweak their setup, but their use of the baked-in features is a lesson for all of us. Maybe we should use the product that we paid for as it was intended. I understand some people are touting it as a development platform, and it is incredibly powerful. However, this is a powerful rifle aimed square at your feet, and it you pull the trigger, Microsoft won’t be able to help right away.
- On the other side of this coin, they discuss the custom development they did. Again, I was in agreement as these are the exact problems we encountered as well. Some of the work described was extending advanced search, a broken link catcher, and a permissions enumerator. I found this type of development to be more beneficial as you are “filling the gaps” in the product, and making administration easier, rather than extending and adding and increasing the product footprint.
In conclusion, if you are starting your internal portal deployment, read the whitepaper and follow their advice. for your first iteration at least 🙂