Three things that annoy me in SharePoint

No doubt about it, SharePoint is a good tool when it comes to document management and collaboration. However there is couple of problems that still do not make this product great. For example, when it comes to implementation of taxonomy and search, there are at least three things that require looking for some workarounds.

              1. Cannot delete custom content types.

Once you created a content type, that’s it, you are done – you won’t be able to delete it. Sure, there is a link in Site Settings to delete this content type; the only problem is that SharePoint will not allow you to do it. Instead, you are going to get messages that the content type is in use, even if you ensured that this content type was unlinked. There are some blog posts showing how to work around this problem, but all of them require running direct action queries on MS SQL content database. Obviously it is possible to be done, but not really feasible for production environment in most of organizations. To avoid this issue, implementation teams need to make sure that the taxonomy is tight on the paper, and then test with a pilot before production implementation.

2. Drop-off library works only with Document type items.

Drop-off library is a great concept, allowing for building set of rules that facilitate an automatic movement of documents to corresponding libraries, based on their content type. Unfortunately this works only on Document types, or your own custom types inherited from Document class. So if your customers would like to use it for images or audio files, they will have to move the files manually to their target locations. This could become confusing – for one type they can use drop off, for the others they cannot. So, when planning implementation, consider this during alignment of the end user processes, and if you still decide to benefit from this functionality, make sure that the change management team gives enough attention to it.

3. Lack of native support for indexing of PDF files.

PDF today became standard when a user wants to make document portable, light-weight and read-only. Unfortunately SharePoint 2010 indexing service currently does not support this type of files. There is couple of add-ons that could be installed, but they range in performance, quality and cost. I believe that this is such an important feature that it should be part of the out-of-the-box installation.

 Small things but make life more difficult – hopefully SharePoint 2012 will address them.

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