Friday, 27 March 2015

The world of a SharePoint professional is about to change

SharePoint IT generally involved a great deal of infrastructure and server specification, build and test. This can be very time consuming, and it was my experience that from the first requirements gathering to build would often take months. My own way of working was to create a virtual machine of SharePoint and work with the client early on, to provide Agile designing.

 But over time this caused its own problems. My virtual machines would generally not use AD, they would have a express database, and I would use the some server admin account to run all of the Server Accounts, making for a less than robust account. So over time I would use a better VM provided with AD, DNS, and SQL, but this itself became something of a project. I could copy the boxes over but to build them in client environments was not a full dev box task. From an initial requirements gathering to a running system kept taking months.

 The best way was to get a company that already had SharePoint and then start doing the requirements gathering, but this meant that the organization had to commit to SharePoint before really knowing what the use case would be, not very likely. Office 365 solves these problems nicely. You can get the client a demo site with 25 to 250 users in a matter of hours or days at the most and be working in a preparation project in the first week. But this does not mean that technical skills are not longer needed, its just that they are moving more to things like connectivity, sync, app development, security and identity management.

 That is why I have included the video above, it is part of one of the new skills every SharePoint IT pro needs now, creating AD FS integration between existing legacy AD on-prom and Azure AD running your SharePoint 2013. Even if you never do this in your job you need to fully understand what is involved and the risks involved. Previously AD was just there, you worked with what you had as a SharePoint expert. But today you need to be more aware of how AD works, and the problems of integrating existing ADs, and all their potential problems, in to the Cloud.

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