Not a great first post for 2013 but its taken a fair bit of motivation to get back onto the blogging bandwagon.
Better backup my site . . .
Pop over and have a read of Drupal vs SharePoint
We've had ongoing issues, particularly items 1, 2, 3, 4, 6:
1.Setting up a local development environment is difficult and expensive.
We solved (if you can call it that) by just giving admin rights to the dev SharePoint boxes - the catch is that opportunities to customize the environment for a developer decreases moving through Systest, UAT and Production so its very easy for things to get out of synch.
2.Setting up an efficient development/deployment process is cumbersome.
We don't have a fix - apparently you can develop automated deployments from TFS (Team Foundation Server - the successor to Visual Source Safe) for SharePoint but most project managers wouldn't wear the additional expense of a foolproof scripted deployment for a one-off project. So we manually move between environments and every deployment brings with it new and odd problems (often the fix isn't regression tested which means going from UAT into Prod can bring new and unforeseen issue; often not helped by inconsistances from item #1).
3.Theming SharePoint is extremely difficult.
Doing anything thats not out of the box seems to cost a lot of time and money - very little of which seems to be re-usable.
4.Many SharePoint modules (aka webparts) are quirky and don't work as expected.
5.Lists and libraries are quirky and also often do not work as expected.
6.SharePoint is slow and does not give you real access to the database that powers it.
In fact - reinforcing this point - messing with the back-end SQL database will render your SharePoint environment unsupportable. Microsoft patches and hotfixes may just over-write anything you've added above and beyond the standard SharePoint working databases. Without telling you. Nice.
The comment from another developer in the discussion thread is interesting too and nails why the SharePoint push is so strong for IT management in terms of a seamless user experience for their clients:
"I would love to dump sharepoint altogether, but users simply will not accept a detaching, editing, and attaching workflow for documentation management. They simply want to click and go. It wouldn't matter if a drupal site could serve them coffee and cake-- they simply won't stand for the attachment method of document management."
What the article didn't point out is that a growing number of people (particularly the younger generation) write on the web for the web (ie don’t use Word) so the DMS paradigm is becoming less relevant. Check out The prospects of Microsoft Word in the wiki-based world.
This guy has knocked up a 20 step (each step is an article) process to getting your VPS up and running. Its worth a look - Set up an Unmanaged VPS for Newbies - The 20 Part Bible!
The demo video is an hour long but its definitely worth sitting through - even if you only view it in little 5-10 minute chunks.
Makes me wonder what Microsoft and IBM have up their sleeves to maintain the relevance of their groupware products (Exchange and Notes).
The back door - alternates between the catflap and french-doors
Finally managed to upgrade to the new version of Pivot.
I ended up downloading my entire site, upgrading on my laptop and then re-uploading the entire site. The joy of completely relative links meant it all pretty much just worked.
There'll be oddball things going on for those few people that do visit on a regular basis until I iron out the kinks.
One thing to watch for is that it requires more memory allocated to PHP - the previous version of Pivot seemed to run with less than 8Mb allocated. The new one definitely needs more. Make sure whoever does you hosting is cool to fix this if you need it bumped up.
If you're after a web CMS/Blog-engine that is pretty simple to setup and use that doesn't require to much messing around with SQL or Unix then this could be what you're after. All you need is a PHP enabled web server and you're set to go.
Go on and check it out - PivotX
I'll have to set aside some time to upgrade as a fair bit has changed under the hood.