SharePoint Product Development White Paper


During the 2009 SharePoint Conference, Christian Finn, Director of SharePoint Products for Microsoft, commented that given current trends, building products on the SharePoint Platform is the “new black.” To make his case, he cited the momentum of the SharePoint platform along with significant announcements from companies building integration with SharePoint into their products and services. This white paper, designed for Independent Software Vendors, software architects, CIOs, and other enterprise technology leaders picks up this discussion by addressing the perceived limitations that may cause development companies to discount SharePoint as a development platform when drawing up a technology roadmap – and illustrating the value of leveraging SharePoint as a Web Application Development Platform for those organizations.

Why This White Paper

As with any evolving product, there are false ceilings set due to people’s experiences with previous versions. The initial core features/capabilities for SharePoint were targeted to provide out-of-the-box features that made the product easy to use and administer for team sites and portals. The product was extensible from the beginning, but it was not architected for the mainstream developer. This focus has changed over the years and there are very compelling reasons that product companies should consider SharePoint in their technology roadmaps.

The ability to leverage the rich features of SharePoint technologies is reason enough to consider SharePoint as a web development platform. Another key reason to consider either building on top of SharePoint or having a connection strategy with SharePoint is market opportunities that come from being associated with this popular platform (over 100 million licenses of SharePoint have been sold). The purpose of this white paper is to address the perceived limitations that typically cause product companies to discount SharePoint when determining a technology roadmap for their products.

This white paper will dive into some of the features of the platform, including how a company could build a better product faster and take advantage of the rapid adoption and increased market interest in SharePoint as a platform. Also described in this paper are the Connect, Extend, and Build On strategies and the advantages of each approach.