More about the Templates

August 10 2006

One of the many issues that came up in Ed's blog entry that spawned all of this discussion was the templates that are available with Sharepoint. I believe there has been a bunch of miscommunication about these. I hope to clear that up.

You can find these templates, or "Applications" as Microsoft call them, at the Sharepoint Applications page. I count 33 of them, from basic stuff such as Discussion and Document Library to fancy stuff such as Help Desk and New Product Development. After downloading a couple and reading the license agreement(s), I found the following:

  • These samples are not including in the Sharepoint software package. You have to go download them yourself
  • They are not supported as part of the Sharepoint software package. The way I read the license is that they are not supported at all
  • No promise of updating or supporting these to work with new versions of Sharepoint (both point release and major release)
  • No internationalization of these samples ... English only. Both for the language and the version of Windows, Windows Server, and Sharepoint
  • I read between the lines that while partners and customers can use these are starting points, they can not be resold or packaged in any other format.

Now, take these observations with a grain of salt ... I am not an attorney nor software license expert. This is just how I interpret them.

So how does this effect our initiative? Do we follow the same guidelines or do we set different goals? Food for thought and discussions.

8 Responses to “More about the Templates”

  1. 1) Rob McDonagh says:

    ... and not to beat a dead horse ...

    IBM should provide samples with similar functionality. The arguments given on Ed's blog against IBM producing these templates is that translating, maintaining, supporting, and updating these designs is too large a cost for the (questionable) increase in sales. Your analysis indicates that Microsoft is doing none of those things. Why can't IBM meet Microsoft's minimal standard for sample/demo applications?

    As I said, I really don't want to start the same argument again, and I realize you may choose to simply delete this comment as off-topic (feel free - it IS your blog, as you've noted). But this information makes me less inclined, not more, to take part in an effort of this nature. I know - not the question and not constructive. Sorry 'bout that.

  2. 2) Charles Robinson says:

    I don't care what Microsoft is doing. I just want to know what *we're* doing, which is completely independent of IBM or Microsoft.

  3. 3) Chris Toohey says:

    I think that mirror products should be developed to combat the "but Sharepoint does *this*"-method. However, without IBM backing this initiative in some respects, I fear that organizations are going to see this as nothing but another grass-roots opensource solution. "Ok, those templates are supported by a community of developers now... but what happens one year from now?" And it's that mindset that will muddle this effort as ammo in the sales process.

    Also, and this may have been discussed in another thread (and if so I'm sorry), but where will these templates, their documentation, etc. reside? You can get the Sharepoint templates from a "microsoft.com" address - will these templates reside on a similar location at lotus.com? Microsoft has them on the

  4. 4) Chris Toohey says:

    (sorry about that...)

    Microsoft has them on their website - which instantly lends credibility to them as business-class solutions. "Street cred" for these applications may go a long way if hosted on OpenNTF, or in the Sandbox @ LDD, et al, but unless they're presented in a way like the Sharepoint applications are, management and the corporate decision-makers could just see them as "things people in the community have done with Domino...".

  5. 5) GarryL says:

    ..these are templates for Windows Sharepoint Services, which is already part of Windows Server 2003. Why bother buying Notes, or anything else for that matter. You already have your server licences and CAL's. For many SME's, WSS will be enough. Want more? Just ‘upgrade’ to Sharepoint Portal.

    The fact that they are on the official Microsoft site speaks volumes.

    That’s one thing. But when Sharepoint Portal Server 2007 comes out, which does things that both Notes and Workplace products do, things will get real interesting. I still do not have an answer from anyone as to what IBM’s answer to Exchange/Sharepoint is/will be.

    I think the posts about a good framework to work with, giving a standard look and feel to applications, are extremely worthwhile.

    The main issue, as far as I can see, is the level of bitterness felt by people that they are having to do this themselves while the Multi-billion dollar company that owns the product is seemingly unable, or unwilling, to do anything about this.

    Sorry its negative.

  6. 6) Charles Robinson says:

    The question at hand is does Microsoft's licensing and commitment to their Sharepoint Services applications have any bearing on what we are trying to accomplish?

    My first response and my ensuing blog posting were very spontaneous and not very well thought out, so I'd like to present a more reasoned response.

    The biggest issues people keep bringing up are overall support and internationalization. As I said before, I don't think we can guarantee anything more than "best effort" support without involving some commercial element. Formal support is of little interest to me. I do understand how that would be an issue for some people, and think it still comes back to the decision of what we're really trying to provide.

    As for internationalization, I think we should strive to provide everything in at least English and German, since those seem to be the most common languages I've seen in these threads. Spanish would be a great addition, and beyond that I have no clue what languages people speak. I wonder if IBM would be willing to share that kind of information so we could make an informed decision.

  7. 7) John Head says:

    I agree with everyone that we need IBM support and 'street cred' ... the sharepoint examples coming from a microsoft.com address is a big deal.

    But if we focus on that we will just bog ourselves down. This has started discussions within IBM. I hope they realise they have to do something. So let us move forward and deal with the issue of IBM support when the time comes. If someone does not want to participate because we do not have IBM support today, fine. Feel free to do your own thing. I and others want to do something.

  8. 8) Asad Quraishi says:

    IBM needs to support them. Keeping the apps maintained through releases with some ability to move from Domino versions with at least guidance, "This breaks on v.x, here's what you do."

    @2 is right. Does IBM want to follow and defend only. This is a losing game. Leading is the only chance of success.

    Companies like VMWare will give away products like server beta and player and then host forums to support them. Not only do 'customers' get community support through these forums but VMWare support staff will answer some questions too.

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