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Information Management RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was recently asked by the department head to create a Sharepoint list that has ALL information about each of our branch offices. From addresses and contacts to the MPLS circuit numbers and the model of timeclocks they have. This was to be the IT department's definitive source for information on each branch. I argued for a relational database instead of a Sharepoint list but was overruled with the argument that we want something quick and easy with no maintenance required.

    Now I believe management may be rethinking that decision after I created a giant Sharepoint list with over 50 columns. They also would like it to link to a series of OneNote files where we store all the site pictures, database diagrams and rough notes for each office. Adding a hard-coded link to a OneNote sheet is easy but as a database guy myself, it seriously hurts me to see that being used as a definitive source for anything.

    So the question is - Is there an existing tool somewhere than can hold relational data but also has an extremely easy to use, low maintenance front-end built in? Something I can make a few simple forms for data editing like Access but with the ease of annotation and free form power of OneNote? And it needs to be fully "queryable" for reporting.

    Maybe if Access had a OneNote control of some kind that I could insert Notes into. But that would still mean a lot of up-front work creating the database and the interface. Any other ideas?
    Tuesday, October 6, 2009 5:41 PM

Answers

  • Well, I'm not a SharePoint expert, but I've worked with it a little.  And I would think that there is more power there than you took advantage of.  You could have tackled it at the database first, and then exposed the data in SharePoint (without overwhelming them with too much information in a list).  Or perhaps with your existing solution you could insert the OneNote files into the SharePoint entries.  Still another way would be to build it like a custom document format which at it's heart is a OneNote file, but with additional details (metadata), some required and some optional, that make up the rest of the information you're tracking.

    In any case, this probably isn't the forum to discuss the details of implementations, as it is mainly for discussing IT Management topics.  I'll wait a day or two to see if anyone has any other suggestions here, and then perhaps move this thread to a more suitable forum.

    Regards,
    Kevin
    Kevin Remde US IT Evangelism - Microsoft Corporation http://blogs.technet.com/kevinremde
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Remde Sunday, May 23, 2010 1:36 PM
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 11:49 AM

All replies

  • Well, I'm not a SharePoint expert, but I've worked with it a little.  And I would think that there is more power there than you took advantage of.  You could have tackled it at the database first, and then exposed the data in SharePoint (without overwhelming them with too much information in a list).  Or perhaps with your existing solution you could insert the OneNote files into the SharePoint entries.  Still another way would be to build it like a custom document format which at it's heart is a OneNote file, but with additional details (metadata), some required and some optional, that make up the rest of the information you're tracking.

    In any case, this probably isn't the forum to discuss the details of implementations, as it is mainly for discussing IT Management topics.  I'll wait a day or two to see if anyone has any other suggestions here, and then perhaps move this thread to a more suitable forum.

    Regards,
    Kevin
    Kevin Remde US IT Evangelism - Microsoft Corporation http://blogs.technet.com/kevinremde
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Remde Sunday, May 23, 2010 1:36 PM
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 11:49 AM
  • Thanks. I wasn't sure where to post it.

    Yeah I know very little about SharePoint myself. I'm a little biased against most web-based apps (they seem like trying to graft a steam train onto a horse and buggy) but maybe I underestimated it. Time to do some reading.
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 3:33 PM