SharePoint has evolved over times. There’s been a significant step forward with the release of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and several architectural improvements we all can see now, when the 2010 wave has been widely adopted by customers worldwide.
From a Web Content Management perspective, MOSS 2007 brought into the SharePoint family the former MCMS 2002 product, which was modified in order to make it an integral part of the SharePoint platform.
Since then, a constantly increasing number of web sites have been developed on top of MOSS 2007 and, now, on top of SPS2010 (at the risk of being redundant, I have to name Ferrari.com as a stunning example).
Web sites, especially those who will be visited by hundreds of thousands of users, need special considerations up-front, starting with the architectural phase where the global components and services are envisioned and planned.
During this early steps, a team needs to be created so that every single aspect of the web site implementation is taken into account.
You need a deep understanding of the network and server infrastructure you are going to put in place, as well as solid knowledge of the HTML/CSS/JS standards on which you will be building the pages that will be presented to the final user. And… well, you will be developing something custom (SharePoint is a platform, not a complete and ready-to-use product, isn’t it?), and you need to do this special attention, trying to minimize the server load to make it possibly scale-out and reach a wider audience with service continuity.
That’s why this series of articles tries to categorize some best practices you need to be aware of when designing and building public, internet facing web sites, and the categorization I’m going to propose is based on your role on the project: either you are an ITPRO, a Web Designer or a Developer, there’s something you should think about within this particular kind of projects.
Enough for an introduction, let’s start with some real world insight!