First formal SharePoint end user training today...
So today I had my first exposure to SharePoint end user training. This was a day-long class to familiarize end users with basic "out of the box" functionality that's provided with SharePoint. As I travel down the SharePoint/.Net path, I plan on sharing observations and commentary based on what I know from the Notes world. I'll try (time will tell how successfully) to provide an honest perspective of what works well and what doesn't for those in the Notes community that may be facing this same scenario. I'm not "the expert", but just someone who may have traveled the path before you did, and can point out the muddy parts of the trail before you slip and fall...
In terms of a consistent user interface on a single platform, SharePoint is nice. In that sense, it's more accurate to compare SharePoint to WebSphere Portal. The ability to provide a common look and feel for portlets ("web parts" in SharePoint terminology), as well as giving the user a fair level of control over their environment, definitely beats having to recreate something like that on the Notes platform. In fact, in terms of "pure" Notes/Domino (if that's the apples to oranges comparison you're making), SharePoint is more user-friendly in my opinion. The more accurate comparison on that criteria would be with Quickr or Portal.
Where I'm having more of a concern is with the technical capabilities behind the interface. I'm still reading and studying, so it's too early to make any definitive statements comparing SharePoint with Notes/Domino (or Quickr or Portal). And let's be honest... Quickr has had its share of "new version breaks old version" or "new version of Quickr not supported on newest version of Domino" issues. But when I see tweets and blogs with statements like "folders are evil" and "lists are limited to 2000 documents", I get a little edgy. I don't have the technical context to know if that means what I think it does, but I see potential limitations.
I also now understand that white paper written about a month or so ago that stated that a significant number of companies have security issues with SharePoint. At first I thought this was due to buggy software, but their point is that sensitive information is not properly restricted to the targeted audience. The same issue exists for uncontrolled Notes environments, too. Seeing how people can create a MySite page and add a document web part so easily is impressive. Knowing that most won't understand the security ramifications is scary. Think of it... spreadsheet with payroll information put to a team site without tight security. The search indexer grabs it. Everyone can find it.
Repeat after me... GOVERNANCE IS CRITICAL!
Again, as a Notes person, I can't get cocky here. You can create the same issues in Notes just as easily. Someone creates a teamroom, sets default access to reader, and proceeds to post sensitive information without understanding the security model. When you look at creating a whole new SharePoint environment from scratch, you realize that you can quickly reach the same level of information mismanagement that it took you 10+ years of Notes experience to create in your current environment... :)
As I get more into the technical end, I expect to find cool features and nasty limitations. For instance, I'm reading a book called Essential SharePoint 2007 right now. Great book to give you the 50000 to 5000 foot view of the product. I finished a chapter where they talk about server configuration, and how you can do anything from a single server running everything (STRONGLY discouraged for anything but basic development or very small workgroups) to multiple servers in a farm handling different aspects. When the author says "there is no migration path from a single server to multi-server configuration, so choose carefully", I start to appreciate even more how much Domino does for you in a single package. I suspect that the "number of moving parts" observations will be the most enlightening as I move forward.
I promise that future posts will be more concise and less rambling. But I woke up at 1 am this morning, and I'm really brain-fried right now. :)