SharePoint Enterprise vs Community Site

Products:  SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013

I am working with a client and needed a list of characteristics to answer the ultimate requirements and questions related to Enterprise versus Community sites.  This list is not conclusive and each requirement is often not black or white.  By providing an all inclusive view of what is and what is not included learning session provides the more obvious answer or at least a starting point.

  • I need the site on the top level navigation
  • I want the site and content to more visible to the larger audience of users
  • I want the site to adhere to the enterprise master page theme
  • I want the Help Desk to provision all site security permissions
  • I want the site content to show higher in the search results
  • I have content that all business users need to know about
  • I need this content included within the larger records management process
  • I want to survey my group of users to understand …
  • I want to survey all business users to understand …
  • I want a discussion board where our group can collaboration on …
  • I want a site where I don’t have to confirm the use of my site every 30-90 days
  • I want unlimited storage
  • I want a site for our upcoming event
  • I want a site for our department
  • I want a site for our team
  • I want a site for our project team
  • I want our users to have SharePoint Designer permissions

Enterprise Site Characteristics

  • Strategic (long-term focus)
  • Updates (less frequent)
  • Larger Audience (read permissions to all site content)
  • Structure (separate web application, one or more site collections)
  • Ownership (ultimately owned by the governance team)
  • Site Governance (defined by governance team)
  • Site Owners (follow Site Governance rules in managing their sites)
  • Top-Level Navigation Site (defined by governance team)
  • Managed Security (via active directory security groups)
  • Search (content has highest priority in search results)
  • Managed Taxonomy (governance team defines taxonomy)
  • Push vs. Pull (focus on intentionally pushing information to audiences)
  • Content Management (pages, documents, lists)
  • Forms Management (simplify request entry)
  • Document Management (versioning, content approval)
  • Records Manager (archive, deletion workflows)
  • Process Workflows (enable process workflows, alerts, approvals)
  • Custom Application (advanced processing for leveraging data and workflows)
  • External LOB Integrations (integrate ERP, SQL and other data sources)
  • Published Trustworthy Content (one source of the truth)
  • Less Interaction (forums, discussion boards)
  • Storage (all sites within site collection are ruled by the same allocation quota)
  • Restricted SharePoint Designer (very few users will have Site Admin permissions)
  • SharePoint Team (more involved in each of the areas above)
  • Custom Applications managed by SharePoint Team for the long-term

Community Site Characteristics

  • Tactical (short-term focus)
  • Sites (team, project, group, event)
  • Updates (more frequent)
  • Smaller Audience (contributor permissions to majority of audience membership
  • Structure (separate web application, one or more site collections)
  • Ownership (owned and operated by the site administrator and site owners)
  • Site Governance (approved by site administrator or site owner)
  • Managed Security (via active directory security groups or SharePoint groups)
  • Search (content has lower priority in search results; security trimmed)
  • Managed Taxonomy (site owner defines taxonomy)
  • Push & Pull (audience members decide level of involvement)
  • Content Management (pages, documents, lists)
  • Forms Management (simplify request entry)
  • External LOB Integrations (integrate ERP, SQL and other data sources)
  • Content (work in progress is more of the norm)
  • More Interaction (forums, discussion boards, co-editing of content)
  • Storage (each community site collection is ruled by its own allocation quota)
  • SharePoint Designer (each Site Admin of a site may have this functionality)
  • SharePoint Team (much less involved in each of the areas above)
  • Custom Applications managed by Site Administrators of the Site for the long-term

Scenario

The client has an existing enterprise level site related to the IT Department.  They now want to provide a place to manage content about the more prominent products in use across the business.   A few of their requirements may consist of the following …

  • provide visibility to the products
  • provide awareness about the product features
  • provide examples of usage across the business (show case)
  • provide contact points (subject matter experts)
  • provide forum for discussion issues, challenges and opportunities
  • provide access to the ongoing knowledgebase (self service)

My recommendation is that a community site would meet these requirements best.
Each product would …

  • be managed in the context of a community site
  • have it’s own site allocation quota
  • be owned and managed by the site administrator/owner
  • could more easily be scoped during a content search
  • could provide more interaction
  • could be subscribed to by employees as needed
  • allow employees to be active contributors within the site
  • would be a site that is a top-level community site versus being an enterprise site buried 3 levels down
  • site owners would provisions user permissions
  • site owners could use SharePoint Designer to customize pages, forms, workflows, etc

Feedback

Your comments are welcome.

References

How has SharePoint affected you?

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This entry was posted in Content Management, Document Management, Information Architecture, Knowledge Management, SharePoint, User Adoption. Bookmark the permalink.

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