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Beginning SharePoint® 2007: Building Team Solutions with MOSS 2007 by Shane Perran, Amanda Murphy

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4.1. Creating an Environment that Reflects Your Business

Information is not very useful if it is disorganized and hard to find. Traditionally, electronic documents are stored in a file system consisting of folders and subfolders, often many levels deep. In computer lingo, this is often called a tree structure. You create the document tree according to your needs or whims, and then you share it with your associates. However, they may not understand your organizational approach, and so may have difficulty finding documents in your folders. For example, you may have a folder for each city in your territory, and within each city folder, folders for your customers in that city. In each customer folder, you store project specifications, statements of work, proposals, project status reports, and other documents related to that customer. But what if an associate simply wants a list of the current project status reports for all of your customers? This is pretty hard to get because status reports are scattered throughout your document tree.

This example shows the major limitation of using the file system to share documents: Because you have only one way to organize and categorize information, you must develop a system in advance that is useful for everyone, and which usually results in a compromise that no one wants. And once you choose a folder structure, it may become both difficult to change and difficult to teach to others.

With SharePoint, you can associate a great deal of information ...

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