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SharePoint and EIF: Sore point for Microsoft documentation

So as I've stated before, my new role is partially focused on SharePoint.  Coming into this role, I had no experience with SharePoint and I really wanted to hit the ground running when I started my new position because a lot was expected out of me.  I quickly learned however that SharePoint documentation is scarce at best.  Microsoft has done a simply horrible job providing documentation relating to how SharePoint works beyond just the surface.  The documentation that is provided is also incomplete or completely void of any mention of particular topics.  They seem to have this completely impractical theory that SharePoint should be treated as a “black box.”  I find this to be ridiculous for several reasons, here are just a few but the list goes on:

  • Not every environment hosting SharePoint is completely Windows based
  • SharePoint has missing features such as replication, caching, and recovery
  • Developers should understand what's going on internally so they don't mess things up or cause unnecessary overhead

So I find myself now relying on learning from trial and error and the expertise of those around me, which thank God is phenomenal.  The truth is I don't so much mind all this because I think I'll learn a lot from writing test code to discover how SharePoint works and it will make me a better programmer in general, but from a company's perspective it's retarded.  I should be spending time solving business problems not trying to decipher what is going on in SharePoint. 

Same story with the Enterprise Instrumentation Framework (EIF).  I'm trying to find documentation or even a whitepaper on it just to answer the simple question of whether or not I have to restart my ASP.NET application to turn on logging via EIF.  I believe the answer is no but I can't be positive unless I write my own code to figure it out.  This one in particular annoys me because EIF is a framework which makes documentation even more important!!!  Developers need documentation that is readily available via the internet.  Many companies have download policies so if the documentation needs to be downloaded it's useless.  Employees need to be able find out about what they want to download first so they can make a valid plea to the appropriate people.  Not having documentation for EIF makes me question whether Microsoft actually wants you to use it or if they are going to stop supporting it.

Ok I could go on about this ad nauseum but I'll spare you and quit whining about it (for now) even though it's really annoying....


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