I have a mentoring client who is doing a fair bit of Sharepoint work. Some of it I just do for them and install on their servers, but I'm working closely with a team of developers who are building up their skills on both development and administration, and putting sites into production for real people to use to do their jobs.
This client is a pretty large firm - a Canadian household name - and so in addition to a large team of developers they have an infrastructure team, the "downstairs guys" who configure and support all their servers. As the number of Sharepoint sites grows, we're having strategy meetings with developers and infrastructure people about how to handle the growth of Sharepoint within the firm.
So at one point in this meeting the infrastructure person says to me "I need some sort of reports, some way to know how big a site is getting. I can look at the size of the SQL database but it's not very accurate. Or when we do the backups I can look at the size of the backup file. But then how can I tell what the issue is -- maybe someone has turned on versioning or something else that eats up disk space." Various people in the room start talking about the Sharepoint object model, about pointing SQL Reporting Services at a Sharepoint data source, and other developer approaches to the problem.
Now earlier in the meeting several of the developers had been telling the infrastructure person that he has to come to grips with Front Page. There are some things that are really hard to do any other way, and really easy to do with Front Page. And as a result I had Front Page open on my laptop and had opened a site (our own Gregcons internal site as a matter of fact) but hadn't done anything in it. So during this conversation about how to know the size of the site, I clicked the Reports button on the bottom Front Page toolbar that shows when you've opened a web:
And what do I see when I click that?
I grinned and spun the laptop around so that the infrastructure person (and his grandboss, who was at the meeting with us) could see it. "You're going to have to learn to love Front Page," I told him. And to the grandboss I said "aren't you glad you have a consultant?"
A lot of times I work really hard and long to bring my clients value. But there are so many times when I can do something in 30 seconds that the client would have spent days doing another way. I love those times.
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