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I am new to SharePoint technologies and trying to figure out its suitability for a product to be developed.

I am targeting using only SharePoint Foundation (not the server). Here are some of the key aspect of the target product:

  1. The product is data intensive. There are scores of business and system entities involved. Business entities are expected to hold lot of data (might run into millions in a year). The business entities need to be related. Would SharePoint (Lists) be able to suffice this need?
  2. The product has many reports (canned & ad-hoc). This would mean many complex queries being build and executed at run time. I am unsure if SharePoint would be suitable for this purpose.
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4 Answers 4

If these are your main requirements and the system does not require anything further then I would say that SharePoint is not what you are looking for.

Specifically what you are describing is a relational database. Yes, lists can be relational in 2010 (kind of) and there is better support for large lists etc. but you would potentially be adding more problems to the mix than you intend.

Of course it could be that there is more to your requirements than you have stated.

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Based on your question it is really hard to say if you should use SharePoint or not. It seems to me you need a system to store some custom data and build reports and I think you would be better of with a simple database.

In case you need: permissions, workflows, search, document management... on top of your base requirements then I would consider using SharePoint as your solution.

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Yes--It seems that requirements need to be flushed out better. As it stands, your statement that you are using "Foundation not the server" is where I would start..what are your assumptions about using Sharepoint as it relates to what you are trying to accomplish developing your product. There are lots of features available with Sharepoint (Business Data Catalogy, WSS, etc) so perhaps finding out what your assumptions are is a good start.

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As the others have mentioned it can be used, but may not be the best suited for it. I have architected or built a number of applications for SharePoint over the years. Some have been better received than others, I think the 2010 version will lead to better solutions than in the past. There is better support for relationships now than before, and better support for much larger lists but there is additional overhead versus a well built, highly tuned, transactional system.

One of the key decision points for me would be what the other uses are for SharePoint in the organization. If many of the business processes and much of the content is already hosted in SharePoint, then there would be some advantages in either building it in SharePoint or at least integrating it into the SharePoint interface with the backend somewhere else.

You mentioned this is for a "product" which if I take that to mean you will be building it for other companies to use, then you had better have a very good understanding of your market and how your customers are using SharePoint before making this decision.

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