Use SharePoint 2013 as a Repository

12-20-2016 08:22 AM
New Contributor III

Hi, Our IT department is in the process of migrating our network shared drives into Sharepoint 2013.  Currently my group creates a lot of maps for various departments, and we store in our network drives the mxd's, and associated files such as file geodatabases, excel tables, shapefiles and other items.  

Does anyone currently use SharePoint 2013 as a respository for this type of information?  If you do, are there any best practices that you can share.


Frank Goehner

Town of Oakville

3 Replies
Occasional Contributor III

Don't. SharePoint is slower than direct access, often unreliable, and does not really have a directory/subdirectory structure (it is more list-like), which is a huge factor in organizing your data logically and securing data. It also does not really link to files--it requires uploading them.  There are databases behind SharePoint, and storing databases within databases is not a good practice, IMO.

Security and version changes that will come in the future could break it easily; there aren't good conversion tools for IT to use to solve conversion and restoration issues.

The only real advantage is the subscription/feed feature that can tell you when people edit something, and the announcements.  So when my portals worked better, I mainly used it for Excel and Adobe fillable forms, announcing data changes, and documentation such as the very limited Wiki tool.  All was lost due to a security upgrade; but not all SP portals are that bad.

(My environment is highly secure and changeable, and my IT support is variable, so your results may be a little better.)

Occasional Contributor

I once had to work on a SharePoint-based GIS system and import data from an existing ESRI enterprise SDE system.  Even though that software was meant to work with SharePoint, it had the same limitations as Dana describes.  I think SharePoint would be okay for an archive of seldom used data or finished map storage, but it doesn't really improve daily workflow for a GIS person.  The most helpful parts of SharePoint within that GIS department was storing meeting notes and reference documents.  In my team we almost all worked in different time zones, so this was handy. 

New Contributor III

Thanks for all of the feedback.  If we use it for anything, it will be just as an archive for mxds, but anything in production, we will keep out of sharepoint.

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