This month’s guest post is by ThreeWill, the company that initially worked with Atlassian to help create the first version of the SharePoint Connector. Learn more about how ThreeWill helps clients install, configure, and customize the SharePoint Connector for Confluence at http://www.threewill.com/ confluence/

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I’m Zach Brownfield, a summer intern at ThreeWill and an avid soccer (or football for the non-US crowd) fan and player. With the World Cup being played this month, I thought it would be interesting to compare some of the characteristics of the new release of the SharePoint Connector to some of the key factors of a successful World Cup team.
I hope you enjoy this follow-up on Matt Hodges’ posting on the SharePoint Connector from earlier this month with a little sporting perspective.

Teamwork

It is no secret that a strong showing in the World Cup requires a cohesive team of committed individuals. The whole teamwork aspect is the most important facet of the game. A group of players who are all on the same page and fighting towards the same goal is exactly what it takes in order to be successful.
The core strength of the SharePoint Connector is the teamwork between Confluence and SharePoint – with emphasis in this version with the latest release of SharePoint 2010. Some folks like SharePoint for the structure of document management, workflows, and working with the rich set of clients from Microsoft. Others (particularly those from a younger generation, like myself) like more of the free form of a wiki to share their mind and begin swarming around ideas. The SharePoint Connector brings the various types of collaborators together to form one successful team.
A team is only as good as it’s weakest player, which means that each member must have…

Technical Skill

The strength of any team resides within its players. In soccer, it is not enough for a player to simply be physically fit, he must possess massive amounts technical skill. As the old adage says, “What separates a good player from a great player is his first touch.” Soccer is full of athletes, but what separates the no-names from the greats is technical ability.
The technical features of 1.2 are abundant – especially in the area of security. The new release offers SharePoint 2010 support as well as full support for all IWA protocols, adding NTLMv2 and Kerberos.
Please do your best to refrain from asking me to explain this, remember,I am just the lowly Intern in the house. But from what I can tell from talking to others here at ThreeWill, this is a good thing, and will help for successful deployments into many enterprise environments. Additionally, the release comes with the ability to configure the connection to multiple Active Directory domains. Nice touch.

Continual Improvement

Another major factor in making a successful World Cup run is continual improvement. Great teams work to improve every single match, not just individually, but as a unit. Truly great teams, like France in ’98 and Italy in ’06, invariably play their best football towards the end of the tournament. They always seem to find a way to win.
To compare this with the connector, let’s talk about SharePoint. SharePoint has taken off like wildfire inside of enterprises. Wildfire sounds fun at first, then scary. Many enterprises have multiple site collections in their deployments to handle various communities. In this release, the ability to deploy the connector to multiple SharePoint site collections is included as just one of the areas of improvement. This can also be run at any time to deal with changes to the SharePoint environment. No bookings here.

Communication

No team can function, much less succeed, without communication. The best teams are in constant communication on, and off the pitch. Communication between players and the coach is the fundamental key to success for great teams.
As they say about communication, no job is finished until the paperwork is done. Take a look at the proper documentation for Administrators, End Users in this release including the installation and upgrade notes. Hooray communication!

Finishing

When all these aspects come together and work in harmony, a great World Cup team is born. The reward of a great World Cup Champion is the coveted trophy. You only get out what you put in, and all of the teamwork, skill, improvement, and communication leads to the final victory of bringing the trophy home. And as the announcers like to remind you time and time again, the winning team must finish and put the ball in the net (too bad we haven’t seen much of that this World Cup).
Take a look at the list of over 60 enhancements and features listed on the Release Notes. page. Atlassian’s team has put in the hard work to bring home the trophy: the Confluence SharePoint Connector 1.2. Brilliant finish.
Have you installed the latest version of the Connector? Download the latest version today and give it a go. What would you add to this list? Please leave a comment and let me know. I hope you enjoyed reading this in between matches.

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