Scary Week Puts Focus on Vendors

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that it was a tough week for us. Unrelated to SharePoint but certainly impacting our productivity was an error by Sunbelt Software’s CounterSpy utility that started identifying system drivers on our ThinkPads as malware (and then deleting them). That put about half our users in a queue waiting for replacement files. Sunbelt did release repair instructions and downloadable ISO files that would fix the problem but not for a few days. Fortunately, our Network Admin was able to manually repair most machines on his own.

Related to but not yet impacting SharePoint, is our on-going struggle to complete a successful backup and recovery test using DocAve’s Platform Backup feature. So far we have been able to successfully perform a platform backup and a platform restore but we haven’t been able to get that to work on the same cycle. While I’m sure we will work through this, the frustrating aspect is that AvePoint refuses to give us a license for testing. They are offering a discount and they are letting us use an evaluation license but that will expire soon.

Keep in mind, we’re not trying to backup our test server for free, if we were, a discount would be great – we’re only trying to test DocAve! Backup is a critical component of our SharePoint installation and we want to test to see that DocAve works after we upgrade the test server to SP2. While we might squeeze that in during the eval period, we would also like to know that DocAve works with SharePoint 2010 when it arrives. We would also like to test DocAve when AvePoint updates it because some of those updates have caused problems.

Vendors of other products are being a bit more accommodating with regard to running their product on a test farm so maybe we’ll find a better backup suite. Or, maybe the good people at AvePoint will read my post about marketing to small businesses on Digital Landfill and reconsider their position on this issue.

It wouldn’t be fair just to bash vendors, especially when we did have some good news. A while back I wrote about SharePointBoost’s Batch Check-in product. We tested the product, we like it but it’s licensed by Web Application so it looked like it was going to be expensive for us. We have a small number of users but several Web Applications so we can better control content and growth. SharePointBoost pointed us to their Farm license which, in our case, is less than the cost of two individual licensees – now that makes sense!

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