SharePoint Defaults Have Faults

In all my work to encourage people to implement best practices, I’ve found that those that say, hey I’ll go with default often find chaos down the road.  The Governance and Deployment checklist I did a while back, as a product manager on the SharePoint team, was designed to help people know what the choices are, and provide awareness to the choices.  Heather Solomon shared her site checklist for new sites.  I hate to hold up a well thought out deployment.  That isn’t my design.  I’m sure that defaults will at least give me something to work with that I can plan and scale later.  Defaults are not best practices by any means.  The Defaults are essentially focused around the least amount of clicks to evaluate the product.

Just look through this list, which is not comprehensive, and you’ll see that the Default settings do definitely have faults.  They are not configured out of the box for a Document Management, Records Management, or ECM system.  They are designed again for an environment to be evaluated and tested, and at a minimum, one that won’t run into pre-configured settings or quotas, but more around optimized performance and prevent people from making the wrong assumptions.


Imagine if when you provisioned your first portal you were limited to a 5GB site collection… The analysts, CMS watch, and all that gang would come down on SharePoint so hard saying it wasn’t a Document Management or viable ECM environment.  Instead, we have to decide what the quotas are for each of our environments and actually configure it.  Same with things like forced check out.  You don’t want that turned on in a collaboration environment, but that’s one of the main reason SharePoint works so well in collab environments, because when you walk through the defaults, most of the compliance type, enforcement features are turned off by default.

There’s a post I did a while back on default installation and configuration settings.  I don’t have a setting by setting configuration for you or a template for your settings, and most of that reason is because it’s so different between environments.  I’d need to know all of the background to give you the site vs. site collection vs. web app and dedicated database recommendations.

If you need more information on sizing of the list, site collection, database storage I did a recent post on resources across those various objects.

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Joel Oleson

Traveling is my passion. My quest to visit every country in the world while fully employed, raising a family and keeping my marriage healthy. I'm not just country hopping, but looking for the most immersive cultural experiences and capturing them as photos and videos. When not traveling, I'm living in paradise in sunny southern California working at Blizzard Entertainment, the world's most successful video game company in the world.

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