SharePoint vs File Shares

Common questions I still encounter very frequently is "Should I use SharePoint to replace my file shares? or Should I migrate my file share data into SharePoint?"  So I"ve been having this discussion fairly often so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts and some resources.

Depending on how the content will be accessed, how long the content is going to be used and the user interface requirements, the answer is that SharePoint definitely has some key advantages over file shares.  You see, I didn't really answer the blanket question, reason being it's not a black vs white question.   Obviously, there are a number of key questions that need to be answered as you plan your migration.  Here are my general thoughts that I share with customers, that get modified according to their specific needs and requirements.  These apply to the current state of the art, eg. SharePoint 2007 so use at your own risk.  The references below are excellent resources and should be reviewed very thoroughly for anyone thinking they are going to do this.  Have fun.

SharePoint has key benefits that file shares don't provide.

SharePoint is not a universal file share replacement.  Each has a different purpose and a different sweet spot.

SharePoint is a good temporary storage location for "active" content.  SharePoint document libraries are all about collaboration, which is an active situation.  It is not a long-term archival location.

</steve>

Key benefits of the SharePoint platform

http://www.sharepointblogs.com/usecases/archive/2008/02/13/key-benefits-of-the-sharepoint-platform.aspx

Joel Oleson has a very good comprehensive discussion including a feature comparison in a blog post entitled "Is the File Server Dead?"

http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/01/02/is-the-file-server-dead.aspx

Mike Watson presented several scenarios where file shares are preferred in "File Shares vs. SharePoint"

http://blogs.msdn.com/mikewat/archive/2006/12/09/file-shares-vs-sharepoint.aspx

SharePoint vs. File Shares

http://spsdreamjob.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!D0B14C6B969D7501!131.entry

Can I Map a Document Library as a Mapped Drive?

http://www.endusersharepoint.com/?p=56

What Not to Store in SharePoint

http://blogs.msdn.com/joelo/archive/2007/11/08/what-not-to-store-in-sharepoint.aspx

What is the difference between a file server and SharePoint?

http://www.endusersharepoint.com/?p=54