It's been a busy year in the world of SharePoint. From the release of SharePoint 2013 to the SharePoint 2012 conference, we've covered a lot of news here on CMSWire. As a little holiday treat, here are the top 20 SharePoint articles of the year.

SharePoint Top 20

1) Our highest ranking article for 2012, Andrew Bishop's (@andrewbish) "SharePoint 2013: 7 Features Users are Going to Love"

Unlike the continual release model of its cloud based competitors, Microsoft releases a major version of SharePoint every three years. There are some downsides to this approach (see later in this article), but one definite upside is that when the releases do come around, those of us who work with SharePoint every day tend to get a bit excited. (As in, excited like first graders at a raspberry cordial party.)

2) Mike Ferrara's (@mikecferrara) "SharePoint 2013: 5 Reasons Why the New App Model Will Make Everyone Happy"

As I’m sure you’ve heard, on Monday Microsoft officially released the public preview for Office and SharePoint 2013. And although the NDA is still in place (super special people only), there’s a wealth of knowledge now in the public domain for consumption.

3) Mark Miller's "Why SharePoint 2013 Isn't for You"

There’s a lot of noise on the street since the announcement of SharePoint 2013. We’re headed towards the largest SharePoint conference of the year in Las Vegas this November and it’s only going to get louder. Where does that leave you, the end user of SharePoint? About where you were before the announcement came out, I would think. It should not affect you at all.

4) Steven Pogrebivsky's (@MetaVisTech) "5 Critical Steps to SharePoint Information Architecture Planning"

If you want to successfully implement SharePoint in your organization, then you need to clearly define and manage your information architecture (IA). There are a number of things you need to do to define your SharePoint IA and here are five critical steps to ensure you are on the right track.

5) Christ Wright's (@scribbleagency) "3 Things Windows 8 Can Teach SharePoint 2012"

Windows 8 was slowly revealed to the public during the course of 2011. A number of unofficial leaks were soon followed by an official "developer" preview in September at the Microsoft BUILD conference. The final product is due sometime in 2012 and is expected to be one of Microsoft's most important product launches ever.

 6) William Saville's (@SharePointUX) "Three Things to Know Before Using SharePoint to Build Your Website"

Starting any Microsoft SharePoint project can be a daunting task, especially when it’s the corporate website -- it is generally a very high profile project. If you are thinking about using SharePoint for Web Content Management (Web CMS) or Customer Experience Management (CXM).

7) Jennifer Mason's (@jennifermason) "SharePoint 2013: Not Quite What I Expected"

With each new release of SharePoint I become like a kid in a candy shop, ready to find all the new and exciting goodies that have been made available. SharePoint 2013 has been no exception.

8) Jennifer Mason's "The Death of SharePoint Designer?"

For many of us who eagerly await the release of the latest and greatest from Microsoft we were shocked and awed when we discovered that this release removed one of the primary tools for Business Users from the product. SharePoint Designer, as we had come to know it, had been drastically changed.

9) Chris Wright's "Using SharePoint to Communicate Organizational Structure Effectively"

The humble "org chart" might feel like an outmoded concept, but they can serve a very important purpose for many companies -- especially in a turbulent economy.

10) Brian Alderman's (@brianalderman)"35,000 Foot View of SharePoint 2013 for Administrators"

Are you ready for SharePoint 2013? Microsoft recently released the public beta of SharePoint 2013, and with so many changes it can be difficult to keep up. This is the first of a four-part series that provides a 35,000-foot overview of some expected updates and how they will affect various roles within your organization.

11) Steven Pogrebivsky's "SharePoint 2013: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things"

The public beta of SharePoint 2013 is now available for download. Like everyone, we found lots of interesting things in this new version. Here are a few of our favorite things.

12) Chris Wright's "Microsoft Doesn't Advise You Customize SharePoint 2013"

A couple of years ago I wrote here about the dangers of “look and feel fever” when working on SharePoint projects. This is where the UI of a SharePoint implementation is customized, and the client subsequently becomes obsessed with what the system looks like rather than what it offers functionally. It is with this in mind that I noted the SharePoint 2013 announcement on the official Microsoft SharePoint blog.

13) Chris Wright's "SharePoint: Third Party Products to Watch in 2012"

Arguably one of the reasons for SharePoint's success over the last few years is the ecosystem of third party products and developers that help to support it. Generally speaking, if you want to add to or expand the standard SharePoint feature set, there is a product or plugin that fits the bill. Visual workflow design, list and document level backup and a hundred weather webparts -- all can be readily and easily added to your SharePoint environment.

14) Mike Ferrara's "SharePoint 2013 : Six Mobile Features for the Enterprise"

Let’s face it, mobility should absolutely be on your radar if you’re an IT executive or decision maker. Whether your firm has a substantial investment in mobile devices for the workforce or you’ve adopted modern BYOD policies, you cannot ignore the impact of mobile devices on how we do business. Microsoft knows this, and has been hard at work to upgrade SharePoint’s plumbing in relation to the mobile experience.

15) William Saville's "Responsive Design for Your SharePoint Websites"

The argument to provide multi-device and multi-channel support for your website is compelling. Three years ago, desktops made up around 90% of the devices we used to connect to the internet. That percentage has now dropped to around 50%, solely due to the number of smartphones and tablets contented to the internet — a trend that it’s fair to assume will continue to grow.

16) Chris Wright's "Do SharePoint & Silverlight Have a Future Together?"

Silverlight was Microsoft's answer to Adobe Flash, an application framework with which to build rich internet applications. It was launched in April 2007 to much fanfare, albeit mainly from Microsoft. Version 5 brought GPU accelerated video decoding and 64-bit support in December of last year. It also brought the conclusion of the Silverlight story, as this version is set to be the final release. Silverlight is no more. Or so people have been speculating, as there has yet to be any official word from Microsoft. Its lifespan might be prolonged as a Windows Phone platform, but it seems likely it will cease to exist as a browser plugin.

17) Dux Raymond Sy's (@meetdux) "SharePoint Implementation Checklist: Aligning People, Technology & Process"

SharePoint adoption in the enterprise is growing at a rapid pace, but many organizations are still struggling to achieve the proper mix of “people,” “technology” and “process.” In the midst of just trying to figure out the technology side of SharePoint, many organizations overlook the people and process side of an implementation. Pushed even further to the backburner are the “business value” considerations of SharePoint. What is the purpose of implementing SharePoint in the first place? How will SharePoint improve operations and drive overall business results?

18) Chris Wright's "Office 365 or SharePoint Foundation: What's the Best SharePoint Trial?"

For those organizations contemplating a move to SharePoint, there are a couple of ways to test the product before committing to a purchase. Which trial method is right for your enterprise?

19) Laura Roger's (@WonderLaura) "SharePoint 2013: Improved Social Networking and Workflows"

It's been a lot of fun trying out the new version of SharePoint so far. Microsoft has done a great job this time, putting out a ton of documentation, training and videos as soon as this preview version became available. There's a lot to read, but it has also been great trying everything out and digging in a bit to see the new functionalities in action.

20) Toby Ward's (@tobyward) "SharePoint 2013 and IBM's Lame Response"

SharePoint was originally developed as a response, albeit a very weak one, to IBM’s Websphere software, which quickly became the leading enterprise portal solution. However, the mighty Microsoft, never one to rest on its laurels, decided to chase the leader by pouring billions of dollars into SharePoint and has arguably displaced Websphere as the category leader, while IBM has allowed Websphere Portal to plod along with comparably little fanfare, or investment.