sharepoint_solutions.png There is nothing more tedious than a change management bottleneck that puts your plans on hold. Well, any kind of bottleneck really sort of sucks. Cognizant of this state of affairs, SharePoint Solutions -- consultants and trainers focused on Microsoft's SharePoint software -- have released their much anticipated Site Provisioning Assistant (SPA) for SharePoint 2007.SPA eases IT cloggage by enabling organizations to automate new requests on WSS v3.0 and MOSS 2007 websites. Why does anyone (more importantly, why do you) need site provisioning? SharePoint Solutions Founder and President Jeff Cate (perhaps less-than-objectively) explains, "The advantage of using a provisioning profile over SharePoint's out-of-the-box Create Site page is that a provisioning administrator is able to gather custom data from site requestors, set a designated location for specific types of sites and assign a formal review process for new site requests." That means less human error. That also means less general irritation accumulation while new site requests sit sleeping in some nebulous queue. Cate also observes, "Many organizations that have successfully implemented SharePoint 2007 want to manage the growth of their SharePoint 2007 implementation so it doesn't end up a mess like the ‘old intranet.’ The problem is, their users are requesting new SharePoint sites faster than they can manage them." The results of this problem include lengthy wait times, occasional data loss and just general pain and suffering. With that in mind, it's nice to know a resolution lies in some SPA time. SPA wrapped its solution around the following goals: * Maintaining a consistent and straightforward approach to requesting new SharePoint sites * Automating the approval process for requesting new SharePoint sites * Empowering users to develop SharePoint sites in a timely manner without hurting an organization's taxonomy Administrators create new provisioning profiles, which enable them to pattern out common scenarios and gather unique information from users requesting new sites. They can then handpick the settings that pertain to each client. Once site requests are approved, SPA will auto-provision the site with whatever SharePoint 2007 site definitions have been specified. Isn't that beautiful? If you're sold on site provisioning, hit the SPA right here, baby. But don't stop there -- read our SharePoint 2007 review. And while you're at it, study up on SharePoint portal server resources (it's a bit dated, but a little anal-retentive context never hurt anybody). Lest all your precious knowledge slip away in a moment of misfortune, check out the near-continuous SharePoint backup solution too. There. Now, don't you feel ready?