how to create a sharepoint human resource site

using an online site to create a Human Resource sharepoint site for proof of concept for purchasing the 2010 version. So were using the HR department and their documentation as a way to track the progress of hiring & terminating employees down to what devices were checked out to them. This particular "work Flow" would touch all departments
So at different legs of the work-flow or approval process different supervisors will be entering or approving data related to thei department. We have this all worked out but it seems that we will create a universal employee record in access or thru the portal and somehow segment the data? Im almost sure if there is already a template for this, but I want to approach this in the most effiecient time tested methodology.
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Ted BouskillSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
Well what you are asking for is possible, however a full explanation is far more comprehensive than you realize.

SharePoint has a mechanism to synchronize employee profiles with Active Directory.  Active Directory itself is a hierarchy database.  So, as employees join/leave the company for one I recommend that you do NOT delete them from AD and instead disable their account.  I work in computer security and we argue with IT in our company that deleting accounts removes key audit trails we sometimes need to research issues even after employees leave.

Lists in SharePoint are highly customizable and depending on the number of items you want to track you could use a list or you can connect list columns using custom data types to an external database.

The key is that you've actually set a very high bar for a "Proof of concept"  Even an experienced SharePoint developer will take a few weeks to tackle this.
ID10TzAuthor Commented:
i had to reinstall sharepoint 2004 locally so that we can have the opporunity to connect AD rather than the one weve been using online SAS sine they wont allow us to use LDAP to connect. do you have any recommendations ( i agree about disabling accounts)?
ID10TzAuthor Commented:
_alias99: thank you
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Ted BouskillSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
OK, there is no such thing as SharePoint 2004 so I'm assuming it's a typo because you originally said SharePoint 2010 in the question.

Office 365 can be configured to sync with a local domain controller but it's very complex to do.

My key recommendation is spend time learning the product.  In order for the features to work properly you have to design the who, what, when, where and why of SharePoint before you can start customizing it and you haven't even started that process.

In my last big configuration of SharePoint each department had it's own web application:

Those were the public (not general public, corporate public) sites for each department.  Then each department had the following sub-site collections using managed paths: - Literally 100% private to the department - For the department so share information by permission with other departments - For each department to play with and learn SharePoint

I think linked SharePoint groups per department to a Active Directory security group that was email enabled so the departments could then self-administrate or delegate administration of the AD group to email appropriate parties or control their access to SharePoint indirectly outside SharePoint.

For example, the SharePoint Owners group for each department had the AD Department Managers group as a member so department managers had full control of their SharePoint web application.

There is far more to this configuration than I can describe here.  Even as a very experienced SharePoint expert it would take me a couple of weeks to get the configuration ready for a prototype.

What I'm trying to make you realize is that although I 100% agree that SharePoint is the right tool for this job, that your lack of experience means that unless you have set aside months for this project to learn SharePoint you've taken on a huge challenge.  I'm sure you are fully capable of doing it, however, I want to manage your expectations so you realize this is a major project even for a basic prototype.
ID10TzAuthor Commented:
Can I upload a access/excel document containing users data that could I use as a master list w/multiple views, work flows, and alerts?
Ted BouskillSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
Not really, know.  In order to have information span multiple locations it needs to be part of the core SharePoint profiles and/or a SQL database.

Basically you could hack something together but then you may as well not even bother to use SharePoint.  If you want something crude like that for your datasource then SharePoint isn't the right choice.  Views, workflows and alerts are all built to work on SharePoint data sources (lists) and not a single master list.  You would be guilty of anti-pattern called the "Inner-platform effect"

You'd have to simulate all of the service features that are available in the entire SharePoint platform in one site that held the Excel spreadsheet with your core data.  Hence an inner-platform.
ID10TzAuthor Commented:
definately understand and agree but as were developing our site were in need to have a process no matter how simple to allow us to have a work flow to track the progress.
Ted BouskillSenior Software DeveloperCommented:
Workflows are managed three different ways:

1) In the web UI of SharePoint using very simple pre-made workflows
2) Using SharePoint designer
3) Using custom solutions in code such as C#

I'd suggest you start working with the existing pre-made workflows in lists to start understanding their basic behaviours, as well as strengths and weaknesses.

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ID10TzAuthor Commented:
straight to the point (a lil rude)
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