Using SharePoint to manage and disseminate fusion project information: An ITER case study

The ITER Organization, in common with many other fusion laboratories, has an authenticated-access website devoted to the communication of information to all its staff and remote collaborators. In 2007 and 2008, the number of registered users of this site increased by more than a factor of ten, to over 3000 at present, and with approximately 900 unique users using the website per month. In parallel, the project management of the organisation has been put in place.

A decision was taken to move the web platform from simple HTML to Microsoft SharePoint[1] and to web-enable the many applications and databases used for ITER management. This decision has been well justified by the power and extensive flexibility provided by SharePoint, for example it permits different groups to publish their own information and to collaborate, and to consolidate disparate spreadsheet
data in linked SharePoint lists to improve quality and maintainability.

This paper examines the use of SharePoint at ITER: why it was selected and what benefits it brings to both the local and remote ITER community. Some active case studies are presented. The paper also looks ahead at what future benefits to ITER this platform offers, and reviews the type of information that the site can profitably publish.

The paper also highlights some of the limitations of the platform, the problems of integration with other ITER systems, and discusses its potential for adaptability in other scientific organisations.

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