SharePoint developers and the admins rolling it out are doing as good a job as developers and admins using other technologies, according to the folks at Aptimize (they sell Web performance monitoring and remediation software). They found that it takes on average seven seconds for a SharePoint site to load, from the time the URL is entered into a browser until it renders.

“Microsoft is doing a better job, as server processing time is about half a second,” said Aptimize’s CEO Ed Robinson. “The front-end load time is 6.5 seconds.”

As we know, the faster a site loads, the more likely it is that users will click pages on that site and hang around. If it’s slow, it breaks collaboration, as people get frustrated and leave the site. Robinson noted that for performance, 20% of load time is the data center, while 80% is the browser loading the site’s information over a network. He also said that optimizing SharePoint performance is a specialized skill.

“If I buy a high-performance car, it’ll be fast, but if I buy a low-performance car and figure I’ll tune it myself, I’m probably out of luck, because I don’t have that special skill.” Performance benchmarks, such as those put together by Aptimize, give organizations an idea of where their sites stand in relation to others. In this case, speed doesn’t kill, but slowness might!

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Last week, I went to the SharePoint Winter Expo at Microsoft’s Manhattan offices. DataLan, a consulting company, put the event together and offered interesting talks on FAST search as well as embracing the cloud with BPOS and Office 365. About 55 people turned out and heard that 80% of large enterprises are at least in the trial stage of working with Microsoft’s cloud offerings. Also, that Office 365 does away with single sign-in by delivering a federated ability to use Active Directory. Updates to FAST and PerformancePoint are due with the Wave 15 release of SharePoint, while a BCS update is coming in the first half of 2012, according to DataLan, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

All in all, an interesting morning.

— David