what is SharePoint? Well actually SharePoint is a collection of different products and software tools developed by Microsoft that provide collaboration functions, process management, searching capabilities and document management together in one solution. Currently, the most popular version of this is SharePoint 2007 (or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.) However at the moment Microsoft are currently working on releasing the next version - SharePoint 2010, its official name will be Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. You may have noticed that the 'Office' part of the name has dropped out. The reason being is that the “Office” brand will no longer include Server side components (such as SharePoint) – but I think we will cover that in another blog.
Currently Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports all intranet, extranet, and Web applications across an enterprise within one integrated platform instead of relying on separate systems. MOSS 2007 also simplifies compliance and keeps business information more secure through providing a set of tools to manage and control electronic content, while also streamlining everyday processes and increasing organisational productivity. Incorporating electronic forms and out-of-the-box workflow processes MOSS 2007 enables users to initiate, track, and use familiar Microsoft Office applications, e-mail, or Web browsers to improve and expand collabouration within their organisation. So that in essence is SharePoint 2007 covered (if somewhat briefly!) Your next question is probably, “What new features are in SharePoint 2010?” Let’s have a look I think you will be impressed.....
Groove (document collaboration application, acquired by Microsoft) is now being renamed and transformed into Microsoft Office SharePoint Workspace 2010.
SharePoint 2010 is not going to support Internet Explorer 6 However, it will be supporting Firefox 3.x on Windows and perhaps even Firefox 3.x and Safari on non-Windows platforms.
Master Data Management (MDM) will be integrated with Office 14 (Office 2010).
SharePoint 2010 will be able to interact with other CMS systems through CMIS.
You will be able to map SharePoint lists directly to database tables, which will provide great performance and scalability, especially on large lists.
There will be Silverlight support and maybe AJAX (Not confirmed).
SharePoint Designer will support saving workflows to re-use for provisioning.
BDC might support Updating and Inserting data.
Faceted Search. This will allow users to search and filter their search criteria.
FAST Search for SharePoint. A new version of FAST Search for SharePoint.
"Web edit" - Microsoft have now made it much easier for users to customise their own sites in SharePoint 2010. A new feature called Web edit allows site owners to edit their sites almost as if they were typical Office documents, making it easier for them to carry out common Web editing tasks like uploading and changing images or editing text.
Other user-focused upgrades include the ability to use Office themes in SharePoint, for example by customising a team site with the colour palette of a SharePoint slide deck.
You will also be able to read Visio documents in SharePoint.
Improved administrative capabilities with a dashboard that uses the ribbon interface.
Set of tools to monitor server farm health and data performance.
Standardized UI across all Office products, browsers, mobile devices.
Open API support.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Obviously there is more to come and in due course I will let you know about these additions. In the meantime I do hope this overview of SharePoint has been useful. As always please contact either your account manager or myself if you would like to know more