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MS SharePoint Server

Emerging Software

MS SharePoint: Market Acceptance and Growth

Organizations have increasingly been using Microsoft SharePoint software to create and manage the content for web sites. MS SharePoint provides the capability for collaboration on projects and documents, along with the development of search capabilities and utilization of business intelligence tools. In 2008, MS SharePoint revenues exceeded the billion dollar level with in excess of 17,000 customers using the software.

Since then, Microsoft has improved, refined, and expanded the SharePoint featureset. SharePoint is Microsoft's leading server-side product. It's emergence contrasts with the trend in sales with the MS Windows operating system family, which for the first time in its history had a decline in sales.

MS SharePoint is to a large degree an aggregation of business software and follows the Microsoft strategy used in building market share with the MS Office brand by linking together numerous applications into a single unit. With SharePoint, Microsoft has been using SharePoint to leverage its old-line software as it builds and transitions its product line to a web-based infrastructure and cloud computing.

Cloud Computing
MS SharePoint Technology Update

From the standpoint of implementation and technical support, Microsoft has been integrating SharePoint with MS Office and Exchange and developing the foundation for a new era of Microsoft lock-in as they move towards the cloud computing model. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and SharePoint Designer are collectively known as SharePoint 2010 Products. A SharePoint site can have subsites which resemble the hierarchy of folders on file systems in a tree-like structure. SharePoint provides communities for user and team collaboration.

MS SharePoint Products

SharePoint Foundation is a collection of services for Microsoft Windows Server and provides a common framework and platform to share information, collaborate, and store documents, tasks, contacts, events, calendar, wikis, and other items. SharePoint Foundation provides a specific site environment known as a Document Workspace. A Workspace site can be created from an Office 2010 application or from a web browser. Microsoft Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, InfoPath 2010, and OneNote can be used to create workspaces, post and edit documents, and assign tasks from within Office 2010 applications while working on documents stored in SharePoint sites.

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is built on top of SharePoint Foundation and provides extensibility with a scalable architecture and management tools for SharePoint sites and web-based publishing featureset. SharePoint Server 2010 provides enterprise-level capabilities: sites, communities, content, search, insights, and composites. There are two versions of SharePoint: SharePoint Server and SharePoint Enterprise.

Microsoft SPD: SharePoint Designer 2010 is the successor to SharePoint Designer 2007, it was previously known as Microsoft FrontPage. It provides the tools to customize SharePoint sites and create reporting tools and application templates. SharePoint Designer is a client application available as a free 32- and 64-bit version download from the Microsoft website. MS SPD 2010 is integrated with SharePoint Server 2010; a web page can not be created or edited without being connected to a SharePoint site. SPD provides the capability to design rich, customized SharePoint content: pages, lists, libraries, and other SharePoint artifacts. It is well suited for creating business process flows integrating with line-of-business databases, and creating custom presentations of business information on the SharePoint Server platform.

SharePoint 2010 can be augmented with the addition of personal blogs, tagging, and activity feeds from the MySites social networking sites. SharePoint Workspace utilizes SharePoint libraries, lists and forms accessible offline. It is a client application based on technology designed by Groove Networks. SharePoint Workspace competes with Lotus Notes.  

MS SharePoint also is a development framework which provides tools, classes, libraries, controls for building custom collaboration through the .NET framework and language platforms: ASP.NET, VB.NET and C#. It can be used to host websites such as collaboration self-service and BI: Business Intelligence dashboards to high-end Internet sites.

Computer Education Techniques staff and technology partners are monitoring the developer discussion groups and evaluating the 64-bit versions of SharePoint 2010:

  • SharePoint Server 2010 utilization and requirement to be installed in conjunction with 64-bit MS Windows Server 2008 and 64-bit MS Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • SharePoint Server 2010 utilization and requirement to be installed in conjunction with 64-bit MS SQL Server 2008 or 64-bit MS SQL Server 2005.
  • The utilization and efficiency with which Microsoft has incorporated the advanced features and search from its $1.2 billion purchase of Fast Search and Transfer into SharePoint.

MS SharePoint - How it is Being Used

MS SharePoint Server provides content management, enterprise search, and shared business processes. The foundation of its functionality is the capability to centralize access to data, locate content; control storage, and manage security in conjunction with the distribution, reuse, and management of documents and digital content: web pages, PDF files, and e-mail messages. MS SharePoint Server includes application development tools for server administration, application extensibility, and interoperability.

SharePoint Foundation 2010 provides the capability to integrate with MS Office and MS Phone 7. The Office Web Apps services include the Word Viewing Service, PowerPoint Service, and Excel Calculation Services which run within the context of the services provided by SharePoint Foundation. It provides a browser-based viewing and editing experience in the form of an Office document in a web browser. There are different levels of integration between the SharePoint Foundation and pre 2010 versions of Office.

These are the ways that organizations are using MS SharePoint Server to improve productivity, streamline costs, and be environmentally responsive.

  • Windows 8 in a SharePoint environment can be used to:
    • Create Windows 8 widgets from SharePoint lists and present information forecasts, news, project schedules, and new publications to the user.
    • Extend the SharePoint web interface for interacting with information and simple development tasks.
    • Adding to the richness of development projects with the alternative interface.
  • MS Office Office Web, Office 365, and Office 2010 can be used with SharePoint 2010 to create an integrated productivity environment between the client and server.
    • When connected through SharePoint Foundation 2010, the commands, menus, and featureset can be used from a browser and from within MS Office applications.
  • Manage and control web content.
    • Master pages and page layouts for reusable templates.
    • Publishing content from a collaborative site to a portal.
    • Define document management policies for controlling access rights at a per-item level, ecify retention period and expiration actions, and track content through document-auditing settings.
  • Use SharePoint tools for managing and controlling electronic content.
    • Use electronic forms and out-of-the-box workflow processes to initiate, track, and participate in MS Office applications, e-mail, or web browsers.
    • Use forms services for collecting information and integrating the data in document libraries to start workflow processes or submission to web services.
  • Utilize SharePoint tools for the submission of work from collaborative sites to portals for simplifying content reuse and repurposing.
    • Use workflows for automating common business activities - document review and approval, issue tracking, and signature collection.
    • Use slide libraries to share and reuse MS PowerPoint.
    • Administration of multilingual delivery of content on multiple intranet, extranet, and Internet sites.
    • Manage multilingual content through document library templates for maintaining the relationship between original and translated versions of documents.
  • Extend business processes across the organization.
    • Integrate Microsoft Office client applications, e-mail, and web browsers.
    • Utilization of Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer and the Microsoft Visual Studio development system.
  • Improve server administration, extensibility, and interoperability through the use of a single, integrated platform with a consistent administrative interface to manage intranet, extranet, and Internet applications.
    • Extend the functionality of a portal implementation with programming API's and XML web services.
  • Streamline business processes by accelerating internal and external shared business cesses.
    • Implement tracking and reporting through a consistent user experience.