What is SharePoint? 

SharePoint is an enterprise information portal, from Microsoft, that can be configured to run Intranet, Extranet and Internet sites.  Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 allows people, teams and expertise to connect and collaborate.  A SharePoint enterprise portal is composed of both SharePoint Portal and Windows SharePoint Services, with SharePoint being built upon WSS.  WSS is typically used by small teams, projects and companies.  SharePoint Server is designed for individuals, teams and projects within a medium to large company wide enterprise portal.  

Some SharePoint facts

• SharePoint is the fastest-growing product in the history of Microsoft
• Over 100 million licenses of SharePoint have been sold worldwide
• SharePoint has been adopted by over 17,000 companies worldwide
• SharePoint is listed, by Forrester, as the number 1 portal product
• SharePoint is positioned as a leader within the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals products
• In 2008 sales of SharePoint surpassed 1 billion US dollars

Why should you use SharePoint?

• As companies grow so does the amount of their files. It soon becomes difficult to keep track of the multiplying documents and their locations.  SharePoint overcomes this by allowing you to store and share your files in a central site.     

Sharing work files through email is a cumbersome process.  SharePoint eliminates this by allowing files to be stored in one location, allowing easy access to all team members. 

• Business Intelligence has traditionally remained in the hands of a few key decision makers within organizations.  For years, it has been the goal of BI providers to “democratize business intelligence” by making it available to all levels of workers throughout companies.  With the addition of PerformancePoint to the SharePoint Enterprise version of SharePoint, this vision is realized, finally taking business intelligence out of the hands of the few and into the hands of many.  

Today’s work occurs over multiple locations, whether it is in different countries, office locations, separate departments or at your home office. SharePoint enables teams and individuals to connect and collaborate together regardless of where they are located.  

• Surveys have shown that employees can spend up to 20 – 30 % of their day searching for data and information.  SharePoint eliminates this drag on productivity by providing the robust search functionality needed to find the information and expertise buried in the thousands, or hundreds of thousands of files a company generates in the course of business.

• It’s difficult and time consuming to create and maintain sites.  SharePoint allows anyone to create sites for use within their company’s Intranet, as they are needed, whether they are departmental sites, document libraries, meetings sites, survey sites, or discussion boards. 

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a collaborative enterprise portal that is built upon WSS 3.0.  MOSS 2007 allows people, teams and expertise to connect and collaborate.  Unlike WSS, SharePoint Server is not free and requires an additional license.  MOSS 2007 comes in two versions – Standard and Enterprise. 

The main components of SharePoint 2007 are collaboration, portals, enterprise search, enterprise content management, business process and forms, and business intelligence.  Previous versions of SharePoint Server included SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and before that SharePoint Portal Server 2001.   To preview SharePoint’s new features visit the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 demo.  

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is the platform on which all SharePoint Products and Technologies are built.  WSS 3.0 is for is suitable for small teams, projects and organizations.  

WSS’s project collaboration, document workspace, meeting sub-site, and discussion board features allow individuals and small teams to collaborate and share information online.  Past versions of Windows SharePoint Services included Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 and SharePoint Team Services.  New features in WSS 3.0 include integrated workflows, RSS feeds, blogs, wikis and ASP-style Web parts.  To preview more of WSS 3.0’s new features visit the Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 demo.

SharePoint Designer 2007  

Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is the next generation of Microsoft FrontPage that enables both the design and customization of SharePoint 2007 sites.  SharePoint Designer 2007 allows organizations to automate common business processes through simple or complex custom workflows.  Corporations can apply their corporate branding to their SharePoint portal providing a unified look and feel to alltheir end users.  Companies can also create customized SharePoint sites based upon the unique needs of your company's end users, teams, or departments without having to turn to outside consultants.  In 2008, Microsoft made SharePoint Designer 2007 available for free.  To download your free copy of SharePoint Designer visit Microsoft at the SharePoint Designer 2007 home page.

Not sure which SharePoint technology is right for you?

Visit Microsoft online to find out which SharePoint technology meets your company’s requirements.

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