Microsoft office SharePoint
Share data with your team
Microsoft office SharePoint is software that Microsoft built to make peoples business but also everyday necessity for file sharing a lot easier. Microsoft Office SharePoint is a kind of remote server that helps you upload files, share them with your team, and collaborate/brainstorm in real time on the documents. Implementation however of the SharePoint has two ways, from which one has shown great test results while other pretty much failed. In-place implementation would require dedicated server(s) with space specially reserved for SharePoint and the different users. You also need to keep on configuring it on your LAN/WAN as you add/remove users. The other way is more beneficial from the in-place implementation. If you choose to use SharePoint as a remote server, you need not worry about reserving space, increasing or decreasing space required for files, etc. You need not even worry about configuration when implementing remote SharePoint server. The Microsoft cloud server takes care of configuration and increasing/decreasing space (for files) when required. That was mostly to know about the SharePoint a bit more, as an introduction, but in the following text you will discover more detailed information about the Microsoft Office SharePoint:
.NET framework based
As previously said SharePoint is Microsoft’s software and it is based on the Microsoft’s .net framework product. SharePoint Server is Microsoft’s products which used to help you in the field of collaboration, file sharing, social networking and web publishing. SharePoint server farms (which will be explained in the following text of the article) can host web sites, portals, intranets, extranets, Internets, web content management systems, search engine, wikis, blogs, social networking, business intelligence, workflow as well as providing a framework for web application development. But there are a couple of conditions that need to be fulfilled for SharePoint to be functional as it requires as an OS Microsoft Windows Server edition and the support of the .NET framework 3.5. Even though framework version 4 is released for some time now, SharePoint version 2010 version is based on the 3.5 version and doesn’t support that newer version. SharePoint will also work only with the Microsoft’s’ SQL database. SharePoint has a lot of features and some of them are listed previously but the ones that really matter and have key influence but that all depends on what type of server are you using with SharePoint. SharePoint can be hosted on a single central server in which case it needed an external server to be functional. To be able to install the Microsoft SharePoint You have to have Microsoft SQL Server preinstalled on a Windows Server edition. There is a possibility of installing the SharePoint Single version without the support of the external database, but with the mentioned minimum software support but this type of configuration can only satisfy developers as for the rest it is useless. The 3.5 .net framework version is also obligatory and it wouldn’t function without it. The other version would be joining multiple servers of SharePoint into a server farm. The appliance of the SharePoint is more recommended for users of greater demands, in terms of availability, performance and security. For example this kind of servers can be used in multiple areas. You can use a single server or multiple servers to do some of the services and actions of the SharePoint depending on what you need from them. The Search option (explained in the following text) of the SharePoint as mostly used and very meaningful, normally needs a server farm for itself to increase its performance and availability. SharePoint has some key features that need to be mentioned, like for Sites as SharePoint 2010 Sites provides a single infrastructure for all your business Web sites. SharePoint can be used to create sites from Internet to extranet sites through, Intranet Portals, blogs, wikis, to team sites. There is also the Communities option where SharePoint 2010 provides collaboration tools including a social communities and collaborative create of content. Key community tools include collaborative document management, discussion forums, blogs, wikis and a Social Networking solution called My Sites. Composites are the new feature that is released with the 2010 version.
This service has tools and components within itself that mostly are intended for the business sector. Composites are intended to accelerate the process of solution production through easy to use WYSWYG tools. Composites allow users to create solutions to business problems in graphic tools without having to create or compile code by hand. Of course all of the solutions and achievements that the users have made can be shared through the SharePoint farm server with others. The basic goal of Composites is to make everyday business problems much easier through its solutions. The Content SharePoint provides a Web Content Management platform for publishing web sites. It also provides a Document Management solution for collaborative document production. Insights of the SharePoint 2010 can be used to surface business information in databases, reports, business applications and other LOB applications. The Search option of the 2010 version is now much more improved from the earlier versions and there are some significant improvements to the search options. Besides the Fast.com improvement which allows more sophisticated searches up to couple of hundreds of millions searches for documents, the more significant improvement is with the usage of Boolean logic. This new features incorporates the logical search strings with the AND, OR and NOT usage. This type of search can show itself very useful. SharePoint Server 2010 now also supports wild card search using the * character.
Compatibility with the Microsoft Office products
What makes the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is mostly based on the 2007 version with the improvements of which some were mentioned, but here are the characteristics of the 2010 version that came through their merge:
As a part of Microsoft’s package of offers and high compatibility with the Microsoft Office products. Besides this if you have the necessity of connecting to the server from various places with proper server configuration it can allow documents to be edited using only the web browser. This feature can be mostly used on the Microsoft Excel 2007. Loading, editing and viewing is not such a big problem and can be easily done, even though it can host and render the InfoPath forms using the InfoPath service but this feature is much less used then the Excel Service. While it is not necessary to use Microsoft Office 2007 to take advantage of the integration with the Microsoft Office suite, it offers the most integration with SharePoint Server 2007.
Improved integration with Office 2007 include:
- 2-way synchronization of Outlook Calendar and SharePoint Calendar.
- Overlaying a SharePoint Calendar on top of user's Outlook 2007 Calendar.
- SharePoint Task-Assignment Synchronization into user's Outlook Task List.
- Offline Synchronization of SharePoint Documents
- Viewing SharePoint RSS feeds through Microsoft Office Outlook
- Display of meta-data values for a given document type in the Office Ribbon as a user is editing a document from a document library.
The SharePoint has the ability, with the Enterprise Search, to search across the document libraries and user groups. Every document that went through the SharePoint is indexed and the index fat is being stored to an external database that allows portals and applications for searching by the client to easier find the searched document. The indexing service is based on the one that Windows Desktop Search through set of special rules called crawling rules. SharePoint Server 2007 also includes suggestion capability, which suggests search terms in case of typographical errors. Another handy option of the Search service is that in large enterprises you can search for people by their affiliation and expertise, but only if the enterprise uses that system and lets that information to be entered in the database.
Sharepoint services - MySites
One of the also important services of the SharePoint is the MySites. This service provides you information about personalized view and the information about user groups that use it. MySite has a Public view and a Private view. The users set their private info depending on the surroundings in which they are located and the level of trust they have in them. You can set different information to be visible for different type of users on the network depending on what do you want them to be able to see. Private View has the following types of information enables for you to change them: Workspace - Users can see and access the workspaces to which they have access, saving wasted navigation time; My Links - A list of personal links that are important to the user. As users are browsing the SharePoint site, they can quickly add a link for a given page to the My Links list by selecting Add Link from a menu in the upper right corner of the page; Personalization Sites - Special SharePoint sites that personalize content based on a user's role in the organization can be pinned to the appropriate user's My Site based on their organization role (HR, Facilities, Finance, etc.). Microsoft has released several role-based personalization templates to help people get started with this feature; Colleague Tracker - Enables users to track the changes that they have permission to see in their colleague's MySites; Outlook e-mail - Web Parts are available for users' MySites that display their e-mail and calendar information from Exchange; Distribution Groups - In the public version of MySite, you can see the distribution groups that you're a member of and, when looking at other users' MySites, can see the distribution groups that you have in common with them; Standard WSS Site Features - Since a MySite is a WSS site at its core, users' MySites have all of the typical functionality that comes with Windows SharePoint Services (Document Libraries and Lists, Recycle Bin, Version Control, Workflow, etc.)
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 benefits
Better Discoverability: Finding and accessing information across a distributed workplace is a major challenge for which Windows SharePoint Services offers an effective solution. By providing users with a single Web-based team environment and built-in search capabilities, Windows SharePoint Services helps users to find information more effectively than with traditional file shares.
Better Communication: With the built-in alert capabilities of Windows SharePoint Services, users can be notified when changes are made to shared information. Microsoft Office Live Communication Server provides users with the means to communicate instantly, whether by video or audio, and Microsoft Office Live meeting enables users to communicate and collaborate with anyone.
Better Team Processes: The process of document creation and review is made simpler and more effective with built-in document versioning plus check-in and check-out capabilities. Additionally, using Windows Rights Management Services, authors can determine how their documents are distributed and used by others.
Better User Experience: By integrating Web-based team collaboration services into everyday tools such as Microsoft Office, users can quickly and effectively adopt new collaboration tools and services. And by providing Web-browser access, Windows SharePoint Services makes it easy for users to access team information through a single site on demand.
To conclude everything together, using the older versions of SharePoint is not now recommended like the 2003 version, and the 2007 can accomplish most of the features, but for the full performance and atmosphere of running a fast and reliable community the 2010 version is what you need to use. But to be sure you have everything you need, besides the software minimum requirements here are the hardware requirements you should have for SharePoint:
System requirements for implementing and using Microsoft Office SharePoint are as follows:
- Windows XP: 500 MHz processor (I would recommend 1GHz for best performance) and 256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended);
- Windows Vista: 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM (I recommended 2GB RAM for best performance);
- Windows 7: 1GHz processor and 1GB RAM (32 Bit) and 2GB RAM (64 Bit). I recommend 2GB for 32 bit as well also for better performance.