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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What is Microsoft Sharepoint - A Brief Synopsis


Microsoft SharePoint is a content management system designed to organize company information into a simple, centralized location. It is a server managed repository, that’s web enabled for users to organize, manage, search and collaborate. Formal change management is typically embedded in the "check-in; check out" process to monitor, protect and control any and all changes. SharePoint, on the other hand, was designed to create an environment where workers can easily control data without being bound by these tight constraints. It’s accessible from a variety of mobile communication tools in addition to direct company intranet access.

What is a SharePoint site? A SharePoint site is a Web site that provides central storage and collaboration space for documents, information, and ideas. A SharePoint site is a tool for team efforts, just like a telephone is a tool for communication, or a meeting is a tool for decision making. A SharePoint site helps groups of people, whether working teams or social groups, exchange information and work together. Members of the site can contribute their own ideas and content as well as comment or contribute to other people’s. SharePoint is found in real world applications such as:

Coordinating projects, calendars, and schedules.
Discussing ideas and reviewing documents or proposals.
Sharing information and keeping in touch with other people.

The underlying idea is to increase workers abilities to make well informed business decisions with the most current data available. Originally lacking in user acceptance, Microsoft recently tried increasing SharePoint’s popularity by marrying it with Unity. Unity is known for specializing in back-end control systems and supplying its users with the latest networking tools. Unity is now the collaborative environment built on top of MS SharePoint Server’s .NET application. SharePoint Unity is the new wave, which enables users to access their information over a standard web browser. It combines parts of the popular social networking scenes found in MySpace and Facebook with the capabilities of a corporate collaborative platform. SharePoint’s most notable features come from Unity’s Web 2.0 foundation, offering: social bookmarking, RSS, tag clouds, and blogs.

However, it also provides its users with two other interesting tools:

Wikis – collaborative websites that users can modify with little restriction. Unlike the formal structure in MS Word, Wikis bring its users to the community to share up-to-date industry knowledge.

Folksonomy –The practice and method of collaboratively managing Meta tags to categorize content. It is a portmanteau of Folk and Taxonomy defining a user-generated taxonomy versus an industry defined classification.

The exchange server part of SharePoint originates from importance and growth of corporate email over the last few years. Microsoft’s biggest customers pushed for a portal that will make exchanging information more user-friendly and accessible. In order to do deliver a practical system, Microsoft had to take their program to web and make it universally available to any size organization. According to the SharePoint Conference 2008, Gates stakes claim in the fact that there are currently around 100 million legal licenses throughout the world utilizing SharePoint. So, with the recent introduction of SharePoint services offered online, a door was opened for competition to stake their claim in this new cloud platform of exchange. Google has recently announced its player, Google Team Edition, which aims at offering the same end user capabilities as MS without the expensive price tag. LiveLink is probably the most developed with its supportive features that are all-inclusive with LiveLink Server 9.7. When comparing LiveLink to SharePoint, MS shows a how strong its hold is on the business environment even though LiveLink parallels SharePoint while also offering:

source: http://goo.gl/hgHyj
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