Monday, March 9, 2009

SharePoint advantages

Any developing organization faces the need of continuously creating and updating web content. Previously this process involved coordinating the work of web developers and system administrators. As a result, maintaining a growing number of web pages appeared to be a real challenge since it was hugely time-consuming and consequently costly. Yet with the emergence of colloborative intranet platforms such a routine has become obsolete.
Windows SharePoint Services (WSS 3.0) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007) provide a comprehensive platform for creating and managing intranet solutions, i.e. establishing a framework for intra-company collaboration processes, workflow, content and document management. SharePoint products allow users to create and modify web content without having to refer to web development as such.
At the outset, it is important to be aware of the underlying distinction between WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007. Both are Microsoft Office products, yet WSS was created as part of Windows Server 2003 and is consequently not to be licensed separately (which makes using WSS particularly attractive), whereas MOSS 2007 is an independent product which appears to be a superstructure to WSS, so to speak. Another related product is Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer – a specialized tool to customize MOSS capabilities without having to deploy code on the server.
A significant SharePoint advantage is its integration with Microsoft Office 2007 customer products. MOSS 2007 includes a number of pre-set page templates for collaboration, personalization, search, content management, business intelligence and business process management purposes. Using a collobarative intranet portal gives users more control over content and enables them to coordinate their efforts, communicate and search for the necessary people and data most efficiently. SharePoint also offers web 2.0 features – blogs and wikis in particular, which are used to share expertise, get feedback and aggregate knowledge. Additionally, it is possible to expand SharePoint server functionality by means of integrating additional web parts which would best suit the needs of a particular business (e.g. a media player, a customizable calendar, etc.). This is particularly important since out-of-the-box parts are often discarded as being too basic.