Monday, May 25, 2009

The Wave of the Future: On the Way to SharePoint Server 2010

Earlier this month, Microsoft’s SharePoint Team confirmed the preliminary system requirements for SharePoint Server 2010, the release dates for which are yet indefinite. As it was revealed at the annual TechEd conference, Microsoft’s effort dedicated to erasing the Office component from the SharePoint connotations is reinforced by the fact that SharePoint 2010 beta is not going to be released with Office 2010 beta, due to be shipped about July this year.
By no means could the notice on the system requirements have been postponed any longer: virtually everyone in the SharePoint community is already shifting uneasily, trying to foresee the pitfalls on the way towards the brand-new Microsoft product line. For some, as it appears, these are likely to be accompanied by significant budgetary repercussions, and everyone will need to do a lot of planning in order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new SharePoint platform level.
To put it in a nutshell, the bits of information leaked as to the system requirements boil down to two basic things. First and foremost, the upcoming SharePoint Server is going to be 64-bit only, i.e. the system required will be 64-bit Windows Server 2008/Windows Server 2008 R2. Additionally, SQL Server 2000 will no longer be supported; the 64-bit SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005 will be required instead. The move towards 64-bit is hardly surprising, given the fact that most of the latest hardware is exclusively 64-bit-capable. Moreover, this is a need prompted by the objective disadvantages faced by both users and developers. Microsoft states that this is going to significantly benefit SharePoint’s performance, although some analytics see more far-reaching implications (i.e., encouraging developers to use Windows Server 2008 as the local development environment). It is here that the upgrading rub is concealed.
Secondly, browser compatibility will be affected. The SharePoint Team are targeting IE 7 and 8, as well as Mozilla 3.x, for Windows OS. For non-Windows, the endorsed browsers are going to include Mozilla 3.x and Safari 3.x. That means Internet Explorer 6 is being jettisoned.
The above hints at a number of measures aimed at ensuring future compatibility, including remaining on guard and keeping an eye on the latest Microsoft SharePoint developments. For more details as to what steps need to be seen to right now, please refer to