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What is SharePoint? developer review
Details: When you try to get closer with SharePoint, you surprise by the huge number of titles and technical names!

Do you think that fallback to source-code development is a better idea? I’m sure that we can’t ignore the development through source-code but you’ll find SharePoint a new path making your development task too much easy!

After reading this article you’ll be able to introduce SharePoint to your fresh joined colleague, also you’ll be able to read and understand most books & videos which talking about SharePoint levels.

Now in the following lines you’ll read:
    -    What is SharePoint?
    -    What SharePoint can do for you?
    -    SharePoint in a brief history
    -    WSS versus MOSS
    -    Choosing the right version for you

This article is aimed for every IT person, particularly for those who are planning to migrate from development and source-code processing to make their development task easier and a little bit similar to be wizard steps and meeting quickly the customer’s needs and requirements…


What is SharePoint?

Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0 takes Microsoft Office beyond the desktop application and brings it online so you can share and collaborate more effectively with other people in your company, group or organization. SharePoint is a web site that can be displayed in a browser such as Internet Explorer, and includes an interface for displaying lists and libraries in a secure database.
SharePoint also contains various web-parts that can display sorted or filtered information in various ways, or can display some kind of custom functionality. SharePoint can be used for something as simple as a list of contacts, or for something as complex as a project management dashboard for a new store opening.
SharePoint can be customized easily through the web-based management interface or through the Microsoft SharePoint Designer software. In addition, there are many web-based pre-built application templates which help organize various web-parts, lists and libraries to help accomplish a specific goal, such as a Bug Database, Blog, Wiki or Project Tracking.

What SharePoint can do for you?

One of the keys to understanding SharePoint is to better understand what it can do for you, and how it can be used. Here you’ll find 10 significant keys:

1.    Improve individual productivity with collaborative tools: Connect people with the information they need, and enable them to receive, create and organize the documents, information, lists and data they need to get their jobs done.

2.    Manage and track documents: The enhanced document management features allow for document check-in or check-out and change management. Restore previous versions or control who can access or modify which documents.

3.    Ease of use and Microsoft Office integration: The improved views and menus make navigation easy within SharePoint sites, allowing users to get to the information they need. Integration with familiar tools including the Microsoft Office Suite make it even easier to get up to speed quickly without having to learn new skills.

4.    Deploy solutions designed specifically for you: You can start with one of the many standard workspaces and begin your customization there, or start from scratch and build a SharePoint solution that is specifically built for your business processes and needs.

5.    Build your own collaboration environment: Building a collaborative environment doesn’t have to be complicated and time consuming. Now you can build and deploy your SharePoint based solution with minimal time and effort.

6.    Reduce Complexity: The administrative controls built into SharePoint make it easier to control the information stored within your site while keeping costs low and management less complicated.

7.    Secure your information the way you want to: You can control permissions and security as deep down as the document or item level, and users, groups and teams can control their own workspaces within the security parameters you define.

8.    Take File sharing to the next level: Document check-in/check-out, and version history and storage allow you to view what changes were made and recover old versions. The Recycle Bin functionality allows for easier recovery and restoration of lost information.

9.    Easily scale your collaboration solution: SharePoint is well suited for small or large groups who need collaboration tools and features. Your site can grow with you and contain numerous sub-sites that suit many different purposes.

10.    A cost-effective solution for building your applications: SharePoint provides a flexible and multi-functional framework for information management and collaboration which is both scalable and customizable, allowing it to fit within the needs and infrastructure of any business or organization.

As the internet community expands, it becomes increasingly difficult to maximize the potential of these evolving websites through advertising and marketing. With this in mind Microsoft has developed SharePoint Server.

SharePoint in a brief history

The need for collaborative applications
According to a 2002 report by Gartner: employees get 50%-75% of their relevant information directly from other people; more than 80% of enterprise’s digitized information reside in individual hard drives and in personal files; and individuals hold the key to the knowledge economy with most of that knowledge being lost when they leave the enterprise. Not surprisingly, Microsoft has interpreted this as a need to provide easy to use and effective collaboration tools and technologies, citing that CEOs recognize that improving knowledge worker productivity will play a major role in their business’ ability to compete.

SharePoint products and technologies
Microsoft claims that its SharePoint products and technologies strategy facilitates a consistent rich experience for users, developers, and IT staff; smart connections for people, teams, divisions or the enterprise; and will support flexible deployment – bottoms-up, centralized, or hybrid on large scale farms.
Despite Microsoft’s claims, this SharePoint products and technologies naming can be confusing as Microsoft actually has two separate products which use the SharePoint name. The basic Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) product is shipped with Windows Server 2003 whereas SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) is a chargeable product which provides extra functionality, bringing SharePoint sites together as a single portal, to make them navigable, searchable, and adding enterprise level features such as:
•    Hierarchical navigation and category services with areas and topics.
•    Publishing and alerts.
•    Search/cross-enterprise indexing (using an okapi probabilistic ranking algorithm).
•    Line of business integration and single sign on (SSO) and BizTalk integration.
•    Document management (alerts, version control and check-in/out).
•    Profiling system.
•    Personalization (My Sites).
WSS is actually v3.0 of the earlier WSS v2.0 of the earlier SharePoint Team Services (STS) product but whereas STS v1.0 only shared the SharePoint name, WSS and SPS are very tightly integrated. Nearly all SharePoint content is stored in a SQL Server (or MSDE) database.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) improvements
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight. Additionally, this collaboration and content management server provides IT professionals and developers with the platform and tools they need for server administration, application extensibility, and interoperability.
MOSS is built on the .NET Framework 3.0 and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF). It runs on IIS 6.0 or later. It can run on SQL Server 2000 or 2005.

WSS versus MOSS

Many people are unclear about the difference between Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS).

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) are free with Windows Server.  In contrast, MOSS is not free and it is installed on top of WSS.  MOSS has both a server cost and a client access license (CAL) cost.  To upgrade the standard CAL to the Enterprise CAL is an additional cost.

MOSS provides the following additional features beyond what is included with WSS.
1)  The My Site personal site
2)  Site Directory (automatically creates a site map and presents it in an easy-to-use format)
3)  User Profiles and Profile Store
4)  Audience Targeting
5)  Pre-built workflow templates (Approval, Collect Feedback, Collect Signatures, Disposition Approval, Translation Management, Issue Tracking).  WSS does not provide workflow templates like MOSS.  Custom workflows can be built using Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer.
6)  Pre-configured Portal Site Templates
7)  Sites and Documents Roll-up Web Parts
8)  Content Management Capabilities (previously available only in Microsoft Content Management Server)
9)  Records Management which enables organizations to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 1992 and HIPPA requirements.
10)  InfoPath Forms Services (also available via Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007)  Requires Enterprise CAL.
11)  Business Intelligence Features and Functionality.  Requires Enterprise CAL.
12)  A More Powerful Search Capability.

Finally, that was an actual experience when i moved to be a SharePoint developer, let me give you an advice; DON’T SAY “IMPOSSIBLE!” ,  JUST SAY “THAT COULD TAKE A LONG TIME!
(Osama Remlawi - Read other news)
   Comments (6)
Murhaf Taia   4/25/2010 3:41:52 AM
Great starting point. We expect more to come from you Osama. Well done.

Feras   4/25/2010 1:20:32 AM
good... that must have been taken alot of time.

The Reviewer   4/24/2010 8:39:41 AM
That was a good review, but don't you see it is a long story :) anyway, whereas it is a Microsoft product, i don't expect a good faith!

Qassem   4/24/2010 5:03:45 AM
Welcome in Sharepoint World :)

Fadi   4/24/2010 4:46:49 AM
Excellent as A first comment to you Osama, Keep going and good luck.

Hamed Shihadeh   4/23/2010 11:28:22 PM
Exellent Article Osama.. reminds me with the famous words: "Need is mother of invention"!

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