Microsoft SharePoint is a Microsoft software product that can work as a web-based intranet, a collaboration and file-sharing tool, and a web publishing platform.
It is comprised of several products, including Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft SharePoint Designer, Microsoft Search Server, Microsoft SharePoint Foundation, and Microsoft SharePoint Workspace. Using SharePoint can lead to the efficient management of all content across an organization.
SharePoint helps with the exchange of data in the workplace. Documents and data can be easily retrieved by all authorized workers, and data redundancy is avoided. Rather than passing a document from one person to another, and losing track of changes that are being made to the document, everyone works on the same document and sees all changes, no matter who has made them.
SharePoint servers can host several applications that can help to ensure the smooth flow of information throughout the enterprise. You can store and share documents, event calendars, lists, announcements, contacts, links, and more. Custom lists can be created and all can be shared with your team.
Some Benefits of Using SharePoint
- Integrated Environment – By using SharePoint, all of the enterprises data can be stored in one place. Documents, databases, web pages, Business Intelligence data, contacts, and more are all accessible from one central location.
- Decision Making – SharePoint allows users to look at business data from multiple data sources, and to share this data with management or colleagues. This allows the team to make more appropriate business decisions, which can then be deployed across the organization, can be monitored and reported on, and can be published on the intranet, extranet, or the public internet.
- Information Sharing – SharePoint provides for document storage and retrieval, check-in and check-out functionality, custom properties, version information, and customizable views; making documents and files easy to find, edit and share. Data can be presented in a spreadsheet format, which is easy and familiar for most users. Security is built-in, so that confidential information can be kept away from unauthorized eyes.
- Efficient Use of Design Tools – SharePoint combines the use of various design tools to produce information rich websites. It makes use of “web part pages” and “web parts” that result in good design and well structured web documents and applications.
SharePoint has come a long way since its earliest release. One of the greatest improvements with SharePoint 2010 has been the addition of Access Services, which allows SharePoint to connect with an Access 2010 database using either Microsoft Access, your browser, or a linked web page. Other improvements include integration with Windows PowerShell, Visio Services, and Business Connectivity Services; a new asset library called Digital Management Services, a full enterprise search function, and social networking tools – just to name a few.
Upgrading to the latest version of SharePoint will provide you with so much more functionality that it is well worth the effort. Microsoft provides information on upgrading and tests that need to be performed before the upgrade takes place. There are both hardware and software requirements that must be met before upgrading. For example, SharePoint Server 2010 can only be run on a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 with SP2. This information can be found on Microsoft’s TechNet .
Using SharePoint 2010 solutions can work wonders for the efficiency and productivity of your organization.