Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 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. Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports all intranet, extranet, and Web applications across an enterprise within one integrated platform, instead of relying on separate fragmented systems. 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.
SharePoint as a Platform for Intranets, Extranets and Internet sites
1. Share Point as an Intranet Platform:
The following are the features that make SharePoint an ideal platform for implementing an intranet website.
– SharePoint by default is an Collaboration platform aimed at improving the collaboration and communication between the internal users of the organization.
– Provides out of the box collaboration features like tasks, issues, surveys, discussions etc. that can be quickly setup and be used to publish and share information across the intranet.
– The inbuilt search capabilities provide a quick and easy method that can be used to find information residing throughout the portal without additional configurations.
– Its extensibility features allow the search to be customized to suit the organizations information targeting requirements.
– Provides inbuilt crawling and indexing capabilities, provide search results in very less amount of time.
• Self Service
– SharePoint as defined by its characteristics is a self service platform
– Users can easily create and publish information, as well as customize the SharePoint lists, libraries and pages according to their preferences
– Tools can include personalized tools or cross departmental tools that can automate the business processes across the organization from a single, central location.
• Content Management
– SharePoint's Web Content Management abilities make it possible to differentiate and manage the different types of content present on the intranet
– Using the content types, SharePoint allows organizations to build the content type framework for the information residing on the intranet and reuse the same in different locations throughout the intranet
• Document Management
– SharePoint provides document management through the document library feature
– The document libraries can be customized to include metadata that by default are indexed by the SharePoint search
– Features like document level security, advanced versioning etc. make SharePoint a powerful document management tool
– Provides easy interface to share and collaborate on documents to achieve focused goals
– Document content types provide template based creation of documents right from the SharePoint interface.
2. SharePoint as an Extranet Platform
The following are the factors that make SharePoint an ideal platform for implementing an Extranet in your organization:
• Secure Access
– SharePoint can be easily configured to provide secure access to the extranet to the external users like customers, partners, vendors etc.
– With support for multiple authentication providers, the external users profile information can be stored in separate database, and can be managed separately
• Extending the Enterprise
– With the intranet and the extranet implemented using Microsoft SharePoint, communication between the internal and external users of the organization is delivered in a seamless manner.
– Only a subset of information from the intranet that is pertinent to a given customer, partner, vendor etc. can be published to the extranet to provide up to date information to both the internal and external users of the organization.
– With the workflow engine being the same for the intranet and extranet implementation, workflows can be extended to automate the processes that are carried out between the two implementations.
– With a single platform implementation for the intranets and the extranets, SharePoint truly extends the enterprise to include not only the internal users, but also the external users of the enterprise under a single umbrella.
3. SharePoint as an Internet Web Site:
The following features make SharePoint the ideal platform for implementing your organization's internet sites
• Site Customization and Branding
– SharePoint provides a build once, use many times option using ASP.NET Master pages and page layouts
– SharePoint Themes allow customizations to change the look and feel of the site to meet your organizations branding requirements
• Content Management
– Content authors need not wait for the site administrators to publish content.
– Content can be published in a pre defined format, requiring no help from the web designers
– On the screen rich text editors to format the text on the fly
– Supports standardized look and feel across the web site without much effort
– A structured hierarchy makes it easy to maintain and manage the sites and content on the web site.
• Web Communities
– Inbuilt templates for blogs and wikis allow user communities to be created on specific topics on your web site that can be used as an effective feedback mechanisms on your solutions and product offerings
• Rich Media
– SharePoint supports rich media like images, videos, flash files etc.
– Can be easily streamed over the internet with minimal customizations