A Microsoft technology that allows a company to host intranet based webpages. It also enables the sharing of MS Office documents between users on the intranet. The Sharepoint resides on a server running the Sharepoint software.
Microsoft SharePoint, also known as Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies, is a collection of products and software elements that includes, among a growing selection of components, web browser based collaboration functions, process management modules, search modules and a document-management platform. SharePoint can be used to host web sites that access shared workspaces, information stores and documents, as well as host defined applications such as wikis and blogs. All users can manipulate proprietary controls called "web parts" or interact with pieces of content such as lists and document libraries.
Previous versions of elements of this software used different names such as "SharePoint Portal Server 2003" and "SharePoint Team Services" but are also referred to as SharePoint or SharePoint Technologies. Since the beginning, when the SharePoint initiative was collectively called Tahoe, SharePoint development has been a mixed bag of products and technologies and includes the now defunct Site Server 3.0.
SharePoint, as a collection of technologies, is not intended to simply replace a full file server or to be a single use solution. Instead, it is geared and positioned to play various roles in the business and enterprise environment. Microsoft markets these vectors as Collaboration, Processes, and People.
The SharePoint user interface is a web interface accessed through a browser. While all browsers are supported, only Internet Explorer, which Microsoft designates as a "Level 1" browser, is fully integrated and able to utilize the full functionality of a SharePoint Solution.
SharePoint sites are functionally ASP.NET 2.0 web applications, which are served using IIS and use a SQL Server database as a data storage back end. All site content data, such as items in document libraries and lists, are stored within an SQL database named by default as "WSS_Content_[ID]".
Microsoft Search Server (MSS), an enterprise search platform from Microsoft, builds on the search capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). MSS shares its architectural underpinnings with the Windows Search platform for both the querying engine as well as the indexer. MOSS search provides the ability to search metadata attached to documents.
Microsoft has made Microsoft Search Server available as Search Server 2008, released March 2008. A free version, Search Server 2008 Express, is also available. The express edition features the same feature set as the commercial edition, including no limitation on the number of files indexed. However, it is limited to a stand-alone installation and cannot be scaled out to a cluster.. Various plugins for indexing third party files, for example Adobe's Acrobat (pdf) files, are available.
Described by Microsoft as the "Business Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise and the Web" , Microsoft SharePoint 2010 promises to deliver numerous benefits over its predecessor. It is currently in Beta.
Feature highlights include
The WYSIWYG (X)HTML editor Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer primarily targets the design of SharePoint sites and end-user workflows for SharePoint Server and SharePoint foundation sites. It is the successor to SharePoint 2007. Its general web designing sibling, and Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 IDE. SharePoint Designer represents a next-generation Microsoft replacement for Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007.
Through a next-generation family of data controls (like the DataView WebPart), XSLT / XPath, External lists. SharePoint Designer enables developers to manipulate data from SharePoint or external sources (such as Microsoft SQL Server) without coding directly against the .NET Framework.
SharePoint Designer 2010 is not compatible with SharePoint 2007.
Evaluations of SharePoint by industry analysts have varied. In late 2008, the Gartner Group put SharePoint in the "leaders" quadrant in three of its Magic Quadrants (for Search, Portals, and enterprise content management).
SharePoint is often criticized for its lack of well integrated tools for developers and its complex customized software architecture that differs significantly from those of other ASP.NET-based web applications. Therefore, Microsoft announced significantly improved support in the upcoming version of Microsoft Visual Studio to improve the developer experience.