Identifying the Need for Windows SharePoint Services

A number of organizational needs have spurred the adoption of SharePoint technologies. Many organizations see SharePoint technologies as the next evolution in document management and sharing, where the silo is more intelligent, controls access to, and use of, documents better, tracks usage information, and alerts users of certain conditions. The files stored in SharePoint can have data attached to them (metadata) to enhance management and categorization of the files. Workflows in lists and libraries can be kicked off automatically or started manually for a variety of business processes. The somewhat amorphous term collaboration can be enhanced with these tools, as can the ability to quickly create sites for smaller groups of users to share ideas, work on a document, or store data pertaining to a specific event. Some of the most common requirements include the following:

. A need for better document management than the file system can offer— This includes document versioning, checkout and check-in features, adding metadata to documents, and better control of document access (by using groups and granular security). The high-level need is simply to make it easier for users to find the latest version of the document or documents they need to do their jobs, and, ultimately, to make them more efficient in those jobs.

. Improved collaboration among users with a minimal learning curve— Although virtually everyone has a different definition of what collaboration is, a functional definition is a technology solution that allows users to interact efficiently with each other using software products to share documents and information in a user-friendly environment. In regard to SharePoint, this typically refers to document and meeting workspaces, site collections, discussion lists, integration of instant messaging and presence information, and integration with the Office suite of applications. Integration with Office applications is a key component: Most organizations do not want to force users to learn a new set of tools to collaborate more effectively because users generally resist such requirements.

. A better intranet—Although most companies have an intranet in place, common complaints are that it is too static, that it is not user friendly, and that every change has to go through IT or the “web guy.” These complaints generally comes from a departmental manager, team lead, or project manager frustrated with their inability to publish information to a select group of users and regularly update resources their team needs to do their jobs.

. A centralized way to search for information—Rather than using the “word-ofmouth” search engine, there should be an engine in place that allows the user to quickly and efficiently find particular documents. The user can search for documents that contain certain words; documents created or modified during a certain time frame; documents authored by a specific person; or documents that meet other criteria, such as file type.

. Creation of a portal—Many definitions exist for the term portal, but a general definition is that a portal is a web-enabled environment that allows internal and, potentially, external users to access company intellectual resources and software applications. A portal typically extends standard intranet functionality by providing features such as single sign-on, powerful search tools, and access to other core company applications, such as help desk, human resources software, educational resources, and other corporate information and applications.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed

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