The most obvious question.... What is SharePoint?
And the most simplest answer... Microsoft SharePoint is a web application platform developed by Microsoft for creating rich intranet and internet portals.
SharePoint can be used to provide rich functionalities like:
- Intranet portals,
- Document & file management,
- Social networks,
- Enterprise search,
- Business intelligence
- And so on…
A Brief History
The versions are (in chronological order):
- Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2001
- Microsoft SharePoint Team Services (2002)
- Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 (free license) + Microsoft SharePoint 2003 (commercial release)
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (free license) + Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (commercial extension)
- Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 (free) + Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 (commercial extension)
SharePoint 2010 Editions
Following are the major editions of SharePoint 2010:
- SharePoint Foundation: The most basic and free edition of SharePoint 2010 .Main capabilities are: accessibility, cross-browser support, basic search features, out-of-the box Web Parts, Silverlight support, new UI features based on dialogs and ribbons, blogs and wikis, and the workflow engine.
- SharePoint Server Standard: Built on top of SharePoint Foundation. This edition provides legal compliance capabilities, including records management, legal holds, and document policies. Document managment using Document sets and DocumentIDs are also enable in this edition.
- SharePoint Server Enterprise: Includes dashboards, key performance indicators (KPIs), and business intelligence features in addition to features in Foundation and Standard edition. Improved search capbilities, Excel Services, Visio Services, InfoPath Forms Services, and Access Services also exclusively supported in Enterprise edition.
- SharePoint for Internet Sites: These are mainly public facing internet sites. They were created to support public Internet scenarios with an unpredictable number of users coming from the Internet, whether the users are anonymous or authenticated.
- SharePoint Online: SharePoint Online supports creation of sites to share documents and information using cloud.