SharePoint is #1 in Top 15 Intranet Portals

Last updated: October 24, 2019
SharePoint's multi-purpose platform allows for managing and provisioning of intranet portals, extranets and websites, document management and file management, collaboration spaces, social networking tools, enterprise search, business intelligence tooling, process/information integration, and third-party developed solutions. SharePoint can also be used as a web application development platform.

Positions in ratings

#1 in Top 15 Intranet Portals

#1 in Top 12 ECM software


The best alternatives to SharePoint are: Drupal, Alfresco, OneDrive, G Suite, Confluence, Salesforce, Documentum, DropBox

Latest news about SharePoint

2018. SharePoint gets organization-wide news and content targeting

Microsoft announced some new improvements for SharePoint and Office 365 sites. One of the key features is the ability to designate one communication site as the official news portal for the organization. News posted to the official news portal gets a special indicator so that it is easy to tell — both on mobile and on SharePoint home — which news posts are coming from the official news portal. Another new feature - is the ability to target content to different audiences based on AD Group membership, including dynamic groups. Also SharePoint sites are getting the ability to create mega-menus for navigation.

2017. SharePoint 2016 finally added SharePoint Framework Support

One of the big reasons Microsoft pushed SharePoint Framework into general availability in February was to attract more developer talent into the SharePoint ecosystem. And now with the release of SharePoint Feature Pack 2 (FP2), the company finally gives Framework support to users of SharePoint 2016. Framework is a page and web part model that provides full support for client-side SharePoint development, easy integration with SharePoint data and support for open source tooling. The release will make it easier for SharePoint 2016 customers and third-party developers to build SharePoint-focused solutions.

2017. SharePoint Framework is generally available

Microsoft has released SharePoint Framework, that allows developers and administrators to build and deploy parts that are used by Office 365 users in their production environments. In practical terms, this means using web technologies to build apps on SharePoint that are agile, responsive and, more to the point, mobile friendly. SharePoint has been used as an application and development platform for a long time. It offers numerous sets of development and customization options. But the release of Framework is a big step in improving the SharePoint developer experience, which has often been characterized as clumsy and difficult.

2016. Microsoft connects SharePoint Team Sites to Office 365 Groups

Microsoft is introducing SharePoint and Office 365 team sites integration - the new feature that allows to create connected SharePoint Online team sites in seconds. Here's how the new integration works. When someone creates an Office 365 Group, the service will automatically create a SharePoint team site (with the appearance controlled by the team site administrator) that can include pages, lists, libraries and team news. SharePoint team sites provide a place where teams can communicate, share documents and work together on projects. They are easy to use and enable users create a site for every project the team is working on. Team sites are accessible on all kinds of devices so can be used by mobile workers too.

2016. Microsoft released SharePoint for Android

Though Microsoft is not actively competing on the mobile OS market already for two years (i.e. not pushing its WindowsPhone), it's still very slow in releasing Android apps. Only now the company is unveiling SharePoint mobile client for Android phones and tablets. The app provides the functionality to work with team sites, documents stored in SharePoint under the main categories of Sites, Links and People. To use the SharePoint app organizations need to have an Office 365 subscription that includes SharePoint Online, with support for SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint 2016 to be added later. Earlier this year Microsoft released SharePoint mobile apps for iOS and WindowsPhone (though the second app is still in preview).

2016. Microsoft brings SharePoint to iOS

Microsoft launched a new mobile app for SharePoint customers aimed at bringing a company’s SharePoint-powered intranet portal and its content to users’ smartphones and tablets. The app is initially available on iOS – meaning it will work on iPhone and iPad – but it will arrive on both Android and Windows platforms before year end, Microsoft says.  The app works with either SharePoint Online in Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013 or 2016 in on-premises or hybrid scenarios. It features a Sites tab that lets you visit the SharePoint sites you frequent, so you can see recent activity, files, and access these files, lists, pages, and other content on those destinations. The app also works with other Microsoft mobile apps, the company notes. For example, when you click an Office document in the app, it will launch the corresponding Office mobile app; and when you view a document library on a team site, you’ll be taken to the OneDrive mobile app for iOS.

2016. SharePoint adds new document libraries

Now that SharePoint 2016 is here, Microsoft is slowly releasing SharePoint Document Libraries to its commercial Office 365 subscribers using SharePoint Online. The new document libraries take SharePoint in a more user-friendly direction. They make it easier for users to access documents, edit document metadata and push content to the top of the document library. It's a big deal — which addresses persistent complains about previous editions of SharePoint around the difficulties of use. In the long run-up to the release of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft promised to focus on user experience.

2013. IBM kills Lotus. Microsoft kills SharePoint

Perhaps the two most famous brands in the history of enterprise software, Lotus and SharePoint, will soon disappear. We mean brands, not specific products. Because by renaming their products, vendors try to erase the association with outdated technologies in customer brain. For example, Lotus appeared back in the 80-s years of last century. In 1995 IBM acquired Lotus Development and began selling their products Lotus Notes/Domino. In the following years most IBM collaboration systems moved under the Lotus umbrella. But last year the revolution occurred. The last child of the Lotus family - SaaS suite LotusLive was renamed to SmartCloud for Social Business. And then the name Lotus was removed from other products. The final nail was the recent launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition (without Lotus). Regarding, Microsoft SharePoint - Office born this product and Office will kill it. SharePoint Team Services first appeared in 2000, as a package of web extensions for MS Office. For a long time SharePoint was a part of MS Office, but then due to its outstanding popularity and rapid development, it has been separated as an independent server product and became not just a collaboration tool but the platform on which the whole IT infrastructure is built. But now, when SaaS products become more important for Microsoft, it doesn't need to sell the platform (because the platform works on the side of SaaS provider). And SharePoint quietly dissolves into the new office suite Office 365. The word SharePoint is almost never used in it. Instead, we see Sites, People, Newsfeed or the new brands SkyDrive and Yammer.

2012. SharePoint 2013 will integrate Yammer, provide platform around the online version

At the  SharePoint Conference 2012 Microsoft revealed some new facts about the upcoming SharePoint 2013. But nothing specific has been announced - just few promises. The exact release date is also still unknown. Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Office Division Kris Koenigsbauer promises a launch during the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which falls between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Now about the Yammer. As expected, Microsoft will integrate this social intranet service (acquired in June) into SharePoint. The integration will be done via Yammer Web Parts and Yammer Open Graph. Got it? And soon (Microsoft says) SharePoint will become a system "powered by Yammer". Ok, let's look what is the real sense of integration between SharePoint and Yammer. The fact is that SharePoint 2013 has already own social intranet module. Look at the screenshot above - it's SharePoint 2013 without Yammer. It's social module may lack some features that are in Yammer, but it provieds enough social function for most users. The main purpose of Yammer acquisition - was not buying the software engine or the development team, but a) the Yammer's customer client (85% of the Fortune 500 companies), b) removing the strong competitor, c) the reputation of social vendor. So now Microsoft just needs to connect brands Yammer and SharePoint and gradually transfer the Yammer users to SharePoint. So, we shouldn't expect any revolutional product from Yammer-SharePoint integration. They'll write "powered by Yammer" in the bottom - and that will be enough. What are the other interesting news about SharePoint 2013? First, Microsoft promised that it will (some day) allow developers to create add-ons for the online version of SharePoint, just as it works for the local version. Creating an online platform with an app store was super-promising affair a couple of years ago. Salesforce did it. But now it's may be too late for Microsoft. Second, Microsoft promised to provide full mobile support for SharePoint. In addition to Windows Phone app, SharePoint will be (some day) accessible from Windows 8 tablets (Metro), iPhone and Android.

2012. SharePoint 2013 will include SkyDrive Pro

Together with Office 2013 Microsoft unveiled the beta version of SharePoint 2013. This is still an early version, and we won't review it so far (in particular, it's still no information about possible integration with Yammer). But one thing is this beta has already attracted great public interest - SkyDrive Pro. We have previously reported that SharePoint is being attacked by the army of file synchronization services called "Dropbox for Enterprise", and that SkyDrive's technology should help SharePoint to overcome these attacks. And so it happens, but as usual, Microsoft has added an element of chaos to this project. Why was it necessary to create a separate service called SkyDrive Pro? Why they just not added simple file sync functionality to SharePoint without inventing new titles? It's even more confusing as SkyDrive Pro won't replace the existing off-line client - SharePoint Workspace, but will be used along with it. SkyDrive Pro also won't be connected with a conventional SkyDrive, and users will be using both services separately (eg, one for work, one for personal use). SkyDrive Pro will be shipped with SharePoint Online in Office 365, as well as with the local version of SharePoint 2013. The second option will allow companies to create own SkyDrives behind the corporate firewall.

2012. Microsoft buys Yammer to protect SharePoint

Of course, it wasn't a secret that Yammer (the service that invented social intranet) - is a successful startup. But no one could imagine how successful it is. Microsoft is buying Yammer for as much as $1.2 billion. Most likely, it's too big price, but Microsoft has to overpay in order to protect its flagship product - SharePoint. We have already noted that after the rapid start, SharePoint has stopped in development. And lately two threats for SharePoint have appeared. The first threat is called "DropBox for business" - the new class of tools that sync files between computers and mobile devices. And the second threat - are these solutions for building enterprise social networks (Chatter, Yammer, Socialcast, Jive, etc.). For the first threat Microsoft has an answer - SkyDrive, but the social component in SharePoint it very weak. And the recent social promises of Jared Sparano (Senior Director, SharePoint Product Management) didn't add optimism: "we at Microsoft are carefully studying the opportunities of social networking technologies in the workspace and in the next version - SharePoint 2013 - these tools will be further developed." Now Microsoft has Yammer. But will be they able to seamlessly integrate this SaaS service in SharePoint, or it will go the Skype's way - the history will show.

2012. Microsoft SharePoint adds Firefox and Chrome support

Recently we noted that for a long time there is no news about the progress of the enterprise software superstar - intranet system Microsoft SharePoint. And today the news appeared: SharePoint 2010 finally adds full support for the third-party browsers: Firefox, Chrome, and partial support for Apple Safari. Developers say that the limitations of these browsers didn't allowed to use all the bells and whistles of the SharePoint interface before. Wow! That's a really huge achievement of SharePoint developers. There is still no word about support of mobile platforms (except Windows Phone). But there is a word about social features. Jared Spataro, Microsoft's senior director of SharePoint product management recently said that they were carefully studying the opportunities of social networking technologies for enterprise collaboration and Microsoft's approach will be to increase enterprise social features in SharePoint. Looks like SharePoint is really in crisis.

2012. Dropbox for Enterprise will replace SharePoint?

In this case by "Dropbox for Enterprise" we don't mean the business version of Dropbox. The fact is that the expression "Dropbox for Enterprise" has become a new meme. The largest enterprise software vendors want to release a product under the label "Dropbox for Enterprise". That's how they say: "We want to create something like Dropbox for Enterprise" (watch the video). Recall, Dropbox - is the super-popular file syncing and sharing service, which has already attracted 50 million users thanks to its simplicity and multi-platform support. It's business usage is limited due to the strict corporate security standards. But employees still tend to use it bypassing IT admins, and that is why the enterprise vendors are standing in the line to become the Enterprise Dropbox provider. The first in this line is, which has long been competing with Dropbox and has attracted already 8 million users. Like Dropbox, this service gives free gigabytes, provides sweat interface and supports multiple platforms. The next is probably Egnyte. This service also appeared long ago and was initially the most business-oriented. And this wasn't very good for competition. In particular, unlike Dropbox and - Egnyte never provided the free version. And recently the "big brothers" are coming to the line. Last week we mentioned that ECM giants Open Text and Liferay launched Dropbox clones. The other day Alfresco joined them with its Alfresco Cloud. VMware is developing its own service called Project Octopus (based on Zimbra and Mozy). Citrix has acquired the similar app ShareFile. Recently, the rumors that Google will launch its legendary service Google Drive appeared again. But the most interesting in this story - is - where is SharePoint in it? A year ago it was SharePoint - the  meme, meaning the same thing - "enterprise tool for storing and sharing files." But remember (from the first paragraph), the main reasons for the Dropbox success - simplicity and multi-platform support - that's NOT about SharePoint. This system only works in browser, on PC and Windows Phone and it's interface is not so intuitive. During the past month we didn't hear anything new about SharePoint. Microsoft pays more attention to its cloud service SkyDrive, but SharePoint (aka the most successful Microsoft's business product) may soon become a part of history.

2010. Gartner tries to sort out the Enterprise Social Software market: Sharepoint vs Jive

Gartner has published the Magic Quadrant for enterprise Social Software market 2010. In the previous similar report in 2009 the MQ reminded the Brownian movement of molecules because of the large number of vendors and approaches to the enterprise social tools. That's why Gartner decided to clarify its approach. At first, they split the Social Software for internal and external. The external was defined as Social CRM - and moved to the separate report. And this Magic Quadrant is focused only on internal social tools, designed for collaboration within enterprise. Additionally in order to mute the noise, Gartner introduced several restrictions. First, each vendor should have at least 100,000 end users. Second, each product should include the following social tools: - user management - user profiles - roles and access control - configurable group, project, team or community areas - document sharing - discussion forums - blogs - wikis Besides, Gartner has introduced one more strange criteria: each product should provide the on-premise version. Because of this, the report doesn't include pure SaaS products: Salesforce Chatter, Yammer and PBWorks, which should be among the market leaders. Like in the previous year report, the leaders are Microsoft (Sharepoint), IBM (Lotus Connections, WebSphere Portal, LotusLive) and Jive (Jive SBS). Jive - is an absolute champion. Jive is the leader in Gartner's latest Social CRM report and Jive is the leader in Social Software reports from other analytical companies: Forrester and Info-Tech. Google, which quickly entered the social software market in the past year, has quickly disappeared from it. Google Wave - is to be closed, and Google Buzz hasn't got much popularity. We note also the appearance of SuccessFactors near the leading group. This talent management solution with the acquisition of CubeTree entered social software and collaboration market and is ready to compete with Sharepoint and Salesforce Chatter.

2010. SharePoint Workspace 2010: two tools in one

We have already mentioned that p2p collaboration app MS Office Groove was renamed to SharePoint Workspace and utilized as an offline client for Sharepoint. Now we have got the chance to see SharePoint Workspace 2010 in action and it appears that offline access to Sharepoint - is not the only function of this application. First, SharePoint Workspace can be used without Sharepoint - as well as MS Office Groove. I.e. you can create Groove Workspace (with files, calendar, discussions) and sync it with computers of co-workers or customers. However, the audio-chat and permission levels disappeared from the application. Recall that SharePoint Workspace is not sold as a part of Sharepoint Server, but as a part of Office 2010 Pro Plus. To collaborate over Sharepoint server you need to create not Groove Workspace, but SharePoint Workspace. This workspace will be synchronized between the server and your computer (and you can work offline with files, pages, and other content elements). Unfortunately there are some limitations: you can not sync separate pages - only entire Sharepoint site. In addition, wikies, calendars and surveys can't be synced yet. In SharePoint Workspace, you can check-in/check-out files, so that no one edit them at the same time with you. Microsoft also offers to use SharePoint Workspace as a rich-interface for Sharepoint. Those who believe that working in browser - is not cool, and prefers desktop application with the usual ribbon-interface, where it's possible to drag files - will like this idea. See also our Sharepoint 2010 review

2010. Sharepoint 2010: Clouds Can Wait

Last week together with Office 2010, Sharepoint 2010 was officially released. Of course, this is an important event for Enterprise 2.0 industry, however, not so important as we expected. Because despite the fact that Sharepoint 2010 was introduced as a cloud solution, at the moment neither Hosted, nor SaaS version of Sharepoint 2010 are not available. Hosted version (in BPOS-D) will be available only by the end of the year. SaaS-version (Sharepoint Online) by the end of the year will will be available for beta testing and official release is expected only in mid-2011. (We included Sharepoint Online in our Top 10 cloud platforms for Enterprise, but apparently that was too early). And now about the positive moments: Sharepoint 2010 really contains a lot of improvements that will strengthen its (almost monopolistic) position of the intranet platforms market: Social - New rich user profiles - Social connections with colleagues - Activity streams - Tags and notes on each page - Page rating - People search by knowledge and interests Mobile - Mobile access to shared documents - Mobile document viewer - Pages optimization for mobile access - Mobile notifications - Sending messages and pictures to the personal activity stream from mobile device - Even more features for Windows Phone 7 Office 2010 integration - Pulling social information from Sharepoint by Outlook Social Connector - Offline access via SharePoint Workspace (former MS Office Groove) - Document collaboration using Office Web Apps - Web viewer for Visio diagrams - Broadcasting PowerPoint presentations via Sharepoint-intranet Content Management - Support for document and records management - Page metadata management - Content Organizer - Much improved Search (integrated FAST Search) - CMIS support (soon) - Improved support for external data sources through Business Connectivity Services User Interface - New Ribbon interface utilizing Ajax - Firefox and Safari support - Improved WYSIWYG-editor - It's very easy to embed pictures and videos Development - Out-of-the-box Silverlight Web Parts support - Explorer for Sharepoint sites - Web Part visual editor - A bunch of wizards, including these for working with workflows and external data - Developer Dashboard panel for debugging Web Parts

2009. Microsoft to open Apps Marketplace for Sharepoint 2010

This is a revolutionary step for Microsoft. Christian Finn, Sharepoint product manager, has announced that the company will open App marketplace for Sharepoint 2010 - something similar to Salesforce's AppExchange. So the army of Microsoft-oriented developers will get access to the large customer base of  Sharepoint users. The App store will evolve out of The Gallery (a resource within Sharepoint 2010 that serves as a central place for templates) and will be in available for installation by admins and users (under the admin control). Besides the App marketplace, Sharepoint 2010 will make the developers happy by closer integration with Visual Studio 2010, enhanced Silverlight support, new opportunities for integration external applications and data sources (with the help of Business Connectivity Services) and large lists optimization feature.

2009. SharePoint Foundation 2010 – the new name for WSS

The suite of Web-services for creating collaborative websites Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) is renamed to SharePoint Foundation 2010. What has changed in the new version? For users - it's a new Ribbon-interface (like in Office 2007) with extensive use of Ajax and Silverlight technologies. Improved customization allow to build branded sites. Of course, the new version SharePoint Foundation 2010 is designed for use in conjunction with the upcoming Office 2010 and a new offline client SharePoint Workspace 2010 (former Groove, which was a part of MS Office). The new version will be especially useful for administrators as it contains a lot of new administrative tools. In particular, SharePoint Health Analyzer (which monitors the state of the Sharepoint-server), sandbox for websites and Windows PowerShell - new command-line interface. Developers will utilize Business Connectivity Services which enable to easily integrate Sharepoint with other business applications.

2009. Project 2010 to become a part of Sharepoint

Today at the MS Project Conference in Phoenix Microsoft previewed the next generation of its project management system MS Project 2010. And the new version is quite interesting. It's generally known, that the main lack of MS Project is that it's not suitable for collaboration. Common users never understood its interface, and it never provided collaborative tools. Microsoft fixed this problem in its own way. First, MS Project will work only on top of SharePoint 2010 Server and will be integrated in it. So users will be able to create a project site (with Gantt Chart and task list) and easily share it in Sharepoint. Second, Project 2010 will be connected to Exchange Server and all the project tasks will be available in Outlook, Outlook Web Access and Outlook Exchange for Mobile. Besides, instead of rudimentary web-client Project Web Access there will be full-functional web-interface with ribbon menu (in Office 2007 style). Microsoft developers promise that it will be as easy-to-use as Word or Excel. They also boast of the new project view that can replace Gantt Chart in the future. It's called Timeline View (it's shown above the Gantt Chart on the screenshot). The new version will also make happy software developers and financial managers. For developer teams Microsoft integrated Project 2010 with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (team development platform). And financial managers will love the  inbuilt integration of Project 2010 and MS Dynamic AX. The public beta of Project 2010 will be available closer to the end of the year. And the official release is planned for the first quarter of 2010 when the whole Office 2010 suite will appear.

2009. Microsoft Groove meets Sharepoint

Microsoft is changing the name of MS Groove 2007 - the collaboration and document sharing software for small teams working online and offline. The new name is Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010. This name change reflects the direction the product is going in. Microsoft has often referred to Groove as the same as Outlook to Exchange. The plan is for SharePoint Workspace to provide easy access to SharePoint content for a more seamless experience whether you are online or off. There will be a new set of scenarios with the Workspace designed to help you be more productive.

2007. SharePoint 2007 improves content management, social tools, search, Outlook integration

The new version of the enterprise portal solution MS Office Sharepoint Server 2007 (MOSS) is a web-based platform on top of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 that Microsoft wants to make a front-end to all other company's server products, as well as to all other enterprise applications and data sources. One of the most important innovations in SharePoint Server 2007 - is integration between intranet and extranet. It includes the web-content management tools, that previously were part of Microsoft Content Management Server. The WCM and ECM functions are enhanced with InfoPath forms, built-in workflow-engine, improved search and new social tools - Wiki, RSS and blogs. MOSS provides advanced global search for all enterprise data sources - structured and not. In particular, MOSS 2007 search engine indexes contents on company Web sites, in Exchange Server shared folders and in Lotus Notes. In addition, the new version provides social search that allows to find people by name and contact data (including the data from Active Directory and other LDAP directories) and by the sphere of expertise. You can now sync calendar, tasks and contacts between Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and SharePoint server. If you want to edit a contact or a meeting, you can do it in Outlook or in SharePoint, and the changes will be synced in both directions. Also, Outlook supports offline access to Sharepoint document libraries. You can make changes to documents when disconnected from the network, and then sync them when you connect. Other improvements in MOSS 2007 include: - SharePoint Designer 2007 - Web Editor, which allows you to modify the portal without coding - Improved mobile access - Excel Services - allows you to collaborate on spreadsheets in a Web browser - New features for managing Sharepoint Web sites and integration tools

2006. WSS 3.0 includes Blogs, Wiki and RSS

From today the new version Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 (WSS) is available for download for all Windows Server 2003 users. WSS - is a free set of Web-tools that enable to create intranet sites for collaboration and data access. WSS 3.0 includes the social features that are getting popular in the Enterprise world: blogs, Wiki and RSS. In addition, the new version provides improved access control and version control systems, improved mobile access and integration with the upcoming Microsoft Office 2007. WSS 3.0 is built on .NET Framework 2.0 and supports .NET Framework 3.0 Windows Workflow Foundation, which allows to automate workflow. Along with the release of Office 2007 (which is scheduled for 30 January 2007) the set of 40 templates for WSS 3.0 will be released. These templates will help to quickly create intranet sites for HR, sales force, project management teams, etc.

2005. Microsoft to buy Groove Networks

Microsoft will acquire Groove Networks and make Groove's founder, Ray Ozzie, a chief technical officer at the software giant. Microsoft said it will incorporate Groove's "virtual office" collaboration software into its Office line of productivity applications. Ozzie, the inventor of Lotus Notes and a collaboration guru, will report to Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect. Ozzie will be one of three chief technology officers for Microsoft. He'll be in charge of information worker software and collaboration tools, and he'll work both at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters and at Groove's current home base in Beverly, Mass., which is north of Boston. Gates lauded the advances Groove has accomplished in collaboration for Microsoft Office and said that Ozzie's expertise in other areas, notably security, authentication and peer-to-peer computing, will be brought to bear in other Microsoft products, including the forthcoming Longhorn edition of Windows.

2003. Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 becomes a part of MS Office

Today, along with the release of new MS Office 2003, Microsoft has released the new version of its enterprise portal software SharePoint Portal Server. Yes, Sharepoint Portal - is now a part of the Microsoft Office suite and has an official name Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Interestingly, the lite free edition of this product Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) has recently moved in the opposite direction - from MS Office to MS Windows Server. Microsoft reps explain that SharePoint Portal is a product and SharePoint Services is a technology. By the way, the new version of SharePoint Portal uses WSS as a platform (hence, it uses .Net Framework and MS SQL Server). As you may recall, the new version WSS 2.0, that was released this summer, added a lot of collaborative functions, so it's interesting what is the added value of SharePoint Portal. The fact is that though WSS 2.0 provides advanced collaborative features, the use of these extensions can turn into a nightmare for IT administrators. Users will create uncontrolled websites on different servers without the possibility of centralized administration and global content search. That what SharePoint Portal is for. In addition, SharePoint Portal provides a single user base, integrated with Active Directory, and each user has own access rights and a personal page. Besides, like WSS 2.0, SharePoint Portal 2003 has got close integration with other MS Office 2003 applications: Word, Excel, Outlook, MS Office Communications Server and MS Project. Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 costs from $ 20 to $ 40 per user.

2003. Microsoft included SharePoint Services in Windows Server 2003

As promised, Microsoft made the new version of  the web-collaboration extension SharePoint Team Services a part of is operating system (formerly it was bundled with MS Office). Accordingly, the name was changed to Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). The new version WSS 2.0 was recently released and is available for download as a free addition to Windows Server 2003. The main feature of the new version is that it's fully based on .NET Framework that greatly simplifies development of sites and business applications. Unlike its predecessor, WSS 2.0 uses SQL Server to store not only metadata, but also documents themselves. WSS 2.0 also provides tools to track document versions, share calendars, use messenger and create collaborative Web-sites without the need to involve IT staff. Microsoft Office 2003 provides a convenient way to access WSS directly via a new toolbar Shared Workspace. This toolbar lets you view and edit workspaces, view documents status, monitor active users and interact with them via Windows Messenger, edit documents and use many other functions in the familiar Office environment.

2001. Microsoft unveiles enterprise portal SharePoint Portal Server

Following the release of free MS Office extension for creating internal collaborative web-sites SharePoint Team Services, Microsoft has uveiled a full-fledged (and paid) enterprise portal SharePoint Portal Server 1.0, that will compete with portal solutions from IBM and Oracle. SharePoint Portal Server enables companies to create internal portals for collaboration and data access from both local and external sources. In particular, the portal includes tools for document management, search and creating sites with the help of Web Parts technology. It uses IIS web-server and Web Storage System (WSS) database that is used also in Microsoft Exchange. Users can access portals via web browser. Unlike SharePoint Team Services the portal provides more advanced tools for document management, version control, workflow management, search, access control and creating websites. SharePoint Portal Server is targeted primarily for medium and large companies and cost - $6,999 for a 25-user license.

2001. SharePoint Team Services - Web-style intranet collaboration

Today, Microsoft has unveiled a new version of its office suite Office XP, which includes an interesting tool for intranet collaboration - SharePoint Team Services. However, this is not a completely new technology but a new name for the Office Server Extensions package. But unlike its predecessor, SharePoint Team Services is a web-based application that works not in Outlook but in Internet browser. Sharepoint Team Services allows you to create an intranet or extranet sites for collaboration and data access. To simplify the site creation it uses the Web Parts technology that we have already mentioned. Sharepoint Team Services contains templates for standard pages: Document Library, Custom List, Survey, Discussion Board, Links, Announcements, Contacts. SharePoint Team Services is included in MS Office FrontPage web editor, but Microsoft promises to include it by default in the operating system Windows. And obviously, in this case, this Web-style intranet collaboration tool will become very popular. Note also that this summer, Microsoft will release a new product SharePoint Portal Server, which is the enhanced paid version of SharePoint Team Services.

2000. Groove pushes sharing ideas on the Net

Groove Networks takes the wraps off software for collaborating over the Internet. Groove brings together a number of disparate computing concepts that have been floating around the Internet for years, such as home and corporate video conferencing, the exchange of music, video and photo files, and instant messaging and chat, among other things. But rather than making consumers and businesses use several different products for these activities, Groove has bundled the functions into a single product. Groove will also sell the product to individuals and consumers. The company envisions families sharing gossip, photos, music and other information despite being separated by long distances. The software creates a shared space on a computer for files that can be shared with other people using Groove over a corporate network or across the Internet. Napster takes a similar approach to sharing music files, which are stored on individuals' PCs but accessed through the company's software connecting through a central server.

2000. Microsoft Web Parts make it easy to create internal portals

Microsoft has introduced a new technology Web Parts for SharePoint Team Services. SharePoint Team Services - is a new name for Office Server Extensions - the web extensions for Windows Server that allow companies to create internal websites aggregating data from internal and external sources and view them in Outlook. New Technology Web Parts will greatly facilitate the creation of such sites. Web Part - is a Web page block that can be reused in multiple sites. This makes it possible to use already existing blocks, created by Microsoft or other companies (for example, a CRM developer can create a web part for its CRM system and the customers will only have to insert it into a web page). Portal users can choose the parts they need and arrange them on a web page. The data exchange between the web part and third-party applications and data sources is XML-based .