SharePoint 2010: Five New and Improved Features

You may not need all the features SharePoint 2010 has to offer, but advances in areas such as social media, offline access and better CRM and ERP integration make it worth a look. Here's a rundown of what's new and/or improved.

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Thu, January 28, 2010

CIO

Sharepoint, Microsoft's (MSFT) one-stop "content and collaboration" platform, has been around since 2001. But it didn't see widespread adoption until SharePoint 2007's debut and the integration with social software, such as blogs, wikis and social networking Web sites.

With SharePoint 2010, due in the first half of this year and available only in 64-bit, one of Microsoft's main goals is to improve on these social networking tools as well as provide better offline access, easier integration with line-of-business software like CRM and ERP, and improved search.

And then, of course, tie it all together.

The 2007 version of SharePoint (known as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or MOSS 2007) was a breakthrough of sorts because of its Web 2.0 add-ons and its eventual offering to all Microsoft's customers as an online version in November 2008.

SharePoint 2010 MySites
MySites in SharePoint 2010 have been updated to make profile pages more personalized, a la Facebook.

Yet, as is usually the case, Microsoft was forced to make the change due to the rising tide of Web-based Office alternatives, such as Google (GOOG) Apps and those from niche Web 2.0 companies such as Socialtext, SixApart and Jive. Last November, Microsoft cut prices for its BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services) suite, which includes online versions of both SharePoint and Exchange, to curb the threat of free and low-cost offerings.

[ For complete coverage on Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system -- including hands-on reviews, video tutorials and advice on enterprise rollouts -- see CIO.com's Windows 7 Bible. ]

Microsoft also wisely partnered with young companies like wiki maker Atlassian and RSS (Real Simple Syndication) vendor NewsGator to incorporate more social technologies into MOSS 2007. Other enterprise social media companies like SocialText (wikis) and Jive (blogs and wikis) made their products compatible with SharePoint as a necessity.

And now arrives SharePoint 2010, with its many confusing versions, Office-like ribbon interface and ability to run in multiple browsers. And it also offers many more social networking tools than MOSS 2007.

In a recent Forrester report titled "SharePoint Server 2010: An Evolutionary Step Toward Content-Centric Middleware," principal analyst Rob Koplowitz writes that while the social technologies built into MOSS 2007 "have been effective, SharePoint 2010 improves on native social tools" and other features.

SharePoint 2010 Overkill for Some, Forrester Says
Ten Things You Need to Know About SharePoint Server 2010
First Look: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Beta

Not all companies will need all of SharePoint 2010's new features, but here are five new areas worth noting, according to Forrester.

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