Monday, October 22, 2012

What is SharePoint and why we need it?

Has anybody ever asked you “Please tell me something about SharePoint”? If yes, I hope that you must have said something like this: “It is a web based tool used in companies” or “It is used for sharing data”. Am I Right? Well, these answers are correct but still more simplification is required to understand what actually SharePoint is and why it is required. So today in this article I will tell you all about SharePoint.

SharePoint is basically a web base application which is developed by Microsoft for sharing and managing data in companies. Let me explain you with the help of an example: Suppose there is an organization having different departments and of course each department shares data with each other. Usually departments share data through emails but what if the data contain large number of documents and it is not possible to send it through mail. In this case they put their data in a shared folder in one computer. Is it the safe way of sharing your confidential data? No, definitely not. So here SharePoint comes in to picture.

SharePoint is used for content management, document management and also maintain backup of all the data even if your computer gets crashed. In other words:
  1. It allows individuals in an organization to create and manage their collaborative websites.
  2. Each individual group can have their own collaborative website.
  3. It allows people to work together.
  4. Creation of collaborative site is easy if you know MS Office, Windows and web browsing.
There are two key component of SharePoint:
  1. Windows SharePoint Services (WSS): It is the core component of SharePoint and provides document management and collaboration tools.
  2. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS): It provides Personalization, Enterprise content management etc.

Need of SharePoint: SharePoint is mostly used in IT companies, banks, airlines, retail industries and government sectors.
  1. Manage large amount of documents: Every organization keeps track of their files and document. Since it’s really difficult to manage multiple files and documents manually so using SharePoint you can store your file in a central site.
  2. Manage information efficiently: Using SharePoint you can effectively manage your information. SharePoint provides many tools to manage information such as information storage, version control, issue log, document check in/out etc.
  3. Sharing: Since it is difficult to share large amount of information through email therefore SharePoint allows you to store your information at one site that other members can also access.
  4. Eliminate location barrier: Using SharePoint you can connect and collaborate with your team members and other individuals even if you are at some different location.
  5. Report creation is easy: You can create relevant reports using SharePoint features like project task information, interactive summary of a project etc.
  6. Integration with MS Office: It is easier for you to work on SharePoint due to SharePoint integration with familiar tools like MS Office Windows etc.
So this is all about SharePoint and hopefully now you know what actually SharePoint is. Next time if somebody asks you about SharePoint, you know what to say.
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