Microsoft SharePoint is a Web application platform developed by Microsoft. SharePoint comprises a multipurpose set of Web technologies that are useful for many organizations, backed by a common technical infrastructure. SharePoint has a Microsoft Office-like interface, and it is closely integrated with the Office suite. The web tools are designed to be usable by non-technical users.
SharePoint can be used to provide:
• Intranet Portals
• Document & File Management
• Social Networks
• Enterprise Search
• Business Intelligence
Microsoft SharePoint can also be used for system and process integration as well as for workflow automation. Enterprise application software often provides some SharePoint integration capability, and SharePoint also incorporates a complete development stack based on web technologies and standards-based APIs. As an application platform, SharePoint provides central management, governance, and security controls for implementation of these requirements.
The SharePoint platform integrates directly into IIS – enabling bulk management, scaling, and provisioning of servers, as is often required by large organizations or cloud hosting providers. Microsoft has two versions of SharePoint available at no cost, but it sells premium editions with additional functionality, and provides a cloud service edition as part of their Office 365 platform (previously BPOS). The product is also sold through a cloud model by many third-party vendors.
SharePoint User Interface
SharePoint Server 2010 is a web-focused system. The main interface for this, are the web browsers such as internet explorer, Mozilla Firefox etc. The main value of web-based user interface is to be accessible anywhere. In SharePoint there is no need to worry about being on a certain computer or installing any software, it just needs to be opened in a web browser and SharePoint Lists, libraries and sites can be accessed.
What is SharePoint Feature
Feature is a mechanism for deployment which drastically reduces the complexity of making site customizations and deploying upgrades on existing SharePoint sites Features can be used to package and deploy a set of SharePoint site elements such as pages, list types, list instances, site columns, content types, event handlers, master pages, page layouts, workflows, etc. we can also attach a piece of code with Features which executes when that Feature is activated/deactivated.
SharePoint Feature is a set of XML files which are deployed in the web front end servers and can be bundled within SharePoint Site Definitions or can be individually activated in the SharePoint sites. All the features bundled in the Site Definition, are activated automatically when a new site is created using the respective site definition.
Following are the major capabilities provided by SharePoint features:
• The pluggable behavior for installing or uninstalling Features within a SharePoint deployment.
• The pluggable behavior for activating or deactivating Features at a given scope within a SharePoint Deployment.
• Defined scopes of Features helps in determining where the custom code will run.
• Site administrators can activate/deactivate a Feature from the SharePoint site front end.
Same SharePoint Feature can be reused across multiple SharePoint sites depending upon the requirement which improves the component reusability.
Why to use SharePoint?
SharePoint can be mapped to access documents in a shared folder. You can easily access your documents and files from your desktop or any Microsoft Office application. Access SharePoint documents online from any computer, without using VPN.
Set alerts to be notified of changes to documents. Link items (Calendar, Contacts, and documents) with Outlook. Site administrators and contributors can determine user permissions for document libraries, folders and documents:
• Create private sites for different departments or committees that only members can see.
• Restrict sites for communicating announcements or events to a department.
• Retrieve documents that might have accidentally been deleted in a shared folder
• Use versioning to track different document versions.
• Use versioning to track different document versions.
Microsoft SharePoint for Mobile Devices
For a website capability of it to be browsed through a mobile device has now become a must have feature. SharePoint also provides this capability for the site developed by using it. It makes the site optimized for readability and ease of use on smartphones and other mobile devices such as tablets. SharePoint Server 2013 offers new, optimized viewing experiences across different mobile platforms. Additionally, several new features were added to help improve both worker productivity and usability on the device. This functionality includes the following:
Optimized mobile browser experience
SharePoint Server 2013 offers improvements to the mobile browser experience with the introduction of a new contemporary view. Depending on the mobile browser, users have one of the following browsing options:
1. Contemporary view- This view offers an optimized mobile browser experience to users and renders in HTML5.
2. Classic view- This view renders in HTML format or similar markup languages and provides backward compatibility for mobile browsers that cannot render in the new contemporary view.
3. Full-screen UI- There is also the ability to have a full desktop view of a SharePoint site on a smartphone device.
Push notifications have become staple features for mobile applications and the devices that support them, and hence Microsoft is now supporting this with SharePoint 2013. This feature requires adoption though from 3rd party developers or internal custom development. The end result is that the mobile device will be able to receive notifications from SharePoint lists and sites.
Geolocation Field Type Support
SharePoint Server 2013 introduces a new geolocation field type that can be used in a list. It can now make lists “location-aware” and display latitude and longitude coordinates through Bing Maps. An entry is typically seen as a pushpin on the map view. Although there are several ways to use this geolocation field, one key scenario is for mobile application development. Users can track or log location-specific data while they work remotely from the corporate office. Alternatively, the application can help them locate points of interest when it performs offsite functions.
Business intelligence content
SharePoint Server 2013 enables a user to view certain kinds of dashboard content. This includes PerformancePoint reports and scorecards, and Excel Services reports in iOS 5.0 Safari browsers on iPad devices.
Office Web Apps
In SharePoint Server 2010, Office Web Apps Server provides browser-based companions for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. When Office Web Apps Server is installed on SharePoint Server 2010, Office Mobile Web Apps is also installed on the server. Office Mobile Web Apps enables users to open documents in the mobile web application by using a mobile browser. With SharePoint Server 2013, Office Web Apps Server is no longer a companion product installed on a computer that is running SharePoint Server. Instead, Office Web Apps Server is a new stand-alone server product that still provides mobile browser-based viewers for these applications. These viewers called Word Mobile Viewer, Excel Mobile Viewer, and PowerPoint Mobile Viewer are optimized to render documents for phones. When integrated with SharePoint Server 2013, a user can enjoy enhanced viewing experiences when interacting with documents on the phone.
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