Since the first release of Microsoft SharePoint software in 2001, the product has been continuously extended, updated, and improved. As seen in part II of our SharePoint history, the year 2003 was an important stage on the way to a collaborative platform. The release of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) in 2006 was a milestone for real, on demand collaboration. With SharePoint 2007 even small and medium-sized enterprises were were able to use important features of corporate IT solutions that were previously only available to major corporations, such as web and enterprise content management, collaboration and business intelligence. SharePoint 2007 was a major step forward for users of enterprise CMS.
Like its predecessor software — SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) 2003/WSS 2.0 — the central idea of SharePoint 2007 was to connect people, processes and information.
Especially noteworthy were the following features:
SharePoint 2007 initiated the era of web 2.0 for Microsoft. The incorporation of workspaces, task lists, forums, survey tools, blogs, RSS and Wikis provided a level quality of collaboration and knowledge management. Users were able to combine the interactivity and easy to navigate GUI of Windows with the ease of deployment and off-site access the web provided. This gave them more control over the way they accessed data.
2. Single Sign-on
SharePoint 2007 implemented a one-login system for all areas of the SharePoint-based intranet. With all documents, data, and other information centralized in one single, secure site, users no longer needed to leave their browser to access their company’s knowledge reservoirs. And this simple, flexible system cut down the need for IT support, letting computer novices and mid-level users use the same system as experienced users.
3. Web and Enterprise Content Management
The release’s key features were the features of web and enterprise content management under the SharePoint 2007 platform. With such features as revision control, check-in/check-out function, metadata and workflows, as well as governance structures, role-based access and several different means for document workup, like folders, libraries and lists, SharePoint 2007 was the publishing tool with extra performance. These features brought in key operating procedures like providing, editing and transferring records and forms into the intranet that are easily usable for the masses. In this manner SharePoint 2007 provided the means of an automatized document lifecycle management.
It also allowed for central storage of emails and official records. SharePoint 2007 automatically crawled file shares, Lotus Note repositories, and other instructed database repositories, using Business Data Catalog technology to provide searchable metadata and databases.
4. Business Intelligence
Because of its Excel interface, SharePoint 2007 became a business intelligence tool as well. It brought utility for integrating business applications and a (raw) data tray into the dashboard enabled monitoring key performance indicators through SQL Server Analysis Services, SharePoint lists, and manually entered information, as well as from within Excel. Additionally, SharePoint let users create and modify Excel documents through their web browser, as well as publish Excel documents to SharePoint directly from the desktop application.
Taking in these considerable developments into account, SharePoint 2007 can be justifiably characterized as a milestone, especially in the domains of web and enterprise CMS. SharePoint 2007 made use of then revolutionary web technologies to extend utility for users in an internal network. It gave small business the opportunity to utilize technology that was previously only in the hands of large businesses that could afford a dedicated IT sttaff. Essentially, it brought what had once been out of reach to the masses. In a sense, SharePoint 2007 was a democratization of enterprise content systems technology.