A platform from Microsoft that is used to create intranets (internal Web sites) for team collaboration, blogs, wikis and company news. It is also commonly deployed to extend certain information to customers via password-protected Web sites.
Working in tandem with Microsoft's SQL Server, IIS Web server and Windows Server, SharePoint is an extensive offering that interfaces with Microsoft applications as well as third-party apps via a large group of SharePoint programming interfaces (APIs). SharePoint Online provides much of the functionality of a local SharePoint server while hosted in the cloud.
Why Microsoft SharePoint Faces a Challenging Future
Many enterprises use and like SharePoint. Microsoft likes it, too, because it's one of the company's fastest-growing product lines. But making enterprises support separate cloud and on-premises versions and telling SharePoint app developers not to work in C# and ASP.NET may make for a rocky relationship as time goes by.
SharePoint is one of the fastest-growing products in the history of Microsoft. It is a lot of things to a lot of people, and an entire industry has grown up around SharePoint because of its success. Its future, however, is less rosy. What's more, Microsoft's design decisions also make this future murky.
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Who uses SharePoint and why?
Microsoft SharePoint enables organizations of virtually any size—from a family of four sharing photos to a corporation of 10,000 sharing data -- to complete mission-critical tasks in a cutting-edge, collaborative workplace environment that is both flexible and secure.SharePoint Foundation 2010 is the answer for collaboration within your business, your home, or a community group. It’s user-friendly and great for sharing anything: file storage, contacts, calendars, a wiki, an intranet site, photo albums, schedules, sales leads—anything. Clearly, while some SharePoint customers represent smaller organizations, deployments are also popular among mid-sized organizations, large departments and even large enterprises, which typically use SharePoint Server 2010. According to a 2009 survey by the consultancy InfoTrends, almost half of mid- to large-sized enterprises use SharePoint—rates that beat all of the other document and content platforms such as EMC, IBM, Open Text, Oracle, Hyland and others. Of these SharePoint customers, the largest companies create more than 100 SharePoint sites every month and already have more than 200 sites to manage on average (about a quarter of which are inactive or not in regular use). Although SharePoint use varies considerably across and within company size segments, nearly all organizations that have deployed it rely on it primarily for basic collaboration and document management. Other key uses include "team" site creation, network file storage and basic workflows (i.e., review and approvals). If SharePoint can meet the toughest, mission-critical standards of these companies, imagine what it can do for your organization.