MSS IT Training Series - Manic Mondays - Microsoft SharePoint
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. Launched in 2001, SharePoint is primarily sold as a document management and storage system, but the product is highly configurable and its usage varies substantially among organizations.
SharePoint is Microsoft's collaboration platform, similar to Google Drive, yet much more. It's a place where team members can communicate, exchange data, and work together; a shared file repository, blog, web content management system, and an intranet.
SharePoint as an Improved File Drive
Some years ago, cutting-edge Microsoft collaboration had two components: Exchange, which powered email and shared calendars, and network file drives. These drives, which you might remember had drive letters such as "S" and "X," housed files your whole team could access, but only one person could edit them at a time. As a workaround, you could copy them to your local machine and edit there. This would sometimes lead to confusion, lots of overwriting, and cryptic file names.
Microsoft created SharePoint, which provided a few advantages:
- File Versioning: This means you could have a single "Our Important Report.doc" file. SharePoint would manage the "revision 1," "revision 2," etc. It even provided a commenting function, so you could describe what changes that revision introduced, e.g. "this contains Aaron's Comments".
- Check-in/Check-out: The ability for a user to lock a file from changes by another user. If someone attempted to access a file another user has checked out, SharePoint would prompt them to download it locally, but also warn that any changes made may be out of sync with whatever the current user is doing. This provided a simple workflow where at least someone should wait until the other person is finished. More recent versions even offer to notify a person when the file is freed up.
- Powerful Indexing and Searching: This became a cornerstone feature as the world grew accustomed to Googling everything. Gone were the days where you'd need to dig down through a dozen levels of folders and hope you remembered them just right.
- A Web interface: This combined with the improved search made SharePoint a one-stop shop for collaborating on enterprise content.
- Integration with Windows Apps: The ability to get a file from SharePoint using the File > Open dialogs seen in Windows programs such as Microsoft Office.
In a clever move, Microsoft also retained the old file drive concept, meaning you could open an Excel file from your "X" drive, modify it, then save it, just as before. However, in the background, SharePoint would check the file out for you, then check it back in and version it for you. These features still exist and work well, but SharePoint is more than just a fancy file drive today.
|Event Date||03-28-2022 11:45 am|
|Event End Date||03-28-2022 12:45 pm|
|Cut Off Date||03-28-2022 11:00 am|
Gary J. Hires