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In SharePoint 2010 Essential Training, author Simon Allardice demonstrates the full feature set in SharePoint 2010 and the necessary skills to be a SharePoint site administrator. The course shows how to use SharePoint, create sites and site collections, and plan and design sites and portals. It also covers Office integration, security and permissions, and advanced features such as document management and business intelligence.
The team site is a classic example of a SharePoint website. It doesn't mean it's the most useful, it doesn't mean it's the most important, but it's certainly one of the most common ones. If you have worked as a cook in a diner, you would know how to make eggs and bacon. If you work in SharePoint, you know how to work with a team site. It's just a common classic thing that you do in SharePoint. And like knowing how to make a common classic recipe, yes, it's a little generic. Yes, it's a little bland.
It's a little boring, but the benefit is if you know how to use a team site, well, you will know the core elements of working with any SharePoint site. So what we are looking at right now is a Team Site as it exists right after it's been created. Again, you can have multiple team sites in your organization. You can have one for every single team that exists whether that's a formalized team where dozens of people are in, or whether it's just an informal team of people that just exists for a week or two. The same way that you might have been trying some commercial services for organizing a team such as Central Desktop or Basecamp, this is SharePoint's version.
Though, instead of using a service that's out there on the public Internet, your typical team site is only available inside your own organization's Internet. So what are we looking at here? Well, of course, this is a website and there is nothing remarkable about it. And what I mean by that is just like any website out there on the Internet, you are not supposed to learn this before you start using. It's the other way around. You start using it to learn it. Nobody told you how to use eBay or Amazon, or CNN or MSNBC.
You just start exploring. You find out what's there by clicking your way around and it's the same with the team site. You will find a lot of SharePoint sites share some basic design ideas. You will find this area over here on the left -hand side below the button that says Home. This is the Quick Launch Bar. This area is called the Quick Launch Bar from historical precedence. In older versions of SharePoint, they used to have a little graphic running up the side of it that said Quick Launch. It doesn't anymore, but it's still often refereed to as the Quick Launch Bar.
But it's just navigation. It's like clicking a link on any website. It will take you somewhere. If I wonder what the link is that says Calendar, well, the best way to find out is click and see what happens. I look at that, ah, it seems to be a calendar. I click the Back button. I go back to the homepage of this team site. Navigation in SharePoint sites is flexible. Just like being on any website out there on the Internet, the primary navigation that you see doesn't have to tell you everything that exists. It's just showing you the things that it finds most useful.
Again, like any website, we have a main block of content, which in this case has a couple of different columns. One that says Welcome to your site! And the right-hand side has a stock image. The intention is of course that you replace this text, that you replace the image, you can change the color scheme, you can change the logo, you will customize this site to make it more useful, and there is the real big difference between this site and a regular Internet site. You are meant to contribute to this. You are meant to change it. You are meant to alter it and change what it does.
But to do that, we have to know our way around a little bit. While apart from the navigation that's quite obvious over here on the left-hand side, we have this blank area up here, which is known as the Ribbon. That's a little bit dull at the moment, but just know that this area can change. If I, for example, click this button that says Page, it shifts and changes into a mode with a bunch of different icons and options on it. The idea here is that the Ribbon in a SharePoint website is something like the Ribbon when you are working with a Microsoft Office program, that if you open up Word or Excel, that you have got this Ribbon up here which itself is separated into different sections that you can select to find a bunch of different options depending on what it is you are trying to do.
Now for those of you who have worked with the Ribbon in the Office programs, Office 2010 or Office 2007, you will probably know that the best approach to learning the Ribbon is not to try and go through it from A to Z, learn every single option, but just to get familiar with it and then explore it as you need to do the tasks you need to do. It's the same in SharePoint. You don't have to go and learn all the different things that the Ribbon can do. Know that you will find a lot of these options as you start to explore and do more complex things with SharePoint.
Now to switch back to the way the Ribbon looks by default, you want to find the tab that says Browse, and we see that there. Now what we are actually exploring is a little bit of navigation. This is kind of breadcrumb idea. We are in a site called the team site. We are in the homepage of it. If I were to click on the Calendar, it says, yup, you are in team site in the section that says Calendar, and I can use this to navigate back and forth through my website as well. Other common elements that you will find is that on a lot of SharePoint sites, in fact, most sites and most pages, you will see a search box over here.
We will go into that a little later. And depending on if you have the correct permissions, you may also see the Site Actions menu over here on the top left. The Site Actions menu can look very different depending on what it is I am allowed to do on this site and SharePoint is always very, very picky about who you are and what permission level you have. So by clicking the Site Actions menu, you may not have the menu at all, you may see multiple options, you may just see a few options. When we get into permissions, we will explore exactly why that happens, but know that SharePoint changes itself based on what it thinks you are allowed to do.
Now as you start to explore your sites and go deeper into the different parts of it, you will find that navigating back up to your homepage can be a little challenging when you are first exposed to SharePoint. Bear in mind that one of the options you can use is this breadcrumb trail here that we are in the Calendar inside the team site. you also have this folder button called navigate up. And if I click that, I will see another view of this page location is inside the team site, inside the Calendar. Now this is very easy what I am looking at right now, because I don't have a complex hierarchy.
I don't have a complex structure of the SharePoint site. But as it gets more complex, you might find multiple levels of depth in these buttons. When you are new to SharePoint, what's often tempting is to look at the URL, look at the address of the site to figure out where you are in the overall structure. And why is that? Well, because we are used to working with the regular Internet. We are used to say being on lynda.com or Amazon or eBay, where if I have a really long URL, I know that what I can always do is strip everything back to the .com address and go to the homepage.
Well, that's typically not going to work in SharePoint. If I do that depending on what site I am on, I certainly strip off a bunch of the URL, I might go to completely different site or even to no site at all. Depending on how yours is being configured, there may be nothing of that address. I am going to click Back and go back my team site. And you should know that the URL when you are working in SharePoint is not necessarily the way you would expect the URL to behave if all you're used to is the regular public Internet.
The reason for that is in SharePoint we could have 1000 of websites on one single server. So in a lot of cases, the actual address of our website will not just be a .com address. It will be .com/site/something or .com/region/something. it could be a very long address indeed. Now the interesting thing that is it doesn't really mean anything. A SharePoint site with a really long URL is not somehow inferior to a SharePoint site with a really short URL.
It just has to exist in a different place. Now we are going to come back to a lot of these different options that we see. You will see your name with the drop-down option over here. You will see tags that say Tags & Notes and I like It. You will see search box. Just know that whatever SharePoint site you are in, you should be able to always return to the breadcrumb idea for navigation. The navigate up button to tell you where you are in the structure of your SharePoint site, and common website ideas like this Quick Launch navigation section.
But the best way to get to grips with the team site is really to explore, the same way that's the best way to explore any website. But understand the reason for this. The idea of a SharePoint team site is that if you are building a website for your own team, and you didn't have SharePoint, you might have to say, "Well, what would I do, what would I need?" "Well, I need a homepage." "I would like a place to put some documents." "I need a place for a calendar." "I need a place for a task list" and that's what we are getting here. In the team site, you get a place called Shared Documents.
There is nothing in this one yet, because we haven't done anything with this site. We have a calendar, we have a tasks list and we are going to start exploring all of these different pieces, because team sites are a great way to explore these. Team sites are very common. They are good to learn as they contain many of the core building blocks of other SharePoint sites. While it would be perfectly acceptable never to use a team site, there is nothing magical about them, most people who use SharePoint are very, very familiar with a team site.
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