SharePoint can be a lot of different things, based on who is using it. A developer would say it was a platform; users would say it's a consistent web interface for collaboration, productivity, and communication; and an IT admin would say it is a server product. Here is a look at what SharePoint is from the user's perspective: sites, navigation, consistent design, consistent tools, lists, and libraries.
- [Instructor] What is SharePoint? It depends on the perspective of the person using it. For users, it's a consistent web interface that's easy to access, use, search, navigate, and collaborate within that complements the way the users work. If SharePoint gets in the way of their productivity, they will not use it and SharePoint not being used is not successful. What is SharePoint from the administrator's point of view? It's a collaborative platform build on a base of Microsoft products.
It has to be installed on Windows Servers because it uses the server components to function, such as Internet Information Services for its Web Front End, DNS and TCP/IP protocols for web browsing, and Active Directory for default authentication. On the back-end it depends on Microsoft SQL Server to store configuration data and all the data and files the users add to SharePoint. It also has added on service applications, which increase SharePoint's functionality.
And, in the end, it has endless capacity to be modified with features, solutions, apps, and templates. From an IT perspective, SharePoint is just a Web Front End with a database on the back-end, some service applications, all running on Windows Servers. It's the products that SharePoint depends on that define its capabilities, limitations, and weaknesses. And, as an IT professional, you might be tempted, knowing these capabilities, limitations, and weaknesses, to design and implement SharePoint so that SharePoint technically is functioning optimally.
However, that may not necessarily be the best environment for the users. SharePoint's success depends on the success of the users. Their needs should drive your plan. And it's that need to balance what is required by the users with SharePoint's requirements and limitations that make it necessary to plan.
- What is SharePoint?
- Establishing SharePoint hardware and software requirements
- Collecting user and business requirements
- Designing the SharePoint architecture
- Planning for governance