What is SharePoint 2010?

I usually respond to that question with one of my own. Do you want the two hour answer or then ten hour answer? I’m not entirely joking when I say that. SharePoint is huge. It can do a wide range of different things and be used in an enormous number of scenarios for companies of any size in any industry.

SharePoint can be used as a web content management system for highly structured and branded corporate intranets or rich internet sites. And it can be used as a flexible solution for quick, ad hoc site creation based on out of the box templates.

SharePoint can be used as a records management system with rigid policies that have to comply with regulations. And it can be used for informal document sharing spaces to put content to be collaborated on in an unstructured manner.

SharePoint can be a business intelligence front-end with rich dashboards, charting and graphical capabilities. You can create an interface layer to a data warehouse that stores a wealth of information, surfacing it in a visual way that allows you to interpret and draw insight from your data without being overwhelmed.

SharePoint can be used as a search solution for sites in an intranet, documents within an organisation and business data stored in a range of different systems. You can use SharePoint to search multiple systems, surfacing the results in a single interface that will be familiar and easy to use for anyone who’s used internet search engines. On top of that, SharePoint’s people search capabilities can be used to connect to subject matter experts.

SharePoint can be  social networking product. If the thought of social networking inside a business scares you, it can be a business networking solution. It allows people to follow the work their colleagues are doing and keep up to speed with activities of shared interest.

SharePoint can be used as a project management foundation, providing task list and organisation elements so that people can keep up to speed. It can also be used as a portal for a full-blown project management solution using Microsoft Project. It can be used for formal projects or to allow people to collaborate and interact in a fun and informal manner.

SharePoint can be a framework for building line-of-business applications or for surfacing other applications. It can be used for business process automation and simplifying data entry through the workflow and electronic forms capabilities.

SharePoint can be a portal for surfacing existing applications or allowing employees to access information in a range of sources. It can be a portal for new, highly-interactive Silverlight applications. It can be a portal into the organisation for partners and customers.

SharePoint can be a developer platform, supported by Microsoft developer tools and its inbuilt extensibility features. Or it can be used to support no-code solutions built in SharePoint Designer, Visio or third-party applications.

SharePoint can be used to play rich media over the web. It can be used to store, manage and share rich media content. And it can be used to broadcast PowerPoint presentations over the intranet.

SharePoint content can be available online in document centres, records centres, repositories and sites. Or it can be stored offline in SharePoint Workspace to be worked out without any network connection.

SharePoint is available on premise or in the cloud. It can be hosted by Microsoft via SharePoint Online and BPOS or it can be hosted by a range of Microsoft partners with their own expertise.

SharePoint is supported by hundreds of partners who may have their own niche specialities in industry, geography or feature set.

It can be used out of the box or built on to turn it into a unique solution to a specific business need.

That’s the short answer…

Comments (9)

  1. sam says:

    It's wonderful 🙂

    I actually had no idea about this.. It's simply awesome..

    Thanks a lot !!

  2. lisa says:

    i have to work on sharepoint for work and don't know where to start

  3. SharePoint2010Master says:

    Nice explanation. I have tried to cover something from my side.


  4. mike says:

    A good way to learn about sharepoint is to get a site and start messing around.. you can get one from any sharepoint host like http://www.portalfronthosting.com and explore.

  5. Bijay says:

    Wonderful article. Try to give more !!!



    SharePoint 2010 Blogs – http://www.fewlines4biju.com/…/SharePoint%202010

  6. Shankar says:

    same here Lisa, starting a new project at work with Sharepoint. First time workin on it..no clue at all and just checking out the basic definition here

  7. nevermind says:

    It's a strange thing when people can't easily describe what their product is or what its purpose is. But they won't hesitate to describe all of its functionality… which makes my eyes roll back.

    This is one of those "why did they make it so complicated?" products. If you can't explain it, how can you expect us to use or support it on the LAN? This is what happens when blowhard Marketing types take over a project, not realizing the effect on the end-user.


  8. ramu says:

    Good and Straight forward explanation.

  9. shirley says:

    I was a SharePoint 2010 user but recently have migrated to SharePoint Foundation 2013 edition. I got signed up for free of cost with http://www.cloudappsportal.com and it has been really helpful for me till now.

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