SharePoint is a web application framework and platform developed by Microsoft. First launched in 2001, SharePoint integrates intranet, content management and document management, but recent versions have broader capabilities.
SharePoint comprises a multipurpose set of Web technologies backed by a common technical infrastructure. By default, SharePoint has a Microsoft Office-like interface, and it is closely integrated with the Office suite. The web tools are intended for non-technical users. SharePoint can provide intranet portals, document & file management, collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, enterprise search, and business intelligence. It also has system integration, process integration, and workflow automation capabilities.
Enterprise application software (e.g. ERP or CRM packages) often provide some SharePoint integration capability, and SharePoint also incorporates a complete development stack based on web technologies and standards-based APIs. As an application platform, SharePoint provides central management, governance, and security controls for implementation of these requirements.The SharePoint platform integrates directly into IIS – enabling bulk management, scaling, and provisioning of servers, as is often required by large organizations or cloud hosting providers.
Organizations use SharePoint to create websites. You can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device.
The SharePoint Wheel :
In Microsoft advertising material the “SharePoint Wheel” describes what they consider the SharePoint’s tools can facilitate inside organizations. The wheel refers to six outcomes:
- Sites: A site is a contextual work environment. Once SharePoint is configured, these sites can be created without any requirement for specialized knowledge. A context for a site may be organization-wide, or it may be specific to an individual team or group.
- Communities: A community is a place for group communication. Communities can occur around any context, and typically develop around either shared knowledge, or shared activities (such as collaboration).
- Content: SharePoint provides document management and storage for work items.
Search: Look for relevant communities, content, people, or sites: search is based on keywords, refinement, and content analysis.
- Insights: Information from any part of the organization can be surfaced inside useful contexts, providing information that can improve effectiveness.
- Composites: SharePoint enables no-code integration of data, documents and processes to provide composite applications (“mash-ups” based on internal data).
- Intranet portals
- Enterprise content and document management
- Extranet portal
- Internet sites
- Software framework