Tuesday 29 April 2008

SharePoint as an application platform!

I've previously talked about the potential of Exchange and CRM as application development platforms and how the support of a provisioning platform opens these up for ISV application development.

What I haven't mentioned is the powerful and unifying platform of SharePoint;
  • Sharepoint use a Windows platform running SQL Server and IIS6.
  • SharePoint is a .NET application and provides a powerful platform for building .NET applications & solutions
  • SharePoint is widely deployed and adopted by information workers providing a familiar interface
  • Close integration with Microsoft Office applications
These are a number of features that Sharepoint does pretty well now, these being;
  • SharePoint & WSS are pretty well known for their collaboration features - document libraries are probably the most widely used feature of SharePoint. With WSS3, the search functions improved to support this properly too
  • Support for forms & InfoPath in SharePoint (MOSS) and business process automation, including workflows, which don’t require MOSS.
  • Of course, SharePoint provides an intranet/extranet solutions with a Portal into other sites, and the personal/social elements of My Site
  • The core functionality of document management is OK and supports basic requirements for compliance and information security. Note: there is no formal compliance support in Sharepoint. Beyond this the reporting and auditing features do not stand up and there is no support for HSM.
  • The business intelligence (BI) features have improved greatly with the use of Excel Services, KPIs, and the Business Data Connector (BDC). Excel Services is pretty cool and renders Excel worksheets including charts and pivot tables, in SharePoint sites.

We are going to be developing some concept services that use the features of SharePoint, Exchange and CRM. If you're interested in this, or developing your own applications, see http://www.saas.co.uk/

thanks, Dan

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