- Document Libraries: Shared online document management facility. Can replace fileserver-style document sharing, but provides considerable additional document management functionality.
- Deep MS Office Integration: Microsoft Office and SharePoint are designed to work together, and SharePoint’s document management capabilities work seamlessly with the Office suite.
- Versioning: SharePoint document libraries can be configured to automatically maintain a history of the versions of a particular document. The latest version is always available, but previous versions can quickly be viewed or restored. No more fussing with ugly naming conventions and having directories cluttered with dozens of versions of the same file.
- Metadata: Files in SharePoint – whether Office documents or other files like PDFs, CAD documents, images and multimedia files – can be ‘tagged’ with additional metadata. Examples include author, date created, title, approval status, expiry date and so on – you are free to set up whatever metadata fields will be helpful to your business.
- Retention Policies: To prevent clutter and reduce storage costs, SharePoint allows you to configure automated document retention, archival and disposal policies.
- Workflow: SharePoint provides powerful workflow tools which you can use to implement business processes and sign-off procedures. The workflow engine provides simple approval mechanisms out-of-the-box, but with SharePoint Designer offers a sophisticated and customiseable workflow capability.
- Image Management: SharePoint provides image libraries, which provide all the capabilities of document libraries, but with built-in thumbnails, previews and slideshow capabilities.
- Offline Use/Synchronisation: SharePoint can syncronise folders, document libraries and other content for offline use with Outlook Client 2007 and above.
Structured Information Management
SharePoint’s Lists feature provides built-in support for a range of structured information types, including electronic forms and tabular database views. Built-in List types include:
- Document libraries and picture libraries discussed above
- Calendars, which can be syncronised with Microsoft Outlook
- Contacts, which can be syncronised with Microsoft Outlook
- Links lists
- Task trackers, which can be syncronised with Microsoft Outlook
- Issue trackers
Each of the SharePoint list types is highly customiseable; you can add fields, rearrange them, incorporate them into workflow processes.
SharePoint also allows the creation of entirely-custom Lists; here the possibilities are endless – FAQs, product lists, asset trackers and so on. Excel spreadsheets can be imported to create shared Lists; every column in the spreadsheet becomes a field in the List.
Unstructured Information Management
- Blogs: SharePoint provides an easy-to-use blog mechanism, fully supporting standard blog features such as comments, permalinks and RSS syndication.
- Discussion Forums: SharePoint provides a built-in discussion forum capability which may be organised into flat or threaded views.
- Wikis: SharePoint also has a built-in wiki feature to support collaborative document authoring. Integration and Customisation
- Web parts: SharePoint pages are composed of web parts, which can easily be added, deleted and rearranged on pages – from within the browser – by authorised users. There is a wide range of ready-to-use web parts built-in.
- REST and ATOM Data Feeds: SharePoint lists and libraries may be consumed by other applications as XML data feeds in addition to the Web Service API.
- SharePoint Designer: Users who have access to SharePoint designer can perform significant customisation – look-and-feel, workflow, navigation and more.
- XML/XSLT Web Parts: The built-in XML web part allows external XML data feeds to be rendered on SharePoint pages. Point it to the datasource and provide the XSL/T, and the web part will render the latest data as XHTML in the context of the SharePoint page.
- Role-Based Permissions: SharePoint provides comprehensive web-based functionality for managing users, roles and permission. You have control over which portions of your content are kept confidential, and which can be opened up to wider audiences.
- Sitewide Search: Quick keyword search across lists and document contents
- Support for Accessibility Standards
- Cross-Browser Support
- Mobile Connectivity
- High-Availability Architecture