One of my biggest fascinations stemming from childhood has been the history of ideas, in particular; finding the links between old and new concepts. The ‘idea’ of renaissance chivalry rests with the ability to foresee other’s needs and respond appropriately. While fairly straightforward in meaning, the concept usually takes a lifetime to master with constant refinement throughout the journey.
The SharePoint Journey
Taking a similar journey toward refinement with a constant eye towards conscientiousness is Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Its ability to foresee potential issues and respond accordingly is truly astonishing. Since its inception in 2003, the platform has made remarkable changes that have taken into account the real life issues facing current business users and IT professionals.
The First Step
The first major step towards sophistication is the replacement of Shared Services Provider (SSP) with Service Applications. What’s the big deal? The burden is removed. Originally, your web application (associated with the SSP) carried with it the burden of all the shared services in that SSP. SharePoint realised your pain and has acted appropriately by giving you a service application so that each web application has a ‘service application group’ so that you can just add what you need and leave the rest alone. With a sturdier construction, SharePoint 2010 is robust.
The Second Step
The second major step towards refinement is the communities’ features. Sure, SharePoint 2007 had people profiles, but nothing quite like SharePoint 2010 which includes: an organisation browser, micro-blogging, photos and presence, plus much more. These new features define Web 2.0 inter-connectivity and helps users connect personally (i.e. profiles) and professionally (i.e. enterprise wikis). With more advanced features, SharePoint 2010 is mature.
The Final Step
Finally, the move that has shifted SharePoint 2010 from bloke to gentleman is the manner in which it treats content; the backbone of businesses. Foreseeing the needs of business users and developers alike, SharePoint 2010 has responded with many new features such as: flexible records management, document sets, and shared content types and managed metadata service. The benefit of all this is content that uses more consistent terminology; search results that use consistent attributes yielding a better, stronger search query and data that is easier to organise as sets in a site. With less fretting over data management, SharePoint 2010 is quite refreshing.
There you have it; a journey towards refinement that embodies the renaissance notion of chivalry by foreseeing one’s needs and responding with an appropriate solution. So when someone asks you for pepper at dinner and you pass the salt along too, consider SharePoint 2010 to be your technological counterpart by passing on advanced content management capabilities, stronger search, and deeper communities along with the platform which was built for any business solution.