SharePoint: What the heck is it? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
Many people are presenting problems to IT and being told their solution is SharePoint. While there is a whole lot of “geek speak going around, there's not enough plain talk. Here’s a primer:
What SharePoint is NOT
SharePoint is not an application. So we while we open Word and create a .docx or open Excel and create an .xlsx, we don’t open Sharepoint and create a .sptx. SharePoint is more like a place than an application. But, it’s also not a simple shared network drive. On a shared network drive, we simply have a place to store a file where it is accessible to other people.
Basically, if you think of your data and files as furniture and household goods, a network share is a storage shed, SharePoint is a 50 room mansion in which you can arrange all that stuff into meaningful, functional and accessible groupings, and rearrange them when your needs change.
What SharePoint IS
Data and documents are stored in SharePoint as Lists and Libraries. Libraries can contain documents of various kinds. "Document" means something more generic than a Word doc to SharePoint. Lists are most akin to a simple table in Excel or Access. It’s a meaningful collection of data that may be sorted, filtered or simply viewed to inform, support work processes and decisions.
These elements are arranged onto Pages which are collected into Sites. Think of a site like you would a website that has a Home, About, Contact and Order pages. On each of those pages you might see different parts containing lists, text, pictures, etc. In SharePoint the parts that make up the pages are called simply Web Parts.
Join me on February 1 for our SharePoint Team Sites: Teamwork in Action webinar. We'll take your understanding of SharePoint to the next level, empowering you to make this powerful platform help your team collabaorate and connect effectiely and efficiently. Stay tuned to Business Management Daily for registration details.