Alternative A-Microsoft Sharepoint Services

Submitted By dparke44
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Pages: 6

Alternative A- Microsoft SharePoint’s Services
SharePoint extends Exchange Server
If you're using Exchange Server to handle your email traffic, SharePoint can greatly simplify distribution. You can create a SharePoint site as a singular point for receiving Exchange traffic and, at a stroke, have de facto distribution of that traffic to a particular group or groups, with all the security and membership built-in. By setting up a public folder for SharePoint in Exchange, Exchange's work is done—SharePoint pulls from the folder and does the work.
SharePoint sites are highly customizable
SharePoint Services comes fully integrated with FrontPage 2003, so all of FrontPage's WYSIWYG Web editing tools are available for use in crafting SharePoint sites. FrontPage, you can leverage the utility of Web Parts, modular chunks of code you can re-use in SharePoint sites, to grab live data from a broad range of possible sources. You can allow users to control these modules of code by inserting Web Part zones in your sites, enabling sophisticated drag-and-drop controls. You have complete control over style through XSLT, which you can manipulate either directly or through FrontPage—and you can employ conditional formatting if it desired.
SharePoint extends InfoPath
InfoPath 2003 is Microsoft's desktop application technology for integrated forms management and data transport. InfoPath is a powerful and underrated technology in itself, and both its XML backbone and forms-friendliness mesh well with SharePoint.
Specifically, you’ll find it useful to publish InfoPath forms directly to a SharePoint library. In such a library, forms can be stored and shared, and accessible to working teams leveraging SharePoint as a collaborative tool.
With SharePoint Portal, you can leverage SharePoint Portal Web services to enhance the utility of InfoPath forms for your desktop community, by accessing information in other systems within your organization (or from outside) and populating forms with it as needed.
Metadata can be used to create dynamically parsed storage systems
Metadata is critical to the SharePoint Server concept, and comes in several ways. With metadata you can effectively create customized search arguments that permit you to organize information dynamically, and to use search criteria from one document library to retrieve information from another.
You can also do the traditional hierarchical folders in organizing your document libraries, if it's appropriate. Instead, you can create metadata lookups that can not only be used as organizational keys for documents in one library, but can be used as search arguments to locate documents in other libraries. In this way, you can create searchable document pools with effectively dynamic organization, not only searchable but re-organizable without any physical manipulation of the documents themselves.
SharePoint can pull data from external databases and other data sources
Web Parts and Web Part architecture (available to your SharePoint development by way of FrontPage 2003 or ASP.NET) can become a powerful component of your SharePoint sites. In particular, Data View Web Parts allow you to add views to your sites from a variety of data sources. You can create views specific to your SharePoint sites and link views together. Data sources can be databases, Web services, or any XML source (InfoPath documents, etc.).
Leverage Excel for data management
Exporting data to Excel is well-supported in SharePoint and makes graphing and printing convenient (via the Print with Excel and Chart with Excel options). But it's also possible to export data to Excel just for the sake of manageability. The Excel Export function creates an Excel Web query linking to the original data. In this way, you can create spreadsheets that will accept data, and then push that data to SharePoint.
This can be done by generating an Excel spreadsheet, then linking the spreadsheet to SharePoint (by using Export and Link to