SharePoint 2010: Overview and What’s New

Disclaimer: This post is based on notes taken while watching a conference session. For that reason, it may contain incorrect information or data that I might have misunderstood.

SharePoint Conference 2009 is full of really interesting sessions which makes it very hard to choose which ones to attend. The first one I attended, after the keynotes, was Arpan Shah’s SharePoint 2010 Overview, and here are my notes.

The new name of the product is Microsoft SharePoint 2010 (no longer has the Office stamp) and it has a new tag line: “The Business Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise and the Web”.

The new SharePoint Pie (the value proposition chart presented by Microsoft since SharePoint 2007) has a new set of slices:

  • Sites
  • Communities
  • Content
  • Search
  • Insight
  • Composites

Sites

  • New User Experience
    • The new Ribbon UI makes the interaction easier
    • The wiki syntax is used all over the place
    • The new SharePoint Workspace 2010 (previously know as Office Groove) is a complete rich client for SharePoint and allows users to take contents offline
  • Anywhere Access
    • SharePoint can be accessed through mobile devices either using a specific Windows Mobile client or any browser available with the device
    • The Office Web Apps allow users to view and edit office documents using only the browser, and supporting real-time simultaneous multiple user collaboration
    • SharePoint is cross-browser compatible which means you will have the same experience using Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.
  • Accessibility has been improved and SharePoint now supports the WCAG 2.0 standard

Communities

  • Focus on capturing informal knowledge
    • Enterprise wiki, a new and improved wiki site template, is at the center of this concept. It supports page templates and approval workflows but contents are edited with simple wiki functionality.
    • SharePoint supports definition of taxonomies, either folksonomies (defined by users) or corporate-defined taxonomies.
    • Everything in SharePoint can be tagged and rated using special columns.
    • Every item has a noteboard where each user can leave notes and comments
  • Social connections
    • The user profile has been enhanced
    • The new activity feed allows you to see everything your colleagues are doing
    • The organization viewer is a Silverlight-based application that shows where each user is in the organization chart
    • The profile also shows all the content you have created in SharePoint and all the tags you have used (using a tag cloud)
  • Blogging has been improved
    • The new template looks a lot better
    • Supports rich clients such as Live Writer and Microsoft Word
    • You can use REST to retrieve live contents (such as Excel Charts) and post them on the blog

Content

  • Content is user-centric.
  • There is a new feature called Content Organizer that allows rule-based routing of documents (something similar to what existed for records management, but now more powerful and available for all document libraries).
  • Copying from Word maintains all formatting.
  • Support for video streaming, including look ahead and bit throttling.

Search

  • Improved relevance and search results interface
  • Support for wildcards in search queries
  • Support for phonetic search in people search queries
  • Use of navigators allow you to search with ever typing a search query (really cool stuff)

Insight

  • Data interaction is now much easier and powerful
    • Excel Services with REST API
    • Business Connectivity Services (BCS) allow read and write operations over external data sources, using a typical list interface
    • SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio 2010 can be used to graphically create the BCS entities in SharePoint (no more XML editing)
    • Access Services allows you to publish an Access Database to SharePoint and interact with it using only the browser
  • Decision making is the central part of Business Intelligence
    • PerformancePoint Services bring powerful dashboards and analytic controls to SharePoint
    • The new Chart Web Part (based on Dundas Charts) is very flexible and a great addition to the out-of-the-box web parts.

Composites

  • Composites are no-code user-driven solutions
    • Automation and data validation with Forms Services
    • Visio Services can be used for diagram interaction
    • Access Services add support for database interaction through the browser
    • Business Connectivity Services allow access to LOB data
  • Sandbox solution deployment allows code to be executed in a controlled environment
    • InfoPath forms with code-behind can be deployed with a single click without requiring administrator deployment

IT Pro Investments

  • More scalability and governance tools
  • Deployment flexibility with more tool support
  • Improved IT productivity

Developer Investments

  • Increased developer productivity with Visual Studio 2010 integration
  • Visual Studio 2010 has great features that really help with deployment
  • SharePoint 2010 can be hosted on Windows Vista and Windows 7 for development purposes

Links

Here are a few links that Arpan Shah gave us at the end of the session:

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