Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
SharePoint Foundation 2010
Under the Hood
SharePoint Foundation (SPF) is a nifty web-based collaboration, data management,
communication, idea-creating, problem-solving tool that costs you nothing (assuming you already
have a licensed server). SharePoint Foundation 2010 needs to run on Windows Server 2008
(Standard Service Pack 2 or higher).
SharePoint Foundation has its needs, its shortcomings, and its weaknesses, but overall, it is a
surprisingly useful, flexible, and powerful web-based tool for any administrator. The best part
is that using it doesn’t require any web development skills at all. As a matter of fact, this topic is
being written for IT admins specifically because they seem to be the people who are ultimately
responsible for managing SharePoint, without really being trained for it. This topic should help
ill in some of those holes in training.
So, what is SharePoint? SharePoint comes in two flavors for the 2010 version: SharePoint
Foundation 2010 (SharePoint Foundation) and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 (SharePoint
2010). SharePoint Foundation is a free download and falls under the server’s license model.
However, SharePoint 2010, which during installation installs SharePoint Foundation and then
installs its added components, costs thousands of dollars (depending on volume license) and
requires at least one Client Access License (CAL) for each user.
The free version doesn’t require separate CALs for each user (assuming each user already has
a standard CAL for server access) and is the foundation for SharePoint. The paid-for version just
adds more functionality to the foundation. So yes, SharePoint Foundation 2010 is free and (as the
name implies) is the foundation for the more expensive SharePoint components.
What does SharePoint do? It presents a web interface for people to collaborate, communicate,
and share data in an environment that is consistent, easy for administrators to control, designed
to store data and documents, and very scalable. SharePoint can be installed on a single server, or
it can be installed on numerous web front-end servers sharing the client load in what is called a
SharePoint server farm .
Fundamentally, SharePoint is a collection of web pages containing web parts and lists on top
of a database. However, SharePoint takes advantage of that simple framework and uses it to offer
lists, libraries, workspaces, team sites, blogs, wikis, site collections, workflows, and web parts.
With these tools, you can offer shared calendars, discussions, file libraries, surveys, and more. For
process management, you can require document checkout, co-authoring, content approval, and
versioning. You can even establish workflows to trigger alerts and other changes based on where
documents or list items are in a process. Some lists and libraries can be set up with their own
email accounts, so people can email entries without going to the SharePoint site. Existing external
data can used to populate certain lists. And when integrating with Office 2010, users can
seamlessly work on files and documents using Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and the rest.