SharePoint 2013 An Overview

Social computing, ECM, Search, Business Intelligence, Data Visualization, Integration of multiple cross-functional platforms have become a must for every organization.

SharePoint provides the scalability, agility and capability required for providing a comprehensive solution to address these needs of an organization by providing a robust framework to quickly build, manage and deploy Enterprise Portal Applications that leverage content management, collaboration, search, composites and business insights to connect and empower people, cut costs with a unified infrastructure, rapidly respond to business needs and work with external partners and customers. It has been widely adopted across verticals and across geographies (with more than 17000 customers and 100 million users)

SharePoint started its journey as a portal in 2001 which enabled web based collaboration and rudimentary document management. The next version released in 2003 included enhancements in collaboration, UI and a re – architecture of the product. MOSS 2007 was released with a lot of enhancements in areas of focus which included Document Management, Collaboration, User Information and Search. MOSS had Windows SP Services 3.0 as foundation which provided the core functionality. SP 2010 was released with a lot of enhancements along various themes: Sites, Communities, Search, Insights and Components.

Microsoft recommends usage of more out of the box features than building large-scale or complex customizations which is where the enhancements to SP 2013 make a huge impact. There have been significant improvements at platform level and major architectural changes in SP 2013 which include enhancements in areas like Security with support for OAuth, standards compliant Data Exchange with support for OData, support for Windows Workflow Foundation 4.5, eDiscovery features to assist in integrated case management, support for viewing in multiple mobile devices, improved web content management, Search, ECM and Social computing. The new app model gives architects and developers lot more design options.

Enhancements at a glance:

Development – Easier development of workflows and a new, simplified application model, called the Cloud App Model, allows more customization of SP Online and easier customization of SP 2013 on-premises applications.

Document sharing and collaboration – SP 2013 offers an out-of-the-box option for synchronizing user content. Where consumers will use SkyDrive to synchronize Office 2013 content. This service can synchronize a user’s own content as well as SP document libraries and is managed directly through Windows Explorer as SP Libraries, in the same manner as SkyDrive integration.

Content Management – features for managing content retention have been extended to manage content across sources (such as Exchange mailboxes and Lync) without requiring copying of content

Social Features – features social networking functionality comes integrated directly from Microsoft’s recently acquired Yammer technology, aggregated outside feeds including Facebook and LinkedIn

Search and discovery – FAST Search is now directly integrated, providing search of documents, sites, users, and multimedia content through an extensible query framework

Mobile devices – The ability to render a single SP published site in multiple formats for different devices. This gives developers ability to enable a push notification service on a SP site to send device updates to a Windows Phone device.

Authentication – Authentication enhancements include enabling easier claims-based authentication and enables new scenarios and functionality for Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013, and apps

BCS – Includes support for apps internal, external list improvements to provide functional parity with other lists, and support for OData Business Data Connectivity (BDC) connections

Business Intelligence – provides comprehensive BI tools that integrate across Microsoft Office applications and other Microsoft technology solutions and services

eDiscovery – Improvements include the ability to perform eDiscovery queries across multiple farms and Exchange servers, to preserve and export discovered content

Records Management and Compliance – Site based retention has been introduced allowing compliance features to be applied to sites

Branding – The new features in a publishing site minimize the amount of knowledge that is required to successfully design and brand a site.