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Introduction to SharePoint and its features


What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a platform to support collaboration and Content management system. It is a central web based portal where you can manage document, social activities, data and information.

  • It allows groups to set up a centralized, password protected space for document sharing.
  • Document can be stored, download and edited then upload for continue sharing.

Let us we understand what all we can do with SharePoint. So its divided into three separate areas:


Collaboration is the strong theme of SharePoint which means bringing people together through different types of collaboration such as enterprise content management, Web content management, social computing, discoverability of people and their skills.

  • In SharePoint 2013, collaboration is managed through Apps.
  • Developers can extend, customize, or build their own Apps for SharePoint as well manage collaboration on SharePoint.


SharePoint is also about bringing this collaboration together through interoperability such as-

  • Office and web-based document integration.
  • Capability to build and deploy secure and custom solutions that integrate line of business data with SharePoint and Office.
  • Integrating with wider web technologies, or deploying applications to the cloud.


SharePoint is also a platform that supports not only interoperability and collaboration but also extensibility, through a rich object model, a solid set of developer tools, and a growing developer community.

  • One of the key paradigm shifts is the notion of the cloud in SharePoint.
  • The cloud introduces new App models such as:
  • New ways of developing, deploying, and hosting SharePoint applications.
  • New forms of authentication through OAuth.
  • New ways of data interoperability using OData and REST Services.

SharePoint Versions:

SharePoint first launched in 2001 By Microsoft after that these are the versions available:

1)  SharePoint 2001: In 2001, Microsoft launched SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) and SharePoint Team Services (STS). SPS provided three functions i.e. Portal, Document Management & Search. STS on the other hand with FrontPage and provided team workspaces for collaboration.

SharePoint 2001 Features: 



Enterprise Search Engine

It provides algorithm to ensure accurate search results and adaptive crawling of content sources for up-to-date indexes.

Search Extensibility

Search protocol handlers allow connection to custom data sources.

Check-in and Check-out

It provides feature to individual users can update the document after reserve.

Document Versions

It Provide the feature to store the document as multiple version after editing of document.

Document Profiles

It captures optional and required metadata about customer-defined document types.

Document Collaboration

Use the Web Discussions feature in Office and HTML documents for inline, content review.

There are so many features available in SP-2001 versions.

2)  SharePoint 2003 : In 2003, Microsoft completely changed both SPS and STS. Several changes occurred. The new products were based on .NET and now shared a common object model. The changed STS became Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and it is a free licensed add-on to Windows Server 2003. WSS focused on advanced document management and security features.

SharePoint 2003 Features:



Site Directory

It Provides feature to include a Site Directory that you can use to organize, find, and manage Web sites, including WSS sites. From the Site Directory, you can easily create a new SharePoint site or add an existing internal or external site to the directory.

Automatic Site Creation

With automatic site creation feature  in SharePoint Portal Server 2003, users and teams can easily create sites as they are needed. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 automatically adds new SharePoint sites to the Site Directory and registers them for crawling and indexing by the search system.

Personal Sites

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 provides each user with a My Site, a personal SharePoint site. A My Site can include personally relevant documents, news and applications, links to SharePoint sites and Web sites, and alerts about content you are tracking


An audience is a group of users with similar roles, interests or tasks. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 uses audiences to deliver targeted content to users.

User Profiles

The user profile service provide the all information about all portal users and can be synchronized with Active Directory


Alerts are messages that inform users when content that they are interested in changes in some way

Web Parts

Web Parts are modular pieces of code that you can embed in a portal page. You can use Web Parts for many purposes, including access to data, information, or applications.  

3)  SharePoint 2007: In 2006, Microsoft launched new versions of SharePoint : a standalone option and one bundled with Office. This edition represented one of the biggest steps forward for the product line and the point at which the software truly came into its own. This version fixed many of the shortcomings of the 2003 product but also vastly expanded the platform’s core functionality. New additions included Business Data Catalog and InfoPath Form Services.

SharePoint 2007 Features:



Enterprise Content Management

SharePoint Server 2007 extends these capabilities to deliver enhanced document authoring, business document processing, Web content management and publishing, records management, policy management, and support for multilingual publishing.

In SharePoint Server 2007, content management is divided into three categories: Document management, Records management, and Web content management.

Business Data Catalog

Business Data Catalog (BDC) service integrates external data into the SharePoint Server 2007.

Excel Services

Excel Services enables you to store an Excel workbook on a server and then publish any part of that workbook on a Web page.

InfoPath Forms Services

InfoPath Forms Services lets you deploy your organization's forms to Office SharePoint Server 2007 and enables users to fill out these forms by using a Web browser.

Global Web Parts

The Global Web Parts feature introduced which is available Web Parts that are common to all kinds of sites.    

4)  SharePoint 2010 : Microsoft SharePoint 2010 includes many new features, feature enhancements, and general improvements to feature behaviour. A few of the most notable improvements included an enhanced user interface, superior ways to interface with business data, new workflow options, use of wiki pages in templates, social profiles and networking features, a re-designed client editor, and expanded support for a wider array of browsers.

SharePoint 2010 Features:



New user interface

The ribbon, part of the redesigned user interface, helps you get your work done faster by placing commands on task-based tabs that are easy to navigate

Search Features

SharePoint 2010 had Introduced Integrated FAST search as an Enterprise search. In addition to this build-in SharePoint search is still widely used in companies.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) – Features

SharePoint 2010 had not managed Navigation and Cross-site Publishing feature. SharePoint designer was a primary tool to modify Master pages instead of the new Design Manager.

Development Changes Features

1-Sharepoint 2010 used Sandbox solutions to help developers deploy code without effected whole farm.

 2-In SharePoint 2010 you could use Server Object model and Client Object model (.Net Managed, ECMASCRIPT and Silverlight) to extract data from SharePoint.

 3-In SharePoint 2010 developers were also developing Farm solutions as they did with the previous SharePoint 2007 version     

5)  SharePoint 2013: Microsoft has added many new features in SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint 2013 Features:



Social and Collaboration Features

SharePoint 2013 Added are following new features

1-Intrective feed

2-Comunitive site

3-follow people

Search Features

SharePoint 2013 includes several enhancements, custom content processing with the Content Enrichment web service, and a new framework for presenting search result types. Some of the features added are

1- Consolidated Search Results

2-Keyword query language (KQL) enhancements

3- Rich Results Framework.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) – Features

SharePoint 2013 provide feature for an Enterprise Content Management. There are added following feature

Managed Navigation

Cross-site Publishing



Development Changes Features

1-In SharePoint 2013 Microsoft Introduced a new Cloud App Model for designing Apps for SharePoint. Apps for SharePoint are self-contained pieces of functionality that extend the capabilities of a SharePoint website. We can use HTML, CSS, JavaScript and protocols like the Open Data protocol (OData), and OAuth to communicate with SharePoint using Apps.

2- In SharePoint 2013 new Tools has Introduced for App development. Visual Studio 2012 now lets you develop apps for SharePoint and apps for Office. In addition, a new web-based tools called “Napa Tool” Office 365 Development Tools were introduced for developing apps.

3-No more Sandbox solutions. SharePoint 2013 Sandboxed solutions are deprecated. So all we got is the New App model and the Old SharePoint Farm solutions

6)  SharePoint 2016: Microsoft released SharePoint 2016 to enhance the hybrid infrastructure (merging SharePoint On-Premises sites with SharePoint Online) and to take advantage of recent innovations in cloud technology.

SharePoint 2016 Features:




Before this version there is big gap between SharePoint on Premises and SharePoint Online because due to the security concern some of the organisation store the data on Premises and some of the organisation store data on the cloud. SharePoint 2016 provide the feature to storage of data into on Premises as well as cloud both .

Large File Upload

Before this version you can’t upload more than 2047MB file size data into SharePoint Library but in SharePoint 2016 You can upload Up to 10GB File size.

Faster Site Creation

In SharePoint 2013 for site creation generally will take time more than 40 sec but in SharePoint 2016 you can create Site Collection within few seconds. 

Media Preview

In SharePoint 2016 provide the feature to preview video and images while hovering over them  instead of click on the content.

In this chapter I have explained about the SharePoint. It contains the topic like what is SharePoint,Versions of SharePoint etc.

In the next chapter I will give a difference between SharePoint On premises and SharePoint Online.

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