With over 50 compliance-grade implementations of SharePoint in New Zealand, which is more than any other New Zealand Microsoft SharePoint partner, we have seen and experienced it all when it comes to this product. It can be an extremely powerful tool for content, document and information management – when used correctly – but without taking time to apply a well-designed solution, SharePoint can fail to live up to its promise. With the release of SharePoint 2013 there is a range of new features such as better cloud integration, stronger search features and some good developments in content and infrastructure management, but there is also room for improvement. The 2013 release is an important one as the 2007 edition will no longer be supported, which means that users will either have to upgrade to the 2010 or 2013 versions.
Microsoft thinking behind 2013
It’s worthwhile looking at Microsoft’s thinking behind SharePoint 2013 to get a better understanding of what’s new. In developing the product, Microsoft looked at the main obstacles to organisations deploying the 2010 version successfully. In doing this, Microsoft was especially concerned with scale so that they could service large companies. This means that a number of these improvements have limited value to local organisations. However, there is additional functionality that has immediate benefit.
The main areas of comparison to the 2010 version are:
• No Internet Explorer 7 support.
• With the purchase of Yammer, there is more emphasis on social media.
• Licensing: Internet sites no longer require an expensive licence, the cheaper standard server licence means that customers can host their internet and intranet on the same platform, reducing costs and providing more flexibility.
• Records and document management: no real change.
• Greater adoption of internet and open standards, enabling broader device support and integration with other services.
• Users can have SharePoint on premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both.
• The core ‘Search’ capability, based on FAST technology, is much richer.
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