Productivity Solutions


    Microsoft SharePoint is a Web application platform developed by Microsoft. First launched in 2001,[3] SharePoint has historically been associated with intranet, content management and document management, but recent versions have significantly broader capabilities.

    SharePoint comprises a multipurpose set of Web technologies backed by a common technical infrastructure. By default, SharePoint has a Microsoft Office-like interface, and it is closely integrated with the Office suite. The web tools are designed to be usable by non-technical users. SharePoint can be used to provide intranet portals, document & file management, collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, enterprise search, and business intelligence. It also has system integration, process integration, and workflow automation capabilities.

    Enterprise application software (e.g. ERP or CRM packages) often provide some SharePoint integration capability, and SharePoint also incorporates a complete development stack based on web technologies and standards-based APIs. As an application platform, SharePoint provides central management, governance, and security controls for implementation of these requirements. The SharePoint platform integrates directly into IIS - enabling bulk management, scaling, and provisioning of servers, as is often required by large organizations or cloud hosting providers.

    Microsoft has two versions of SharePoint available at no cost, but it sells premium editions with additional functionality, and provides a cloud service edition as part of their Office 365 platform (previously BPOS). The product is also sold through a cloud model by many third-party vendors.

    The most common uses of SharePoint include:

    • Intranet portal

    • Enterprise content and document management

    • Extranet sites

    • Internet sites

    • Software Framework

    • Configuration and customization

    Office 365 is a subscription-based online office and software plus services suite which offers access to various services and software built around the Microsoft Office platform.

    Serving as a successor to Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite, the service was originally designed to provide hosted e-mail, social networking and collaboration, and cloud storage to teams and businesses. As such, it first included hosted versions of Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, Office Web Apps, along with access to the Microsoft Office 2010 desktop applications on the Enterprise plan. With the release of Office 2013, Office 365 expanded to include new plans aimed at different types of businesses, along with new plans aimed at general consumers wanting to use the Office desktop software on a subscription basis.

    Features

    The Office 365 service consists of a number of products and services. All of Office 365's components can be managed and configured through an online portal users can be added manually, imported from a CSV file, or Office 365 can be set up for single sign-on with a local Active Directory using Active Directory Federation Services.

    Hosted services

    Business and enterprise-oriented plans for Office 365 offer access to cloud hosted versions of Office's server platforms on a software as a service basis, including Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, and the browser-based Office Web Apps suite.Through SharePoint's SkyDrive Pro functionality (formally known as SharePoint MySites, and distinct from the consumer-oriented SkyDrive service), each user also receives 7 GB of online storage.

    In lieu of Microsoft's enterprise software, the Home Premium plan for Office 365 instead includes 20 GB of additional storage for SkyDrive, along with 60 minutes of phone calls per month on Skype.

    Office applications

    Some plans for Office 365 also include access to the current versions of the Office desktop applications for both Windows (Office 2013) and OS X (Office for Mac 2011) for the period of the subscription. In the case of Office 2013 on Windows, it is installed using a "Click-to-Run" system which allows users to begin using the applications almost instantaneously while files are streamed in the background. Updates to the software are installed automatically, covering both security updates and major new versions of Office. A feature known as "Office on Demand" is also available, which allows users to temporarily stream an Office 2013 application on any compatible computer without needing to fully install it.

    Access to the Office Mobile apps for Android and iPhone smartphones are also included.

    Updates

    The Office 365 platform uses a rolling release model; updates to the online components of the service are provided once per quarter. On launch, the 2010 versions of server components were used with Office 365. These services were automatically upgraded to their Office 2013 counterparts upon its release in February 2013.With the introduction of Office 2013, Office division head Kurt DelBene stated that minor and incremental updates to the Office desktop software would be provided on a similarly periodic basis to all Office 365 users by means of the streaming system, as opposed to the three-year cycle for major releases of Office that had been used to the past.

    Security

    In December 2011, Microsoft announced that the Office 365 platform was now compliant with the ISO/IEC 27001 security standards, the European Union's Data Protection Directive (through the signing of model clauses), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for health care environments in the United States. At the same time, Microsoft also unveiled a new "Trust Center" portal, containing further information on its privacy policies and security practices for the service.In May 2012, Microsoft announced that Office 365 was now compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act: compliance with the act would now allow Office 365 to be used by U.S. government agencies.