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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

Microsoft SharePoint Online

Microsoft SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service that is part of the recently released Microsoft Office 365.  For those of us who have installed SharePoint and maintained it, we know there is a lot of cost and overhead.  Setting it all up and maintaining it can be a real hassle, especially if you don’t have someone at your company who is a SharePoint expert.  I see SharePoint Online as a possible way to offload a lot of those headaches.  It seems great for:

- Extending your current on-premise SharePoint environment, or replacing it completely if you are a smaller company
- Extending resource and communication capabilities to remote offices and workers
- Providing controlled access for partners and suppliers without having to open up the main corporate network
- Quickly creating public websites for promotions, product launches, marketing campaigns, etc

It is easier to use than standard SharePoint, as the interface has been designed to be simpler to use, with fewer options (of course, that means it does not have all of the features that the standard SharePoint has, like PerformancePoint).

It requires minimal extra cost and overhead because there is no need to physically deploy any software on site, and because Microsoft assumes much of the operational burden of managing the IT infrastructure, including redundancy.

Bottom line is it’s a low risk, affordable way of enhancing business operations thru a cloud-based service.

More Info:

SharePoint Online Learning Materials for IT Professionals

SharePoint Online Developer Resource Center

TechEd video: Microsoft SharePoint Online Overview

TechEd video: SharePoint Online: Developer Extensibility and Customization

TechEd video: Developing Collaboration Solutions in the Cloud with Microsoft SharePoint Online

TechEd video: Developing Powerful Workflows in the Cloud with Microsoft SharePoint Online

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