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James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger ( and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

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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