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.
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