SharePoint SaaS Review

SharePoint SaaS is Microsoft’s online version of SharePoint designed to provide intranet collaboration capabilities for virtually any organization regardless of size or number of employees. One of the two flavors is Standard or a shared version which is multi-tenancy and has most of the functionality needed to support the intranet of a company that is focused on collaboration and communication. The other is Dedicated version with a bit more functionality – a separate installation for one company but on separate servers. Microsoft’s SharePoint online supports a good number of languages: English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese.

SharePoint online Standard has a number of features and some of them are highlighted below. To begin with, it has a storage capacity of 250 MB per user account with site storage quotas of 50 GB per site collection and 1 terabyte per company. With up to 20 site collections per company, the standard version offers 2007 Ms Office system integration, including 2007’s Microsoft Access, Excel, InfoPath, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Office SharePoint Designer 2007. Browsers supported include Internet Explorer 6,-7,-8, Firefox 3, and Safari 3.1.2 on Macintosh OS X 10.5. In addition, it supports the following mobile devices: Nokia N series and E series devices and Apple iPhone 2.0.

Microsoft’s SharePoint Deskless Worker subscription allows a person who does not require the collaboration capabilities to access information on the intranet site without having to work from the office or have a personal computer assigned to him or her. However, deskless workers can only view and download documents; they cannot upload or create them.

The standard version is secure and fully backed up, as access is encrypted with 128 bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption with 99.9 percent availability and backups performed after a 12-hours interval. You can also do your customizations using SharePoint Designer and use the Recycle Bin for a variety of content types including web page parts (deleted web pages are excluded). You can also read virus-filtered emails or other content using SharePoint’s Microsoft Forefront Security. Files that can be threatening such as exe, bat, class, asp, and more are blocked from upload. Apart from collaboration, other functionalities offered by SharePoint SaaS include Portals, Business Process Forums, Content Management, and Search. However, unlike the Dedicated version, the Standard version does not offer all the functionalities you would want.

Perhaps you are wondering if you can do some customizations by yourself using SharePoint Online. The answer is yes. However, you are only limited to performing customizations that do not require coding. The tool you use for customization is the SharePoint Designer, which allows you to create (modify) no-code workflows, custom site templates, master pages/ page layouts, and create mashups of SharePoint data (or other data) using the Data Form Web Part.

You can also create InfoPath Forms but without code. This quick SharePoint Online review provides you with some basic information that can be helpful in determining whether the service suits your organization’s needs. It is a highly customizable version of SharePoint Online that may be personalized (without coding) to serve various needs. Depending on what you want, that two versions of Microsoft’s SharePoint SaaS can provide your organization with various enterprise solutions.

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Omri Erel
Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.
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