Looks Familiar?ö?ç?Âat First

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2010-01-12 Print this article Print

The beta of SharePoint 2010 requires the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008. Also, many new features require, or work best with, the forthcoming Office 2010 suite.

When a user first logs into SharePoint 2010, it will look familiar-until, that is, the user decides to add, edit or manage content on the server. Once a user initiates this kind of action, the Microsoft Office ribbon interface is activated within SharePoint.

Users not familiar with the ribbon interface will have a bit of a learning curve when managing content in SharePoint 2010. However, I found that the interface generally worked well for the type of content management performed in SharePoint, with the ribbon always showing options relevant to the task at hand (such as showing font and text tools when I was editing page content).

Significantly, all of these tool options were available to me whether I was using Internet Explorer or Firefox (though you should be using a current version of Firefox). I was even able to carry out most tasks from a Mac running Safari.

Nearly every page in SharePoint 2010 works like a wiki, making editing and customization simple. In addition, tagging is well integrated into the product: Every user, piece of content or bit of code can be tagged, giving users better access to content and making it easier for a developer to pull content from across the entire SharePoint deployment.

SharePoint's user pages highlight the server's social networking know-how. In previous versions of SharePoint, a user My Site page was basically a Web page about a user. In this beta, user pages look a lot like Facebook pages. Users can add Twitter-like status updates to let colleagues know what they are doing, add notes about relevant topics, and tag and share content from across the site and the Web. These pages do a good job of applying social networking capabilities in a business environment, and adding task and project information and tools such as interactive org charts.

SharePoint 2010 also has beefed up its capabilities to work as both a content management system and a document management system. All the tools one would expect (such as check-in check-out) are available, and the in-line editing tools are very good.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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