On Tuesday, Microsoft quietly rolled out 30 free, downloadable applications that build on top of the companys SharePoint Services collaboration/workflow technology that is built into Windows Server.
Among the plethora new applications are horizontal and vertical applets both. Schedule-management, consumer-financing, employee-training, event-management, travel-request, classroom-management, campaign-management and other similar types of offerings are available immediately.
Microsoft made the new applications available for download from the Microsoft.com site for Windows Server 2003 users.
By the time Office 12 ships in the latter half of 2006, Microsoft will make a whole portfolio of these kinds of SharePoint applications available, said Jason Bunge, senior product manager with Windows SharePoint Services. This portfolio will include these 30 applications, plus some, as-yet-to-be-determined additional ones, Bunge said.
“The impetus for these applications was that some of our customers were struggling with SharePoint adoption,” said Bunge. “We wanted to find ways to show the value to these users.”
Peter OKelly, a senior analyst with The Burton Group, agreed with Microsofts assessment.
“Theres still considerable confusion in the market about the extent to which SharePoint can be used for building collaborative applications, so the SharePoint Services application templates are likely to be very popular,” OKelly said. “Lotus did something similar when Notes was getting started, with a set of 50 templates for various application domains.”