Hi friends, in this article we are going to learn what is SharePoint? Most of the people find it difficult to describe what exactly SharePoint is? And yes it’s true that it is little difficult to explain the things about SharePoint. Unless you try to use SharePoint for a little while, it will be difficult to get into it. So let us see what exactly a SharePoint is?

What is SharePoint?

If you are finding some simple definitions about What is SharePoint?, or some simple sentences about SharePoint then you won’t get it from this article (and not anywhere too!). This is because SharePoint is not a simple thing to explain with the help of definitions.

Make sure that "SharePoint is not a Program or Programming language it’s a Platform". It is a huge collection of many products and technologies that are combined and named SharePoint. It’s a massive set of solutions that you can do with this platform. The list of these solutions is endless because, with different versions of SharePoint, Microsoft is adding different features and solutions.

Ok, without wasting too much time let us see what is SharePoint? Learning SharePoint is just like Learning Microsoft Office. Just like there are different applications in Microsoft Office like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc, SharePoint also has such applications. The difference between Office and SharePoint is, you can’t install SharePoint on your local machine, unlike Microsoft office. It is installed on one common server and all your working machines are connected to it.

There are some associated programs like Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2013Microsoft SharePoint workspace 2013, etc. Which you need to install on your machine to use SharePoint but not always. These are not necessary programs unless you want to do some extra stuff (which we are going to learn in upcoming posts) with the SharePoint.

What does SharePoint Do?

SharePoint can be explained with different areas like Sites, Communities, Content, Search, Insights, and Composites. Let us see these areas one by one.

SharePoint Features 

  • Sites: Yes, SharePoint can build Websites. To create a Website using SharePoint you don’t need to be a programmer or designer. Unlike normal websites that users can read only, SharePoint websites allow users to contribute, edit, join, etc them. Examples of some SharePoint websites are http://www.h10hotels.com/, http://www.immi.gov.au/, http://www.phs.org/, etc.

  • Communities: SharePoint allows to work as a community. If you have a word document on your website. Hundreds of people can edit that document simultaneously. If you have your organization information, multiple people can contribute their knowledge at the same time. It can give you a shared calendar, shared task board, etc. It also keeps the track of information about when the content is modified and by whom.

  • Content: SharePoint allows you to upload content on it. Whether it is an image, audio, video, documents, etc. SharePoint can store these contents easily. You can make particular content accessible to a particular person or group. You can set permission to allow some people to edit the content. That means SharePoint provides full control over the content for its users. You can edit documents directly in a web browser which are stored on SharePoint server.

  • Search: As we discussed SharePoint can do countless things, so sometimes it becomes difficult to navigate or to find something on SharePoint website. To overcome this difficulty SharePoint provides the function of the Search engine. It can search anything available on that site related to your search keyword.

  • Insights: SharePoint brings all the information together to understand it better. It can build graphs, spreadsheets, flowcharts, dashboards, scorecards to make the data more. Understandable.

  • Composites: We all know that there is no such platform, operating system or program that exactly knows what you want. But SharePoint has some capabilities which can help to do this. To make it customizable you don’t need to be a programmer. Using SharePoint designer or SharePoint Visio you can build workflows or you can make different forms. And you know programming you can do many things apart from this.

SharePoint Applications:

  • Enterprise Content and Document Management
  • Business intelligence
  • Personnel cloud
  • Internet and corporate social network
  • Extranet and web content management
  • Software framework
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