Sharepoint enables a website to provide information and document sharing. Windows Sharepoint Services come as a free add-on with Windows Server 2003. WSS integrates with both the Operating System and Internet Information Services (IIS) to provide a number of useful features. For example, Sharepoint can be integrated with the organization's Address Book also. This gluing is possible because of the included support to Sharepoint, embedded in Office 2003.
Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) is a freely downloadable from Microsoft website. The only glitch is that it requires both Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 to run itself. If you do not have SQL Server 2000 on your machine, while downloading, WSS automatically installs desktop version of SQL Server 2000. A full version of SQL Server 2000 is must while installing WSS Web edition. By using Internet Explorer 5.01 SP2 and above version or Netscape 6.2 and above version, one can access the application.
SharePoint is a Web-based technology. WSS can be easily deployed in a matter of minutes. Organizations can also make SharePoint site available to its external users or non-employees over the Internet. It is easy to set up an instant workspace with minimal effort, using WSS, for a small group of users. WSS is also scalable to support multiple thousand of users and terabytes of data.
WSS installation is very easy; hardly, there is any configuration to be done. You need to accept the end user license agreement. That's it!
WSS provides a collaboration environment which facilitates document collaboration, team participation in projects, and simple document management features such as document versioning. From time to time, Microsoft releases updates for WSS.
So far, all the updates equipped WSS to provide a number of administrator-related tools, which were not there in its earlier versions. Some of the popular features are
- New migration, monitoring, and backup capabilities
- Improved auditing and policy management features
- Provides granular-level access control
- Enables access by non-Window authentication tools
- Make available a centralized administration model, which allows to manage all the servers in the farm from a single location
- Permits to rename Sharepoint and database servers without reinstalling