Increase Process Efficiency and Team Productivity: Windows SBS 2008 with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Increase Process Efficiency and Team Productivity: Windows SBS 2008 with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

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[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of JoAnn McKimpson from the SBS Marketing Team]

Do you and your employees have trouble keeping track of files? How great would it be if you could have a company calendar so that everyone would know when the next company meeting is? How much time could you save if you could contact all the people in your organization who are involved with a particular project, without having to add each of them to an e-mail message each time? Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS) 2008 can help you with all of this and more.

As you know, Windows SBS 2008 is a server solution that contains many components that are essential to running a business. One of these components is Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, which is automatically installed when you install Windows SBS 2008. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 provides an intranet that you can use to share:

  • Documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Calendars
  • Forms
  • Project plans
  • Task lists

And the list goes on! In many ways, your Windows SharePoint Services intranet can become the central access point for your business.

To experience Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, watch the following demonstration. In this demonstration, you will:

  • Navigate a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site.
  • View a document library and:
    • Add a column.
    • Upload a document.
    • View and change document properties.
    • Create a new document from the Windows SharePoint Services site.
    • Check out files and work with them in the local drafts folder.
    • Track and restore previous versions of a file.
  • Stay up to date on changes via RSS feeds and alerts.
  • Control access by using permission levels.
  • Restore a deleted file.
  • View and update the site calendar and a task list.
  • View a wiki and a blog, including responding to blog feedback.
  • Search for content.
  • Add users to the site.

Click the following image to view the demonstration.

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What is Windows SharePoint Services 3.0?

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is a versatile Windows Server technology that you can use to help increase the efficiency of business processes and improve team productivity. It provides:

  • A robust storage and collaboration infrastructure.
  • A foundation platform for building Web-based applications and services.
  • Easy to use tools for information-sharing that help people stay connected across organizational and geographic boundaries and that help people gain access to the information they need.

Built on Windows Server 2008, can flex and scale easily to meet the changing and growing needs of your business. With a familiar, Web-based interface and close integration with everyday tools including the Microsoft Office system, Windows SharePoint Server is easy to use and can be deployed rapidly.

Windows SharePoint Services is also easy to back up; you can back it up during your regularly scheduled Windows SBS 2008 backups. For information about how to do this, read the SBS blog post about backup and restore operations.

For an overview of these features and more, read Getting Started with Windows SharePoint Services.

Why Do I Need Windows SharePoint Services 3.0?

You might be familiar with the popular Windows SharePoint Services 2.0; Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 contains many new features as well as improvements on existing features, making it an even more helpful tool for getting business done quickly and efficiently.

Here are just a few of the benefits you and your company will enjoy when you use Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 in your day-to-day operations.

Collaborate easily and effectively.
Help your teams stay connected and productive by providing access to the people, documents, and information they need. Create, capture, and share community knowledge, and connect with users inside and outside the organization to keep teams in sync.

Get started quickly.
Easily deploy collaboration applications that are easy to use through integration with familiar tools such as the Microsoft Office programs.

Deploy a manageable infrastructure.
Manage control and security of organization's information resources by deploying a scalable storage infrastructure with powerful administration services.

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Provide a foundation for Web-based applications.
Increase business process efficiency by creating Web applications and workflow scenarios on a cost-effective extensible platform.

Help protect critical information resources.
Use advanced administrative controls to increase the security of information resources, while decreasing cost and complexity associated with site provisioning, site management, and support.

For more information about each of these benefits, visit the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Overview, or read the Top 10 Benefits of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

What’s New in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0?

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 has been vastly expanded and improved upon to create the best product yet. Here is a brief summary of the key features:

  • Core collaboration and document life cycle
    • Tracking and project management tasks in charts
    • Detailed major and minor versions
    • Required check out for edits
    • Document library improvements
  • Anywhere access
    • Microsoft Office Outlook integration: E-mail to and from sites, folder views, and calendar
    • Keeping informed: Search, alerts, RSS, and task notifications
    • Mobility: Some types of lists can sync to mobile
  • Community and communication
    • Wikis and blogs
    • Improved surveys, e-mail, and discussions
    • People and groups: Distribution lists generated at site creation
  • User experience
    • Improvements to usability, navigation, and customization
    • Outlook offline support
  • Platform improvements
    • Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0: Web parts, master pages, and pluggable authentication
    • Customization enhancements: Templates and feature extensibility
    • Windows Workflow Foundation
    • List enhancements: Scale, content types, and versioning
  • Manageability
    • Improved backup and restore, including recycle bin and VSS support
    • Extranet deployment
    • Full and side-by-side upgrades
  • Security
    • Folder-level and item-level security
    • Interface trimming based on role

To find out more about what's new in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, download the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Version Comparison document or the Evaluation Guide.

How Can I Customize Windows SharePoint Services 3.0?

You can customize just about everything in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, from the site landing page to the views of deeper pages. One of the easiest ways that you can customize your site is by using Application Templates. Application Templates are out-of-the-box, custom solutions tailored to address the needs and requirements of specific business processes or sets of tasks within organizations of any size.

Here is an example of a page created by using an Application Template:

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These templates can be applied to common scenarios, such as managing a help desk or tracking a marketing campaign, to easily create a dedicated Web-based application for a more efficient and effective way of working.

To learn more about Application Templates, read the following TechNet articles:

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Now that you've read a bit about Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, you can see that it is a highly powerful yet intuitive tool that you can use to help your team collaborate for higher productivity and efficiency. Since Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is part of Windows Server 2008 and is installed during the Windows Server 2008 installation process, you can start using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 right away. It is easy to back up your site as part of your regularly scheduled Windows SBS backups.

The following additional resources can come in handy as you learn more about Windows SharePoint Services 3.0:

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Comments
  • This would have been a great post 2 years ago. Quite frankly, when it comes to SBS2008 and new sales, I want SPF and office web apps. WSS 3 is old hat.

  • I really don't like these marketing posts, one of the main reasons I read Microsoft blogs is that they often have informative information about interesting technical problems, or information about upcoming releases from those involved in their design.  This is a nothing, marketing, mumbo-jumbo post, and I've noticed a few of these on the SBS blog recently.  Please, we are not your marketing audience, cut the garbage.

  • In our company I spend so much time on research, testing, and deployment that I think I fall down in the area of execution and giving the end users (my coworkers) a good understanding of how to use a tool such as SharePoint and why it could help them find and share information easier.  I think have simple, short and easy to understand videos that I can forward on to my coworkers helps tremendously as I don't have the time and even sometimes the patience to show them step by step.  

  • hey, something about upgrading to sharepoint 2010 foundation will be nice. Thanks!