What's new in WSS 3.0 and SharePoint Server 2007
This afternoon I was at a SharePoint 2007 Seminar held by Cornerstone (www.cornerstone.se) and led by Patrik Holsti.
It was a good seminar which covered a lot of cool stuff in the new versions. The reason why I say versions as plural, is because Patrik clearly separated WSS 3.0 and SharePoint 2007. WSS 3.0 is as aquainted not licensed and thereby free, while the more complex SharePoint Server 2007 does have a licensecost, which we don’t know the price of.
You might find that this post lacks a good structure since these are notes from the seminar. If you have any questions please let me know and I’ll try my best to clarify and answer.
"So, get to the point already.."
Hear the good news!
It’s said that you can use any browser and have full compability (IE and FF tested on the Seminar) with no differences, or almost no differences. If this is the case, we can all join hands and sing a happy song.
You know the horrible things we used to call Areas? – One thing about SharePoint 2007 is that there’s no such thing as an ‘Area’ anymore. What used to be Site & Area in 2003 are now a Site in 2007.
What you used to know as a "Virtual Server" is now known basically as a "Web Site" – This makes it a bit clearer, and you don’t mix it up with IIS’s Virtual Servers.
"Site Manager" currently is named "Manage Contents & Structure". Hopefully it’ll stay this way. Go Betas!
As to the "CMS Server" that used to be a separate product, now comes with SharePoint 2007 and is actually not a separate product anymore. I don’t know enough about the CMS Server product to go into any details.
What you used to know as Frontpage is now known as SharePoint Designer. This application will work as usual with any Frontpage functionality you might want (hopefully). Why they gave the application a new name is to me unknown, but it still should work as your "dear" Frontpage application.
You can now easily change the URL of a site even after the site has been created. It’s painless and fun! (Well, painless at least)
What about WSS 3.0?
* Built in Breadcrumbs
* Site Navigation
* Security – What you see is what you’ve got access to. This makes it a bit easier on the admins, so they don’t have to explain why a user clicks a resource, needs to enter a username and password, tries 3 times and fails and then will be shown an error page… If you don’t have access to the resource it will not be shown in WSS 3.0. Whoopdie doo for us!
* File-based Permissions
* No deny permission, unfortunately.
* Document Collaboration – This is a huge advantage with the 3.0 version (I’m not sure how it used to work with 2.0 or if it exists in that version, but in this version it rocks). It supports Major and Minor versioning which basically means that if you make a "minor" change to a document it will not be seen by the user. However, when you publish the document to a "Major" version it will become known and seen by the users. It supports Document Properties, something that can come
in handy when searching. (I’ll get to the search part soon). Workflows, the name says it all doesn’t it. Templates (Word 2007), Policies…
* Search Indexer that also indexes the Document Properties (as mentioned above). The search functionality is no longer based on the SQL Server but it’s own index generated by the database. WSS 3.0 has a searchbox :)
* WIKI. You probably know what a wiki is already and most of you probably have slightly different opinions as to what a wiki is excactly. My opinion is that it’s a public "document library" (find me a better term..) that anyone can edit and add information to. You can link from one thing in the WSS 3.0 wiki to another by using real wiki-commands such as [[Tobias Zimmergren]] and it will create a link. If the link doesn’t exist, it will be a link with dashed bottom-border. When you click the link it will ask you to put some info in about the link. And that’s basically how it works. All you should really need to know, is that there’s support for a nice wiki.
* Blog. It supports your own blog. A blog is a Web-log and I bet you all know what that means. (I’m writing a blog entry right now)
Some arguments for why you should upgrade your departements Office systems to 2007
* Outlook integration – You can easily synchronize your Outlook with your SharePoint user profile, making it easy to manage your Outlook tast/todo lists from the site, or vice versa. Might come in handy. This also happens live, nothing is ghosted and nothing is delayed. Delete or create an entry in either the site or in Outlook and the same changes will be made to the other part. When you connect Outlook 2007 to your SharePoint, you’ll get a folder next to "Public Folders" in Outlook that says something like "SharePoint.."
* Calendar – Same as the above really. Works both ways.
– I’m not sure if it will work in cached mode in Outlook, but hey – give it a try and let me know?
Just notes of interest
Every list and library in MOSS 2007 & WSS 3.0 is capable of hosting Mobile Views. Now that might really come in handy.
How nice wouldn’t it be to access a resource on your site from your cellphone? That’s right, it would rock.
Now another interesting fact about this whole concept (Don’t know if it were WSS3.0 or SharePoint 2007) is that it now supports recycle bins. When you (the user) delete something, it will pop into a recyclebin that’s only visible to you. This makes it much more comforting for the administrators because they will not have to go on about restoring everything as soon as someone loses their document because they messed up. When you empty your recyclebin it will show up in the Site’s recyclebin – yet another lifeline. You can then set rules like "if the object has been in the trashbin for 3 weeks, delete and purge". This makes the life soooooo much easier for many admins who have to deal with this damned problem every day.
You can create your own workflows with SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio 2005. I would bet on VS 2005.
Sharepoint 2007 also supports archiving, meaning you will store "older" resources and documents at an archive. There’s something called Repository Archive Site, which basically is the archive. You can archive stuff by either manually doint it with Official File Web Service or using a Workflow that uses the same functionality. The archive itself is "Offline".
Update in the original documents and you need to archive again. – Something like that..
Preservation for some minor errors in the context. Please point them out if you note any.
Install SharePoint Server 2007 with English language, and you can add multiple sites with different languages. This is a nice feature if you’ve got a global company with different languages. The "portal" will be in english and the sites in the respective language.
Domain Admins used to have full administrative rights to your sites, but now they don’t. Ofcourse, being a global Domain Admin allows for them to add that privilege to them self if they would feel that they need. However, it’s no longer that way by default.
What you know in 3.0 as Shared Services got it’s name from actually sharing the services. If you run several portals, they can all share some services. Cool.
NOTE: If you plan to use your old webparts in this new environment, be sure to test them out. ALL OF THEM, separately.
Because your old webparts probably based on .NET Framework 1.1 and the new ones base on .NET Framework 2.0. This means some changes and perhaps it all doesn’t work out as planned. BE SURE TO TEST THEM ALL OUT. Now, there I said it.
Backup and Restore – Usually the Administrators nightmare
You can now perform Backup and Restore jobs from Central Administration
You can perform Backup and Restore jobs from the GUI/cmdline (stsadm.exe)
Full & Incremental backups
I don’t think there’s backup scheduling, but honestly I can’t remember.
Can backup the server Farm or an entire site collection.
Windowsbased (NTLM-, Kerberos- or Basic-authentication)
ADFS Authentication (Active Directory Federated Services)
WSS 3.0 – Out of the Box Active Directory mergin. Supports AD by default.
SharePoint Server 2007 can connect using any LDAP (and perhaps some other protocol/ways to connect)
I know this post must be a bit up and down, but please comment and let me know. Thanks.