SharePoint 2010 Flavours
The release of SharePoint 2010 is due out on May 24.
Due out on May 24, the release of SharePoint 2010 represents a significant upgrade for the now eponymous platform which can be used to support intranets, websites and extranets.
Like most Microsoft server products, there are several “editions” of SharePoint, each of which are targeted at a specific audience – at least in terms of how Microsoft defines those audiences. For SharePoint 2010, there are eight editions of the product, encompassing those versions which are installed on-premise, and those which are hosted in the cloud.
Depending on what you want to use SharePoint for, the edition you select should be relatively clearcut – and no doubt Microsoft will provide helpful tools which help to make selection easier when the product is released. What follows is a summary of the available information, to help you start thinking about which option you may adopt:
SharePoint Foundation Edition 2010 is the basic edition of SharePoint.
Equivalent to Windows SharePoint Services in 2007-speak, this effectively contains all the core capabilities of SharePoint, blogs, wikis, team workspaces, and document libraries, enabling employees to share information and collaborate.
SharePoint Server 2010 adds collaboration features to the Foundation edition that allows it to tie into data repositories outside of SharePoint (including Lotus Notes). This version of SharePoint also possesses more management features and can support a greater number of users.
FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint builds upon SharePoint Server 2010 and adds the high-end search technology Microsoft acquired when it bought FAST Technologies in early 2008. Features include contextual search (such as recognising departments or geographies), the ability to tag meta data to unstructured content and supports more scalability.
SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Standard Edition is targeted at organisations looking to create Internet, intranet or extranet sites using the standard features of SharePoint Server 2010, and for companies that want to host the server on premises.
SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Enterprise Edition is pitched as being similar to the Standard edition of this product, although the details of how it differs are still vague. Given its Enterprise status, one would assume this features more scalability and management functions.
FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet Business adds the FAST search engine to SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Enterprise.
Lastly, SharePoint Online and SharePoint Online for Internet Sites are the two cloud-delivered editions that will be offered by Microsoft. SharePoint Online is currently available through the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, but this will gradually evolve to incorporate features from the 2010 range.
SharePoint Online for Internet Sites is a new version, but details as to how it differs from the standard Online version are unclear – presumably one can customise this version more to suit organisations’ external website requirements.
With eight editions, Microsoft is offering organisations of all sizes a SharePoint solution that meets their needs, and a roadmap for expanding SharePoint’s presence as needs evolve. That said, with that many editions, customers still need to do their research – go to http://sharepoint2010.microsoft.com/Pages/default.aspx as a starting point.