- Business logic
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- SharePoint 2010
- document management
- Web development
- Web sites
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- SharePoint Service Account
- SharePoint administration
Microsoft Boosts SharePoint Online with Office 365 Rollout
Microsoft Office 365, which is currently in beta, is the next wave of Microsoft's online offering containing SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Lync Online and all of them in the cloud. Office Professional Plus is also available; it provides enhanced productivity while working with various online tools.
The following is a quick overview of the productivity and storage availability in the SharePoint Online offering. The details are subject to change as Office 365 become generally available.
If you're wondering which version of SharePoint is available in Office 365, the good news is its SharePoint Server 2010 but with a few restrictions and limitations. Some of these limitations are due to the fact that currently Office 365 is in beta, but a few of them will likely remain, even after the general availability of Office 365. This makes sense as few features and functionalities of SharePoint Server 2010 will not be feasible for the multitenant approach, which is the hallmark of Microsoft SharePoint Online. As SharePoint online will be made generally available the differences and limitations will be made available by Microsoft.
From a planning prospective, the first question that comes to mind is related to the sizing and allocation of space provided by Microsoft. The SharePoint Online service administrator can set the storage limit for site collections and sites. This can be anywhere between the range of 24 MB (minimum) to 100 GB (maximum) for any site collection.
The administrator has the power to set the quota. But it's important to understand how much storage SharePoint Online initially assigns to site collections -- and after that the company will be charged on a monthly basis. Currently, SharePoint online provides 10 GB of storage (for single-company tenancy), along with 500 MB for each registered user (which is mainly for the user's MySite, which is a separate site collection).
This storage is available across all the site collections so the administrator can manage it in the form of a quota and allocate according to need to individual site collections. However, the maximum storage currently made available to a single company tenancy is 5 TB. This means that the company needs to pay for any storage other than their 10GB storage quota, and this needs to be done on monthly basis.
SharePoint Online, as well as SharePoint Server 2010, is highly productive because of its integration with Microsoft Office products. For most companies this is important starting point as they already have full desktop versions of Microsoft Office products installed in their environment, the good news is that SharePoint Online supports almost all of the Microsoft Office products as shown if figure below.
Another important part of the productivity boost is using some of the common SharePoint functionalities like tasks, contacts, calendar and discussions right from Outlook 2010, rather than going through SharePoint site. The integration of Outlook 2010 and SharePoint Online is quite deep, as shown in figure below.
Another important consideration for organizations is cross browser support for any Web-based application. Microsoft SharePoint Online fully supports IE 7 and IE 8. Non-Microsoft browsers Firefox 3 and Safari 3.1.2 (only for Macintosh) are supported, but some of the functionality may be absent. Another difference in user experience while using non Microsoft browsers is that user will get prompted to enter their credentials every time they access the SharePoint Online sites. On the other hand, while using IE 7 and IE 8 user will be required enter credentials only once and on subsequent access of the sites they are not required to enter their credentials again.
It's crucial for organizations to understand the user interface limitations within non Microsoft browsers. This will help avoiding awkward and undesirable situations where users are expecting similar experience for all the browsers which their organization is supporting.
There is lot more to cover, but let's stop here for now. In future articles you'll learn about other areas of SharePoint Online.
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