Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server

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This software solution for corporate intranets has three basic components: document management and version control, index and full-text search of internal and external document sources and the Dashboard portal site. In this context, its name is slightly misleading since it’s not a portal on the Internet as it might suggest. Some of its most useful functions include document publishing, subscription and approval to streamline document sharing in an organization. 

Setting up SPS (Sharepoint Portal Server) is quite easy and can be done by anyone with little experience in administering servers. After SPS has been installed, workspaces can be created in which people accessing it will store documents, etc.

All documents are accessible through a Web browser, and depending upon your rights, you can upload, modify, read, and publish them

Snapshot
MICROSOFT SHAREPOINT PORTAL SERVER
Price: 
Rs 2,65,000 (5 clients), Rs 3,43,600 (25 clients)
Meant for:
Corporate intranets
Feature:
Document management and version control
Pros:
Easy to use, many useful features
Cons:
Expensive
Contact: 
Microsoft, Delhi
Tel:
011-6294600-12/. Toll Free: 1-600-111100
E-mail:
connect@microsoft.com

Accessing a workspace is as simple as typing in http://servername/workspace in IE or Netscape Navigator—the two browsers supported. Users can log in using their user accounts on the server itself. There are three basic types of accounts: coordinators, authors and readers. Coordinators have absolute control over the database and perform tasks such as adding users and assigning roles, creating document profiles, adding content sources to the workspace, etc. Authors are those users who can add documents to specific folders and search for, read, edit or delete any document in the folder. A reader can search for and read those documents that have been published. 

Using the software is quite simple, and here’s how it works. An author would upload (check in) a document to the workspace after writing it. Then, any other author would have the authority to “check out” this document and edit it himself. A checked-out document can’t be taken by any author other than the one who’s taken it. SPS keeps a complete history of every change that is made to a document and assigns version numbers to them as well. For example, an initial draft document would get the version 0.1. After another author would check out and check it back in, it would become 0.2. Next, when the authors are done working on the document, it can be “published”. This implies that the document is now in its final form. It would be assigned a version number like 1.0 and made available to all readers. SPS users can also subscribe to documents, folders, categories or search results so that they’ll get notified of any changes through e-mail or the web interface. Another useful feature is the ability to have discussions on documents. These discussions are stored on the SPS server and can be referred to at any point of time. 

The bottom line: The SPS site’s look can be completely customized through its interface. It comes with complete online documentation that is quite comprehensive. However, at Rs 2,65,000 for five clients and Rs 3,43,600 for 25 clients, it is expensive. 

Anuj Jain  at PCQ Labs

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