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Traditionally, most situations that require a group of users to share a frequently updated
document tend to get messy. One way that the situation is often handled is that a user
might make an update and then E-mail the updates to everyone else in the group. Another
common situation is that the document might be placed in a shared folder where it can be
updated as needed. Both of these techniques have problems though. For example, what
happens if two people try to make contradictory updates at the same time? What happens
if a user updates the document incorrectly, ruining the document in the process. These are
issues that business units within corporations have had to deal with for years. Fortunately,
those days might be over thanks to a free add-on to Windows Server 2003 called the
The SharePoint Services are the little brother to Microsoft\u2019s SharePoint Portal Server.
They are designed to allow users to organize and to more easily share information in a
collaborative environment. For example, let\u2019s go back to the example that I gave earlier
in which a group of users needed to share a common document related to a project.
Rather than trying to maintain the document in the usual way, the team could create a
SharePoint Web site with a document library. The document library would allow users in
the group to check the document in and out, thus guaranteeing that there was no chance
of two users updating the document simultaneously. The document library can also
maintain previous versions of documents so that if the team needed to revert to a previous
version they could easily do so without having to restore a backup. The document library
even offers a manageable set of permissions that control who can read, create, or modify
If all of this sounds really complicated, it isn\u2019t. The SharePoint Services are designed so that even someone with no programming experience can create a collaborative Web site on the fly by using prefabricated Web parts. Microsoft offers an entire library of Web parts that do all sorts of different things. For example, there is a document library Web part, a calendar Web part, etc. All the project leader has to do is to tell SharePoint
By default, your SharePoint site includes a default home page with space for highlighting
the information important to your group, and several predefined pages for storing
documents, ideas, and information so you can start working right away. Your site also
includes navigation elements so you can find your way around.
The home page of your site is your starting point. It contains the Quick Launch bar, views
of the Announcements, Events, and Links lists, and the name and description of your
team Web site.
your whole team. The five most recent announcements in the Announcements list are
displayed on the home page by default. You can also click the Announcements list
heading to go to the full list of announcements.
When you create your SharePoint site, a built-in announcement is displayed
automatically. You can edit or delete this announcement, as desired, and add your own
announcements from either the home page or the Announcements page.
The top link bar contains hyperlinks to special pages in your site that help you navigate within the site, customize and manage the site, or get Help using the site. The hyperlinks on the top link bar are:
Now bringing you back...
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