What Is SharePoint?

If you've been doing any reading about Microsoft's Windows Server 2003, you've probably heard the word SharePoint. You've probably heard it mentioned in several contexts: SharePoint Team Services, SharePoint Portal Server, SharePoint Web Parts, and SharePoint Dashboards. You might be confused about how these items interact and how they can help you. This chapter explains a bit about each of these technologies and goes into detail about how to use the various SharePoint technologies to collaborate with others both inside and outside your organization to share documents. Throughout this chapter, SharePoint Portal Server refers to SharePoint Portal Server 2003, and SharePoint Team Services refers to the SharePoint Team Services that works with Windows Server 2003.

Sharing documents is only one benefit to SharePoint. You can collaborate on meetings by creating shared meeting workspaces that can be accessed via the Internet, the corporate intranet, or even Outlook. For every meeting, you can store the agenda, documents, tasks, and objectives, and manage the attendees for your meeting. A detailed explanation of shared meeting workspaces is beyond the scope of this book, but we'll cover briefly how you can store and access documents to help you better prepare for and follow up on your meetings. Mostly, however, this chapter covers the features of Word 2003 that allow you to work directly with SharePoint technologies. Word users can benefit from SharePoint by utilizing the document collaboration features, implementing document versioning, and using the discussion features to update documents between multiple editors.

SharePoint Portal Server Versus SharePoint Team Services

So what's the difference between SharePoint Portal Server and SharePoint Team Services? If you don't know off the top of your head, you're not alone. The gist of the difference is that SharePoint Team Services was designed for smaller teams collaborating over an intranet or the Internet. SharePoint Portal Server was designed to be used over an entire enterprise, allowing users to index and search for documents over a wide variety of portal sites. SharePoint Team Services can run on any existing Windows Server 2003 (including one being used for other roles such as a file server or database server). SharePoint Portal Server is a standalone server product. Table 27.1 illustrates some of the key differences between these two products.

Table 27.1. SharePoint Team Services Versus SharePoint Portal Server

Team Services

Portal Server

Primary Function

Team collaboration

Enterprise collaboration

Web Sites

Individual team Web sites

Enterprise portal Web site

Search Functionality

Documents within team Web site and subsites

Multiple types of data across multiple servers

Collaboration Features

Discussions, notifications, and surveys

Discussions and notifications


FrontPage 2003 and the SharePoint Team Services SDK

Web Parts and the SharePoint Portal Server SDK

Document Management Abilities

Publish documents, version control, check-in and check-out

Publish, version control, routing, check-in, and check-out

Security Roles

Administrator, Advanced Author, Author, Contributor, Browser

Administrator, Coordinator, Author, and Reader


SQL Server

Web Storage System


FrontPage 2003 Server license, no separate client access license

SharePoint Portal Server license and client access licenses

The SharePoint Team Services technology allows users to quickly create and contribute to team or project-focused Web sites from within their browser or Office applications. With SharePoint Team Services, anyone on the team can create a quick Web site for sharing information that includes documents, calendars, announcements, and other types of information. Team members can easily customize and manage these Web sites through FrontPage 2003 and the SharePoint Team Services SDK.

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 allows administrators to create a portal Web site that allows users to share documents and search for information across the entire enterprise, including SharePoint Team Services sites. All of these sites can be searched and indexed through the SharePoint Portal Server main site. SharePoint Portal Server includes the document management features companies need to manage their business processes with their portal solution.

So what does this all mean? Well, if all you want to do is share documents with a limited group of people (either within your organization or outside your organization), you should probably implement SharePoint Team Services. You don't need client access licenses (CALs) and you can publish documents easily for everyone to access. If you need detailed version control and document routing, as well as the ability to access various data across multiple sites, you should look into SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

Sharing Documents with SharePoint Team Services

This chapter's focus is SharePoint Team Services. However, most of the topics addressed here will work equally well with SharePoint Portal Server. A few of the topics covered in this chapter will work only with SharePoint Portal Server. Wherever that's the case, it will be noted in the text.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word