SharePoint2010_logo_2009.jpg Millions of people across the globe are celebrating (or at least paying some degree of attention) as Microsoft rolls out the red carpet for the official launch of SharePoint 2010 (news, site) and Office 2010. There are a lot of changes in this latest version, much related to an improved user experience, some of it related to improved collaboration and business processes. 

Three years ago Microsoft released SharePoint 2007 and the world exploded with SharePoint implementations. To say it was an improvement to SharePoint 2003 would probably be an understatement. The problem was SharePoint was really too easy to implement.

Many implementations came from the grassroots in organizations which led to improper planning, little to no governance, a file share mentality and more. What many organizations were often left with was a mess. Now keep in mind this mess was not really Microsoft's fault, if making software easy to implement and use is wrong, then we all need a reality check.

But SharePoint 2007 was far from perfect and to get it to work in many enterprise situations took a lot of time and many customizations. So like all software, a new version was needed to resolve many of these issues. It took them three years, but SharePoint 2010 has finally arrived.  

Microsoft touts SharePoint 2010 as the Business Collaboration platform for the enterprise and the web. They say is crosses organizational boundaries and supports a number of activities, from workplace collaboration, to document management, to web content management and more. So let's take a look at the 6 new pillars of SharePoint 2010.

The 6 Pillars of SharePoint 2010

SP2010_overview.jpg 1. Sites

Essentially, everything you do in SharePoint is site-based. These sites can be accessible through your intranet, extranet or internet. They can be collaboration workspaces, business dasboards, portals, your public web presence. You also have personalization via MySites, content targeting and tagging.

Perhaps the point here is that whether you are building an intranet, an extranet or an Internet site, the tools you need are similar. Personalization, collaboration, communities, social networking, content management -- these things can be leveraged across any type of site you create.

Another important point to make here is that SharePoint 2010 is a platform that can support the growing number of mobile workers across an organization. This new virtual cube experience is supported through collaboration, content management and community capabilities. And SharePoint Workspace has arrived to support offline access (sometimes we do disconnect from the network).

There have been many improvements in these areas and we've covered them in the following articles:

2. Communities

It was called Facebook for the Enterprise during a Microsoft demonstration, and while I sort of dislike that term, the thinking behind it made sense. Microsoft has taken the social aspects of SharePoint 2007 and made them a lot better. MySites actually becomes a very useful component, Profiles are rich, there's a newsfeed -- or activity feed -- to keep you in the loop.