Probably the most talked about Service Pack in history is on the horizon, maybe as soon as this week: SP1 for WSS 3.0 and SharePoint (MOSS) Server 2007.
It's what SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint Services 3.0 administrators, architects and developers have been anxiously anticipating. And it's jam-packed with goodies.
Well okay, not jam-packed...
"Jam-packed" may not quite be the term for the contents of this inaugural SharePoint service pack. Unless you're referring to the over 60 hotfixes included, covering issues related to workflows, alerts, and list views. They don't list them all, but the official SharePoint blog provides a preview of SP1, along with a list of about 14 most popular requested or support related fixes.
These include fixes for the following (among others):
* timer job delays resulting from DST
* inherit permissions causing permission losses
* inability to open WSS alerts in Outlook 2007 in cache mode
* edit document crashes with multiple versions of office installed
What service pack of Microsoft's doesn't come with a mountain of hotfixes? The day this ceases to happen may be the day I stop working with their technologies because they won't be as painfully fun to work with.
Support for Windows Server 2008
With the addition of this service pack, SharePoint will now be able to run on Windows Server 2008 (from RC1 and up). And the new slipstream download version of WSS3.0 will already have SP1 included stock.
Great news for developer junkies who want to try out the newest version of Windows Server. But personally, just seeing that newfangled login screen made me nervous. Is the game changing on me?
ASP.Net for AJAX Compatibility
To satisfy the trials and tribulations of those who want to develop AJAX web parts, fear not -- your day is fast approaching.
Developers will be able to use the AJAX 1.0 Control kit for ASP.Net or the AJAZ 1.0 Extensions for ASP.Net to create Webparts for asynchronous post back. Finally you can build custom webparts with AJAX.
New STSAdm Commands
Last but not least, for the SharePoint Administrator in you (the one that thrives on the command line), a few new STSAdm commands:
* mergecontentdbs - not a brand new command, but now easily available in SP1 for merging and partitioning content databases.
* renamesite - don't like the name you gave the host for your site collection? Well now you can rename it.
* a whole bunch oh People Picker commands - for managing permissions to scope to an AD
What's Not in this SP?
Is everyone really excited about this Service Pack? The answer is yes, at least if you consider the amount of blogging revolving around one post on the official SharePoint Products blog.
But not everyone is jumping for joy. Some are questioning the secretiveness about the release date (if it's ready, put it out!). Still others believe SharePoint needs more work than this simple Service Pack can provide.
What's more, Microsoft still hasn't released a product roadmap for SharePoint, even a year after its release.
According to research conducted over at CMSWatch, many organizations say SharePoint looks so much more like a .net development platform than the out-of-box product that Microsoft markets it to be. Maybe some of us were expecting a little more "plug and play" functionality in this release?
Or maybe we were interested in seeing SharePoint start implementing some of those new Web Standards that Microsoft is supposedly agreeing to support.
I guess in the end, all of us are hoping that SharePoint starts moving to the next level and delivering more key capabilities and changes than a few hotfixes and some STSAdm commands can provide.
Until then, we will have to revel in the tidbits they send our way.