SharePoint360 Provides Hosted Websites with SharePoint
Microsoft isn't the only game in town if you want to build your website in a hosted SharePoint environment. SharePoint360, a SharePoint hosting and consulting firm located in San Diego, has launched a new SaaS offering -- SharePoint360 Web. SharePoint360 Web is one of a number of hosting options available from SharePoint360. It is the lowest option available and is designed to support organizations who need to get an Internet site up and running quickly that requires little to no technical knowledge.

SharePoint360 Web Offering

The service is based on WSS3.0 and not MOSS, offering a number of collaboration options and document management. They claim you can build a website in hours and that there is no need for a Webmaster, web design software or programming knowledge. All which means this is a fairly basic website, or an "entry point into SharePoint" as SharePoint360 puts it. Web 2.0 Capabilities Some of the Web 2.0 capabilities include: * Blogs * Alerts * RSS feeds * Wikis * Calendars Other Functionality A quick run through the Features shows that SharePoint360 Web appears to include all the standard WSS3.0 capabilities, including Search, mobile access, anonymous access, surveys, document collaboration and SharePoint Designer Access. What is doesn't include is a number of specially designed SharePoint360 web parts, with a few exceptions: * SP360 Account Creator - Create new accounts for website contributors, owners and visitors * SP360 Flash Webpart - Add Flash animation to the site * SP360 Photo Webpart - Upload Photos to the site
Upload Photos

Upload Photo Add-On

SP_AccountCreation.jpg

Account Creation Add-On

Enterprise features are also not available for this service, so you don't have enterprise search, content publishing, social networking, excel services and all that good stuff.

Cost for the Service

SharePoint360 Web is designed to be a basic SharePoint Internet site. It offers public access only and includes 500MB of storage for US$ 29.95/month. You can purchase additional storage for US$30 per GB. The service does offer all the good infrastructure support which includes off-site backups, your own domain, regular SQL and IT maintenance and more. You don't get failover or SSL.

Who Should Use SharePoint360 Web

All in all, the new SharePoint360 Web hosting service is a fairly simple way to get a website up and running on SharePoint without the cost and pain of implementing it yourself. It may be a good way to test the basic capabilities of SharePoint before deciding to get deeper into the CMS and social media capabilities. This is definitely not an option for an enterprise level organization, but more suited to small business. So if you are a small business who needs a basic website, take a closer look.