The long waiting game will soon end for enterprises looking to upgrade their Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 installations, as the much delayed Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 becomes generally available later this month. Analyst firm CMS Watch reports that while MOSS makes advances in many directions, the updated version is still held back by a significant number of limitations.MOSS is a part of the new Office 2007, also due out in November. MOSS now combines traditional SharePoint collaboration and portal services with Microsoft CMS and adds new functionality, such as Enterprise Content Management and Records Management. Microsoft has published initial guidance and best practices for upgrading from SharePoint 2003 to MOSS 2007. Nevertheless, upgrading will require careful planning and extensive testing given the dearth of real-world upgrade experience. Meanwhile, example upgrade solutions emphasize installations with minimal changes to the default configurations of the old version. In its Report, CMS Watch identifies seven common enterprise portals, of which MOSS excels at two: Collaboration and Web Development. "For use as an enterprise portal, MOSS will remain an unlikely fit for most e-business scenarios or enterprise-wide deployments in large organizations," according to Lead Report Analyst, Janus Boye. "MOSS adds a long set of new features, but MOSS should still only be considered for departmental collaboration or intranet scenarios in mid-market organizations already using Microsoft intensively," adds Boye. Other Report findings include: * The previous dependency on Internet Explorer is gone, but the most value from enhanced Office integration will come to those enterprises concurrently upgrading to Office 2007. Customers on older versions of Office may find their usability mileage varies. * As with the previous version, ease of installation obscures difficulty in customization and ongoing maintenance; administrators can easily get in over their head. * Microsoft’s all-important consulting channel will need substantial time to absorb and learn the tool. Experience with previous versions of SharePoint suggests that this learning process will be measured in years. * Microsoft has not issued clear plans for subsequent releases. CMS Watch founder Tony Byrne argues that "Microsoft has tried to go 'enterprise' in the impressive breadth of MOSS capabilities, but not necessarily in their depth and scalability". CMS Watch's 17-page review of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) evaluates the new offering in detail. Pricing for the report begins at US$ 550 for the individual vendor chapter. There is a free sample available for download now. In related news, Microsoft has recently decided to pursue DoD 5015.2 certification for MOSS Records Management. Read more Sharepoint Server 2007 articles.