The many flavors of SharePoint 2010
SharePoint 2010 has more “flavors” to choose from than SharePoint 2007. But unlike Ben & Jerry’s – where the choices are fun to sample, SharePoint’s are, well… not so much fun to make sense of. No worries, Fpweb.net SharePoint Experts to the rescue with a small plastic spoon. We have been sorting out SharePoint licensing for our customers for over a decade now. Can we skip right to Cherry’s Garcia or Chunky Monkey?
So let’s identify the versions and talk about a few discoveries we have made getting our hosted SharePoint 2010 offering ready for you.
How does existing SharePoint licensing transfer to 2010?
The first thing to do is talk about existing licensing and how it corresponds to the 2010 versions. Currently, SharePoint 2007 has 2 flavors: Windows SharePoint Services (WSS v3) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007. WSS v3 comes free with Windows Server and is essentially a small business collaboration tool. MOSS is relatively expensive but robust and serves the Enterprise customer well. Both products are stabile. So currently you are either a small business using WSS or an Enterprise using MOSS. To keep things simple, repeat after me.
SharePoint Foundation vs. SharePoint Server 2010
SharePoint Foundation 2010 is a subset of SharePoint Server 2010 just like WSS is a subset of MOSS. Now, let’s start complicating things. SharePoint Server 2010 has many key features or versions. You can turn them on or off. Fpweb.net customers will be able to choose from a menu of features (versions) and add functionality to their site on-demand. Let’s formally identify all the “flavors” of SharePoint 2010 so we all know what we’re dealing with.
SharePoint Foundation 2010
The “starting point” for SharePoint: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation requires a 64-bit Windows Server 2008 OS with SP2 or later. Fpweb.net will have a Foundation server offering which will meet our small business customer needs. And yes, there is a migration path from WSS v3 to Foundation. Hopefully it’s a tad less messy than V2 to V3 was back in the day.
SharePoint Server 2010
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 adds collaboration features to the Foundation edition that allows it to tie into data repositories outside of SharePoint (including Lotus Notes). SharePoint Server 2010 also adds more management features and supports more users. Thankfully, there is also a migration path from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint Server 2010. Disclaimer: Depending on how much customization you have in your SharePoint 2007 environment, your path may have a few more potholes than the average Joe.
Cool new features in SharePoint Server 2010
FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint
Takes SharePoint Server 2010 search and turbocharges it with high-end search technology Microsoft acquired when it bought FAST Technologies for $1.23 billion (lunch money for MS) in January, 2008. FAST for SharePoint 2010 includes contextual search (such as recognizing departments or geographies), ability to tag Metadata to unstructured content and more scalability.
If FAST search server is too rich for your blood, Microsoft will be releasing options for the enterprise to use Search Server 2010 and Search Server Express 2010. Speed kills, but you will pay for it if you need it.
SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites
Both editions can be run on-premise or by a SharePoint Hosting Provider like Fpweb.net.
- Standard Edition: For SMBs looking to create Internet (www) or Extranet (partner) sites using the standard features of SharePoint Server 2010.
- Enterprise Edition: Similar to Standard Edition, but with more scalability and management functions. We’ll be talking much more about the new features in Enterprise SharePoint Server 2010 in another blog.
SharePoint Online vs. Fpweb.net SharePoint Hosting
SharePoint Online (commonly referred to as “BPOS”) is one of two cloud versions of SharePoint from Microsoft. Note that BPOS is limited functionality hosted SharePoint packaged with hosted Exchange. Microsoft counts more than 1 million organizations that are using some version of hosted SharePoint, which is only about 20% of the companies using SharePoint. There seems to be a lot of companies wasting money with huge upfront capital outlays and server maintenance costs.
SharePoint Online for Internet Sites
The second cloud version of SharePoint hosting from Microsoft. This offering will allow customers to host their extranet or public-facing site outside their network. Typically good things since most IT folks don’t want the security exposure of a partner or www site. Microsoft says that these options will be half the price as on-premise SharePoint because Microsoft will not require CAL licenses. However, Microsoft BPOS does not support critical SharePoint functions like Active Directory integration or 3rd party web parts. A full-service SharePoint Hosting provider like Fpweb.net… does.
Hosted SharePoint from Fpweb.net
Fpweb.net hosts more SharePoint sites than all other providers combined, including Microsoft. We are leading the way in hosted SharePoint 2010 research. Look for a 2010 offering well in advance of Release to Manufacturing (RTM). Key differences between Fpweb.net and everyone else include: Full server control, 3rd party web part support, secure VPN access, AD integration, SharePoint apps in the cloud and a deep bench of SharePoint experts ready to help.
What about SharePoint 2010 Licensing?
The SharePoint 2010 CAL will come in two flavors. The standard CAL is a client that has the basics of what you would expect, and the enterprise CAL is the fatter client that adds analytics, hooks into Web services as well as Microsoft’s other office clients. It’s still too early to say if pricing will be similar or even less expensive than SharePoint 2007 CAL pricing.
Sounds great! Should be easy enough, right?
Wrong. SharePoint 2010 is really cool and super powerful. There is no denying it is a Pujols-size upgrade from 2007 (yes, I said Pujols-GO CARDS!). But when you lift up the hood to view the 301 engine, you will find Redmond has dropped in a 427 (I like to think of it as a modern Shelby Cobra; Blue with white racing stripe of course). Except this Shelby has been modified and fully computer controlled – Microsoft Certified gear heads only, no weekend hacks like me, please. So be warned that if you take SharePoint Server 2010 on-premise, get ready to deal with about 10x the complexity compared to the SharePoint 2007 environment. With that in mind here are some things you may find interesting.
Ten things you need to know about SharePoint Server 2010
- Previous versions of Microsoft Office are supported.
- Via the new Office 2010 Backstage user interface, you can access and search tags and notes used in documents.
- Office Web apps embedded in SharePoint sites let you edit Office content from a browser.
- The personal My Site feature includes a Silverlight-based organization browser.
- Libraries should scale to tens of millions items – and archives to hundreds of millions documents.
- Document Sets let you manage content using a single workflow or metadata, thus better addressing governance and records management.
- Identity management improvements include faster updates between SharePoint and directory services, including LDAP servers and third-party applications.
- New SharePoint APIs include those for AJAX, Silverlight, and Language-Integrated Query (LINQ).
- There’s far superior disaster recovery, including new backup and restore functions.
- A SharePoint version specific for Internet sites will be available when the product ships next year and and an even more affordable version is available via SPLA licensing from SharePoint hosters like Fpweb.net.
As always, thanks for reading. I hope you got a few useful SharePoint nuggets.