MS SharePoint 2013: the Multipurpose Tool for Joint Work

20 March 2013
By Alexander Stashenko, Senior Developer

Last summer Microsoft produced a new version of SharePoint – the initial publication was announced in July 2012. SharePoint-2013 – the choice of management who “think one step ahead”, who want to make document flow more efficient and to streamline their company’s communications. The DataArt developers from our SP Competence Center checked all platform facilities and tested some of them out with their colleagues. All were satisfied!

Microsoft SharePoint is a set of web-apps and other components for joint work organization. Sites, based on the platform, are used for information, artifact, and data storage, and also for end user communication. All components are compatible with MS Office.

Statistics say that 78% of Fortune companies (Fortune magazine 500) use SharePoint. And for almost 62% of then the information stored is used daily. As a collaboration platform, SharePoint is accepted as one of the most effective and reliable systems.

What’s new?

How to characterize the new version in short? The Olympic motto would suit it better than anything: Citius, altius, fortius! Platform optimization makes usage more operative and, as a result, business processes are accelerated, management of internal processes takes less time.

Interface. You can see with the naked eye – the user-friendly interface is not cluttered with useless details. The UI is intuitive. The barrier to entry is very low. The Microsoft team also optimized the mobile version/mobile browser experience with better mobile support and browser support.

Documents’ management. Adding documents became more convenient, content sharing and page editing – simpler. User can use drag and drop to upload documents and edit managed metadata in the datasheet view.

Search. The search functionality has been upgraded, but basically these changes are technical. End users see the result of their federated searches with previews and document histories. The searching starts when you type in a query. All results are arranged in order of relevance and are visually displayed when a user explores their search results. You can view from where a document originated (“View the library”) or the number of times a document has been viewed by users.

Facebook-like. The adaptation to meet end users’ needs makes the platform versatile. One idea was to seal an employee’s interaction within local resources with the opportunity of “liking”, posting, sharing, discussing, adding hash tags, and mentions (but without spending the whole working day in Facebook). And SharePoint-2013 offers that feature. The discussion board produces a “Facebook-like” activity stream. Such microblogging could be the base of the news field. You make your own decision in what form your employees will use SharePoint’s capabilities.

Many more facilities are available. Educational services, a translation engine (via Bing), shredded storage, etc. All these things lead to increased efficiency and productivity. The main thing is – you can modify the platform to meet your needs.

In practice

What should do the smart developer before showing their new skills to potential clients? Practice on their colleagues! We automate the work processes using SharePoint 2013: TravelTeam and SalesTeam work, HR and PR document sharing, and so on. Our last created product is The Competence Board.

The Competences Board – an infographic scheme that produces all information about DataArt Competence Centers for DA-team. The Board is simple for the visual perception of the material. Each Center got a personal card, each card respectively contains maximum detailed description. SharePoint is accounting for various types of artifacts, storage, aggregation, etc. And it can be easily expanded if we’ll need to.

In conclusion

We’d like to paraphrase a Computer Information Agency quote:

Word is a tool for entering information.
Excel is a tool for calculating information.
Browser is a tool for viewing information.
Outlook is a tool for sending information.
Google is a tool for finding information.
Facebook is a tool for sharing and discussing information.
SharePoint is the tool to do it all.


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