SharePoint History, by Arpan Shah

It’s interesting to look at how SharePoint has evolved over the years. Most people had their first experience with SharePoint with the 2007 release. SharePoint has its roots as early as the mid- to late 1990s during the dot-com hype. Businesses were very interested in getting websites up as fast as possible, and Site Server, first released in 1996, played a significant role in providing packaged software to the industry. Site Server 3.0, released in 1998, was especially popular and came in a special Commerce Edition. It delivered content and product management capabilities along with search, personalization, and order processing.

The first official branded SharePoint technologies were released in 2001: SharePoint Portal Server 2001 (codenamed Tahoe) and SharePoint Team Services (STS). The first product was positioned as a portal product that helped businesses aggregate corporate information through navigation and search. SharePoint team sites enabled teams to get sites up and running very quickly to organize documents, events, and other digital information. And while both these technologies were great for the scenarios they targeted, they had little integration between them. Customers wanted to use the two technologies in conjunction and provided strong feedback to Redmond that portal and collaboration were very similar and should be delivered on a common platform to give businesses more flexibility.

Over the next few years, the two teams worked very closely together on delivering a common platform. As part of redesigning the architecture, a few fundamental big bets were made: SQL Server as the backend data store and ASP.NET as the development platform. This made sense given Microsoft’s focus on its database storage and development platforms. Web parts were ASP.NET server controls that were based on the Microsoft Digital Dashboard design present in SharePoint Portal Server 2001.

In 2003, SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0 were born. While SPS 2003 was licensed separately, WSS 2.0 was licensed as a part of Windows Server. These two products were built on a common base platform, with SPS 2003 offering deep portal and search functionality at its core and WSS 2.0 delivering core collaboration capabilities. Because of the ease with which WSS 2.0 could be deployed, businesses began deploying WSS 2.0 in spades, leading to mass viral adoption.

During the time that Microsoft was designing and building the SharePoint products and technologies in the 2003 wave, Microsoft acquired a Vancouver-based web content management (WCM) company, NCompass Labs, whose flagship product was a content management platform called Resolution. Shortly after acquiring NCompass in 2001, Microsoft released Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) 2001, which used ASP technology for creating web pages. The following year, Microsoft released MCMS 2002, which added ASP.NET functionality. MCMS 2002 was a very popular product and was quickly adopted by many enterprise companies for their public websites.

When SPS 2003 was released, MCMS was a popular WCM solution and SPS 2003 very quickly gained momentum and was widely adopted in the enterprise as an intranet solution. With collaboration and portal technologies integrated in SPS 2003,
customers were excited about the ability to create team sites and departmental
solutions on the same platform.

With the successful delivery of collaboration and portal technologies in one product, the primary customer and partner feedback to Microsoft was to deliver a platform that combined collaboration, portal, and WCM technologies. In 2004, to address customer and partner feedback, Microsoft released the Microsoft Content Management Server Connector for SharePoint Technologies (codenamed “Spark”). Spark consisted of code and prescriptive architecture guidance that helped customers with some integrated portal and WCM scenarios; for example, customers could use SPS 2003 as their WCM site search engine, and surface WCM page summaries and links within SPS 2003.

Spark was a stopgap that helped address some customer requirements. But what customers and partners really asked for was one integrated platform for WCM, portal, and collaboration. In October 2006, Microsoft released Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

SharePoint 2007 was built on top of Windows Server, SQL Server, and the .NET Framework, much like SPS 2003. However, SharePoint 2007 heavily leveraged the .NET Framework (ASP.NET 2.0), which was more mature and had rich functionality such as master pages and web parts.

SharePoint 2007 had tremendous business success, with over 17,000 customers, 100 million licenses, 4000 system integrators, and over $1.3 billion a year in revenue. It changed the way customers and partners think about business collaboration. It delivered an integrated platform that featured collaboration, portal, search, content management, business forms, and business intelligence technologies. By building these different features on a common platform, there was a common and consistent experience for IT professionals and end users. For example, a SharePoint list now stored documents, blog posts, wiki pages, WCM pages, and much more. This meant that all the different SharePoint list features, from single-item security to workflow to RSS, accrued to all sorts of scenarios.

SharePoint 2007 not only delivered an integrated set of features, but also delivered top-notch capabilities in each functionality area and was rated at the top of many analyst reports.

In the past few years, Microsoft has continued innovating and making strategic acquisitions to deliver the best value to customers and partners. From acquiring FAST search technology to delivering a cloud-based SharePoint service (SharePoint Online), Microsoft has continuously delivered value while building the next-generation platform for business collaboration: SharePoint 2010.

On May 12, 2010, Microsoft launched SharePoint 2010—the most anticipated release of SharePoint ever. It is designed to deliver the most comprehensive and best productivity experience available today.

Source of Information :  Pearson - Succeeding with Agile Software Development Using Scrum 2010


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