November 19, 2009, 10:25 AM — Microsoft's SharePoint Server is one of those wildly popular products that defies categorization. Microsoft claims SharePoint Server is the fastest growing product in company history, which is saying a lot. But it's not easy to pin down, since SharePoint focuses on six diverse areas: collaboration, portal, search, enterprise content management (ECM), business process management and business intelligence. Based on our hands-on testing of the beta version of SharePoint Server 2010, here are 10 things you need to know.
1. Previous versions of Microsoft Office are supported.
2. Via the new Office 2010 Backstage user interface, you can access and search tags and notes used in documents.
3. Office Web apps embedded in SharePoint sites let you edit Office content from a browser.
4. The personal My Site feature includes a Silverlight-based organization browser.
5. Libraries should scale to tens of millions items – and archives to hundreds of millions documents.
6. Document Sets let you manage content using a single workflow or metadata, thus better addressing governance and records management.
7. Identity management improvements include faster updates between SharePoint and directory services, including LDAP servers and third-party applications.
8. New SharePoint APIs include those for AJAX, Silverlight, and Language-Integrated Query (LINQ).
9. There's far superior disaster recovery, including new backup and restore functions.
10. A SharePoint version specific for Internet sites will be available when the product ships next year.