The previous post in the BPOS series, covered the steps to set up an Office Communicator 2007 R2 and Web Conferencing (Live Meeting) environment for testing. I covered setting up the Communicator client and configuring it to work with the Microsoft Online Single Sign in program. I also covered Web Conferencing as it is provided along with the Outlook client.
If you’re familiar with SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services v3, then you know that setting up a SharePoint site is pretty straight forward. Login to the Online Services Administration Portal. Choose Service Settings and then choose the SharePoint Online tab. This is where you create site collections. In the trial, your total SharePoint storage space is limited to 5GB. I chose to set up a single collection called Corporate Portal using the default template.
Creating a site involves providing a Name, Description and choosing a template. This gets a little confusing as a template can be used in setting up a Collection and a Site. The Administrator page provides links to help you decide whether you need a single site collection or a collection of multiple sites nested in a hierarchy each with it’s own set of parts such as documents, lists, calendars, etc.
The Administrator page allows you to create a new collection, go an existing site, or go to site settings to administer the site. Choosing any of those options directs you to your SharePoint Collection where you are required to Login in order to gain access.
Within a site you can create libraries (Document Library, Form Library, etc.), Communications (Announcements, Contacts, etc.), Tracking (Calendar, Tasks, Links, etc.), Custom Lists and Web Pages.
I’ll leave SharePoint design, administration and usage for you to explore on your own. If you are a small organization like ELAP working in a workgroup environment, SharePoint Online may be worth looking into because of the document collaboration and overall structure it provides.
Done well, it improves productivity; done poorly, it becomes a web front-end to a chaotic file share. I’ve seen them both in action.
This about covers all of the functional offerings in the Online Services Standard Suite. Next, I’ll try to draw some conclusions and recommendations. Stay tuned …This posting is provided “as is” with no warranties, guaranties or any rights whatsoever. All content is based on the author’s experiences and opinions and is not intended to influence the actions of the reader.