By Jennifer Marsh
Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.
SharePoint is a Microsoft platform for businesses that need an out-of-the-box solution for intranet services within the company infrastructure, providing businesses with a quick way to implement and integrate intranet services such as document sharing, newsfeeds, organization and employee data warehousing, and software development bug and upgrade management. SharePoint also has scalability, so businesses can customize services as the company grows. Because of the ease of integration and customization, SharePoint is a popular solution for midsize and large companies.
Choose a Web Server
Because an intranet only serves internal employees, the web server chosen to run SharePoint does not need to be the latest and greatest in speed and performance. SharePoint can operate well on an older server running Internet Information Services (IIS) and a Microsoft SQL Server backend.
The server need not have the latest hardware that an external-facing web server needs, either. Data storage is more the issue because the business departments upload and share documents with the SharePoint service. Storage is hosted in the cloud, and SharePoint runs on the internal network. This is seamless to the end-user, but the cost and reliability for the business is more efficient.
Determine Who Will Update Content
SharePoint comes with a fully integrated content management system (CMS). This means that anyone who has access to the SharePoint server and is set up as a content manager can update the intranet’s information. Permissions can be integrated with the Windows Active Directory Services (ADS), so IT managers do not need to create new user accounts on the new server. Each person set up in the system can be given modify rights to change the content on the server, and conversely, the IT manager can explicitly block people from viewing some or all of the content.
Create External Links to View from SharePoint
Most large companies use a payroll system that sends paychecks to employees and manages employee data. With SharePoint, links can be created to a payroll portal of an outside vendor. So employees do not need access to the Internet to view payroll information. This system can be set up for any purpose, and it’s safer than employees transferring data outside of the local intranet.
Microsoft has made it somewhat simple for even a non-technical person to install and set up SharePoint. Although there are advantages to having a more seasoned IT professional setup the server, a small company starting out with a new SharePoint server can install and maintain the system with Microsoft’s installation wizard and TechNet documentation available online.