Updated March 31, 2023
Introduction to SharePoint Features
SharePoint features allow users of an organization or a group within or Project team members to collaborate within their group in a safe and secured environment and create, access and share information among them and with the cross-functional team in a protected way. It also enables workflow lifecycle for the information from the generation step to consumption step with necessary authentication and controls. Furthermore, it seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office products to create content and store them in a secure way on-premises or in the cloud. These features enable organizations to build web portals on the SharePoint platform and avoid investing in any other web development technology.
What is SharePoint?
- It is a collaborative tool connecting people wherever they are.
- Manage data contents.
- Acts as an internal web portal.
- Is capable of managing workflow-based applications.
- Is a browser-based tool hosted in MS browsers like edge, internet explorer and other browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firebox.
Various Features of SharePoint
Given below are the various features of SharePoint:
SharePoint is used as an Intranet portal for any Organization to share information with the group members as well as with peer groups. It also allows interaction within the groups. These groups can be at the Organization level, Division level, Department level, Project-based, Cross-functional, Task-based teams. Each member in the group is given select privileges to create, view, update and delete contents as per the requirements. Members in the group interact among themselves and share information. Due to this collaboration, the need for mail and other forms of interaction would come down.
2. Content Management
SharePoint features enable the creation of content using standard in-built web parts and custom-built web parts built by developers. Data from the back end database and other storage are extracted and filled in the content to make it more dynamic and lively. With the prudent content design, the SharePoint front end can resemble any web page, and all the web development can be managed within SharePoint.
Several implementations of Contents in SharePoint are:
- Team Site: A content page can be created exclusively for the team members of a team. News and other calendar events can be published on this team page by linking it with news publishing interfaces. In addition, members with create privileges can post their contents on this page, and others can view and post their comments.
- Communication Site: These sites are maintained at Organizational levels to communicate Policies, news about the company, common announcements, Social matters, HR activities etc., employees can interact with other employees and engage in some social activities also. Employee portal, HR portal, CSR portal belong to this category.
- Document Repository: SharePoint hosts libraries that systematically store documents under various subjects (folders) and Chapters (subfolders). Access permissions are available at the library level, folder and subfolder and document level. SharePoint maintains metadata of the documents like name, data of creation and tags, for better visibility and easy retrieval. Permissions are given to select users to post, modify documents and read access is given to the rest. Links to these documents can be shared with any users in outlook or any other mail for viewing this on a one-off basis. There could be many libraries in SharePoint, and the SharePoint administrator manages them.
- Lists: Lists are like Spreadsheets or Excel types with rows and columns to hold data and derive information from it. These spreadsheet files are available to multiple users for concurrent updating and viewing. Access permissions are provided to users to create, modify and view the files. These lists avoid sharing Excel with users through E-mail. Instead, changes are tracked in these lists in real-time, and a review of activities can be done using these lists in online.
3. Workflow Management
SharePoint provides a lifecycle management process to maintain various stages of documents as part of a business process.
A simple workflow for uploading a document may consist of:
- Creation of document by a user
- Review by another user
- Approval by authorizer for public consumption
SharePoint Administrator assigns permissions for various users to perform different roles in the lifecycle of a document. A typical business application can be built using these workflow processes and managed within SharePoint.
SharePoint allows data content search in its repository with criteria given by users. The search operation is restricted to documents, lists, web pages in folders and subfolders within that site. SharePoint considers permission available to the users for the content searched before it is displayed to the users. SharePoint adds a little bit of AI functionalities and suggests tips based on the user’s context and past search history.
5. Business Intelligence
SharePoint allows the creation of BI reports by the users themselves using the back end data, display it in its sites and refresh them with the latest data whenever it is accessed. Users can use any BI tool in extracting information from the data. Power BI reports can be easily integrated to SharePoint screens and make them attractive.
6. Project Management
SharePoint facilitates managing a project end to end with a host of features. Each project can be created as a site with a separate web part for displaying the project header and summary.
The other aspects of project management like:
- Line items in the projects and miles stones
- Broken down task lists
- Linking documents to task lists
- Time line
- Planned vs Actual
- Other project management routines
They are covered as standard functionality in SharePoint and supplemented with user-customized web parts.
7. Integration with other data stores
Data contents can be stored as part of SharePoint or stored in MS OneNote or OneDrive. Such data can be interfaced in the SharePoint screen, and information can be shared with users as well.
SharePoint application is deployed in all both cloud and on-premises, and it can be accessed by users wherever they are on the move from any devices viz., Desktop, Laptop, Tab and Smartphones.
SharePoint is a versatile and multi-functionality tool, and many organizations would have invested in it as part of the Microsoft package and may not be using it effectively. Its power and potential should be brought out by deploying in various applications mentioned above and reduce IT cost.
This is a guide to SharePoint Features. Here we discuss the introduction and various features of SharePoint for better understanding. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –