SharePoint has been known to enterprise customers and they have been reaping its benefits for quite a few years now. With Office 365, Microsoft has facilitated the availability of SharePoint to small businesses through SharePoint Online. With SharePoint Online:
- Colleagues can share status updates with one another;
- Team members can share documents and files;
- Users can find important people and documents fairly easily;
- Companies can publish important information and keep everyone aware of the latest updates;
- Team members can be organized and important projects can be managed with ease.
Some new functionality has been added into SharePoint online as listed below:
PowerPoint Broadcasting allows presenters to broadcast their slideshows with people spread out at geographically separate locations and on different computers/devices.
With document co-authoring, multiple users can edit the same document simultaneously even if they are at different locations. With this the users can also communicate with each other right from their desktop application.
Outlook Alerts allow users to stay updated with the changes to the documents as well as receive notifications of the changes and also receive RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds for the same.
SharePoint Workspace will allow users to work on the documents in an offline mode. Users can update the documents even when not connected to Office 365 to be sure that when they do, all their new documents and changes will get synchronised and they won’t have to do away with any changes made to the documents.
Capabilities of SharePoint Online include:
Communities: Through Communities, SharePoint Online delivers great collaboration tools with just a single platform to manage them. The communities’ option of SharePoint Online includes My Sites, Wikis and Blogs, Content Tagging and Working Together options.
Composites: With composites, SharePoint Online offers tools and components that allow businesses to create solutions rapidly that cater to their specific needs. Some of the tools included under composites are Sandbox Solutions, Sharing & Viewing Visio Diagrams, Creation of Forms using InfoPath 2010, Workflow design, etc.
Content: With content management features of SharePoint Online, users will be able to manage the content and editing through Office Web Apps, Document set management along with metadata management making it easier for searching through large list of files and Unique Document Ids which makes it easy to track documents based on the human readable identifier.
Insights: With SharePoint Online Insights, users can have access to all the information available on spreadsheets and in databases through the means of Data Visualisation and Visio Services.
Search: SharePoint allows users to find other users and documents faster through the means of Contextual search, Phonetic search and People and Expertise search. Once the search for documents has been finished, the users can view the documents right there and then in the web browser itself.
Sites: With SharePoint Online sites option, users can share documents with colleagues, manage projects with partners and publish information security for internal or external use.
Last but not the least, SharePoint Online administration tasks allow administrators to:
- Create and delete sites.
- Assign permissions to sites.
- Manage metadata information.
- Change or update storage quota.
- Make changes to user profiles.
- Activate external sharing for individual site collections, etc.
Some of the features and options listed above may not be available in the Beta version of Office 365 as of now.