Microsoft Wednesday released the first set of specific applications for its Windows SharePoint Services, giving business customers a headstart in building collaboration sites, according to the software vendor.
The 30 new applications target specific business processes and allow companies to easily set up Web sites for collaborative scenarios such as event coordination, expense reimbursement requests, meeting management and employee timesheet management, to name a few.
For instance, the site for employee timesheet management lets managers of businesses with hourly employees build a site for reviewing and approving timesheets, posting shift and schedule information, and storing key documents, according to Microsoft. Employees also can use the site for submitting their timecards, viewing assigned shifts, requesting schedule changes and performing other tasks.
The application templates provide enough functionality to build each site, but also can be customized further if needed, according to Microsoft. Each application includes a link to an end-user demonstration that provides basic guidance for using Windows SharePoint Services.
More information about the new applications, which are available for free, can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sppt/wssapps/default.mspx. They can also be downloaded from that site.
Microsoft released Windows SharePoint Services in October 2003 as an add-on technology to Windows Server 2003. The offering, which is the underlying engine for SharePoint Portal Server, allows developers and users to create Web sites for information sharing and document collaboration.
Microsoft aims for SharePoint Services to be paired with SharePoint Portal Server 2003, which connects sites built using SharePoint Services and extends the services' capabilities. The portal software provides organizational and management tools for SharePoint sites, and lets teams publish information to the entire organization.