Introducing SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions

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SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft offers a new way of working together. SharePoint Team Services provides both Web publishing and collaboration features to make communicating ideas and sharing information easier. SharePoint Team Services is a superset of Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions 2002, and includes all of the features available with the server extensions. In addition, SharePoint Team Services contains new workgroup features that create a rich environment for Web publishing and team communication. By using SharePoint Team Services, administrators can create, author, and administer Web sites that help a team organize and advance on a project.

Note   SharePoint Team Services is available on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Windows Server 2003 family and platforms only. FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions are available on the Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 family, and UNIX platforms.

FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions are an update of FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions, and include new security features, such as roles and rights, and new features for monitoring server health and Web site usage.

SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage Server Extensions Features

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If you build and maintain Web sites for customers and coordinate with multiple authors, then the features included with both SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions can help you accomplish the following tasks:

  • Manage Web sites either on the local server or remotely, by using HTML Administration pages or a quick command-line interface.

  • Secure Web sites and grant authoring, browsing, site management, or other user rights to authenticated users.

  • Analyze site usage to find out who is viewing the site and how often.

  • Apply versioning to files on a SharePoint team Web site or FrontPage-based Web site to ensure that users always have the latest copy of a file.

  • Track errors on the server to help prevent site or server crashes.

  • Upgrade FrontPage Web site management functionality with features like forms, search tools, and usage analysis.

  • Use the rich features of Microsoft Office XP to add new documents and edit existing documents on the server running SharePoint Team Services.

SharePoint Team Web Site Features

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In addition to the features included in both SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions, SharePoint team Web sites include unique features that give you the ability to do the following:

  • Discuss and subscribe to documents on your SharePoint team Web site.

  • Customize a SharePoint team Web site by adding or removing features, such as task lists or surveys.

  • Send invitations to the new site and allow users to sign up for the site automatically.

  • Create document libraries to find and view documents quickly.

  • Create and customize team lists and allow each user to create customized views of the list.

  • Add announcements, calendar information, surveys, and other special items to the Web site.

  • Add users, and perform other Web administration tasks by using an easy HTML interface.

Note   The additional features in SharePoint team Web sites require a Microsoft SQL Server or MSDE database. For more information, see SharePoint Team Services Requirements.

How SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage Server Extensions Work

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SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions work in the following settings:

  • Intranet sites, for users within an organization

  • Internet sites, for users in different locations

  • Extranet sites, for users in more than one organization

SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions use the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) or the Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI), which are near-universal Web server extension mechanisms. Both FrontPage Server Extensions and SharePoint Team Services work with Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) on the Windows platform, and FrontPage Server Extensions work with the FrontPage-patched Apache Web Server on UNIX.

Communication between a client computer and a Web server running SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions uses the same open HTTP protocol that Web browsers on a client computer use to interact with a Web server. No file-sharing access on the Web server computer is needed, and neither FTP nor telnet access is required. No proprietary file system sharing calls are necessary to use SharePoint Team Services.

When SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions is installed on a Web server, SharePoint team Web site or FrontPage-based Web authoring and administering functionality is available from any computer that has a level-4 browser (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or later, or Netscape Navigator 4 or later). Authoring and administration are also available from a SharePoint Team Services–compatible client program, such as the Office 2000 client or the Office XP client, whether the computer is on the Internet or on an intranet.

SharePoint Team Services for Hosting Companies

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Hosting companies such as Application Service Providers (ASPs) and Internet Solution Providers (ISPs) look for low-cost, rich-featured solutions to offer their clients (either organizations or individuals). With SharePoint Team Services, you can provide clients with easy-to-build, user-friendly Web sites and straightforward Web management. SharePoint team Web sites include the following features:

  • Quick and easy content creation and Web publishing

  • Simple Web customization tools

  • Effortless document management with lists and document libraries

  • Rich collaboration features such as Web discussions and subscriptions 

  • Secure and remote administration from both the command line and HTML Administration pages

  • Ability to delegate administration rights individually

    You can give clients the rights to add users without compromising your security or processes.

The following scenarios demonstrate how a hosting company might use SharePoint team Web site features.

Hosted Site for a Neighborhood Association

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A development company is working on plans to build a new mall in a suburban neighborhood. The neighborhood association wants to organize meetings to discover what impact the mall will have on its neighborhood.

The neighbors contact an ISP, which sets up a SharePoint team Web site for their association. The association chairperson posts documents with the zoning plans for the neighborhood to a document library, creates a membership list for the association in the Contacts page, and sets up meeting dates for neighborhood events on the Events page. Members are assigned tasks on the Tasks page to discover what other plans are being made and to post their findings to the Web site.

New neighbors add their e-mail addresses to the association roster from their Web browsers and contribute comments to the discussion, which are stored in the collaboration database. They participate in the team Web site from their browsers without having to install a SharePoint Team Services–compatible client, such as Office XP. If they do have a SharePoint Team Services–compatible client, however, they can create and save documents to the Web easily, with all the richness that desktop applications offer.

The board members set up a meeting with the development company to discuss their concerns, and the note taker posts the meeting notes to the document library on the Web site to keep the neighbors informed. The neighborhood Web site allows each neighbor to contribute and have his or her own concerns addressed.

Hosted Extranet for an Advertising Campaign

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An advertising agency is working on an ad campaign for a new client in a different region and wants to keep communication efficient To get a secure area for posting plans and discussing ideas, the agency signs up with an ISP that provides them with a SharePoint team Web site and delegates user management rights to the advertising agency manager.

The manager adds his team members and members of the client's team to the site. He posts the initial plan for the advertising campaign to a document library, and then subscribes to the document so that he is automatically notified when the client reviews the plan. The client manager posts the required time line, adds inline discussion items to the plan, and creates a list of key contacts within her organization on the Contacts page. The members of the client team contribute background material to use in the ad, discuss the plan by using inline discussions, and add their perspective on the company image.

The agency team reviews the comments and posts revised plans and draft ads. When the ad agency team posts these plans, a hyperlink is automatically added to the document library based on the document properties; the team does not have to change the navigation or open the site to get its content posted to the right place — the content is linked into the page automatically. The client reviews the ad and passes the plan to the legal team at corporate headquarters. The legal team reviews the plan and the drafts, and then signs off online.

SharePoint Team Services for Organizations

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If you have your own internal staff to set up and manage your Web sites, you can also benefit from the new features available in SharePoint team Web sites. For example, SharePoint team Web sites give you the following features:

  • Better workgroup communication by using Web document discussions, subscriptions, tasks lists, and so on

  • Better document management by using lists and document libraries

  • Ability to use a SharePoint Team Services–compatible client, such as Office XP, to create great Web documents

  • Quick customization by using a SharePoint Team Services–compatible Web page editor, such as FrontPage 2002

  • Easy publishing and Web site management tools

  • Ability to analyze site usage

Budget Planning on an Intranet

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A large organization is planning a project for the next fiscal year. The information technology (IT) department creates an out-of-the-box SharePoint team Web site for the project and assigns Advanced Author rights to the project lead. The lead adds members of the team to the site and posts the plans and key dates for the project to the Web.

Team members contribute their own items, discuss any items that overlap, and talk about priorities for the project. Department managers subscribe to the planning documents to find out how the project is progressing and comment on the plans by using inline discussions stored in the collaboration database.

The team members continue to add information to the site, and the project lead summarizes the information into a proposal for the head of the company. Because the department heads have been following the process on the Web, the proposal is quickly reviewed and accepted, and the project is assigned the resources needed to go ahead. As the project progresses, the team members continue to use the Web site to track issues, communicate ideas, and coordinate tasks.

FrontPage Server Extensions and the FrontPage Client

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As with FrontPage 2000 and FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions, you get enhanced FrontPage 2002 functionality when you author content on a server that has FrontPage Server Extensions 2002 installed. You can edit FrontPage-based Web sites in the FrontPage client, and you can get access to the special FrontPage Server Extensions–enabled features, such as usage analysis, from the FrontPage client when FrontPage Server Extensions are installed.

SharePoint Team Services and SharePoint Team Services–Compatible Clients

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When you use SharePoint Team Services with SharePoint Team Services–compatible client programs, such as Microsoft Office XP, or a SharePoint Team Services–compatible Web page editor, such as Microsoft FrontPage 2002, you get enhanced functionality in the client. When you author content on a server that has SharePoint Team Services installed, you can use templates in the SharePoint Team Services–compatible Web page editor to create many of the special pages available in a SharePoint team Web site. For example, you can add lists and document libraries to other Webs hosted by your server running SharePoint Team Services.

Not only can you use the special pages from SharePoint Team Services in your SharePoint Team Services–compatible Web page editor, but you can also use the editor to edit the pages in your SharePoint team Web site. For example, you can open a SharePoint team Web site list page in a SharePoint Team Services–compatible Web page editor, and edit the text introducing the list, apply a theme to the entire site, or adjust the site navigation. Many of these tasks are also available through the browser, but you get a much richer editing environment if you do your work in a SharePoint Team Services–compatible Web page editor.