Top Ten Reasons for Upgrading to SharePoint 2010

Sharepoint has turned 10 years old and it has gone through an incredible evolution from a document management portal to a platform for collaboration and content management. With every new release, there has been an increase in core platform features and movement towards a solution that captures the collaboration needs for organizations of all sizes. So we compiled top 10 reasons for an upgrade and move to Sharepoint 2010.

1. Improved User Experience

User experience in Sharepoint 2010 is vastly improved from that of its predecessor. Sharepoint 2010 UI is much smoother and richer with features like

  • Multi-browser support
  • Office Ribbon
  • Popup windows
  • Ajax support
  • Silverlight support
  • Wiki Style page editing
  • Multiple item select

End users will find Sharepoint 2010 intuitive and easy to work with as it has the familiar office ribbon interface and allows performing tasks without having to visit multiple pages.

2. Improved Document Management Features

Sharepoint 2010 has several new document management features that make document storing, classification and retrieval a simpler affair. Some of the features are

  • Document ID  – Permanent link to documents
  • Document sets for grouping related documents
  • Content Organizer for routing documents
  • Enterprise-wide content types and taxonomies

The new document management features of Sharepoint 2010 will allow organizations to easily structure their content and apply consistent classification.

3. Business Connectivity Services (BCS)

BCS is much more advanced than the Business Data Catalog available in Sharepoint 2007. BCS enables easy integration of Sharepoint content with the line of business data from sources such as CRM, ERP. BCS provides support for Create, Read, Update, Delete and Query external data from within the Sharepoint interface.

With BCS Sharepoint power users, developers and administrators can easily integrate assets from several different sources and build scalable business applications around them.

4. Service Application model

In Sharepoint 2010, Service Application model replaces the complex Shared Service Providers (SSP) model.  The Service Application model a web application to be attached to more than one Service applications and each service application can have its own database.

The Service Application model significantly reduces the management burden from Sharepoint Administrators and also paves way for a scalable and flexible deployment scenario.

5. Sharepoint Designer 2010

Sharepoint Designer 2010 is an integral part of Sharepoint 2010 applications. The focus of Sharepoint designer has changed from page editor to complete application builder. Sharepoint Designer 2010 now has the familiar office ribbon interface and provides tools for working with lists, libraries, external content, and workflows.

Sharepoint Designer 2010 allows business users to rapidly build solutions on top of Sharepoint without having to write code.

6. Improved Search

Search has been one of the most used features in Sharepoint. Search functionality in Sharepoint 2010 is greatly improved with features such as

  • Phonetic Search
  • Boolean Search
  • Wildcards
  • Refinement Panel – Easily filter results
  • Suggestions
  • Federated Search – Search content from other sources

The improved search features in Sharepoint 2010 provides a mechanism for users to easily find the information they are looking for.

7. Social Features

Sharepoint 2010 now brings in the host of social features to the collaboration platform. The social features of Sharepoint 2010 cover the 3 core scenarios

Social Networking: Ability to connecting and communicating with other members

  • Activity Feeds
  • Organization Browser
  • Ask Me About

Social Content:  Ability sharing ideas and knowledge with other members

  • Improved Blog template
  • Improved Wiki template

Social feedback: Ability to provide feedback on the content

  • Tagging
  • Note board
  • Rating

The new and improved social features of Sharepoint 2010 enable users to collaborate and communicate in an open and efficient way.

8. Improved Admin capabilities

Sharepoint 2010 provides several new tools that allow monitoring and troubleshooting Sharepoint environments. These tools include

  • Health Analyzer – Monitor performance, security and configuration issues
  • Usage Report and Logging
  • Sandbox Solutions  – Deploy custom solutions without affecting the entire server
  • Request Throttling – Prioritize HTTP requests
  • Full PowerShell support – Easily create scripts for common administrative tasks

The new administrative features of Sharepoint 2010 is bound to make Sharepoint administrators life easier by providing easy to tools for managing and monitoring a Sharepoint environment.

9. Better Developer Tools

Sharepoint 2010 provides developers with full development, testing and application lifecycle support.  The new developer-focused features include

Visual Studio 2010 is tightly integrated with Sharepoint 2010 and provides full support for Sharepoint 2010 development, deployment and debugging.

Developer Dashboard feature allows developers to track the performance of pages and web parts.

The new developer features in Sharepoint 2010 will make developers more productive and help them develop Sharepoint applications in a lesser time span.

10. Improved Business Intelligence Features

Sharepoint 2010 includes new Business Intelligence tools for analyzing business data and taking effective decisions. Some of the new tools that improve the BI capabilities in Sharepoint 2010 are

  • Performance Point Services – For creating dashboards, scorecards and KPIs
  • Visio Services – Share and view Visio diagrams within Sharepoint
  • Chart Web Parts – Create rich charts out of Sharepoint or external data

The Business Intelligence tools in Sharepoint 2010 allows business decision makers to make well-informed decisions by giving them an ability to aggregate data from the variety of sources and view them in several formats.

Sharepoint 2010 definitely provides strong reasons for upgrading. Even if 5 out of the 10 reasons mentioned above makes sense to your business then you can start thinking for an upgrade to Sharepoint 2010. As the upgrade process is not straightforward and several points have to be considered before an upgrade.  Microsoft Sharepoint partners provide Upgrade services to simplify and guide you through entire upgrade process from identifying the requirement to post-upgrade support.

To know more about more about IOTAP’s Sharepoint 2010 upgrade services