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What Is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a collaborative software system launched and maintained by Microsoft. It
integrates with the Office suite of programs, and its primary purpose is document storage and
retrieval. It is distinct from OneDrive, however, in that it is meant for managing document
storage for organizations regardless of their server location, rather than serving as a cloud
storage option with collaborative features. SharePoint is highly configurable, too, so it is hard to
state the range of options and uses, because each organization sets up a unique SharePoint
experience to suit its own needs.
Why Use SharePoint?
If you are wondering what is SharePoint good for, when there are so many document storage
and retrieval options, keep in mind the need for security when maintaining company archives
and the number of documents created by organizations when you add together drafts of
creative projects, interior memos, reports, and research. SharePoint not only allows these to be
stored, but to be properly tagged with metadata, shared within communities of professional
interest, and edited by designated teams, alongside its other features.
This means you can set up powerful interior digital collaborations with little to no security
exposure on the web, making it an ideal resource for large companies with workers in various
sites and departments as well as smaller companies seeking to minimize data exposure for
Most SharePoint configurations do not rely on a secure IT network owned by the customer, because Microsoft does offer secure online storage and options that allow for SharePoint as a web-based application accessible from anywhere your team needs to sign in. This is the most common configuration of the software, and also the most cost-accessible for many companies.
SharePoint and Office 365
A version of SharePoint called SharePoint Online is offered through the Office 365 subscription. Like the other items in the package, it is a version of the software and not an exact duplicate of the core SharePoint. As such, there may be features that are accessed differently, or slightly different visual stylings between versions. At this point, version drift is not great, but it is noticeable, and some of the larger-scale enterprise tools seen in other versions of the software are not accessible in SharePoint Online.
What is SharePoint good for? A lot of things:
Depending on your needs and the license you buy, it might just be one of your most important tools. You can even use it to store and send asset files and documents that incorporate images, like the stock photos you find on Shutterstock when planning your projects.