Microsoft has released the first 20 templates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. These are more than the name implies, a better name would be “solutions” or “online applications”. To better understand how these work and how they can be used first I need to explain a little of how SharePoint works.
The site you see is the User Interface for a group of lists and libraries stored in a secure data base. Each page within SharePoint contains web-parts that can display sorted and filtered information from the data base. These can be as simple as contacts, tasks or blog entries or as complex as a project dashboard for a new store opening.
So what about these templates? Each template is a set of lists, libraries and web-parts that work together to provide a functional and customizable solution. For example the Board of Directors application template provides a single location for an external group of members to store and locate common documents such as quarterly reviews, shareholder meeting notes and annual strategy documents. The Business Performance Reporting application template helps organization managers track the satisfaction of customers through a combination of surveys and discussions.
WSS 3.0 supports two types of these templates, one that must be installed on the server, and the other the site owner can upload to their site. The templates Microsoft released are the variety that need to be installed on each site. We have gone one step better and configured our installation so that all 20 are preinstalled for you. These are in addition to the 6 included with the core of SharePoint; Team Site, Blank Site, Document Workspace, Wiki Site, Blog and Meeting Workspaces.
Here is a list of the new solutions that you can access today for any WSS 3.0 site from mail2web.com:
Board of Directors
Business Performance Management
Competitive Analysis Site
Competitive Analysis Subsite
Clinical Trial Initiation
Dispute Invoice Management System
Employee Activities Site
Integrated Marketing Campaign
Manufacturing Process Management
Marketing and Product Requirements
New Store Opening
Request for Proposal v3
Employee Training Scheduling and Materials
Together this provides the site owner with the ability to create a portal to store, track, update and share information. To use these templates the site owner creates a new site or workspace selecting the template during the process.
Ultimately we will expand our offering for SharePoint 3.0 and enable users to create new sites with a choice templates. This is dependant on Microsoft’s release of the server admin templates, scheduled for later this month.
But don’t take my word for it; check it out for yourself. Signup for a free 30 day trial account and find out what the buzz is about.
SoftCom Technology Consulting Inc.