SharePoint 2010 five first thoughts for education
This week I am in Las Vegas with over 8000 people who are attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009. This is the flagship launch for the public beta of 2010 which will be available by the middle of November for people to play with. For myself, Dave Coleman and the team at Twynham we have had a long and detailed exposure to SharePoint 2010 as we have been very fortunate to be on the TAP programme. This is the Technical Access Preview which has been running for a year now. Along with just 1500 organisations worldwide we have been working with Microsoft on the Alpha (in November 2008) and Beta 1 (From July 2009) builds for nearly a year. It has been a long but extremely rewarding journey and today I thought I would share my first thoughts for education now that the NDA (non disclosure agreement) has been removed for TAP members.
Five First Thoughts for Education
- First and foremost SharePoint 2010 is a big improvement for the end user experience. The whole process of editing within the page and the arrival of the ribbon is a massive step forward. For me in schools throughout the world the next few years will see SharePoint move from a technically controlled system to a user controlled system.
- Upgrade is undoubtedly the biggest pain point for schools and those who moved from 2003 to 2007 will no doubt remember this. In place upgrade has been promised with a visual check before committing and Microsoft are very confident of this. Taking the most significant pain away from schools will make the prospect of a summer 2010 upgrade much more likely.
- My Sites have finally joined the land of the 21st Century and their is the distinct possibility that they will be capable of being an e-portfolio. This along with an uplift in blogs, wikis and discussion forums (although these three are by no means perfect) brings SharePoint closer to our web 2.0 world.
- SharePoint 2010 Online represents a genuinely promising prospect of hosting SharePoint off site but retaining all of the functionality of an on-site build. This has major ramifications for the majority of schools in the UK who have a hosting from a company. The lack of functionality with current SharePoint Online has been debilitating but with near-parity functionality between Online and On-site we could see a major shift in the education market.
- Customisation will allow schools to consider SharePoint both for the intranet and extranet but also for their Internet facing site. The emergence of a separate SharePoint for the Internet server was the only surprise we have received this week as it never came up on the TAP. The trend towards SharePoint websites for schools is exciting and somewhere we have been for over a year.
I will blog on each of the points above in the next few days so stay tuned for more detail.