I guess you all already noticed that Microsoft and all other
major players are moving towards cloud computing and offering
various online services. SharePoint wasn't skipped in that
movement, so now Microsoft also offers SharePoint Online services
as the part of the
Microsoft Office 365 service.
Please note that SharePoint Online services are not available as
the separate service, but only as part of one of available Office
365 plans. There are few available Office 365 plans that contain
SharePoint Online services. From the SharePoint point of view,
let's see what's inside those plans.
Small Business Plan (P Plan)
- Designed for up to 50 employees, but it is recommended that
plan don't exceed 25 employees.
- Contains one site collection for collaboration.
- Comes with one public (external) website created at the root
Enterprise Plans (E Plans)
- Supports more than 5000 users.
- Supports creation of additional SharePoint 2010 site
- Can turn on publishing feature.
- One public (external) web site can be created.
- Upgrade from P to E plans is not
- Workaround: export all data from the P plan, cancel the P plan,
buy a new E plan, migrate the data back.
- P plans do not support publishing
- P plans do not support several advanced
features, such as:
> Multiple site collections
> My site feature
> Excel, Visio, Form services
> Encryption - https is not supported
- SharePoint Online services does not
> Records Center functionality
> Advanced search features
> Most of the Performance Point and Business Intelligence
> Farm-level solutions
- Does not require any on-premises installed hardware or software
(except for client machines).
- Data can be easily accessed no matter where you are.
- Offline synchronization capabilities.
- Highly secure environment.
- Can be migrated to the on-premises servers.
Customization and Development
- Configuration by using the browser
https://portal.microsoftonline.com is there to give you tools
required for basic administration. Also, while on SharePoint
portal, there is a set of customization tasks you can perform by
using your browser. For example, you can edit page layouts, add and
customize the default Web Parts, add lightweight Microsoft
Silverlight widgets to a page, or embed jQuery code in a Content
Editor Web Part.
- Customization by using SharePoint
As for any other SharePoint site, you can use SharePoint
Designer 2010 to build, design or customize your SharePoint Online
websites. Customizations performed by using SharePoint Designer
2010 are declarative, but can employ client-side scripting.
- Using Visual Studio to develop custom
To enable more technically complex solutions, SharePoint Online
provides both server and client object models for developers.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 provides a range of specialized
templates for creating sandboxed solutions that contain a variety
of SharePoint items, such as site and list definitions, workflows,
Web Parts, event receivers, and content types, to include in your
Sasa Tomicic IS a .Net & SharePoint consultant with 11+
years of experience. His blog shares his thoughts about SharePoint
and .Net programming technics and the solutions about the
challenges and issues I hit on the real-world projects.
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