What is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a web-based platform that integrates with Microsoft office and provides document management and storage that can be used by any specific organization or between organizations.
SharePoint provides users the ease of working collaboratively on similar documents. Since SharePoint is also a Microsoft product, it works well with other Microsoft products and is a reliable solution. SharePoint is also widely used for building web applications by developers as it provides an easy way to share, store and collaboratively work on data through various devices.
Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint server are the most commonly used SharePoint services and developers mostly use one of these services to set up a server for their apps or to share data.
Benefits of using SharePoint
One of the main benefits of using SharePoint is its easy learning capabilities. Anyone who has a good command over Microsoft office can get started with SharePoint. Although to master its full potential one must have the mind similar to that of a developer, at least for the server setup part.
SharePoint online has now become a part of Office 365, which means it can be accessed easily from anywhere at any time. Even though it is packed with many new features, but still contains a similarly simple and easy to use user experience. There are many advantages of using Microsoft Share point such as, it simplifies business activities by providing simple business data access to all the connected users or all the users who have shared a data source with.
How to use SharePoint
It is relatively easy to use SharePoint as it is a platform rather than a desktop application, so nothing is really stored locally on it. You connect to share point through a browser and hence everything is stored on a server. SharePoint is mostly used to create a website, customize it, customize documents, set up custom alerts, or create a master calendar to track all activities. A most useful feature of SharePoint for most users is the collaboration part, as multiple users can share, store documents and build solutions collaboratively. While working with share point users can access files from documents of various types such as docx, excel, powerpoint, access etc.
To use SharePoint effectively for administrative purposes you might need sharepoint 2016 administration training that will help understand the basics like how to create sharepoint online power user or other users.
In reality, SharePoint can be used in a number of ways, it all depends on your requirements. Whether you want to create a simple website with forms and save that forms data into an excel or access file, you can do that with simply with share point by following some instructions or tutorial. There are demos available for almost every feature of Sharepoint.
5 Tips for SharePoint Online
After using SharePoint you will learn and master it with time, but there are a few tips that have helped the experienced people working with SharePoint and these can help any new beginner as well, some of which are as follows.
- Use explorer view more often
The explorer view is great when working with more than one document, it helps you view all the files in a hierarchical view which highlights the position of each file along with its parent. Usually, people working with multiple files simultaneously like programmers fully understand the importance of such a view. Even to the not so tech-savvy person having a glance of all files at once is a nice feature to have that should be utilized more.
- While editing lists use excel-like datasheet view
Most SharePoint users don’t realize this until someone explains to them that you can access and view lists in a similar manner to excel sheet. This familiar view helps and improves productivity for obvious reasons. When working in the same familiar environment the productivity is heavily increased as compared to switching to a new environment for each document type.
- Alerts are important, set them up
Alerts, when items are changed, might be necessary to the admin or root user at times. As an inventory control system, if the count of some specific item in the inventory is less or close to zero it will probably be best to alert and send a notification to whoever is in charge of restocking. Such little alerts help smoothen out the business side and also increases sustainability and countability.
- Customize views and add columns where needed
When going through a file with a lot of data with many subfields, sorting for a specific entity at child level will be difficult. Hence to make this easier, we can make specific views in SharePoint for the kind of data we want to view with what kind of child-level data we want to view. Having separate columns for each entity in this new custom view can help us navigate through data more easily.
- Connect multiple calendars to make a master calendar
This might be no surprise to the experienced SharePoint users that you can combine different types of calendars into a single one. For example, when calculating all the employee leaves, you can count gazette holidays in a separate calendar, sick and casual leaves in a separate calendar and annual vacations in a separate calendar, and combine all these at the year’s end to get a master calendar for each individual employee.
Share point has simplified a lot of processes that are data related for people who are not programmers. Such control of data and the collaborative approach that Sharepoint offers is second to none. Many people though SharePoint was losing its place in the market because of so similar emerging competitors but with the office 365 having SharePoint integrated within it. This opens up a realm of new possibilities and new ideas.
SharePoint is currently a really nice collaborative tool for enterprises and is used throughout the world in various industries. Its applications are increasing with the number of users as well.