SharePoint 2010 SKUs multiply like rabbits

SharePoint 2010 SKUs multiply like rabbits

Summary: While Microsoft played up the November availability of a public beta of SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 during the opening day of the company's SharePoint Conference, there were lots of other interesting product tidbits that went unnoticed by many -- including the growing number of SharePoint SKUs and a replacement of the sync engine powering the product.


While Microsoft played up the November availability of a public beta of SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 during the opening day of the company's SharePoint Conference, there were lots of other interesting product tidbits that went unnoticed by many.

Here's a quick round-up of a few of them:

With SharePoint 2010, there will be (at least) 10 different SharePoint SKUs. (I guess the SharePoint team is bucking the trend that other Microsoft teams seem to be following -- that fewer SKUs is better.) On the product editions list: SharePoint Server 2010 for Intranet Scenarios (with Enterprise and Standard Client Access Licenses); SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Enterprise; SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Standard; FAST Search for SharePoint 2010; FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites; Search Server 2010; Search Server Express 2010; SharePoint Designer 2010; SharePoint Foundation 2010 (the product formerly known as Windows SharePoint Services). There are also at least two SharePoint Online SKUs: Standard and Deskless Worker. Microsoft is replacing the current online-offline synchronization engine in SharePoint with its Sync Framework. Groove Workspaces are tied to SharePoint right now using an internal sync engine that will be supplanted by the Microsoft Sync Framework. (Sync Framework is not the same as Windows Live Sync or FeedSync, just to try to clarify Microsoft's confusing naming scheme.) The change in engines will enable support of more users sharing Groove Workspaces and will allow developers to take advantage of exposed SharePoint programming interfaces.

Enhancements are coming to SharePoint Mobile Access. Buried in one of Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper's dense, epic blog posts: "We both improved the experience for mobile web browsers and are introducing a new SharePoint Workspace Mobile client so you can take Office content from SharePoint offline on a Windows Mobile device. These clients let you navigate lists and libraries, search content and people and even view and edit Office content within the Office Web App experience running on a mobile browser." It's not clear whether this new client is the same one that may or may not be part of Office Mobile 2010, a product about which Microsoft is willing to say little

Project Gemini is now known as Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel (or plain old "PowerPivot" for short). PowerPivot will be integrated with SharePoint Server 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2. Microsoft is touting PowerPivot's benefits as integrating "massive amounts of data on the desktop from virtually any source": and the performance fast calculations and analysis on large data volumes.

I realize there's a theory at Microsoft that product names of business software can be more unwieldy and matter less than those of Microsoft's consumer-focused products. Yes, SharePoint is a complicated, multifaceted Swiss army knife of a product, but it sure seems like all these SKUs and components would make it tough on customers trying to tread water in the SharePoint swamp.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Sharepoint remains a corporate roach motel

    Corporate data used to be stored in email. Once that got hard to manage & share, Microsoft recommended moving to share point. The thought being you move the interesting data into a special garden. Do that enough times, and Sharepoint docs becomes hard to manage and share. Today, searching a sharepoint (individual server or multiple that span workgroups) is a futile effort. Microsoft's old style indexes & grep keyword search doesn't work anymore.

    A smart Google style search across corporate email & sharepoint data is really what is needed. Elevate the most frequently referenced sharepoint docs to the top of the search. Docs are often duplicated across sharepoints and email, often with different versions. Detecting this and helping people find the most recent version, in real time, is also important. Sharepoint is simply a new repository and not really a system to help find and manage corporate knowledge.

    Google Enterprise Apps seems to be more and more compelling because of the search & organization features. And new Google App features stream in on a regular basis without waiting 3 years and doing major OS and App upgrades to every server.
    • I'm guessing..

      You're still using WSS 1.0 or 2.0

      SharePoint can be a storage area, storing documents, calendars, and even moving basic excel lists into SP lists.

      Searching SharePoint is not hard, impossible, it's just the opposite. Nice Google advertisement there.

      Horrible products don't have sold out events. 7,000 people are here in Vegas, hundreds more hoping spots open up.
      • Yup and...

        Additional FAST in an Enterprise makes Google Search look like you are using a GOPHER interface from the 1990s.
    • It sounds like you could use MOSS

      From what you've said, I think you must be using SharePoint 2003 or earlier. With MOSS 2007 you can search everything in SharePoint using, as you put it, a "Google style search" with the advantage that you can also search - guess what - your email. Or your databases or old file storage.

      If you've got duplicated documents with different versions spread around, you're clearly not using SharePoint as it should be used. A proper MOSS 2007 deployment will drastically reduce the amount of duplicated docs and versioning issues.

      It's not just a repository. It's a collaboration tool, a project management tool, a records management tool, an electronic forms solution, a workflow engine, a business intelligence presentation layer, a search engine... I could keep going.

      Sorry to sound like a sales pitch, but you don't have a clue what you're talking about.
  • SKUs as before plus 1

    The number of SKUs is the same of 2007 plus one. The difference is an Internet version Standard and an Internet version Enterprise (before you had only one version to publish contents on Internet).

    BTW note the broad use of Sharepoint word at the beginning of the SKU names.

  • Here are the real changes

    I just counted the items on the linked blog post.

    There are 10 items, but 1 is SharePoint Designer which is not SharePoint. This product is free now as well.

    Another item is SharePoint Foundation which is really WSS - No change

    FAST Search is a seperate install from what I've heard and is similar to Microsoft Search Server. It's not actually a SKU for SharePoint

    The real changes are Internet sites editions. These changes allow smaller businesses to afford the Internet editions.
  • Misleading ZDNet headlines multiply like rabbits

    Yet another FUD-inspired ZDNet headline. They're multiplying like rabbits.
  • RE: SharePoint 2010 SKUs multiply like rabbits

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