My first thoughts on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007)
I am spending a lot of time over this break learning about SharePoint.
So far, I have to say I am very impressed. Microsoft has put together an application that will allow individuals with some data modeling and high-level software design skills the ability to build applications that are web-based with very little effort. This application, to me, just makes sense.
My company set up SharePoint 2003 and I just didn't get it. It seemed like a file-system, but with less usability and multiple annoyances, such as IT departments having drank the Microsoft marketing kool-aid to push it on us. I didn't see what value it really added.
Now I see where Microsoft has been investing in R&D in the last 4 years. The 2007 version is very powerful. I have researched SalesForce.com as well as other application configurator tools. MOSS incorporates many of the features, as well as integrating with Active Directory and Office on the Desktop. Offline capabilities are available. Much of the configuration capabilities are handled through the web browser.
The integration with Outlook 2007 is awesome. Some of the prebuilt workflows include document approvals, with integration as a Task in Outlook, and even notifications using email with workflow integration.