Sharepoint For Mere Mortals: What Can Be Done In Sharepoint 101

Sharepoint can do a lot of things and because of that it is hard to accurately describe it to people without using a lot of technical jargon.  However let us start with something simple that everyone is familiar with and expand from there to try and get people to understand what you can do with sharepoint.  Let us look at, an invite list.

 

Invite lists can be for anything but moving forward our example will be an invite list for a wedding.  First, think about all the people who would need to see it, you first and foremost, your significant other, maybe your parents, maybe their parents, maybe your wedding coordinator, and so on and so on.  Sharepoint would be able to store that list so that everyone would be able to see the most up to date one and there would not be a need to combine "this list" with "that list," or compare two lists to see which one is newer.  There is only one list stored in one location and whoever has permission can go and look at it.

But there is more, how about adding and taking people off the list?  Well you certainly would not want the caterers to be able to add and take off people but you may want to let them be able to see it.  Well, in sharepoint you can do that sort of thing with "permissions settings."  You can determine who is able to view the list, who can edit the list and who can add and take away people's ability to do those things.  Basically, do you want to give your soon to be mother-in-law the ability to give her friend the permission to edit your invite list?  How about the ability to take away your ability to view and edit the list?

So now you have your list and the contents are constantly (or sparingly) being adjusted to show the most up-to-date information.  There is more we can do with this.  In this list we can store each invitee's address, whether or not they are coming, their meal choice and who they are related to.  This sort of data is called "meta data."  Essentially it is data about data.  This can be helpful in terms of sorting or information gathering.  With a few simple commands in sharepoint you can have a quick count of how many people are coming who are vegetarian or want the steak dinner.  You can find out which side of the family has more people counting or you can find out how many people are coming who buy "the good gifts."  The limit is set by you and what kind of meta-data you would find useful.

 

So that is just a little taste of something very simple that sharepoint can do.  Sharepoint can also automatically send out reminder e-mails based upon your credentials, build a webpage for your wedding, save all the wedding pictures from every guest afterwards, display maps, give out directions, all sorts of details that are involved with weddings or businesses.  But this is just a simple introduction for now.  We can expand on this on a later date.