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Determine user needs and features to use

SharePoint 2007

Updated: December 1, 2006

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Updated: 2006-12-01

In this article:

In the Determine objectives for sites article, you identified the objectives for the sites you want to create in your Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 environment. In this article, you will review those objectives and user needs, plus any special considerations. Then, you will map those user needs to features that you want to use in your sites.

Determine user needs

Previously, you decided whether you were primarily creating sites for document storage, communication, or collaboration. In addition to these high-level objectives, you need to determine whether there are additional user needs you want to address by using your SharePoint sites. For example, users might need to:

  • Interact with data and documents while traveling or working offline.

  • Send e-mail messages to other members of the community, send documents through e-mail to a site, or archive e-mail messages in a site.

  • Quickly publish ideas on Internet blogs or wikis without requiring approval or special permissions.

  • Stay informed about changes to the site.

  • Incorporate data from several sources.

Worksheet action

Use the Site objectives and environments worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=73269&clcid=0x409) to record any additional needs your user community has or requests that you have received from your users.

Special considerations

Your environment also influences your decisions about what your sites can contain. Identify any special requirements or needs that you might have because of environmental factors. Considerations include:

  • Client integration   Which client applications do you have in your environment that need to interact with your SharePoint sites?

  • Server integration   Which servers in your environment need to interact with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0?

  • Line-of-business application integration   Are there any business applications that need to be integrated with your SharePoint sites?

  • Add-on solutions, features, applications   Are there any solutions that you have in your current environment that need to be integrated with your SharePoint sites? If you are upgrading, are there any solutions or applications that were integrated with a previous version that need to be upgraded?

  • Hosting considerations   If you are a hosting company, what do you need to do to integrate with your billing, auditing, or other systems? Are there any features that you want to provide at additional cost or features that you do not want to provide at all?

Map user needs to features and determine which features to use

The following tables include common list types, site types, and other features available in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Map your user needs to particular features and review the special planning considerations to determine if there are any requirements that you need to meet or factors that you should consider before you use a particular feature.

Communication features
Feature Description Special planning considerations

Announcements

Share news and information with other site members.

Shared calendar

Schedule and share event information.

Links

Share important links with site members.

E-mail

Send information to a site or list, or to communicate with all site members.

Requires an SMTP mail server to authenticate users, filter spam, and provide virus protection for e-mail messages. For more information, see Plan incoming e-mail (Windows SharePoint Services).

Survey

Gather data from site members.

Presence

Find out which site members are online and ready to communicate.

Requires a client application to process the presence information (such as Windows Messenger).

Collaboration features
Feature Description Special planning considerations

Discussion board

Share and generate ideas or discuss solutions.

Issue tracking

Track issues that site members are working on.

Contacts

Store contact information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and so on.

Document storage and workflow features
Feature Description Special planning considerations

Document library

Store, share, present, and track documents.

Consider content types and metadata that you want to support.

Picture library

Store and share pictures.

Tasks

Assign and track tasks.

Recycle Bin

Recover deleted items, documents, and lists.

Consider whether to turn on Recycle Bins for site collections.

Information management features
Feature Description Special planning considerations

Alert

Track changes to documents, items, lists, libraries, or the entire site.

RSS feed

Subscribe to a site and find out what is new.

Requires RSS client application.

Auditing

Flag what is happening on the site.

If you want specific auditing reports, you can create them by using the object model. For more information, see the Windows SharePoint Server V3: Software Development Kit (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=72207).

Offline

Take documents or lists offline to continue working.

Requires client application.

Mobile

View and participate in the site from mobile devices.

Data connection

Pull in data from other applications and Web Parts to display content from other systems.

Search

Find information within a specific site, list, or document library, or across all sites in a site collection.

For more information, see Plan for search (Windows SharePoint Services).

Special site types
Feature Description Special planning considerations

Blog

Publish your thoughts and ideas to share with the community.

Permissions for blog sites are configured differently from other sites to prevent people who can comment on blog posts from creating posts.

Wiki

Participate in group content authoring.

Document Workspace

Publish a document for review or discussion.

Document Workspace sites can easily multiply and get lost. To more effectively control your sites, use a Document Workspace site only when you need a separate space with unique permissions and additional information about a particular document. For general collaboration on documents, use document libraries instead of Document Workspace sites. Document Workspace sites can be created from several Windows SharePoint Services-compatible client applications, such as Microsoft Office Professional 2007.

Meeting Workspace

Publish meeting agendas, notes, and follow up tasks in one site.

Meeting Workspace sites can also be created from Windows SharePoint Services-compatible client applications, such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

Worksheet

Use the following worksheet to determine user needs and features:

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