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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Microsoft Sharepoint - what is it? in Technical; It sounds like a daft question, but I guess we're a few years behind everyone else. I figure it is ...
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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Microsoft Sharepoint - what is it?

    It sounds like a daft question, but I guess we're a few years behind everyone else. I figure it is used for web sites/intranets etc, the latter of which I am pondering replacing our's with.

    Is this software going to do the job for us if we are just looking to replace our Windows 2000 intranet server (literally just a few html/php web pages) with this? We use moodle for the teaching and VLE side of things, and I was thinking our intranet could be better utilised to serve our vast repository of photo media and growing video media. Is this the right route to be investigating?

    I see that sharepoint services is free; what exactly would we need to pay for to get this running? Is SPS3 sufficient for what we would want to do as described above? I may seem a bit naive but I see this being mentioned quite often and never really caught on to what it actually does and whether we could get use from it. We have a schools agreement which I notice has CALs for sharepoint.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Sharepoint is pretty much a portal server - kinda like a framework for hosting modules on. You can do pretty much anything with it - Blog Webparts, CMS, document management, link management etc...

    I'm currently creating a webpart which will allow our parents to book parents evening appointments via the soon to be launched sharepoint website.

    It can be whatever you want really.

    And SPS3 is sufficient for most people to be honest - but a comparison is available here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sh...758881033.aspx

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    A lot of the web parts will work with SPS and sharing video or streaming can be accomplished with windows media services (also free) other options could be joomla with a few free extensions, Dolphin is a social networking package which is free if you don't mind the branding needed to keep it free (it's not much to remove this) you can also look at drupal (also free) Having used both Drupal and Joomla I use Joomla now as the website is now flashy enough (with hardly any effort thanks to edugeeks template) to make the SLG an Governors happy. Drupal is "cleaner" but getting things to look the way you want is more difficult. Sharepoint is a nice system and the free version is more than adequate but for what you need I'm not sure if it's not worth looking at these other options, vShare ($10), Vidiscript (Free), Clip-Bucket (Free with branding) are good if you want video and audio streaming type systems and can be modified to allow for some normal webpage front ends but would need some work (surprise, surprise) There are a lot of CMS systems out there to be honest and most are very good depending on what you want I still think of Sharepoint as a CMS albeit a very avanced one which we use for SIMS Webparts and latter we are looking at using it for many things now some of which are good for the pupils and staff others are good for us I'll be writing a threads up on some ideas at a later date which several people have touched on over the last few months.

    Wes
    Last edited by wesleyw; 19th June 2009 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Typo

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    witch's Avatar
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    Sorry - stupid question from here - if he already has Moodle, why would he need sharepoint?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Sorry - stupid question from here - if he already has Moodle, why would he need sharepoint?
    Depends on what he wants to do. Sharepoint will allow for document management, and the ability to search documents on a windows network, taking into account permissions etc... (Like Google Desktop search, but for an intranet). It has a lot of other features too - have a look at the link I posted earlier.

    I'd feel loathed to shoehorn Moodle into being an intranet site myself.

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    Sharepoint is an excellent choice for an intranet app.

    I rolled one out here about 4 years ago and its been great - definitely improved comms teacher > student. Integrates well with AD, relatively easy to set up - its overall a good tool to use.

    I have to agree with localzuk - moodle *should* be kept as part of your learning platform portfolio and sharepoint *should* be kept as the intranet side. You can, of course, use both for each task but there is some degree of compromise on each app.

    You've also got to think of if you ever went with another learning platform and ditched moodle, you'd (probably) have to roll out another intranet app too.

    My opinion is keep 'em separate, but use SharePoint if you can - it's excellent.

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    dgsmith (19th June 2009)

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    Domino's Avatar
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    I totally Agree with Karl, Very easy to get going and once your school starts using it you'll wonder what you did before...and also Localzuk probably has the same outlook as me as to what a intranet and vle should be (although its worth mentiong only MOSS indexes windows share, WSS doesn't ) - the link posted was between sps2003 and moss 2007, but theres a more detailed comparison between SPS2003, MOSS, and WSS here SharePoint Products Comparison - Michael Gannotti on SharePoint +

    at my last school we had it setup as two distinct sites

    1 for Staff all staff could post bulletins/students no access. Admin update calendar. caretaking, IT,etc all have a seperate site with sections for helpdesk, knowledgebase, etc

    1 for Students all staff could post bulitins/students read only (except for School council who had a section) - also split into subjects to allow document sharing, calendars, etc

    Basically it was so extendable that staff started asking what we could do with it and it got more and more use.

    With it being AD integrated it meant no seperate logins and getting permissions set was easy.

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    dgsmith (19th June 2009)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    I totally Agree with Karl, Very easy to get going and once your school starts using it you'll wonder what you did before...and also Localzuk probably has the same outlook as me as to what a intranet and vle should be (although its worth mentiong only MOSS indexes windows share, WSS doesn't ) - the link posted was between sps2003 and moss 2007, but theres a more detailed comparison between SPS2003, MOSS, and WSS here SharePoint Products Comparison - Michael Gannotti on SharePoint +
    Not strictly true on the search front. You can install Windows Enterprise Search Express for free which integrates with pretty much everything, and requires WSS3. Enterprise Search: Search Server Express

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    Where do I download it from? and is there a guide to setting it up?

    and most importantly will it do a good job or breaking my server if I get it wrong?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJonas View Post
    Where do I download it from? and is there a guide to setting it up?

    and most importantly will it do a good job or breaking my server if I get it wrong?
    Download details: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 2 (SP2)

    I'd recommend installing it in a VM. Requirements are listed on the page linked above. It is very simple to set up, and it shouldn't break anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Not strictly true on the search front. You can install Windows Enterprise Search Express for free which integrates with pretty much everything, and requires WSS3. Enterprise Search: Search Server Express
    Nice!

    ....damn too short message limit

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Not strictly true on the search front. You can install Windows Enterprise Search Express for free which integrates with pretty much everything, and requires WSS3. Enterprise Search: Search Server Express
    Search Server is built on SharePoint!

    If you install the infrastructure update in MOSS you get improved search as well.

    http://learninggatewayconference.salamandersoft.co.uk/
    Last edited by apearce; 19th June 2009 at 10:05 AM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apearce View Post
    Search Server is built on SharePoint!
    Well, yeah, it requires WSS to run as a prerequisite, as I said

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Sorry - stupid question from here - if he already has Moodle, why would he need sharepoint?
    We use moodle for teaching and learning, however we want to replace our intranet with something else, mainly to host pictures and videos on (I don't like moodle for this, and our moodle is hosted externally so less control).

    Alot of replies which is good, and nice to know the free version of sharepoint should suffice for our needs, however I guess it wont work under Windows 2000? Would it work under Windows Vista? Any modules specifically for what we want to achieve?

    Not interested at all in using sharepoint as a learning platform or a VLE, so that side of things wont make any difference, I just thought it would be nice to use something other than frontpage and notepad to manually edit htm and php files!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Sharepoint requires Windows Server 2003 or 2008 (it is a license requirement).

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