MS SharePoint history – what should you know about it?

Yes, we know, history is rarely a favorite subject at school. We have already learned the dates and the achievements of the rulers, but maybe you will be interested in the history of Microsoft SharePoint? For us, tracking how the platform that is the foundation of our business has changed is very interesting and inspiring. The solution, which according to MS Dynamic World, is already used by over 100 million users, began with a few basic office tools. Where did the idea for the SharePoint platform come from? What has changed in him over the years? What will Microsoft surprise us with? Read!

From the beginning, or how SharePoint was created

The Microsoft Office Suite – and the real stars of every office in it: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – have been classic and indispensable work tools in almost every industry for years. They are widely available, easy to use, so it’s no wonder that the demand for them is considerable, and newer versions are always willingly bought by customers. Is it enough, in this case, to stop at old, proven solutions?

Microsoft is not standing still. He also developed his offer with tools supporting the simplest administrative tasks, then came the time for mail service, personal calendar for users, task lists … Finally, someone had to come up with a groundbreaking idea and combine all these functions into one. Risky? Sure. It was finally 2001, and SharePoint itself was quite a pioneering solution, but the idea was interesting enough that Microsoft decided it was worth a try.

SharePoint 2001 was initially released as two separate applications combining the most important functions:

  • SharePoint Team Services to support teamwork,
  • SharePoint Portal Server for document management.

The applications combined several individual solutions, previously offered by Microsoft. Of course – this is not a comprehensive platform that we can use today, but compared to the whole package of individual programs, the combination of STS and SPS was completely new.

As with any innovative product, users have not been without reservations. No wonder, when we look at the layout or functions of Sharepoint 2001 now, they may seem a bit crude. However, this was just the beginning of SharePoint’s history.

The following years were work on newer versions of SharePoint. The next edition of the program is 2003 – a combination of both platforms and more user-friendly solutions. Microsoft listened to the comments, acknowledged them, though … The result was a much more intuitive tool with more transparent interfaces. To make navigation even easier, a search function has appeared in SharePoint – you will admit that it is a better option than scrolling through lists, as it was in the previous version of SharePoint! Interestingly, from this version, Microsoft has strongly focused on platform personalization and easy support.

SharePoint 2003 was a step forward, but this 2007 release of the platform was a real breakthrough. It was the first time that SharePoint was connected to the Office suite. Why is this so important? Because that’s when the concept of Microsoft products as perfectly matched, complementary elements. This idea will be developed over the years, but let’s not anticipate the facts!

The next stage

Another turning point in SharePoint history is 2010 and the next version of SP, even more, correlated with Office and available from more browsers. The benefits for users were obvious. These include:

  • Creating and updating databases in Microsoft Access,
  • Adding, deleting and editing documents in SharePoint using other Microsoft programs,
  • Easy handling of multimedia files and a library of audio and video files,
  • The possibility of group work on documents – the limit is up to 99 people!

A big step compared to MS SharePoint 2001, right? And that wasn’t Microsoft’s last word.

SharePoint 2013 and 2016 – UI design at a high level

Well, we’ve got the tools we need that work well and the users are happy with them. Now Microsoft has decided to focus on creating the most friendly and intuitive interface possible. Maybe you remember – 2013 is Windows 8 and a great novelty: tiles!

They also reached SharePoint 2013. What does it matter? Well, quite a lot – it is said that the interface should be like a joke – if it’s good, there is no need to translate it. The simple layout of SP 2013 functions, marking them with clear icons, signed and clear for users, has improved the quality of platform use.

Of course, that’s not all. In addition to the improvements to existing functions, Microsoft has also prepared a new user experience – Microsoft Teams, a messenger supporting teamwork, combining the functions of Skype and the Office 365 application. Cooperation – you can see that this is what Microsoft is putting on.

SharePoint in the cloud – what else is waiting for us?

Who in 2001 could predict in which direction the platform will develop and what functions it will offer? The first users would be surprised if they switched to the latest Microsoft solutions from the first version of Sharepoint.

Office 365 and cloud-based solutions in SharePoint are everyday life, but it is interesting to see how they were perceived when they came into force. In an article from 2015, Julia White from the Microsoft Office Product Management Team presented the development prospects for the platform for the coming years.

SharePoint 2019 meets the hopes it placed in the new version of the White platform, but also SP users themselves. Microsoft strives to provide users of all versions – both basic and premium, with good quality applications and useful functions. Office programs have been enriched with many new interesting features. Example? Word gained the Text to speech option, PowerPoint a new animation engine; Microsoft has also improved the performance of many programs – including Project Server and SharePoint Server. Do you want to know more? Let’s give voice to Microsoft representatives:

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Many suggestions and plans are made at SharePoint conferences – we are talking about the development of tools, further support of teamwork applications … one thing we can be sure of – the history of SharePoint is not over yet.