New Features in SharePoint 2010

Microsoft has recently launched SharePoint Server 2010 which includes a lot of enhancements, fixes, and new features as compared to SharePoint Server 2007.

I have been working on SharePoint 2007 for couple of years and done couple of portal implementations using SharePoint 2007. I was very curious to know more about SharePoint 2010 since I heard that Microsoft is going to launch new version of SharePoint. From last one week I spent most of my time reading and watching videos about Sharepoint 2010 available on the web. I have documented some new features and enhancements introduced in SharePoint 2010, which are listed below:

1. New User Interface including Ribbon

User Interface is changed a lot in SharePoint 2010 and now you will be able to do more with few clicks. There are a lot of changes in the User Interface like, "Site Actions" menu is moved to left side of the page, some new options has been added in the "Site Actions" menu, the overall look and feel of the site is different as compared to SharePoint 2007, asynchronous user interface using AJAX and SilverLight which leads to minimal postbacks and improved performance of the site.

But the biggest change in the User Interface of SharePoint 2010 is the addition of Ribbon UI. Microsoft has earlier introduced the Ribbon UI with Office 2007. Now the same Ribbon UI is available in the SharePoint 2010 which brings the SharePoint user experience much more aligned with other office applications. You can see the Ribbon in the top area of any page in the SharePoint 2010 website, see the below screenshot.

SharePoint 2010 Ribbon UI

Ribbon provides users access to various operations they can choose from. The Ribbon changes automatically for edit mode and view mode of a page. Ribbon also changes depending on what you are looking, like if you open a document library it displays document library related operations together with other common operations.

2. Built-in SilverLight Support

SharePoint 2010 allows adding SilverLight components without any additional configuration. First you will need to upload your SilverLight XAP file into a document library, then add SharePoint's OOTB SilverLight web part on a page and point it to the respective XAP file uploaded in the document library, that's it; SilverLight XAP component will be successfully added and displayed in the page.

3. Rich and Improved Theming Support

SharePoint 2010 provides built-in office-style themes just like in Word and PowerPoint. You can choose and apply a theme to change the look and feel of the web site as per the selected theme. You can also preview a theme on the web site before applying it. You can also imports themes from Microsoft PowerPoint. You can also create custom themes for SharePoint 2010 websites.

4. Multiple Browser Support

SharePoint 2010 supports Internet Explorer 7/8, Firefox, and Safari. But it will not support Internet Explorer 6.0 or less any more. Also there is no official news about its support for Chrome and Opera.

5. Rich Media support and Digital Asset Management

SharePoint 2010 offers Rich Media capabilities out-of-the-box and makes it very easy for users to share videos, audio, pictures, and other rich media files. A new asset library has been introduced in SharePoint Server 2010 which is specially designed to manage and share digital assets like video, audio, pictures, and other rich media files. Couple of web parts and controls has been also added to streamline the Digital Asset Management capabilities.

SharePoint 2010 includes a Media web part built using Silverlight, Video content type, Audio content type, and Image content type. 

6. SharePoint Workspace

Microsoft Office Groove has been renamed to SharePoint Workspace in SharePoint 2010. SharePoint Workspace provides local and offline read-write access to SharePoint lists and libraries and also incorporates offline-online synchronizations. SharePoint Workspace is not only got new name but also a lot of new functions and better design.

7. Sandboxed Solutions

If you remember, in SharePoint 2007 all the solutions (.WSP) runs with full trust which requires farm administrators to pitch in and deploy the solutions. Also the solutions can be deployed at the minimum at a web application level. It means if a solution is deployed in a web application, it will be applicable for all the site collections available in that web application.

In SharePoint 2010, Sandboxed Solutions also called as User Solutions, is a new concept which addresses the above issue by allowing site collection administrators to deploy solutions at the site collection level which is safe to run and not affect the other site collections and web applications running on the same farm. Farm administrators can monitor sandboxed solutions and place restrictions on the resources, such as memory and CPU cycles, they can use. Sandboxed Solutions does not cover full SharePoint object model but it addresses the key scenarios like custom web parts and event receivers.

The solution deployment as in SharePoint 2007 is still exists in SharePoint 2010 but those solutions are called as Farm solutions.

8. Stsadm command-line tool is superseded by Windows PowerShell 2.0

In SharePoint 2010, the Stsadm command-line tool has been deprecated and it will be superseded by Windows PowerShell 2.0. SharePoint 2010 will still support the Stsadm command-line tool for backward compatibility with previous product versions. But it is recommended to use Windows PowerShell 2.0 when performing command-line administrative tasks.

9. Redesigned Central Administration web site

Central Administration web site has been redesigned in SharePoint Server 2010 to provide a better user experince and make it easier for administrators to find what they are looking for. The home page for Central Administration groups major functional areas (for example - Application Management, Monitoring, Security, and so on) together and lists many of the most commonly used tasks under each area. The Central Administration web site is also eqquiped with Ribbon UI which makes it easier for administrators to view or change details by making common configuration options a single click away.

Redesigned Central Administration web site in SharePoint 2010

10. Shared Service Provider (SSP) no more exists

In SharePoint 2010, Shared Service Providers (SSP's) are no more available. SSP's have been replaced by Service Applications in SharePoint 2010. Earlier in SharePoint 2007, all services were combined into a SSP. Now is SharePoint 2010, all services are running as independent Service Application. You can select and configure from available services to run on an application server. You can also select and configure only required services for a particular web application.

Read more about new features and enhancements in SharePoint 2010 in the second and third part of this article at
New Features and Enhancements in SharePoint 2010 - Part2
New Features and Enhancements in SharePoint 2010 - Part3