SharePoint 2007 was a great improvement over previous versions of SharePoint however it still fell short when used as an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. SharePoint 2010 addresses many of the issues and makes SharePoint more appealing to large enterprises.
- In SharePoint 2007, if you linked to an item or document and that document is moved or renamed, your link is broken.
SharePoint 2010 offers a new feature called the Document ID Service that assigns a unique document ID to every document in the site collection. You can then move or rename the document as you choose and as long as you have that DocumentID, the link remains valid. This only works for documents and not other items such as announcements or custom list data. This makes sense since documents are typically moved or renamed while other content is more permanent.
- With the introduction of Content Types in SharePoint 2007, Meta data became much more manageable. Yet the Content Type is trapped within a Site Collection and cannot be used anywhere else in the farm without creating a separate Content Type. While this may be suitable for smaller farms where there is only a couple of independent site collections, enterprises typically may have hundreds if not thousands of site collections. With no way to manage a central source of Meta data, content can easily become duplicated, incorrect and difficult to manage.
SharePoint 2010 offers farm-level management of Content Types and Meta data which means your enterprise can actually build a real topology that can be enforced within SharePoint. No longer is your Meta data trapped within a Site Collection.
- SharePoint 2007 had introduced capabilities to talk with external systems but making it work caused a level of frustration that often exceeded the value.
SharePoint 2010 also offers easier integration with external systems through the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and improvements in SharePoint Designer 2010. Your external data can be tied into local SharePoint content seamlessly using external content types.
I’m sure as enterprises start using SharePoint 2010 we will find many things that can be improved in the next version. Overall Microsoft is heading in the right direction making SharePoint much more appealing for large enterprises as well as small businesses. I am looking forward to designing a solution in SharePoint 2010 that will utilize these new features!