Bink.nu points to the low key announcement that Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 was released today for web download by users of Windows Server 2003. The key improvements:
Improvements to collaboration workspaces: SharePoint sites now offer e-mail and directory integration, alerts, RSS publishing, templates for building blogs (also known as weblogs) and wikis (Web sites that can be quickly edited by team members—no special technical knowledge required), event and task tracking, improved usability, enhanced site navigation, and more.
Enhancements to content storage: SharePoint lists and libraries now provide per-item security for better data control and integrity, a recycle bin, and enhanced flexibility for storing more types of content. Row and column capacity has also been increased, as has retrieval speed. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 can be easily integrated with smart client tools. In particular, close integration with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 provides offline access to events, contacts, discussions, tasks, and documents.
Easier provisioning of workspaces: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 provides more sophisticated and flexible security, as well as greater control over security settings and permissions.
A more robust foundation for Web applications: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 provides greater flexibility for customization and development of Web-based services and applications built on the Windows SharePoint Services platform.
In case the multiple Microsoft uses of the name SharePoint are confusing, here’s a slightly improved version of an explanation I have given previously:
Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) is the free Microsoft add-on workgroup collaboration product for a Windows server operating system. It has a non-free enterprise cousin called Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (to be replaced by Office SharePoint Server 2007) that ties all the workgroups together and adds a variety of enterprise level features.
And speaking of SharePoint Server 2007, it was released to manufacturing last week and not unexpectedly features integration with Office 2007.