Microsoft SharePoint is a Web application platform developed by Microsoft. First launched in 2001.SharePoint has historically been associated with intranet content management and document management, but recent versions have significantly broader capabilities.
SharePoint comprises a multipurpose set of Web technologies that are useful for many organizations, backed by a common technical infrastructure. By default, SharePoint has a Microsoft Office-like interface, and it is closely integrated with the Office suite. The web tools are designed to be usable by non-technical users. SharePoint can be used to provide intranet portals, document & file management, collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, enterprise search, and business intelligence. It also has capabilities around system integration, process integration, and workflow automation
Enterprise application software (e.g. ERP or CRM packages) often provide some SharePoint integration capability, and SharePoint also incorporates a complete development stack based on web technologies and standards-based APIs. As an application platform, SharePoint provides central management, governance, and security controls for implementation of these requirements.The SharePoint platform integrates directly into IIS – enabling bulk management, scaling, and provisioning of servers, as is often required by large organizations or cloud hosting providers.
In 2008, the Gartner Group put SharePoint in the “leaders” quadrant in three of its Magic Quadrants (for search, portals, and enterprise content management).SharePoint is used by 78% of Fortune 500 companies. Between 2006 to 2011, Microsoft sold over 36.5 million user licenses.
Microsoft has two versions of SharePoint available at no cost, but it sells premium editions with additional functionality, and provides a cloud service edition as part of their Office 365 platform (previously BPOS). The product is also sold through a cloud model by many third-party vendors.