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Your Complete Guide to Microsoft SharePoint

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By: Olivia

July 1, 2017

According to research, there are now more than 1.5 million SharePoint developers who are active in Sharepoint development. In addition to this, there are more than 1 million SharePoint professionals and experts who specialize in devising solutions and performing management and maintenance of SharePoint systems.That being said, the need for additional professionals who specialize in developing and managing SharePoint systems is continuing to grow. In addition to opening opportunities as a SharePoint developer, having skills in SharePoint, as with many Microsoft products is beneficial to anyone working in an enterprise setting, particularly those in a management role.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is “a web-based, collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. Launched in 2001, SharePoint is primarily sold as a document management and storage system, but the product is highly configurable and usage varies substantially between organizations.”What makes SharePoint confusing to many is that it is not simply one software program, but a platform of multiple kinds of programs. A back-end system that ties all of your employees’ PCs and mobile devices together, SharePoint allows for streamlined communication, making it easier for a company with a hundred employees spread all over the region to work with the same level of agility and coordination as a company with ten people working out of a single office.‘SharePoint’ can refer to one or more SharePoint products or technologies, including: SharePoint Online, SharePoint Server, SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Designer 2013, OneDrive for Business Sync.According to Microsoft, SharePoint has 160 million users across 75,000 customer organizations, making it useful for those working in an enterprise environment regardless of their technical background.

What sets SharePoint apart?

SharePoint does not come with an ‘out-of-the-box’ configuration, but must be fully customized to meet organizational needs. To some, this is seem as a hindrance, but for those familiar with Microsoft products working in a larger enterprise, leveraging SharePoint has many advantages.Since SharePoint is a platform, you don’t have to constantly learn a new tool or program. Best put by Sharegate, “So if today you want to use SharePoint to build a team site and collaborate with your colleagues you can, but tomorrow you’re using the same skills that you've learned.”This platform is especially mobile, useful considering the BYOD trend. Whether you’re on a Mac or PC, Chrome or another browser, you can access Sharepoint apps, from anywhere, not just through a browser. Many also benefit from their familiarity with Office 365, which of course SharePoint works with natively and enables additional features.

What are some of the features of SharePoint?

Of all the features SharePoint offers, perhaps the most valuable is its ability to categorize and identify information in your sites using metadata via Document Sets. According to Microsoft, “The comprehensive access SharePoint provides to your business's data also makes it possible to find countless ways to use all that information to make better decisions. SharePoint makes it easy to search through all your company’s files, but beyond that it can help you discover larger patterns.”Documents can be accessed by anyone in the company (unless locked by the admin) so you have similar functionality to Google Drive. Collaboration is made easier with the ability to access SharePoint from any device, and can even be used to set up an extranet for sharing with outside business partners.Similarly, you can use it to create an intranet. A company’s intranet serves as a kind of meeting room and planning seminar that everyone in the company visits and attends throughout their workdays, which can be hosted through SharePoint. This serves as the internally facing site everyone in your company can sign in to and find news, announcements, scheduled tasks, and access to a variety of information. This too can be customized by department or organization.Or, functioning as a CMS, you can use SharePoint to build a publicly facing website.

Why should I learn SharePoint?

From a customization perspective, SharePoint can be leveraged to create business solutions without development skills, giving you a unique advantage in traditionally less technical roles.When you leverage SharePoint, you can help your clients or organizations achieving their goals by providing a suitable business solution, offering you plenty of business opportunities.As previously mentioned, the need for SharePoint- skilled workers will only continue to grow and honing these abilities will help you to further yourself as a desirable candidate in the talent pool.

How can I learn SharePoint?

Sure, there are plenty of online tutorials, but if you really want to become a ‘SharePoint Guru,’ and truly learn the different capabilities of this tool, we recommend learning step-by-step with the SharePoint Hands-On labs:
  • Core Solutions of SharePoint Server 2013
  • Advanced Solutions of SharePoint Server 2013
While other tutorials may show and tell you about the tool, these SharePoint labs walk you through the steps to perform the tasks yourself so you can learn by doing.

What is a virtual lab?

Virtual labs are pre-configured hardware layouts with accompanying lab guides for fast, convenient access that make studying for an exam or learning new technologies an engaging experience. Develop your comprehensive IT skills in a safe, working environment without the need to invest in your own hardware and software.
  • Practical Training on the Latest Industry Technology
  • Real Equipment, No Simulations
  • 6 Month Unified Access Available on Any Device
  • No Hardware or Licensing Costs

What will I learn in these labs?

Professionals looking to gain a comprehensive understanding of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 will greatly benefit from the SharePoint Labs. The Core Solutions of SharePoint lab will allow you to gain hands-on skills needed to build and manage web applications and site collections and will also prepare you to confidently ace the Microsoft 70-331 certification exam.Lab exercises include:
  • Design Information Architecture
  • Design a Logical Architecture
  • Plan and Configure Authentication
  • Plan and Configure Authorization
  • Plan and Configure Platform Security
  • Plan and Configure Farm Level Security
  • Create and Configure a Managed Metadata Service Application
  • Create and configure a User Profile Service (UPA) application Provision and configure web applications
  • Create and maintain site collections
  • Manage site and site collection security
  • Manage search
  • Manage taxonomy
  • Monitor a SharePoint environment
  • Tune and optimize a SharePoint environment
  • Troubleshoot a SharePoint environment
The Advanced Solutions of SharePoint Server 2013 lab will allow you to gain hands-on skills needed to improve your practical skills in SharePoint High Availability, but it will also prepare you to confidently ace the Microsoft 70-332 certification exam. Gain the fundamental knowledge to upgrade and migrate a SharePoint environment, create and configure service applications and manage SharePoint solutions.Lab exercises include:
  • Plan SharePoint High Availability
  • Plan Backup and Restore
  • Plan a Social Workload
  • Plan and Configure a Web Content Management (WCM) Workload
  • Plan an Enterprise Content Management Workload
  • Evaluate Content and Customizations
  • Plan an Upgrade Process
  • Upgrade Site Collection
  • Create and Configure App Management
  • Create and Configure Productivity Services
  • Configure Service Application Federation

To Summarize

SharePoint is a mainstay in the business world as many companies use this service to host their data. For professionals looking to manage their IT environment more easily and build business applications on behalf of clients or their organization, SharePoint knowledge is critical. Skilled individuals who can operate and maintain SharePoint are in high demand by organizations.Microsoft SharePoint is now easier than ever to learn with the SharePoint Hands-On labs, Core Solutions and Advanced Solutions of SharePoint found in the Cybrary catalog.

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Olivia Lynch (@Cybrary_Olivia) is the Marketing Manager at Cybrary. Like many of you, she is just getting her toes wet in the field of cyber security. A firm believer that the pen is mightier than the sword, Olivia considers corny puns and an honest voice essential to any worthwhile blog.
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