Microsoft 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 among organizations.
Microsoft states that SharePoint has 190 million users across 200,000 customer organizations.
SharePoint Server is provided to organizations that seek greater control over SharePoint’s behavior or design. This product is installed on customers’ IT infrastructure. It receives fewer frequent updates but has access to a wider set of features and customization capabilities. There are three editions of SharePoint Server: Standard, Enterprise, and Foundation (free) which was discontinued in 2016. These servers may be provisioned as normal virtual/cloud servers or as hosted services.
Microsoft SharePoint Standard builds on the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation in a few key product areas.
SharePoint Standard licensing includes a CAL (client access license) component and a server fee. SharePoint Standard may also be licensed through a cloud model.
Built upon SharePoint Standard, Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise features can be unlocked by providing an additional license key.
Extra features in SharePoint Enterprise include:
SharePoint Enterprise licensing includes a CAL component and a service fee that must be purchased in addition to SharePoint Server licensing. SharePoint Enterprise may also be licensed through a cloud model.
Microsoft’s hosted SharePoint has typically bundled in Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions but can be purchased outright. SharePoint Online has the advantage of not needing to maintain one’s own server, but as a result, lacks the customization options of a self-hosted installation of SharePoint.
It is limited to a core set of collaboration, file hosting, and document and content management scenarios, and is updated on a frequent basis, but is typically comparable with SharePoint Enterprise. Currently, additional capabilities include:
Missing capabilities include:
Microsoft lists changes in SharePoint Online on its Office Roadmap.