There are two major motivations for choosing MOSS/SharePoint as an application development platform:
- The need to provision more than one website based on a logical grouping ‐ such as department, regionor country ‐ rather than have one website that serves all users.
For example, a company needs to develop a web application for its partners that allow them access to pertinent sales information. The partners may want the sales information to surface differently (i.e. grouped byregions vs. grouped by cities), or they may want to co‐locate additional applications on the same page(i.e. a tax calculator). Rather than building all of this personalization in code, it is easier to provision asite for each partner that is based on a single common site blueprint. Each partner can then customizetheir site based on their specific needs via a single code base.
- The need to manage un‐structured content (i.e. documents, web casts, etc.) along with the structureddata stored in a SQL database. A distinction between the structured content and unstructured content is that the former deals with data that can be viewed andmanaged using set‐based groupings (database views), whereas, the latter deals with data that ismanaged as explicit standalone entities along with the associated metadata. Not only is it important tomanage the integrity and security of standalone entities (such as documents); it is also important tomanage the relationships among them (for instance, the association relationship between a documentand structured application data).
Microsoft has introduced platforms/products such WSS and MOSS that build on ASP.NET technology to provide higher‐level building blocks such as the document library and lists, end‐user‐definedforms, search, personalization and workflow.