I was in Paris, France, this week. I had the opportunity to meet consultants from MCS Europe, customers, partners, the Microsoft France team and a SharePoint MVP! It was a productive trip. Unfortunately, I didn't get to walk around Paris as much as I wanted to... but I learned a little bit of Italian from 2 of my friends in MCS Europe - Luca Bandinelli and Antonio Gazzeri.
One of the questions that came up a couple times with customers and partners was co-existence. How can customers and partners deploy a SharePoint solution in an environment where they already have a Portal or ECM solution? I wrote articles in the past on what it means to adopt enterprise software and WSS v2/SPS 2003 specific integration posting.
Beyond the content there, I'd like to focus on the top 7 Office SharePoint Server 2007 co-existence supported features:
1. Open API. You can access information from Office SharePoint Server via the API it exposes. Not only can you access information, but you can add content, sites, move content around and perform a variety of other actions. What this means is that your existing system can consume information or make changes to your SharePoint solution.
2. Web Parts - similiar to SharePoint Products and Technologies today, you can develop Web Parts and integrate with other systems using ADO.NET, consume XML Web Services or simply use the out of the box Page Viewer Web Part. Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports ASP.NET 2.0 web parts (and will continue supporting SharePoint Web Parts built today). This means you can take advantage of ASP.NET 2.0 web parts in the greater community.
3. XML Web Services and RSS - we will ship a supported out-of-the-box WSRP Consumer Web Part. You can, of course, also consume an XML Web Service via a web part. We also ship with a set of XML Web Services that can be consumed from various other portals. As for RSS, every list in SharePoint solution can be RSS enabled.
4. The Business Data Catlog. Eli has done a good job blogging about this.We will support a few LOB systems out of the box, but the BDC is flexible and you can integrate with other databases and LOB systems. With the BDC, you can make information from other systems accessible to Information Workers... and it becomes searchable. We've deployed Office SharePoint Server 2007 Beta 1 internally to expose customer information. I blogged about this a few months ago.
5. Search. Office SharePoint Server 2007 search now searches LOB applications and has enhanced support for searching people! You can import user profiles from an LDAP directory with Office SharePoint Server 2007 now. Search is a big investment for Office SharePoint Server!
6. Event Handlers - we support event handlers for all lists, not just document libraries.
7. Content Types, workflow, custom code - with content types, you can specify what workflows and custom code go with a specific type of content. This makes it easier for organizations to manage what happens to specific types of content throughout its lifecycle. So, for example, even though Office SharePoint Server has Records Management but you wanted to use an existing RM system, you can move all "Press Releases" to a certain part of your RM system.