In my bLog posting i have covered Information Rights Management (IRM) quite alot and its one of the key reasons why customers move to the higher end of Office 2007 SKU’s though many organisation fail to see the value and purely look at the license cost. IRM is a way to provide privacy protection for a Microsoft Office document and to ensure that sensitive information is only viewed by appropriate people. For example, you may want to report quarterly financial data only to select members of an executive committee one month before the data becomes publicly available in a financial statement, so they have time to prepare public relation responses and make appropriate business decisions.

Windows SharePoint Services Version 3.0 or later supports IRM on a document library and all the documents in that library (whether or not those individual documents are enabled with IRM). Once the document is uploaded to a document library enabled with IRM, the document, in effect, becomes IRM-enabled.

Excel Services does not support loading Excel workbooks that have been enabled with IRM, and it does not load an Excel workbook if it is enabled with IRM or comes from a document library enabled with IRM. However, if you want to take advantage of IRM, you can load an Excel workbook without IRM into Excel Services, open the workbook as a snapshot, and then save the snapshot to a document library that is enabled with IRM.

For more information, see the Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Help system and the Office SharePoint Server Central Administration Help system.

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The following is a comprehensive but not necessarily complete list of the functions gained by having Word 2007 with Sharepoint 2007.

·         Enterprise Content Management o   Ability to complete meta-data in the Information Property Panelo   Ability to create custom Information Property Panels with business logic using InfoPath o   In-client workflows (initiate, complete, etc.)o   Ability to see a document requires workflow actions (approve, sign, etc.)o   Ability to see a document is locked and requires check-out to be modifiedo   Ability to see relevant corporate policies right in Officeo   Rich Document signature workflow process·         Ability to author and publish web content·         When opening a Word 2007 document from SharePoint 2007…o   ability to see all previous published and draft versionso   ability to restore back to any previous versiono   ability to perform a graphical comparison between any two versions·         Ability to create a new Blog posting or Wiki in SharePoint right from Word·         Barcodes and meta-data labels when printing content

So here is a scenario i have recently been involved with  and i thought it worth a post as it would easy to get caught out on this – “I’ve recently installed SharePoint Portal Server within the organisation. As a start I’ve purchased approximately 150 user CAL’s for the Portal, if I allow someone access to a portal site as a ‘Reader’ does that constitute usage of one of those licences or does it only apply to someone that can contribute and officially ‘use’ the site?

The answer to this question is as follows “organisations must acquire and assign a CAL to each device or user that accesses your instances of the server software directly or indirectly.”  Therefore, even if the users are accessing the server to only read documents, they still require a CAL.

The following is a comprehensive but not necessarily complete list of the functions gained by having Outlook 2007 with Sharepoint 2007;

Ability to take SharePoint content offline:  document libraries, contacts, calendars, and tasks·         Ability to overlay SharePoint calendars with other calendars (people, resources, etc.) and fully edit the calendar in Outlook, including offline·         Ability to send an HTML email version of a SharePoint calendar to anyone, including outside the organization·         Ability to send InfoPath electronic forms via Outlook as an email.  Results can be stored in SharePoint.  Drops-downs can also be fed from SharePoint.·         Ability to have tasks from OneNote, SharePoint, and Project Server consolidate inside of Outlook·         Ability to approve tasks/workflows right from Outlook without having to open SharePoint or the Office content·         Records management for email messages (assuming Exchange 2007 is installed) and the ability to integrate those emails with SharePoint’s record management capabilities·         RSS reader – all SharePoint content is available via RSS feeds, Outlook 2007 has an integrated RSS reader·         From SharePoint, people can now e-mail a link directly to a document/file.  When the user clicks on the link, the document will open in read mode and a button will appear telling the user they can edit it or check it out to make changes.  This allows sending a link for both read and edit purposes.   

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 helps organizations provide business intelligence (BI) capabilities to every employee so they can share, control, and reuse business information to make better business decisions. The BI features in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provide Web and programmatic access to published Office Excel spreadsheets, programmatic reuse of critical LOB data, and easy development of Web-based BI dashboards that can incorporate rich, data-bound KPIs, Web Parts, and published spreadsheets.

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Web Access to Published Spreadsheets
  • Integrated, Flexible Publishing
  • Programmatic Access to Published Spreadsheets
  • Data Connection Libraries
  • Business Data Catalog
  • Business Data SharePoint Lists and Web Parts
  • Business Data Actions
  • Data Connection Libraries
  • KPIs/Dashboards
  • Report Center Web Sites
  • Excel Services Management
  • BI Web-Parts
  • Server-based Excel spreadsheets and data visualization

For the first time ever, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables users to create forms, populate them with data from business applications, publish them on the Web, and initiate document-oriented workflows – all that directly from their familiar Microsoft Office user interface or from within their Internet Browser.

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Deploy and manage forms centrally
  • Integrate forms with Outlook 2007
  • Import forms· Digitally sign forms
  • Create forms without coding
  • Integration with business applications

Underpinning everything we do at Microsoft is Search, its embedded in all of the new releases not to mention MOSS. The search engine of Office SharePoint Server 2007 has been enhanced significantly. It now offers consistent search features based on common paradigms. Search result relevance has been optimized, and new functions for finding individuals or skills have been added. Data in LOB applications can now be indexed and searched. The usability and scope of the search functionality has been further improved.

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Define the relevance of search results
  • Integration with business applications
  • Seamless search engine integration with Exchange 2007 and SharePoint 2007
  • People Search: Search by employee or expertise – can be extended by the ‘Knowledge Network’
  • Include back-end systems (databases ERP’s,…) in teh search scope (by using the ‘Business Data Catalog’)
  • Enterprise scalability
  • Contextual relevance
  • Comprehensive searches for personal and business data

The portal components of Office SharePoint Server 2007 include features that are especially useful for designing, deploying, and managing enterprise intranet portals, corporate Internet presence Web sites, and divisional portal sites.

The portal components also make it easy to connect to people within the organization that have the right skills, knowledge, and project experience. Office SharePoint Server 2007 simplifies the way in which people work together and this is one of the key elements for me. People hold the key to success in many organisations and not just because of what they know but also because who they know and how to go about getting things done!

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Enterprise Portal templates· Site Directory
  • My Site Personal Sites
  • Privacy Controls· Social Networking
  • Portal Site Templates
  • Site Manager
  • SharePoint Sites and Documents Roll-up Web Part
  • Colleagues and Memberships Web Parts
  • Real-Time Presence and Communication
  • LDAP Pluggable Authentication Provider
  • User Profiles· Profile Store
  • Profile Synchronization
  • Profile Directory Import
  • Audience Targeting
  • Mobile Device Support

I fequently get asked about the key component characteristics of our Communication and Collaboration tools as people enter into the lifecycle of product analysis and evaluation with a certain job in mind. I have decided to run a number of short posts that will detail the main themes or challenges that are met by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) in order to satisfy many of these requests. So here goes # 1; 

With Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, it is all about finding, retrieving, managing and collaborating with information and content. . Microsoft SharePoint Technologies provides organizations with one single, integrated platform to support all intranets (including team and individual sites), extranets and Web applications across your enterprise.Whether content management and search features, business forms and business intelligence, or collaboration and portal functionality – from now on, you can manage and use it all across all of your enterprise’s systems and business units from within the familiar Microsoft Office GUI.

Top Features for collaborations at A Glance:

  • LDAP integration and support for other authentication providers
  • Offline access to all lists and document libraries
  • Knowledge management tools for networking and knowledge sharing
  • My Websites: personalized GUI with an individual website for each user
  • Blogs, Wikis, e-mail integration
  • Project management “lite”
  • Offline documents/lists
  • Outlook Integration

The 2007 release includes sophisticated IRM capabilities and policy controls designed to help organizations safeguard digital information from unauthorized use. Through integration with Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) for Microsoft Windows Server 2003, these IRM features enable information workers to define exactly how recipients can use the information contained in Microsoft Office documents.

Specific features include:

·     Information Rights Management. In conjunction with Windows RMS, the IRM features of the 2007 release enable users to define exactly who can open, modify, print, forward, and/or take other actions with the information in Microsoft Office documents.

·     Policy Statements. Organizations can create policy statements for specific e-mail message types and embed these statements in the e‑mail message. Policy statements can instruct the reader how to handle the email message content or serve as a flag to trigger Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 to process custom-defined rules. Table 2:  Information Rights and Policy Management Capabilities 

Capability

Microsoft Office Standard 2007

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007

Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007

Create IRM protected documents and e-mail messages. Grant access and editing permissions and apply policy templates to protected content.*

  P P

Read and use IRM-protected documents and e-mail messages, given appropriate rights.*

P P P

Apply policy statements to e-mail messages before sending.*

  P P

Read policy statements associated with received e-mail messages.

P P P
*Requires Windows Rights Management Services for Windows Server 2003.