SharePoint Portal Server 2003 provides an infrastructure that enables organizations to efficiently share knowledge and information. It allows users to quickly access needed information and collaborate with other users. Microsoft designed Share-Point Portal Server 2003 to accomplish three separate goals: personalization, integration, and collaboration. The key features of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 include the following:
Team sites Windows SharePoint Services team sites can be integrated and connected using SharePoint Portal Server 2003. This integration includes the ability to index and categorize team sites. In addition, team sites can contain components that allow integration and searching capabilities from within SharePoint Portal Server 2003.
Active Directory integration SharePoint Portal Server 2003 integrates with Active Directory directory service to provide consistent access to profile information from within SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Users can manage this profile information as needed from within Portal Server.
Group-based security Groups can be used to control access to information within Portal Server. This can be configured to limit access to information based on group membership or role.
Topic hierarchy Topics can be organized into hierarchies that allow for grouping of topics by subject, area of responsibility, or other means that are useful to an organization.
Advanced search capabilities These capabilities include the ability to crawl documents across an organization and intelligently index that information based on content. This also includes the ability to index documents such as Microsoft Office documents or any document for which there is an appropriate content filter. Word breakers also enable indexing that relates similar words and terms and returns all results that apply to a specific query.
Windows SharePoint Services provides the base functionality on which SharePoint Portal Services builds. The basic Windows SharePoint Services sites utilized by teams to collaborate are connected using SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Some of the main functions provided by Windows SharePoint Services sites include the following:
Microsoft Office System Integration Windows SharePoint Services is integrated with Microsoft Office System 2003. This integration includes the ability to share and save documents into SharePoint sites from within Office applications. Other integration aspects include integration with Outlook and Windows Instant Messenger. For instance, a document that is being opened from a SharePoint site shows tasks associated with that document and also gives presence information for other users of the site using Instant Messenger information.
Check-in and check-out Documents can be checked out for revisions, allowing multiple revisions of documents to be integrated together.
Document versions Document changes are tracked through document versions that can be retrieved as needed.
Customization Sites can be customized based on the user's preferences and needs.
Alerts Modifications to a site or to a document within a site can be sent to users.
Web parts Additional Web parts can be used to extend the basic functionality of Windows SharePoint Services sites.
ISA Server 2004 and SharePoint Portal Server work together to provide a secure portal for organizational information. ISA Server 2004 provides intelligent publishing for SharePoint Portal sites and Windows SharePoint Services sites. ISA Server 2004 can inspect requests made to SharePoint sites to determine if there is any unusual or harmful content in the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). ISA Server 2004 can also authenticate users or pass authentication requests directly through to the SharePoint server. In addition, ISA Server 2004 provides link translation to deal with absolute URL references within SharePoint.