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Developer(s)Microsoft Corporation
Initial releaseMarch 28, 2001; 23 years ago (2001-03-28)
Stable release
Subscription Edition (SE) / November 2, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-11-02)
Operating systemWindows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2022[1][2]
Available inArabic, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Welsh[3]
TypeContent management system
LicenseProprietary software Edit this on Wikidata
Microsoft SharePoint for Android
Developer(s)Microsoft Corporation
Stable release
3.26.0 / October 25, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-10-25)[4]
Operating systemAndroid Marshmallow and later
Size27.31 MB
LicenseProprietary commercial software
Microsoft SharePoint for iOS
Developer(s)Microsoft Corporation
Stable release
4.51.4 / February 18, 2024; 51 days ago (2024-02-18)[5]
Operating systemiOS 13 or later
Size79.6 MB
LicenseProprietary commercial software

SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates natively with Microsoft 365. Launched in 2001,[6] SharePoint is primarily sold as a document management and storage system, although it is also used for sharing information through an intranet, implementing internal applications, and for implementing business processes.

According to Microsoft, as of December 2020 SharePoint had over 200 million users.[7]


There are various editions of SharePoint which have different functions.

SharePoint Foundation

SharePoint Foundation was a free version with basic functionalities, discontinued in 2016.[8]

SharePoint Standard

Microsoft SharePoint Standard is a software product that extends the function of Microsoft SharePoint Foundation in several areas:

SharePoint Standard licensing includes a CAL (client access license) component and a server fee. It can also be licensed through a cloud model.

SharePoint Server

SharePoint Server is a product offered by Microsoft that provides organizations with greater control over the behavior and design of SharePoint. Unlike SharePoint Online, which is a cloud based service, SharePoint Server is installed on the customers' IT infrastructure, giving them greater customization and control over the platform. SharePoint Server comes in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. The standard edition provides basic features for document management, collaboration, and content management. The Enterprise edition provides advanced features for business intelligence, enterprise content management, and search capabilities.

SharePoint Server can be provisioned as a virtual/cloud server or as a hosted service. Hosted service allow organizations to use SharePoint Server without having to manage the infrastructure themselves.

SharePoint Enterprise

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 server fee that must be purchased in addition to SharePoint Server licensing. SharePoint Enterprise may also be licensed through a cloud model.

SharePoint Online

Microsoft's hosted SharePoint is typically bundled in Microsoft 365 subscriptions, but can be licensed separately.[15] SharePoint Online has the advantage of not needing to maintain one's own servers, 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.[16][17] Currently, additional capabilities include:

Missing capabilities include:


SharePoint usage varies from organization to organization. The product encompasses a wide variety of capabilities, most of which require configuration and governance.[18]

The most common uses of the SharePoint include:

Enterprise content and document management

Main articles: Enterprise content management and document management

SharePoint allows for storage, retrieval, searching, archiving, tracking, management, and reporting on electronic documents and records. Many of the functions in this product are designed around various legal, information management, and process requirements in organizations. SharePoint also provides search and 'graph' functionality.[19][20] SharePoint's integration with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office) allows for collaborative real-time editing, and encrypted/information rights managed synchronization.

This capability is often used to replace an existing corporate file server, and is typically coupled with an enterprise content management policy.[21]

Intranet and social network

Main articles: Intranet portal and Social Network

A SharePoint intranet or intranet portal is a way to centralize access to enterprise information and applications. It is a tool that helps an organization manage its internal communications, applications and information more easily. Microsoft claims that this has organizational benefits such as increased employee engagement, centralizing process management, reducing new staff on-boarding costs, and providing the means to capture and share tacit knowledge (e.g. via tools such as wikis, media libraries, team sites etc.).

Collaborative software

SharePoint contains team collaboration groupware capabilities, including: project scheduling (integrated with Outlook and Project), social collaboration, shared mailboxes, and project related document storage and collaboration.[22] Groupware in SharePoint is based around the concept of a "Team Site".

File hosting service (personal cloud)

Main articles: Personal Cloud and File hosting service

SharePoint Server hosts OneDrive for Business, which allows storage and synchronization of an individual's personal documents, as well as public/private file sharing of those documents. This is typically combined with other Microsoft Office Servers/Services, such as Microsoft Exchange, to produce a "personal cloud".

WebDAV can be used to access files without using the web interface. However, Microsoft's implementation of WebDAV doesn't conform to the official WebDAV protocol and therefore isn't compliant to the WebDAV standard. For example, WebDAV applications have to support the language tagging functionality of the XML specification[23] which Microsoft's implementation doesn't. Only Windows XP to Windows 8 are supported.

Custom web applications

Main article: Software framework

SharePoint's custom development capabilities provide an additional layer of services that allow rapid prototyping of integrated (typically line-of-business) web applications.[24] SharePoint provides developers with integration into corporate directories and data sources through standards such as REST/OData/OAuth. Enterprise application developers use SharePoint's security and information management capabilities across a variety of development platforms and scenarios. SharePoint also contains an enterprise "app store" that has different types of external applications which are encapsulated and managed to access to resources such as corporate user data and document data.

Content structure


SharePoint provides free-form pages which may be edited in-browser. These may be used to provide content to users, or to provide structure to the SharePoint environment.

Web parts and app parts

Web parts and app parts are components (also known as portlets) that can be inserted into Pages. They are used to display information from both SharePoint and third-party applications.

Content item, Content Type, Libraries, Lists, and "Apps"

In SharePoint 2013, in some locations, Lists and Libraries were renamed 'Apps' (despite being unrelated to the "SharePoint App Store"). In SharePoint 2016, some of these were renamed back to Lists and Libraries.


A SharePoint Site is a collection of pages, lists, libraries, apps, configurations, features, content types, and sub-sites. Examples of Site templates in SharePoint include: collaboration (team) sites, communication sites, organization sites, wiki sites, blank sites, and publishing sites.

Configuration and customization

Web-based configuration

SharePoint is primarily configured through a web browser. The web-based user interface provides most of the configuration capability of the product.

Depending on your permission level, the web interface can be used to:

SharePoint Designer

Main article: SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer is a semi-deprecated product that provided 'advanced editing' capabilities for HTML/ASPX pages, but remains the primary method of editing SharePoint workflows.

A significant subset of HTML editing features were removed in Designer 2013, and the product is expected to be deprecated in 2016–7.[27]

Microsoft SharePoint's Server Features are configured either using PowerShell, or a Web UI called "Central Administration". Configuration of server farm settings (e.g. search crawl, web application services) can be handled through these central tools.

While Central Administration is limited to farm-wide settings (config DB), it provides access to tools such as the 'SharePoint Health Analyzer', a diagnostic health-checking tool.

In addition to PowerShell's farm configuration features, some limited tools are made available for administering or adjusting settings for sites or site collections in content databases.

A limited subset of these features are available by SharePoint's SaaS providers, including Microsoft.

Custom development

Customization may appear through:

Server architecture

SharePoint Server can be scaled down to operate entirely from one developer machine, or scaled up to be managed across hundreds of machines.[32]


A SharePoint farm is a logical grouping of SharePoint servers that share common resources.[33] A farm typically operates stand-alone, but can also subscribe to functions from another farm, or provide functions to another farm. Each farm has its own central configuration database, which is managed through either a PowerShell interface, or a Central Administration website (which relies partly on PowerShell's infrastructure). Each server in the farm is able to directly interface with the central configuration database. Servers use this to configure services (e.g. IIS, windows features, database connections) to match the requirements of the farm, and to report server health issues, resource allocation issues, etc...

Web applications

Web applications (WAs) are top-level containers for content in a SharePoint farm. A web application is associated primarily with IIS configuration. A web application consists of a set of access mappings or URLs defined in the SharePoint central management console, which are replicated by SharePoint across every IIS Instance (e.g. Web Application Servers) configured in the farm.

Site collections

A site collection is a hierarchical group of 'SharePoint Sites'. Each web application must have at least one site collection. Site collections share common properties (detailed here), common subscriptions to service applications, and can be configured with unique host names.[34] A site collection may have a distinct content databases, or may share a content database with other site collections in the same web application.[32]

Service applications

Service applications provide granular pieces of SharePoint functionality to other web and service applications in the farm. Examples of service applications include the User Profile Sync service, and the Search Indexing service. A service application can be turned off, exist on one server, or be load-balanced across many servers in a farm. Service Applications are designed to have independent functionality and independent security scopes.[32]

Administration, security, compliance

SharePoint's architecture enables a 'least-privileges' execution permission model.[35]

SharePoint Central Administration (the CA) is a web application that typically exists on a single server in the farm; however, it is also able to be deployed for redundancy to multiple servers.[32] This application provides a complete centralized management interface for web and service applications in the SharePoint farm, including AD account management for web and service applications. In the event of the failure of the CA, Windows PowerShell is typically used on the CA server to reconfigure the farm.

The structure of the SharePoint platform enables multiple WAs to exist on a single farm. In a shared (cloud) hosting environment, owners of these WAs may require their own management console. The SharePoint 'Tenant Administration' (TA) is an optional web application used by web application owners to manage how their web application interacts with the shared resources in the farm.[32]

Compliance, standards and integration



SharePoint evolved from projects codenamed "Office Server" and "Tahoe" during the Office XP development cycle.

"Office Server" evolved out of the FrontPage and Office Server Extensions and "Team Pages". It targeted simple, bottom-up collaboration.

"Tahoe", built on shared technology with Exchange and the "Digital Dashboard", targeted top-down portals, search and document management. The searching and indexing capabilities of SharePoint came from the "Tahoe" feature set. The search and indexing features were a combination of the index and crawling features from the Microsoft Site Server family of products and from the query language of Microsoft Index Server.[38]

GAC-(Global Assembly Cache) is used to accommodate the shared assemblies that are specifically designated to be shared by applications executed on a system.


Successive versions (in chronological order):

Changes in SharePoint 2010

Changes in end-user functionality added in the 2010 version of SharePoint include:

Changes in SharePoint 2013

Changes in SharePoint 2016


Changes in SharePoint 2019


Changes in SharePoint Subscription Edition (SE)


See also


  1. ^ "Hardware and Software Requirements for SharePoint 2019". Microsoft TechNet. Microsoft Corporation. July 24, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  2. ^ "System requirements for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition". Microsoft Documentation. Microsoft Corporation. November 2, 2021. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  3. ^ "Install or uninstall language packs for SharePoint Servers 2016 and 2019". Microsoft Docs. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "Microsoft SharePoint APKs". APKMirror.
  5. ^ "Microsoft SharePoint". App Store. March 19, 2024.
  6. ^ Oleson, Joel (28 December 2007). "7 Years of SharePoint - A History Lesson". Joel Oleson's Blog - SharePoint Land. Microsoft Corporation. MSDN Blogs. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  7. ^ Spataro, Jared; Microsoft 365, Corporate Vice President for (December 8, 2020). "Over 200 million users rely on SharePoint as Microsoft is again recognized as a Leader in the 2020 Gartner Content Services Platforms Magic Quadrant Report". Microsoft 365 Blog. Retrieved March 27, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "What's deprecated or removed from SharePoint Server 2016". Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  9. ^ "SharePoint 2010 Editions Comparison -Sites". Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Marketing Website. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  10. ^ "SharePoint 2010 Editions Comparison - Communities". Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Marketing Website. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  11. ^ "SharePoint 2010 Editions Comparison - Content". Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Marketing Website. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  12. ^ "SharePoint 2010 Editions Comparison-earch". Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Marketing Website. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  13. ^ "SharePoint 2010 Editions Comparison -Composites". Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Marketing Website. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  14. ^ "SharePoint 2010 Editions Comparisondfdf534". Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Marketing Website. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  15. ^ "SharePoint Online – Collaboration Software". Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  16. ^ "Compare SharePoint Plans and Options". Microsoft Office. Microsoft. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  17. ^ "Microsoft FastTrack". Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  18. ^ "Start Building a SharePoint Governance Plan in the Real World | Sharegate". January 7, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  19. ^ "Microsoft Graph with SharePoint Framework". Tatvasoft. January 28, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  20. ^ "SharePoint – Team Collaboration Software Tools". Microsoft Office. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  21. ^ Rand Group (April 22, 2020). "SharePoint versus Network File Share (NFS)". Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "Five remote work problems Microsoft 365 solves". Linktech Australia. February 4, 2022. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  23. ^ <>, Lisa Dusseault (2007). Dusseault, L. (ed.). "HTTP Extensions for Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)". doi:10.17487/RFC4918.
  24. ^ SharePoint 2013 development overview. (July 16, 2012). Retrieved on 2014-02-22.
  25. ^ "Introduction to Content Types". Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  26. ^ Video: Ribbon highlights In SharePoint 2010. Microsoft Office website. Microsoft. November 30, 2010.
  27. ^ "Ignite 2015 Announcement – There will be no SharePoint Designer 2016 - Eric Overfield". May 11, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  28. ^ "What is the SharePoint Framework (SPFx)?". Voitanos. October 6, 2020.
  29. ^ "8 Best Practices in SharePoint Framework (SPFx) Development". TatvaSoft. November 9, 2020.
  30. ^ "SharePoint Add-in model retirement + other services unpacked". Voitanos. December 12, 2023.
  31. ^ a b SharePoint 2010 for Developers. SharePoint website. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  32. ^ a b c d e "Logical architecture components (SharePoint Server 2010)". Technet. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  33. ^ "MSDN Conceptual Overview". October 20, 2016.
  34. ^ "Host-named site collection architecture and deployment (SharePoint 2013)". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  35. ^ Holme, Dan. "Least Privilege Service Accounts for SharePoint 2010". SharePoint Pro Magazine. Penton Media. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  36. ^ McNelis, Zack. "SharePoint 2010 – Compliance Everywhere". Technet Blogs - Zach McNelis. Microsoft. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  37. ^ Kate Kelly, Jesus Barrera Ramos, and Marcus Reid. October 16, 2012. XLIFF in SharePoint 2013. Presentation at FEISGILTT 2012. <>
  38. ^ "Sharepoint History". MSDN. Microsoft corporation. October 5, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  39. ^ How-To Videos – Microsoft Office. Retrieved on February 22, 2014.
  40. ^ "New and improved features in SharePoint Server 2016". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  41. ^ "New Features in SharePoint 2016 – Overview – Centillion Technology Systems". April 6, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  42. ^ "Announcing General Availability of SharePoint Server 2019". October 22, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  43. ^ "SharePoint Server Subscription Edition General Availability". November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  44. ^ "New and improved features in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition". November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 2, 2021.