The term SharePoint can refer to any of three pairs of Microsoft software products which were released in the same timeframe:
- SharePoint Team Services (STS) which ran on Windows 2000 Server and was in effect Windows SharePoint Services version 1.
- SharePoint Portal Server 2001 - a portal based collaboration and document management tool developed on top of the Microsoft Exchange Server database.
- Windows SharePoint Services (WSS version 2) - which ran on Windows Server 2003, a free Windows server component that provides collaboration and intranet services. WSS v2 is based on the .Net 1.1 Framework. Support for the .Net 2.0 Framework was added in Service Pack 2.
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (SPS) - a portal based collaboration and document management that extends Windows SharePoint Services v2.
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS 3.0) is freely available as a Windows 2003 server component. WSS 3.0 was based on the ASP.NET 2.0 and required .NET Framework 3.0.
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) - The next iteration of Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (SPS). Includes the functionality previously included in Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (SPS 2003) and Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 (MCMS 2002) plus new components like Infopath Form Services and Excel Calculation Server. MOSS is based on WSS 3.0.
Apart from SharePoint Portal Server 2001, all of the products require and utilize one of the following databases:
- Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or 2005 (preferred for server farm environments. SQL 2005 is preferred for Sharepoint 2007)
- Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition
- Microsoft SQL Server Embedded Edition (which is installed by default in standalone installations of Windows Sharepoint Services version 3.0)
- Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) – (although the SQL Server Express Edition is preferred since 2005)
One field of development is the "offline synchronization" of SharePoint information to allow traveling users access to content while not connected to the SharePoint server. Examples of such tools include:
- Microsoft InfoPath
- Microsoft Office Groove
- Colligo Reader and Colligo Contributor
- Digi-Link Revelation
For a comparison of these products see SharePoint Offline Synchronization Comparison.