Thursday, 3 July 2008

Which SharePoint (MOSS or WSS) Suits You, Sir?

As the cost of living continues to soar it is time to tighten our belts. Don’t worry I am not going to go all political in this week’s offering, although if Mr. Brown does happen to stumble across this blog perhaps he could help by knocking a couple of pence off the fuel tax . As this is unlikely we have to make cuts elsewhere and unfortunately in our house the first thing to go was the monthly Sky subscription (well it was either that or my Villa season ticket). So instead of paying £24.99 a month to receive Sky with the Sports channels (not missed quite so much in the summer) we had to downgrade to FreeView. We all have to make sacrifices; even the cat is now having Lidl catfood. Now with FreeView, no longer can I watch the endless re-runs of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ on UKGold or keep up with latest football news on Sky Sports News, instead I only have forty channels to surf through. Comparing FreeView with Sky started me thinking about SharePoint. Everyone when looking at SharePoint asks the same question of the Officetalk SharePoint Specialists, “what is the difference between SharePoint Server (which some annoying person decided to call MOSS) and Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) ?” It is a question that I dread because it isn’t straightforward to explain without going into long boring feature lists, but suddenly I had the perfect example because it is similar to the ‘FreeView or Sky’ argument. Apart from to see Helen Chamberlain on ‘Soccer AM’ why do people choose Sky over FreeView? No, stay with me on this because I think the comparison could work. WSS is like FreeView because it is impressive, a big improvement on what came before and it is FREE. Well, free if you already have Windows Server 2003, but then you need a telly and a TV Licence to watch FreeView. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server though, like Sky, is an extra that you have to buy. So what do you get with MOSS for your money that WSS doesn’t give you. With Sky I can get my Sports channels, the option of High Definition, some interactive games, the option to select my favourite channels and if I had Sky Plus I could even rewind live programmes. That would have been useful when that shapely streaker ran across the wicket at Lords. With MOSS I get the chance to link to external data sources (like SQL Server or SAP R/3) and present the information using pretty Excel charts. MOSS also gives me the options of individual MySites and Audience targeting (very useful with larger companies). As Sky gives you more channels MOSS gives you more Site Templates (including Dashboards and KPI sites) with more inbuilt Workflow. Other advantages with going full MOSS are to use web-facing InfoPath Forms, it allows Single-Sign-On and Content Publishing. When you look closer there are a lot of extra features with MOSS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are features that you need. Many organisations will find WSS meets the majority of their needs so why have Sky when all you really want is to watch the repeated Eastenders on BBC 3. The best way to find out is to have a look at the “Officetalk MOSS v WSS Comparison Sheet” . This lists the main features of SharePoint and says if they are available on WSS or MOSS. I hope you will find this useful. Now, maybe Sky will read this post and think that I have promoted their services so well that they will give me my old Sky package back free for the whole of the football season. Officetalk MOSS v WSS Comparison Sheet

21 comments:

parkesy said...

What a great analogy!

Will remember that one

Not bad for a Villa fan ;-)

Anonymous said...

It is a different way to answer the same question.

I have read many articles that talk about the differences between MOSS and WSS but I did not get it until I read this post.

Andreas Rohr said...

One more different between WSS and MOSS is that Slide Libary is only a feature for MOSS.
Greetings from Germany,
-- Andreas

Ravi said...

its a great Post... good work Andy... All the best...

Gurudatt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gurudatt said...

Very well explained by Andy!

I classified some of highlighted difference between MOSS and WSS in my blog:

http://infosharepoint.blogspot.com/2009/01/differencemoss-and-wss.html

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DualSun said...

...what a relief to find such a complex comparison being presented through such a simple analogy. I congratulate the author not only for the explanation but for the years of experience behind this simplicity. I will use this analogy when I present my report on our Sharepoint decision and want to give my appreciation. I thank you Andy, well done.

regards
Gregory

Sam said...

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