It is nearly impossible to give a short, coherent answer to a SharePoint novice when I’m asked “What is SharePoint?” SharePoint has grown from simple portal software that includes search and content management capabilities, into a complex enterprise platform used for everything from managing collaboration on departmental projects all the way to handling hundreds of thousands of transactions a day for banks, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, the military, and major corporations.

SharePoint has become so large and so complex that no one can profess to be a master of the entire platform. How do you describe it to someone?

Chris Geier has taken up the challenge of answering that question by putting together a team of authors, each of whom is an expert in a specific area of SharePoint. The authors Chris has chosen are the same subject matter experts I look to when I need help with a thorny business issue that might be solved with SharePoint.

As a SharePoint evangelist, I personally know each of the authors through their contributions to the SharePoint community. They “pay it forward” by freely giving their time and expertise through participation in conferences, user groups, blogs, and SharePoint Saturdays. They have firsthand knowledge and experience with the most important aspects of utilizing SharePoint in real-world situations.

It is a long, treacherous road to becoming an expert in any specific aspect of SharePoint, whether it is branding, workflow, ...

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