Microsoft Announces SharePoint Portal Server 2003

   Microsoft announced today that its next-generation portal server based on SharePoint technologies will be called Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 when the company releases the product later this summer. The server, known simply as SharePoint Portal Server 2.0 during the beta, is the high-end companion to Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2003, which Microsoft will provide free to Windows Server 2003 customers. SharePoint Portal Server 2003 builds on WSS by providing enterprise customers with a way to create so-called portal Web sites through which companies can communicate with their workers, partners, and customers.
   In addition, sites created with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 will support Microsoft FrontPage 2003, the Web site authoring tool that the company will ship alongside other Microsoft Office 2003 products in October. FrontPage 2003 users will be able to customize SharePoint Portal Server 2003 portals, work with custom Web Parts, use live data views during site development, and perform advanced code-reuse tasks once associated only with professional development environments such as Visual Studio. "Out-of-the-box customization of SharePoint ... gets even richer with FrontPage 2003," said Nancy McSharry Jensen, SharePoint group product manager. "The number one request we receive from users of SharePoint is the ability to customize their sites. Now with FrontPage they can not only completely customize the design of their site, but also can take greater advantage of Web Parts and the new Web page components, and can create dynamic, data-driven portals using the familiar, easy-to-use WYSIWYG FrontPage editor."
   Like other products associated with Office 2003, Microsoft recently updated SharePoint Portal Server 2003 in the Microsoft Office System Beta 2 Technical Refresh, which is available for free to customers who have the Microsoft Office System Beta 2 Kit 2003. Users interested in testing these products can still sign up for the prerelease software on the Microsoft Web site.

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