Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server will feature tighter ties with many of the collaboration capabilities woven into Windows Server 2003.
The latest version, which Microsoft has renamed the Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, is intended to be a single portal capable of integrating a range of line-of-business applications, thereby allowing users to access all the information they need through a single sign-on.
Microsoft officials hoped the product could serve as a hub for all other Microsoft Office systems, providing an end-to-end product that connects workers to "personally relevant information, applications, people, and teams", according to Jeff Teper, general manager of Microsoft Business Portals Group.
Some of the features that are designed to improve workflow include document versioning, approval workflow, check in and check out, document profiling and publishing. Users can also personalise intranet and extranet sites they build with additional "user-profiling capabilities".
Some of the personalisation features of the product include the ability to tailor portal pages for each user based on who they are and what they do, navigation bars that can change to display options on each portal page base on selected WebParts and user permissions, and the ability to target content within WebParts for an organisation or an individual.
Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, which is now in beta testing, is not expected to be available until later this year. Pricing will be set at product launch.