SharePoint Upgrade Path

With the public release of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 beta 2, you may be trying to figure out your plan of attack. Deciding when and how quickly you want to move depends on where you are now and where you want to be.

MOSS 2007 is the successor for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. For lots of folks, if you're already using the portal product, then you'll likely upgrade to MOSS 2007. However, if you're using Windows SharePoint Services version 2, the path is a little murky. You could jump from WSS version 2 to version 3 or to MOSS 2007. It really depends on whether you need those portal features.

For those of you using SharePoint Portal Server 2001, you may be considering skipping WSS version 2 and SPS 2003 and making the leap to MOSS 2007. The same is also true if you're just starting to evaluate SharePoint for your organization. But not so fast! Windows SharePoint Services version 2 is miles ahead of SPS 2001 in terms of features. You may find that WSS v2 meets most of your needs right now. WSS v2 is a component of Windows Server 2003. You can download it free from the Microsoft Web site. (Yes, I said free, but your Windows Server must be properly licensed.)

I suggest you evaluate WSS version 2, WSS version 3, and MOSS 2007 separately before you take the plunge. Sounds like a lot of work? See my previous post for some tips on how you can use Virtual Server 2005 to set up a testing environment without trashing your hardware.

Also, be sure to check out SharePoint Designer, which is replacing FrontPage as the Microsoft-sanctioned design tool for SharePoint. You can download SharePoint Designer from the Office 2007 beta site.