In November 2006, Microsoft made available an update for Windows SharePoint Services, the collaboration tool provided as a part of Windows Server 2003. This newest version of Windows SharePoint Services includes a number of enhancements over previous versions, including:
- A centralized administration model, making it possible to manage all of the servers in your farm from one location.
- New backup, monitoring, and migration capabilities.
- Improved policy management and auditing features.
- Item-level access control, providing more granular security.
- The ability to rename your SharePoint and database servers without reinstalling.
- Extensible authentication, which allows access by non-Windows authentication systems.
In addition to these administrator-related tools, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 includes the following user-facing features:
- Synchronization of list data using RSS
- Ability to update SharePoint information via e-mail
- An interface showing only what a user has access to rather showing than all items (which may include some that don't work)
- Master page/template definitions
- Project tracking
All in all, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 includes a ton of new functionality. It's a free download from Microsoft, so give it a shot and see what it might offer your organization.