Google is very well known as a search engine, but avid fans also know that there is a lot more to Google than searching. One of the most interesting trends in the past year or so is certainly the migration of desktop applications to online versions of the same applications. Google released their web version of the familiar Office suite, including a word processor and spreadsheet, but completely web-based, meaning that it never needs to be installed on your computer. Everything runs in your web browser.
The most recent release in this series, is the the new Google Sites. Seen as a clear competitor to Microsoft’s Sharepoint, Google Sites offers its users a team website publishing service. You can create an intranet portal, team project management page, calendar, share all kinds of documents to name only a few. A”team” does not need to be for work; it could be a school, a classroom or anything that represents a group of people needing to share some common information and communicate through a central location.
Every other Google service, such as Youtube, searching and calendars, is integrated as well so you can use any previous information you entered and can add relevant content more quickly and easily.
The great advantage of a service like this one over a product like Sharepoint is the ease of use and installation. No need for dedicated hardware and no need for a system administrator to manage everything. The users have complete control over what is displayed in your portal and no HTML or coding is required. You can use permissions to determine who has access to what and maintain a certain control.
Depending on the type of solution or portal you need, this may be quite an excellent way to go.