How Do You Get SharePoint at Work?

We’ve often heard people in large organisations logging calls to have SharePoint installed on their laptops so they can use it.  You don’t need to do that.

SharePoint is installed on servers in the IT department, and presented to you via a browser.

All you need to do to get access, is have your governance forum / IT department / Site Collection Administrator / Site Owner give you access to a site so you can play.  It doesn’t matter what operating system you have on your laptop, the biggest driver here is your browser.  SharePoint works optimally in Internet Explorer, and with some limitations in Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

It also doesn’t really matter what version of Office you have, although it is best to use the same Office version as SharePoint to get all the functionality available; ie: Office 2007 and MOSS 2007; Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010.

You also need something called Silverlight installed to see the SharePoint 2010 functionality like it was meant to be seen.  Click here to find out if you have Silverlight installed.

You get given access to a site by someone adding your username to the permission groups on the site.  They will send you a link to the site and you are good to go.

However, if you need SharePoint Designer, then that needs to be installed on your physical machine.  SharePoint Designer is not SharePoint.  SPD / Designer is a tool that extends SharePoint functionality.  (And it’s free by the way, so don’t let IT tell you have to pay for it).

So in future, when logging a call to get access – you can instruct your IT helpdesk what to do. 🙂  Depending on the size of the company and helpdesk, they also don’t always know how this works.


  1. Flo – I don’t know what they are planning for it, I just know that for now you need it for 2010.

    John – yes you are quite right. Good tip there to install the IETab.


  2. In a similar vein I’ve had people ask to have WordPress installed on their machines so they can use it. And the people in question taught IT for a living.

    What I’ve found with accessing SharePoint through a variety of web browsers is that functionality is very different from one to the next. Everything works in Internet Explorer, of course. Everything looks like it’s working in Chrome until you come to a page with a long list and the scrollbar doesn’t appear down the side. Similar glitches show up in Firefox. I have IETab installed for both Chrome and Firefox, automatically opening SharePoint for me and we configure this in Firefox for all our users, since Firefox is our browser of choice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.