- Universal Content Types
- Centrally Managed
Because one Site Collection cannot span multiple databases, for disaster recovery reasons, many organizations split up their Intranet site into multiple Site Collections soas to divvy up their site between smaller content databases. However, Site Collections have boundaries between them, and deploying things like consistent Content Types across Site Collections has always been a headache. SharePoint 2010 gives you the ability to create metadata that can be centrally managed across Site Collections.
- Used for list browsing
SharePoint 2010 can use this metadata to quickly filter a large list. Although this can be done now by setting up Views on a list, the interface for allowing users to quickly filter a list is much improved.
- Centrally Managed
- BCS Lists
The BDC is now rebranded as the BCS (Business Connectivity Service). It’s now much simpler to pull external data into a SharePoint list, but most importantly, the BCS is bi-directional; that is, a user can add, update, or delete a value in a BCS-driven list and it will automatically update that value in the data source. This was possible in theory with the BDC, but it took such a big custom effort it was rarely worth it.
- Lookup List Improvements
Although we all know it’s a bad idea to set up SharePoint like a relational database, let’s face it – we all have wished we could have more data integrity between SharePoint lists, and SharePoint 2010 goes in that direction. You can now set up a Lookup list column for cascading deleteds and referrential integrity; that means that you can choose to either delete all child list items if you delete a lookup list item, or you can prevent a user from deleting one without deleting the other. In addition, you can now pull over multiple columns from a lookup list, so the lookup column ID acts more as a foreign key that’s used to join two tables together. (This feature is part of what makes LINQ to SharePoint effective.)
- Document Sets
Finally, content can be grouped together into bundles called “Document Sets”. A Document Set is essentially a Content Type that can contain child Content Types. Although it can seem like nothing more than a folder that contains child documents, the important thing is that now bundles of documents can go through a single workflow, or be attached to a single information policy, etc. (Another nicety is that you can download a Document Set as a ZIP file to your desktop.)
If you want to learn more about some of these features, you can download the Technical Preview of the SharePoint 2010 SDK: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=94afe886-3b20-4bc9-9a0d-acd8cd232c24.