Microsoft has released the first set of specific applications for its Windows SharePoint Services, which aim to help businesses build collaboration websites.

The 30 new applications target specific business processes such as event co-ordination, expense reimbursement requests, meeting management and employee timesheet management.

As an example, the site for employee timesheet management lets managers review and approve timesheets, post shift and schedule information, and store key documents. Employees can then use the site for submitting timecards, viewing assigned shifts, requesting schedule changes and performing other tasks.

Supplied templates help build each site, but retain some customisation abilities. Each application includes a link to an end-user demonstration that provides basic guidance.

The applications are free and downloadable from Microsoft's SharePoint site here.

Microsoft released Windows SharePoint Services in October 2003 as an add-on technology to Windows Server 2003. It aims to pair the services with SharePoint Portal Server 2003.