Saturday, May 28, 2011

Top 4 Signs that your Users are embracing SharePoint

{my article published at – June 2011}

Have you ever been in an organization, big or small, where SharePoint has been in place for months (or years?), but when you look around, you realize it’s not being used to its full potential? I’m not talking about something big like they’re not using InfoPath for their forms automation, or not using Business Connectivity Services to expose their data through external content types. I’m talking about the organizations who are simply storing old archived documents in a library still named “Shared Documents”, and whose most elaborate web part is the one that shows today’s weather forecast. :) I’m talking about the organization that installed SharePoint, but obviously never heard a good speech about how SharePoint can be used effectively to make their work life more productive.

2011-06-13-Top4Signs-01.pngSo let’s say, one day they finally get to hear the speech, and they’re now armed with enough knowledge to get some good end-user SharePoint collaboration going. Other than seeing someone running down the hall with a cowbell screaming “I gotta have more SharePoint, baby!”, how do you know that your users are finally starting to drink the SharePoint kool-aid and use it collaboratively? Well, in true Letterman-style, here are my Top 4 Signs that your Users are embracing SharePoint:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

InfoPath: Team Development

InfoPath can be your best friend when it comes to building dynamic and engaging forms in SharePoint that your customers can use to interact with their data in a rich and visual manner.  In many ways, it’s suitable even for the Power user to quickly produce a feature-rich form.  But I think it becomes even more powerful in the hands of a team of SharePoint Developers, who can fully explore advanced design options like data integration, complex rules generation, and even incorporation of code-behind files.

As with any SharePoint development technology, it’s important to follow good practices when developing in a team environment.  This series (which you can follow with the infopath-TeamDev tag) will look at several aspects of InfoPath team development, and attempt to offer helpful advice on best practices.

Some of the challenges we’ll look at will include:

  • versioning your team work
  • working in parallel
  • managing data connections

We’ll also explore useful team dev tips, like incorporating Template Parts, using data field naming conventions, and maximizing the power of InfoPath Rules.

Let’s see where this ride takes us!  More posts to come.