SharePoint 2013 App Model- A weapon for SharePoint developers

With the release of SharePoint 2010, people started clamoring for app stores. Considering the requests, when SharePoint 2013 was released, it included app stores as well. Broadly, the store is of two varieties- public which is the primary store marketed by Microsoft and corporate which is a locked down, local store. For the apps, there are three broad categories:

custom SharePoint development, SharePoint development services, SharePoint site branding expertsAuto hosted- Auto hosted apps run on SharePoint Online and Office 365. It contains server-side components.

SharePoint hosted- This app does not have any server-side components. Everything that is needed for the functioning like libraries, lists, etc are deployed within SharePoint environment.

Provider hosted- These apps have server side components and they are contained usually within ASP.NET applications to which separate environments must be provided for hosting them. SharePoint 2013 App Model serves as a great weapon for SharePoint developers due to the multitude of advantages that is offered to mainly the users. Administrators and third parties also reap benefits with their usage.

Use of popular languages, technologies and programming model- Web acts as a platform for apps since the building process is same for both. In fact the development process is the same for any kind of device- whether computers, mobile phones or tablets, making you more productive as well as efficient. Any language such as JavaScript, .NET, PHP, HTML can be used in conjunction with any web development tool. The logic, user interface and data can be distributed in separate components so your needs may be fitted.

Cloud App Model- A Cloud App Model has been introduced, enabling the creation of apps. By virtue of the model, the apps are easy to use, install, upgrade, manage as well as remove. This can be used by hosted, cloud-based as well as on-premises environments, thus offering you a variety of options for hosting the app. Your very own web stack can be chosen as well.

Isolated apps- This feature is perfect for those people who worry about security. Here, isolation is used by the app model so that the app can be separated from main domain. Apps are deployed in their domain to their website, which protects further from unauthorized access to sensitive data. By virtue of this, on-premises environments that want to utilize Public SharePoint Store can be adopted; in fact, it helps drive the adoption process. They cannot offer total security but they do protect from certain breaches.

Familiar but flexible web experience- SharePoint websites and apps have same user experience but they are a lot more flexible, fitting seamlessly into SharePoint websites in various ways like as webpage’s part, as full-page immersive experience and custom actions of UI by extension of menus and ribbons.

App integration for Office- SharePoint Applicationss can be integrated with Office apps that are based on Office 2013’s web-based extensibility model. SharePoint Apps may be Office 2013 document template’s part.

Application lifecycle- The app lifecycle here is very user-friendly, with users being able to add as well as update apps by their selves. Additionally, when an update to app is released by a developer, users get notification about the existing update and accordingly they can decide whether and when the upgrading may be done. If the user does not want to use the app, then they can simply uninstall the app’s instance along with all related data getting deleted by that.

SharePoint apps are loved by users as they are offered easy ways for addition of new functionality to the entire system used by them. For the system administrators, control is the biggest advantage that they get. Operating topically managed locked-down store allows them to offer additional functionality to their users with full belief in the pre-approved apps. Central store indicates best use of advertising as well as marketing efforts for the third parties. In each case, it is a win-win situation. Great scope is offered for future development as well as growth which will no doubt attract developers, opening up several possibilities. Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint site branding experts, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

SharePoint offers Enterprise-Level Info Sharing Platform

sharepoint development company , sharepoint custom solutions development , hire sharepoint developer The rich platform of SharePoint helps in the construction of web applications that are ‘multi-tiered’. There are three characteristics that define this development platform- reliability which means its ability for consistent performance, extensibility which enables consolidation with other applications as well as systems and scalability which enables the proper handling of growing work amount. For web application development several frameworks, languages, tools as well as object models can be used. The person who is new to this platform may find it difficult to know what to implement and where. So a developer should first understand his choices and then select the options accordingly to meet his design and architectural goals.

Capabilities

The system of SharePoint Server is equipped with the following capabilities:

  • Communities- Collaborating through blogs, wikis, etc.
  • Sites- Websites both outside as well as inside the firewall.
  • Search- The technologies as well as products include search engines that can be customized according to your needs.
  • Content- Web content management, publishing along with enterprise content management systems.
  • Composite applications- Includes infrastructure, processes, user interface as well as data access.
  • Insights- Business intelligence.

Scalable architecture can be provided by the relevant technologies along with products making it absolutely perfect for several users like employees of a huge corporation. Flexible, scalable websites can be built by its virtue; they can be maintained with ease. When building applications you can customize several capabilities for specific vertical markets.

Role in Application development strategy

While considering the role, three basic strategies are there- enterprise portal, application and intranet along with application. Among these SharePoint viewed as application is the simplest approach. In this, deployment of SharePoint is as it is. Customizations are limited to either no-code customizations or configuring through web browser.

SharePoint may also be utilized as intranet platform as well as application. According to this model, the platform is used for building of intranet applications. This often includes remarkable customizations and partners can be included as well for initial deployment. After completing the deployment, in-house customizations can be limited to configuration through browser or no-code solutions with help of SharePoint Designer.

SharePoint can be adopted as an enterprise portal, acting as a core component of the application development strategy. This model will allow you to have an experienced as well as full-fledged software development team. You along with your development partner can also experience close relationship by virtue of this platform. Other considerations additionally associated with this approach are:

  • Maintaining the skills necessary within the development team.
  • Enforcement as well as development of coding standards specific to SharePoint for external development partners along with internal developers.
  • Robust approach needs to be established for ALM or Application Lifecycle Management like defining the standards, process as well as procedures for creation of SharePoint solutions. They can then be moved through production environments, UAT, integration as well as development.
  • In case of regional SharePoint farms engaged in global deployment, standards and efforts must be coordinated across diverse development teams.

Right applications for SharePoint

To use SharePoint for application development platform, you should try and determine when SharePoint can be used and when it cannot be used. Every problem can be solved by this platform but it may increase complexities in maintenance along with application development and cost as well. Things may become tricky in case of upgradation to SharePoint’s latest release due to heavy customizations. So some key considerations are:

  • Management of unstructured information is best suited by SharePoint.
  • There is no point in using this if things like content, search, insights, communities, composites or sites are not used.
  • It is best for creation of multiple examples of websites based on common templates.

Thus, in short this platform is not only great for enterprise level information sharing but for lots of features like file-sharing, web-publishing and collaborating, all under a single server. Business efficiency and productivity can be improved with the help of the easy to use and powerful infrastructure which boasts of capabilities for the development of websites, portals, content management systems, intranets and such other business intelligence implementations. You can hire developers from top SharePoint development company in India who can help you build mobile apps within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint custom solutions development services. If you need to hire SharePoint developer from us, we would be glad to assist you at Mindfire Solutions.

Solid tips for improving your SharePoint team site homepage

When creating SharePoint team site, a home page is created which can be modified so that it meets the needs of the team better as well as looks great. The looking good aspect is also related to usability as a site must not compromise on user-friendly aspect when it is modified. The website can display announcements, calender items, tasks, etc or may be added with images or texts. To make any kind of changes to the site you have to be logged as a user with the necessary permissions for editing or modification of the pages. This means that the person must belong to the Members group of the site.

Some tips for better site

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint 2010 development, hire sharepoint developerWhile designing new websites the top navigation should be consistent as well as concise. The navigation which is also known as global navigation should include something around top 5 elements which will be most essential for your needs along with usage. Some good examples are links to subsites or pages. In fact, navigation inheritance should be used from parent site unless it is a private site and it must be totally isolated. The links should not exceed nine as it will appear to be too confusing as well as cluttered.

Right or left scrolling should be avoided anyhow. Consistently scrolling back and forth for viewing or reading the website’s contents can prove to be very frustrating for users. Extra wide parts can be moved into footer or header zones. While designing the website the varying screen resolutions should be kept in mind. Mostly in offices, the resolutions are set at 1280 x 1024 pixels while some laptops are wider so it should be tested in narrow windows to check if its working correctly or not.

The navigation at left could and must be changed according to your position at the website. The position is relative and top level sites can have links to calenders, discussion boards, custom lists, etc. The hyperlinks must be configured properly. You can force the links to open in new windows which will keep the main site open in background; users can easily return there simply by minimizing or closing the window.

The home page should be such that it catches attention as well as conveys meaning or purpose of the site. It is difficult but not impossible. For that you have to keep the content uncluttered and succinct. Important information should be placed “above the fold” or in the space of content which can be seen on screen before having to scroll down. Since screen resolutions of different browsers are different the placement can be tricky. Colors or effects and images should be effectively used so that attention is drawn to main content. Do not be too gaudy and use too many colors, text sizes and fonts.

How to edit

To edit or modify the home page you have to browse home page; click Page tab located in Ribbon which will display editing options. Click Edit and do all the changes that you want. Now the cursor needs to be placed anywhere inside the page body’s rectangular boxes and the content can be edited and applied. Even styles can be applied. After that save the changes by clicking “Stop Editing”.

If you want to add links, web parts, images or tables to the home page then you have to follow these instructions:

  • Click Edit button as mentioned previously to start the editing process.
  • The Ribbon has an Insert tab which should be clicked. Place the cursor where the item needs to be inserted from Ribbon. The cursor should be inside the rectangular box in the body of the page.
  • Click on the item that you want to add- whether it be table, web part, hyperlinks or image and select their variety accordingly.
  • Click Edit; choose Stop Editing and your changes will be saved.

Remember that when a visitor enters the site it should be able to answer questions like what, why, what the site has and what can it give to the user. When you do custom sharepoint development, you get exactly the right thing which you precisely need.

We provide SharePoint 2010 development services. We have expert SharePoint team with 100% certification ratio. To hire SharePoint developer from us, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

Top 6 Benefits of MS SharePoint Services for Document Management

Despite being launched by Microsoft as a web development platform, SharePoint is widely used by enterprises to manage their records, documents and content. The latest version of SharePoint also comes with a set of innovative features that enable businesses to work with distributed teams. An organization can use these features to build websites and intranet sites to completely manage documents and share information with the members of its distribute team, along with generating a variety of reports to facilitate decision makers. If you are yet to migrate to SharePoint 2013, it is time to understand some of the significant benefits of MS SharePoint Services for document management.

6 Reasons Why Microsoft SharePoint Services for Document Management

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint application development, hire sharepoint developer1) Improved Productivity of Team: SharePoint 2013 comes with a set of simple yet effective collaborative tools to connect all members of a distributed team. These features also enable users to access required information and business resources at once. Along with organizing documents and getting important notification, the users can further use the collaborative tools to coordinate calendars and build team workspaces. The platform also comes with innovative features to create wikis and blogs. At the same time, the offline synchronization capabilities make it easier for users to access information on their mobile devices.

2) Easy to Maintain Content Integrity: While adding, updating and modifying documents professional find it a daunting task to maintain the integrity of content. The enhanced document management features of SharePoint make it simpler for users to maintain the integrity of content and documents stored on team sites. In addition to seeing revisions to documents and restoring the previous versions, a user also has option to activate relevant document checking options before editing the content. The document-level and item-level security features further contribute towards maintaining integrity of document.

3) Quick and Simple Navigation: Each user wants to access the information he needs in an instant. It is also essential for a content management system to allow users to navigate the team sites at their own pace. The Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 comes with improved menus and views. The features make it simpler for users to navigate among and within SharePoint sites. At the same time, they also have option to integrate the productivity tools in Microsoft Office system to access the document more quickly. While working within Microsoft Office system files, they can still access the SharePoint features to create sites along with adding, editing and modifying documents.

4) Customized Solutions to Boost Business Processes: Most organizations opt for content management systems that can be customized according to their business processes and specific needs. The simple and easy-to-use features of SharePoint enable enterprises to seamlessly migrate to the new platform. At the same time, an enterprise also has option to deploy custom Windows SharePoint Services by using a set of application templates. As the application templates are designed to perform specific tasks and complement particular business processes, the customized solution can be developed and deployed without requiring any extra time.

5) Easy Storage and Recovery of Documents: Microsoft has further designed Windows SharePoint Services with improved features to store and retrieve the documents and business data. The document management system is designed with features lie custom metadata, version history, check-in or check-out functionality, and customizable views. Also, it includes a completely revamped recycle bin functionality that enables users to recover the content easily, along with optimizing backup and restoration.

6) Complete Security for Business Information: While enabling its employees to access business information at their own pace, an organization must optimize the security of information resources. The administrative controls provided by Windows SharePoint Service help enterprises in securing their information without investing additional funds. The features further reduce the complexity associated with site management, provisioning and support. Along with setting permission at document or item level, an organization can use the features to manage storage limits, site lifecycle, site membership and permissions.

On the whole, many organizations migrate to SharePoint document management services to deliver user experience that is familiar, simple and consistent. The platform is also effective in simplifying how the members of a distributed team interact with documents, content and business data. Also, an organization can avail its broad capabilities to create customized websites, intranets, content management systems and similar tools that can be used to take better decisions. Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint application development services. We have expert SharePoint team with 100% certification ratio. To hire SharePoint developer from us, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

SharePoint Development: Why it is not always smooth sailing

Microsoft has launched SharePoint 2013 with a set of innovative features to complement the requirements of all types of enterprises. Along with developing a variety of solutions, organizations now have option to build customized SharePoint apps according to their specific needs. However, an organization must consider some key factors while migrating to the new technology. In addition to providing adequate training to its employees, an enterprise also needs to identify the important challenges associated with SharePoint development. The understanding of these challenges will further make it easier for the business to migrate to the latest version of the content management system.

Most Challenging Aspects of SharePoint Development

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint webparts development, sharepoint developers1. Adequate Product Knowledge and Planning: Often SharePoint development projects are affected negatively due to lack of adequate product knowledge and planning. Along with being too large and bulky, the technology is also complex. Microsoft has further included features to make it usable for a number of purposes like a rapid web application development framework or content management system. So the developers must understand all aspects of the product deeply to become experts. So an organization must be ready to allow adequate time to the developers and SharePoint site administrators to gain in depth knowledge of the technology.

2. Enhanced and Specialized Skill: Unlike other application development, SharePoint development requires specialized and extended skills. Along with understanding various aspects of the distinct platform, the developers also need to be proficient in C#, Visual Basic or similar standard managed-code languages. At the same time, the programmers must understand HTML, CSS and XML, along with ASP.NET and other web languages ad frameworks. When the developer understand a wide variety of web technologies, it will be easier for him to write the exact code or assemble the features to achieve predefined objectives of the organization.

3. Extended Development Time: Most developers consider SharePoint 2013 to be innovative and out of box. But the outcome of several surveys have also highlighted that additional development time is required to develop the ideas. In addition to implementing exact ideas, additional time is also required for customizing the solution according to the specific requirements of the enterprise. However, an organization can overcome this challenge by active planning and encouraging collaboration among IT and other departments. An active plan will further help enterprises in reducing the amount of time and funds required to build a tailor-made SharePoint solution or application.

4. Performance of Customized Solutions: The complex and highly customizable nature of the platform further makes it difficult for programmers to debug custom SharePoint solutions. Along with deciding the performance problems, a project leader also needs to identify the interactions and components responsible for such problems. The reason behind the poor performance of the SharePoint solution can be tracked down by checking application, web server traffic, SQL Server and similar logs. At the same time, the developers also need to consider the indexing time and performance counters to track down the issue. So there are chances that the Unified Logging System (ULS) provided by the framework may not track down the performance issues due to the large number of moving parts and components.

5. Post-Development Requirements: Most organizations ignore the post-development task associated with SharePoint development. In addition to building a robust and customized solution, an enterprise also needs to ensure that the system is managed and administered effectively. The custom solution needs to be supported with adequate documentation. At the same time, it is also essential for the organization to implement a strategy to maintain hardware and databases, and restore or backup procedure. An organization can also consider setting application deployment guidelines and infrastructure policy. The rules will make it easier for the staff to understand the support and maintenance required to optimize the performance of the SharePoint solution.

An enterprise also has several options to address the issues associated with SharePoint development. It can always adopt some widely used SharePoint development best practices, along with considering outsourcing the project to a competent development company. Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint webparts development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

8 ways to avoid SharePoint deployment disaster

With increasing business opportunities, newer challenges surface. One of the biggest challenge faced by organizations across the globe is managing information effectively. Every large and small enterprise, an independent professional, manages information effectively which is one of the keys to successful operations and survival in tough times.

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint application development, sharepoint developersPeople are adopting to electronic data than paper work. Organizations that adopt electronic document management systems are showing greater signs of having a better grip over business processes in tough times. And with SharePoint getting regarded as the “Information Operating System” for organizations, it seems organizations of all sizes using Microsoft products will start implementing SharePoint because of the tremendous value they see in the platform. However, not all sharepoint deployments run smoothly. Here are solid 8 ways you can avoid and mitigate risks associated with the deployment process.

8 ways to mitigate risks in SharePoint deployment:

1. Loss of data content in the event of a disaster: Content or Data is King. It is very important for a company to deal with their customer data well without messing it up. Else answering customer calls and having to tell them that all their data is gone because the archive room just caught fire is like putting business to fire. The best way to protect business documents against any disaster is to implement a document management system that not only helps to manage paper based documents, but also digital files. Documents will outlive wear and tear which is caused by manual handling and adverse weather conditions. Digital files are easy to back up -and retrieve within minutes than searching from a pile of files physically.

2. Time and cost overruns: Paper archives are simply too time-taking to handle as a source of information in the long run. It is very difficult to fetch information from a physical document library that causes a whole range of tasks connected to a business process to queue up, which will lead to project delay and cost escalations. Physical labor and staff to manage all of this can be avoided thus saving. And other things being constant which might be lowering costs and translating into a neater bottom-line.

3. Communication gaps: Most business processes involve stages of conception, iteration, research, decision and execution and then a follow up review. Multiple departments are involved in the entire exercise. When the source documents are not at the fingertips of every stakeholder in this business process, it can hamper smooth communication of ideas and relevant data. This in turn leads to another serious risk.

4. Poor or wrong decisions: Communication gaps imply that employees may not be armed with complete data for them to carry out their task as expected. This is true especially when some members of the team have the requisite documents in their possession while others do not. Decision makers are faced with time bound goals that they must achieve. If a business decision is made in a hurry and with incomplete data or without the required inputs from the entire team, it could lead to a loss in terms of revenue, market share or other such performance indicators.

5. Lost opportunity to delight customers: When customer-facing staff have all the documents they need on a single application, But if the source documents have to be retrieved from a box file in another corner of the office building, don’t expect the customer to stay on hold or wait patiently for long – you have just lost an opportunity to create a “Wow!” customer experience. Electronic document management can come to rescue. Having all information the customer needs means a ‘First Contact Resolution’ and no repeat calls for the same issue – something every business wants to achieve 100 per cent of the time.

6. Losing the competitive edge: Businesses that have an EDMS in place are far better placed to succeed in today’s digital age. Lower costs, better communication, quick turnaround times (TAT), improved productivity and quality levels – all these make an organization highly competitive and give their rivals a run for their money. Not having a sound EDMS means one could lose out on these performance indicators and consequently competitive edge over a period of time.

7. Employees Are More Mobile and Loss of reputation: When a company’s document management policy lack leads to a serious strategic or tactical error, it could result in the company’s reputation being seriously damaged. This can jeopardize the organization’s position in the market in the long term and have a cascading effect on other areas of operation. In the past, SharePoint users were often perceived to be safe within a secure perimeter working inside a corporate network, protected by layers of security such as email and endpoint security.

Employees now are increasingly mobile or remote. In the past, SharePoint users were often perceived to be safe within a secure perimeter, working inside a corporate network, protected by layers of security such as email and endpoint security. Organizations realize their business is at risk as employees are often outside the corporate network, protected by only one layer of protection their endpoint security. This is unreliable since endpoint security may become outdated when the mobile user is outside of the network.

8. Failing to comply with legal requirements: Laws such as a HIPAA require the maintenance of records in an organized way so as to be secure and accessible. Managing files and documents without scanning them is undoubtedly tougher than managing documents in electronic formats like the electronic documents are easily created, managed, stored, modified, shared, maintained and transfered than paper documents. Without a EDMS, an organization will have a tough time to organize its information repository so that it complies with applicable laws.

All the above 8 points can be easily controlled and risks can be avoided by switching to electronic document management. These discussed are just some of the situations that could happen to businesses who don’t adopt EDMS: delaying implementation of an EDMS can have a ripple effect in each of these areas. As with everything else, the hardest step is the first step toward change. Organizations worldwide who have taken this step have seen their operations transformed, getting a return on investment (ROI) that is worth the resources invested by them. Custom SharePoint development teams are can help you migrate from diverse technologies to latest versions of SharePoint including 2013 version while sticking to the allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint application development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Is SharePoint 2013 assisting SharePoint Mobile Explosion?

Few years back when you were not allowed to bring in pen drives to work because it was seen as a security threat to organization data to today when you are asked to bring your own device, we have surely come a long way. This decade is seeing the new concept – BYOD (Bring your own device) to work in action. This radical concept is changing the way enterprises used to work. Mobile devices are the preferred ones as smarter approach to consume information on the go. Tablets and smart phones are setting trend and considered as the advanced computing concept working anytime anywhere. Data management is no longer a desktop problem. Security is no longer something that’s about managing desktops. The mobile revolution is changing for the better and SharePoint 2013 has made a lot of improvements in all types of business sectors for enhancing business data, its security and deploying apps in all the more customized way.

custom sharepoint development, Sharepoint 2013 development, sharepoint developersMany applications in SharePoint are being launched as enterprises struggle to balance a need for security with demand for access. Large projects involve hundreds of people and several million documents and generate a huge amount of intelligence with raw data, internal communications and processes. The new mobile innovations and web-based technology related to collaboration has prompted capture of data which can be shared with project members anywhere. Every data aspect contributes to the overall intelligence factor within the organization.

Managing explosive data volumes hence becomes essential for every enterprise. The rapidly increasing information needs to be attended to with effective tools of archiving and purging. And one can leverage the large body of intelligence from multiple sources for effective collaboration.

By enabling SharePoint mobile features one can only enhance the user experience and also support the already-existing advantages of an effective SharePoint program:

  • Improving employee responsiveness and decision-making
  • Faster internal issue problem-solving
  • Increased productivity
  • Faster customer service

With the explosion of tablets and smartphones and increasing downloads of touchscreen-based mobile apps, the importance of mobility is evident. These smart devices can be totally different from each other in many ways – from screen size to usability and functionality, making it impossible to optimize a website for a single device. Companies are looking to develop and execute on strategies that provide a first-class experience for all devices right from PC to all kinds of mobile devices.

SharePoint is proving to be a very useful tool and a powerful web content management platform which has gotten better with the latest 2013 release. It has out of the box features which provides a new HTML5 contemporary view, but even that was limited in terms of what Web Parts might be displayed. Device channels are built into the publishing template as a way to support designers with flexibility to build around smart phones or tablets, but with industry techniques around Responsive Web Design.

The SharePoint Mobile ecosystem has never been richer with nearly a dozen third party apps across all smartphone devices, with a much richer consideration for security and edge support without requirement for Office 365 subscriptions. Responsive websites in SharePoint adapt the layout by using fluid grids, flexible images and CSS3 media queries. Media queries are useful for applying different CSS styles to different screen resolutions. Microsoft provides Office support for apps on these competitive tablets, there is a preview program for home and business that asks the user what kinds of devices they own from Blackberry to the particular type of Android Tablet.

With the release of SharePoint 2013, vast improvement is visible in its mobile capabilities, as well as some cool new mobile features. Let’s take a detailed look:

  • One of the new features that have emerged from SharePoint is the SharePoint Newsfeed app which brings social to what appears to be all devices. The app provides a rich, optimized experience that enables users to view and interact with their newsfeeds on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and iOS (iPad and iPhone).
  • The new app allows users to post to all newsfeeds on SharePoint sites as well as carry out all the usual “social functions” that can from desktop — including the option to follow people, mention, share documents and follow hashtags. It can use either the SharePoint Server 2013 or SharePoint Online. This functionality requires no configuration or customization and again, like the social functionality, can be deployed using either SharePoint Server 2013, or the online version.
  • Microsoft has promised to make SharePoint 2013 as accessible as possible to all users. This new version comes with new HTML5 based browser, offering content views for specific site templates. In this case, it means a lightweight rendering layer that is easy to navigate and touch friendly, making it easy to use on preferred screen or mobile browser. The navigation has been designed to simplify moving from one part of the site to another and perform basic operations across SharePoint. This functionality requires no configuration or customization and can be easily deployed using either SharePoint Server 2013.
  • BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) strategies by offering different customizable viewing capabilities via the web development path in Design Manager. A new feature that appears in SharePoint 2013 called device channels in Design Manager will enable designers to render publishing sites in a number of different ways and comes with different designs for different devices. Content, including images, can be changed while keeping the same URL across a whole range of different devices as well as accommodating a number of different touch target screen sizes of the different gadgets.
  • FileLocker also aims to deal with that through simple integration with SharePoint. It can encrypt for all data stored inside SharePoint. Its core functionality at the moment includes not only end-to-end encryption, but also file editing in the cloud and document preview with plug-ins for AutoDesk, as well selective file sharing.
  • For enterprises, the real bonus is that it comes with native apps for not just iPhone and iPad, but also for Android and Windows Phone. Optimized mobile browser experience has a lightweight browsing experience for users to access SharePoint content, it allows three different views such as classic, contemporary and full screen user interface.
  • Push notifications developers can now create notifications that send updates to a mobile device when specific activities occur on a SharePoint site.
  • Its location supports a new geolocation field type that can be used for mobile app development.
  • Office web apps has the viewer for Microsoft Office documents provides enhanced experiences when interacting with documents and has been optimized for mobile devices navigation models and content exclusions across tablets and smartphones.

The above features have made everybody realize how important it is to move their data to SharePoint 2013. It brings some useful enhancements that have the power to transform the level of understanding to any business. Making some amazing customized mobile apps with this new powerful SharePoint new edition is picking up as a trend. Custom SharePoint development teams are can help you migrate from older versions of SharePoint to SP2013 within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint 2013 development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Comparing SharePoint 2013 with previous versions

SharePoint can be an extremely powerful tool, a well-designed solution for content, document and information management – a well-designed solution. SharePoint 2013 is an excellent improvisation which is increasingly mobile, increasingly social and all that promotes a greater collaborative atmosphere within the organization. With SP2013, it is possible to integrate social capabilities, organize, share and synchronize content properly. Now users can share their ideas and opinion with their colleagues continuously. SharePoint has been very popular technology in the web world which can be beneficial for enterprises and excellent platform for sharing content with others.

custom sharepoint development, Sharepoint 2013 development, hire sharepoint developersWith the release of SP2013, there is a wide range of new features at disposal such as stronger search features, better cloud integration and infrastructure as well as content management. The 2013 release is an important one as the 2007 edition will no longer be supported, users have been upgrading to 2010 or 2013 versions nowadays. The SharePoint Connector supports SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013. SharePoint Connector 1.8 supports all the above three versions.

Microsoft thinking beyond 2013

Microsoft is happy about SharePoint 2013 to get a better understanding of what’s new. In developing the product, it has taken care of the main obstacles for organisations deploying the 2010 version. SP2013 is specially designed keeping in mind app scalability for large business enterprises. It has been targeting all knds of business sectors with its new features and functionalities.

Comparison with SharePoint 2010:

  • No Internet Explorer 7 support.
  • With the purchase of Yammer, there is more emphasis on social media.
  • Licensing: Internet sites no longer require an expensive licence, the cheaper standard server licence means that customers can host their internet and intranet on the same platform, reducing costs and providing more flexibility.
  • Records and document management: no real change.
  • Greater adoption of internet and open standards, enabling broader device support and integration with other services.
  • Users can have SharePoint on premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both.
  • The core ‘Search’ capability, based on FAST technology, is much richer.

Striking Features of SharePoint2013 which makes it stand apart:

Support for mobile devices

Mobility adoption is increasing within organizations and it is the topmost trend. The new version of SharePoint offers a rich platform for mobile development. Contemporary view which is HTML coded view provides a quick access across various mobile platforms like iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

Improved BI Capabilities

SharePoint 2013 offers extended capabilities to generate business intelligence reports. Its ability to provide big data reports and BI solutions has been expanded with the new version. Also, the integration between SharePoint and Excel has also been improved for a smooth functioning. It offers a better Power Pivot program that makes it possible to work with plenty of rows and columns in memory, making it convenient for use. It is used to generate extensive reports that reflect the organizations growth and provides insights into the business.

Cloud reality

SharePoint 2013 is geared for the cloud, which is great, but there are still a few things to watch for. Cloud apps reduce infrastructure costs and risks. Now users can spend more time in quality management and performance improvement. With this new version, it is easy for the users to keep a track of updated technologies. Now you can deal with complex and long programs quickly.

On premise

Running SharePoint onsite means that one can add more functionality or have better integration with other line of business systems. It also means that it has more flexibility over compliance features such as Public Records Act requirements.

Private cloud

Using a private cloud means that one can have predictable bandwidth and performance, but it also means that storage and disaster recovery costs are more obvious. This means that one can have a clear separation between infrastructure and application administration.

Search

Search on SharePoint 2013 is a real highlight. It is much richer than internet or Google-type results.It also provides a facility wherein it is possible to view the outline of a document while scanning through the search results. And the fact that Search has now been integrated with the ‘Term Store’, which helps standardise company language across documents, means one can now refine search results even more. Other great features include the ability to preview content whenever its hovered, meaning that one can preview a PowerPoint presentation without opening it. The ‘bad’ is that Search requires more server resources and requires an enterprise licence for certain advanced Search features.

New content features

The ability to drag and drop files into a webpage

  • End users can “share” files with others more simply
  • Better developer support
  • New database storage reduces the overhead of versioned documents
  • With Office Web Apps one can now edit documents on iOS devices
  • Much more flexibility around images
  • Video support improvements.

Infrastructure management

You can now take a more flexible approach to infrastructure management with SharePoint 2013. This means that you can take a hybrid on-premise and cloud approach. This is great for small to medium businesses that might not have the beefy bandwidth that you would need to run SharePoint completely over the internet, but by purchasing “Apps” hosted in the cloud these “Apps” will appear to be running on your server.

There are some technical traps to be aware of however:

  • Most customers will want to virtualise the SharePoint servers but they are resource intensive so should not be run on over committed hosts
  • Beware of remote access requirements, which can cause slow access
  • There’s no need to keep scanned and read-only files in SharePoint – it’s an expensive form of storage – it’s better to have a link to these resources in SharePoint
  • Don’t underestimate the technical skills that SharePoint needs.
  • Some of the SharePoint features require that other infrastructure and client components are all on the 2013 version. Fortunately SharePoint 2013 still allows to run 2010 sites, which means that one can leverage some new features like search, while continuing to use 2010 document libraries for Office 2010 users. This ability to run both in parallel is a key feature introduced in 2013 to help reduce the upgrade pain.

The new version SharePoint 2013 customizations helps control and manage all the different aspects of the web portals in a splendid way. SharePoint webparts enables to add dynamic functionality to the site, and enables to create different layouts for the mobile platform. Microsoft has already started receiving good vibes about SharePoint 2013 because businesses have started adopting to the new version. Custom SharePoint development teams are can help you migrate from older versions of SharePoint to SP2013 within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint 2013 development services. We are glad to share that all our SharePoint developers are Microsoft certified. If you would like to talk to one of our developers before you take the decision to hire SharePoint developers from us, we would be glad to assist you at Mindfire Solutions.

Design Tips for SharePoint 2013 Apps on Tablets

With the growth of technology, the world is getting smaller day by day. Bigger desktops becoming bulky laptops. And these bulky laptops changing to Notebooks. Then these stylish Notebooks became Ultra books. And now the trend is moving towards Smart phones and tablets. With this modern shift of electronic gadgets applications too are getting customized. Web applications becoming Apps, “Apps” are marketing strategy to increase use of SharePoint and other technologies in wider IT markets gaining its demand for development, deployment and usage. SharePoint was first launched in 2001 for both home and at work. Now with its customized features and advance versions catering the needs of customer today. SharePoint apps going mobile and are in huge demand across the globe.

sharepoint 2013 mobile development, sharepoint portal development, hire sharepoint developerDesigning for mobile apps in SharePoint has evolved dramatically. Users now expect faster, pertaining longer to mobile experiences and catering to this is increasingly difficult. With the release of SharePoint 2013 a powerful tool has taken birth which deals with content, document and information management only when it is correctly used. SharePoint apps provide well-designed solution with its wide range of new features such as stronger search features, better cloud integration and some good developments in content and infrastructure management. The 2013 release is an important one as the 2007 version will no longer be supported, which means that users have to upgrade current versions for better use of applications and building it with more richer usability.

Richer Features of today’s Mobile Apps

  • End users can “share” files with others more simply.
  • Better developer support.
  • The overhead of versioned documents is reduced with the new database storage.
  • With Office Web Apps can now edit documents on iOS devices.
  • Much more flexibility around images.
  • Video support improvements.

Design Tips for a successful Mobile App

1. Responsive Design: Presenting large amounts of information on the limited real estate of a mobile screen is difficult. While there are other more-detailed interface design techniques, such as responsive tables. SharePoint deploys applications in varied screen sizes with a better and responsive design.

2. Color theme: SharePoint designs apps with a consistent look and feel of any website or brand by choosing a matching color theme. Giving it a professional look with a logo image for app’s header rather than adding it as a text-based title. So that users should be able to recognize its brand at first glance of the app.

3. Splash screen: Splash screen gives users the first impression of classy apps with creative ideas. High-resolution images give applications that wow factor it deserves. It can all happen with this new SharePoint 2013 version. It gives life to its applications and satisfies customers by meeting what they crave for.

4. Home screen navigation: This platform offers four types of navigation. Experiment with different navigation settings until you find the most suitable one for background image and icons. For example, if background contains a special texture or image at the bottom and want to emphasize the icons a grid navigation helps to achieve that. Alternatively, if an image of a real person is there it should be placed in the on the right and list navigation must be used.

5. Mobile Social Networks: Social networking use mobile apps to allow a whole new platform of communication for example Facebook and Twitter have gone mobile. Thus SkyDrive Pro is cloud storage that organizations provides for employees as part of their SharePoint 2013 on-premises and/or Office 365 SharePoint Online deployments. SkyDrive Pro access is also a capability of the new Office Mobile for iPhone as well as Android phones. One can use these apps to create new documents and edit existing ones from any smartphone directly into SkyDrive Pro folder. SharePoint is all about building various business solutions and dynamic websites with its new out-of-the-box templates. The new SharePoint user interface gives higher usability with a clean experience with easy drag and drop, quicker page loads and a focus on true accessibility to make SharePoint understandable and operable.

6. New Push Notification Feature integration: SharePoint 2013 now supports the mobile apps that aid users to receive notifications from a SharePoint based website. Any number of events happening on the SharePoint site is notified on the mobile device with new Push notification feature. One time registration with the website is required by mobile device apps. The Push notification service can be started by which mobile users receive notifications directly from the server where the app is hosted for the registered mobile device app. Also, it is vital that the Push Notification feature is activated on the site automatically changing the settings.

7. Device Channels: Use of mobile devices is the most these days, they keep running on multiple mobile operating systems. SharePoint builds optimized websites which has rich readability and easily used on all mobile devices. With Device channels integrated in SharePoint 2013, mobile users can deliver a single website in multiple views by using different preferable designs that target different devices.

8. Location: SharePoint 2013 supports new Geolocation field type that can be used in a list particularly for mobile application development. Now, it is possible to create lists location aware and display latitude and longitude coordinates via Bing Maps. Its tools are useful for building enhanced customized mobile applications. Microsoft has included all useful mobile related features in SharePoint 2013 making it a mobile-friendly platform.

SharePoint 2013 has developed new capabilities in web hosting section with its new version comprises such as serving up pages to different electronic gadgets such as tablets and smartphones based on their characteristics. It also includes several features for search engine optimization, including XML based sitemaps, user-friendly URLs and robots.txt support to define out of bounds areas for search engine crawlers.

Tablets and Smartphones are here to stay and make our lives smarter and more mobile. SharePoint being the home for every sort of business, Microsoft has addressed the problem of the poor SharePoint experience for mobile devices in previous versions, very effectively. With the new SharePoint version HTML5 coded view known as the “contemporary” view that is optimized for speedy access across various smart devices and multiple browsers. SharePoint 2013 mobile development can work wonders for you – It can help you build apps to reach out and push a message to the mobile device based on various factors with its new push notification feature. Mobile Apps designed today are more convenient and easily portable and can suffice basic business needs.

We provide SharePoint portal development services. The entire 100% of our SharePoint team is certified by Microsoft. To hire SharePoint developer from us, please reach out to us at Mindfire Solutions.

15 free SharePoint tools to make IT admins smile

SharePoint is a rich tool and offers extensive features for a better, customized and organized work flow. It enables to make processes easier and swift that enables organizations to make the best out of their employees. It is the best CMS that enables to manage huge amount of content effectively.

sharepoint site migration, sharepoint developers, sharepoint development companyWe live in a competitive world and latest technologies emerge to enable to deliver the best results possible. SharePoint is Microsoft’s tool that enables to build richer attractive websites. It is considered to be the most popular collaborative tool that provides all the necessary tools to manage people and content effectively. This platform makes it easy for employees of an organization to share ideas and engage smoothly in knowledge sharing activities.

Some of the free tools which helps admins while customizing their websites are as follows:

1. Microsoft’s SharePoint Administration Toolkit 2.0 (for 2010 and 2007 versions)

Microsoft bakes a bunch of nice things into this little add-on, including a kit that generates test loads to check how well any SharePoint deployment runs. It includes another important addon for the Security Configuration Wizard so one can harden the profile of deployment through Windows Server 2008. The SPDiag 3.0 utility is most useful. It grabs a heap of statistics from all the servers in a SharePoint farm, interprets them and presents them in a very neat and customized report.

2. ManageEngine’s Free SharePoint Health Monitor Tool

For smaller SharePoint deployment, this lightweight tool gives just an overall rollup of SharePoint farm’s health status at a glance. The ManageEngine Free SharePoint Health Monitor fits this bill nicely, giving a conveniently efficient dashboard view where one can see the details about the memory, CPU and disk space usage for each server running SharePoint. It can be drilled down into the SharePoint workload itself to see the response time, service status, Web server (Internet Information Services) process details and even SQL Server details such as buffer cache hit ratio, cache memory and free pages.

3. IntLock’s CardioLog Analytics Free Edition

If systems have a quarter of a million page views or fewer per month, one can use this free tool to help which finds out the sites employees are using, how long they are typically engrosed with those websites and what areas of those websites are most used. It installs quickly and is compatible with all kinds of versions of SharePoint, even the latest new SharePoint 2013. One can easily upgrade to the paid version where the free edition has all of the same features, with the only differences being the page view tracking limit and allowing for web-based support.

4. Microsoft’s SharePoint Designer (for 2007, 2010 and 2013)

Designer is like the FrontPage web design tool of the SharePoint world. One can use it to customize the look and feel of SharePoint websites, create and modify simple workflows and personalize a SharePoint deployment at ease. If one have a large SharePoint deployment with multiple versions running at the same time, one must use the Designer version specific to the particular SharePoint edition.

5. Idera’s Free SharePoint Admin Toolset

This is a combination of seven tools in one, a site monitor is present to check up on any SharePoint sites one manages, a space trends report to track using disk space on deployment for folders, libraries and websites, a handy accelerator that essentially rebuilds the database indexes on the SQL Server instance managing SharePoint deployment, a clean report to show how much SQL database space deployment is consuming, a permissions analyzer to show what users can access which specific websites and libraries, a smart tool to compare the configurations of site collections to see where they are different and a quick admin tool that brings together most frequently used links to SharePoint Central Administration. A very smart tool set to make tasks easier and smart way to deal with.

6. Idera’s Free SharePoint Performance Monitor

To have a detailed information at what is happening under the hood of any SharePoint farm, this great tool Idera’s Free SharePoint Performance Monitor is used. This tool gives a holistic overview of the performance statistics and metrics for SharePoint itself, the SQL Server instance on any given server and information about the host’s operating system and memory configuration. The tool also can be configured to send simple e-mail alerts when one of the performance indicators does not work. One can also monitor multiple websites at a time for their deployments and one can generate nifty graphs and charts about connections, requests, response time, pages, disk usage and many more.

7. McAfee’s Network Discovery for Microsoft SharePoint

It is a good SharePoint-specific inventory tool. If one has overall responsibility for a network, one might not even know if one of departments has deployed a SharePoint server. The McAfee Network Discovery Tool for Microsoft SharePoint will scan the network to find SharePoint 2003, 2007 and 2010 environments and then display the results of its scan in a nice neat HTML report that shows in detail which servers have been deployed and what version they’re running.

8. Axceler’s ViewPoint for SharePoint

This is a great tool for visualizing in a convenient table form exactly which users have what permissions on any given site. This could be very useful in an auditing scenario or any environment where permissions can tighten without granting full access to users needlessly. One can choose to work from the graphical dashboard, to run and print reports to provide to management or to work through with any administrative tools. It works with both SharePoint 2010 as well as SharePoint 2013 deployments. It even requires full SharePoint administrator permissions to do its job properly.

9. Quest’s Server Administrator for SharePoint

This great tool is suitable on SharePoint 2007 and 2010. It lets to see which parts of farm configuration are affecting the security, performance and availability of deployment. It helps to build PowerShell scripts to maintain environment. It also helps with a migration to SharePoint 2010 from 2007, required to get to SharePoint 2013 as well, by showing which parts of deployment are ready for the upgrade and which are not. And it provides an intelligent rating to show what is most important to upgrade before one begin against what would simply be “nice to have.”

10. SharePoint SUSHI

SharePoint SUSHI is an open source project hosted on CodePlex that essentially takes the most common administrative tasks and puts them in one convenient tool. SUSHI, which bills itself as a “Swiss army knife for SharePoint,” stands for SharePoint Utilities with a smart and useful interface. One can view the lists and sites of any given user can access, which is really helpful for looking at effective permissions, upload user photos as profile images, back up and restore sites; apply a theme to a group of sites with one click and much more.

11. Clockwork Software

It is SharePoint Migration Tool, reliable migration of documents from old ECMS to SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013. From any SQL Server based ECMS (EDRMS, DMS, CMS) with files stored on a network drive or share. ECMSs such as Hummingbird DM6, DOCs Open, Worksite, FileNet etc. Migrate all versions and metadata (including managed metadata).

– Migrate to SharePoint libraries and folders

– Apply document level security if desired

– Currently in use on migration projects totalling about 2 million documents

– Good for small migrations with a cost effective pricing scheme.

12. Metalogix

It can migrate content into SharePoint from just about any source system. From one SharePoint version to another (2003, 2007, 2010, WSSv2 or WSSv3), from various Enterprise Content Management systems (eRoom, Stellent, Livelink) and from file systems, exchange public folders, blogs and websites.

13. PCVITA Express Migrator

It is SharePoint comprehensive too designed for enterprise to migrate content to SharePoint as part of SharePoint migration strategy that goes above and beyond other traditional SharePoint migration software, thereby allowing to have visually architected migration. It provides an effective and simple solution for enterprise to migrate their business-critical data from different repositories (Lotus Notes, File Share, File System, Public Folder and SharePoint etc) to Microsoft SharePoint Server. The SharePoint migration product granularly migrates content while keeping all the associated metadata & permission intact.

14. Vyapin

A powerful tool for developing SharePoint application for migrating documents, NTFS permissions, data and their associated metadata properties from network file shares, file servers and local hard drives to Microsoft SharePoint 2013, Office 365 (SharePoint Online), SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2007. Here are the list of functions it provides such as migrate folders and files into SharePoint libraries from various file servers and network shares. Carry forward default file properties, including custom Office document properties to the respective documents in SharePoint. Automate entire migration process, with the ability to correct and rectify migration errors using the pre-migration validation tool. Migrate content from file shares to on-premise SharePoint servers and SharePoint Online in Office 365 (Standard) environment using a single application.

15. Tzunami

This Deployer tool offers a cost-effective solution for migrating and consolidating multiple content sources into SharePoint. It supports almost all versions of SharePoint, from SPS 2001 to SharePoint 2013. Automating the entire process of migrating unstructured content. SharePoint offers multiple benefits for enterprises big and small. It is for this reason that enterprises are stressing on this particular technology for enabling them to function optimally. It enables to increase employee productivity and enables them to remain more focused with their work. It can function as an effective content management system, document management tool and collaborative platform. Businesses have profited much more with this awesome tool and it has enabled to enhance business initiatives. To get maximum benefits of Sharepoint, you may consider hiring services of a certified SharePoint development company to assist you in your development needs.

We provide SharePoint site migration services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.