Archive for Applications on SharePoint

The Application Cure for Average Joe

Students attending CorasWorks training are often looking for a solution to address common business process needs. Maybe you have one or more average Joes in your organization that you could help out. Have a view of the video below providing the application cure for average Joe’s inefficient business process disorder.

 

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Applications 101 – Building apps on SharePoint with CorasWorks

In previous posts I shared an application example that I built in less than two days, showing a demo of the app, then a quick look behind the scenes.  In the Applications 101 tutorial below, I take students from beginning to end, including:

  • About the application example
  • About the builder
  • About the SharePoint challenge
  • Solution demonstration
  • A look behind the scenes
  • A few other application examples
  • Next Steps

This tutorial was created to orient new users to CorasWorks on that “whats” and “whys” of CorasWorks.  A deeper dive is available via CorasWorks distance learning or self-paced training.  Contact training@corasworks.net for more information.

Remember the options in the video player allowing you to view the video in full screen, access the Table of Contents, and adjust the volume.

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What does CorasWorks do?

As much as I’d like to think that everyone knows what CorasWorks does, that’s not the case.  I was reminded of this the other day when my 9 year old entered my office and said “dad, what is it that you do again?”  Well, we do applications on SharePoint, and here’s a short piece to help further answer the question.


Our application development platform can help you:

  • quickly and easily extend and enhance existing SharePoint sites or apps (drop-and-go Widgets),
  • snap together light applications with speed and ease (wizard driven configurations), or
  • build and maintain sophisticated apps on your own or with the help of CorasWorks Professional Services (advanced components and solution architecture).

Our training team is here to help provide guidance on the education front, or point you in the right direction if you’d like to speak with other folks within the organization.  Just drop us a line at training@corasworks.net or call 866-580-3115 ext 110.

 

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Celebrate the Release of v11.2

Come join us and your fellow CorasWorks customers for the celebration of our latest release – CorasWorks v11.2.

Learn about the many new features and improvements that will help rock your SharePoint world – not to mention make you and your organization more productive, make life easier, and do it all faster and better than before.

In the video below, our COO Dan Naselius takes you on a tour of what’s new in the release, he shows v11.2 in action, and shares the whys and hows v11.2 will make a difference. Topics found in the video navigation include the following (note the product has to be fast to get through all this content in less than an hour):

  • Agenda
  • Goals of v11.2
    • Faster and Easier
    • What is v11.2
    • What are Widgets
    • Customer Roles
  • Basic Component Demo
    • The Site Owner
    • Adding a Widget
    • My Work Widget
    • End User Enablement
    • Reporting
    • Multiple Displays per Page
    • Fine Tuning a Widget
    • Reuse and the Gallery
    • New – Default Views and Actions
    • Adding Default Actions
    • Making Changes Made Easy
    • Summary of Basic Components
  • Managed Metadata Services
  • Advanced Component Overview
    • New – XML Editor
    • Visualize CorasWorks
  • New Help System
  • Improved Learning Center Access
  • Ongoing Education
  • Summary
  • Product Roadmap
  • Questions and Answers

Tips for viewing the video:  Hovering your mouse over the bottom of the player provides controls to pause, increase/decrease volume, or view in full screen mode.  Use the video’s table of contents to navigate to specific topics of interest.  Clicking outside the video area collapses the table of contents.

I’ll have the CorasWorks Essentials training updated for the May class to include the new features, so visit our website at http://www.corasworks.net/services/training.html to register for training.

 

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Boost your Productivity – An Interview with CorasWorks PS

Learn about the various “productivity busters” our CorasWorks Professional Services (PS) team encounters in the field.  Then hear about the “productivity boosters” we implement in response.  Below is a video in which I talk with Steve Evangelista, an experienced CorasWorks trainer and member of our PS team.  We talk about:

  • His experience and role in educating and working with our customers, including the types of customers he works with.
  •  His solutions – The common productivity busters our customers encounter, and the productivity boosters he’s put in place to address needs including: reporting, business process, work management, application integration, and more.
  • His blended approach to customer independence and what makes customers successful with a “do-it-yourself” builder strategy in conjunction with CorasWorks PS.
  • His engagement process – How Steve and CorasWorks PS engage with customers to get them started on their path to productivity.

Tips for viewing the video:  Hovering your mouse over the bottom of the player provides controls to pause, increase/decrease volume, or view in full screen mode.  Use the video’s table of contents to navigate to specific topics of interest.  Clicking outside the video area collapses the table of contents.

Email Info@corasworks.net for more information or to arrange a convesation with our PS team.

 

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Be Proactive

Are you proactive or reactive when it comes to SharePoint? 

In the classroom I often have students who are programmers, developers, system administrators, business analysts, or IT managers.  I always ask the question:

“What are you doing, or are you planning to do, on SharePoint?”

Many students don’t have an answer or a clearly defined need.  I ask, because as an instructor I look to emphasize topics during the training, and provide relevant examples based on students’ interests and needs.  Without a specific need, the primary objective of training for many students is to understand the capabilities of CorasWorks software so they can respond to questions and requests that come to them – they’re in a reactionary mode.  Why?  I hear several common reasons:

  • Nothing’s in the queue – no one’s come to us recently with a request.
  • We’re short staffed – we don’t have the resources to look for needs.
  • We don’t know what to ask – what are the right questions and who do we ask?
  • We don’t think of SharePoint as an applications platform, rather it’s an ad hoc collaboration environment that we support and don’t drive.

There’s nothing wrong with first understanding the capabilities of CorasWorks’ software to then see the possibilities for solving productivity challenges.  However when that knowledge is applied through a reactionary mode our customers miss a huge opportunity to get exponential business value from our software.  Let’s flip the common reactionary responses to a proactive mode.

Get things in the queue  Meet with functional teams, generate a SharePoint survey, set up a lunch-and-learn, or leverage the CorasWorks Cim product to capture and define the productivity busters in your business, where:

  •  Users can’t readily access information how they need it, where they need it.  This could mean sifting through spreadsheets on a local hard drive, or information stored in different sites and site collections, external databases like SQL, legacy DBs, etc.  CorasWorks displays and dashboards could be the answer.
  • Users need a visible and manageable process where one doesn’t currently exist or isn’t optimize.  CorasWorks actions can help meet common business process needs.
  • Users have communication breakdowns or delays, trying to manage correspondence and exchanges through email or meetings.  Manage the data in SharePoint and drive communication with email notifications.

Think Big, Start Small – Don’t overload a lean staff by opening the flood gates, rather look for one, or the next, key business challenges that can be solved on SharePoint with your current resource availability. 

  •  The repeatable and reusable component architecture of SharePoint and CorasWorks often means you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to solve “like” challenges. 
  • CorasWorks Solution Consultants can be used as a sounding board, free of charge, for guidance on how to best apply our software against a particular need.
  • CorasWorks Professional Services is also available to help, with short term or long term engagements when you need resources or expertise.  

Start asking questions -  The only dumb question is the one not asked.  This applies in the classroom and in the workplace.  Open the channels of communication.  Usually IT groups start with the areas of revenue generation, customer interaction, or greatest exposure and cost impact.  Key questions include:

  • Where are you lacking visiblity and accountability?  If you’re missing deadlines, or things are taking longer than they should, they could likely be managed better in SharePoint with CorasWorks.
  • Where do you spend time generating reports?  Could those individuals generating and viewing reports benefit from real-time reporting through chart displays and dashboards?
  • Are there common request that you receive, and updates you provide, where you and your requestors could benefit from a structured process versus ad hoc communications?
  • What cross functional activities do you own, or participate in, that would be better served in 24×7 SharePoint environment?

These are just a few of the questions to get the ball rolling.  CorasWorks has successfully delivered lunch-and-learns with our customers’ business users, in support of the IT group, to help ask the key questions and identify needs.  Email training@corasworks.net to schedule one today.  These can be done via the web or in person.

SharePoint is an application platform, but sometime it takes software like CorasWorks to help get you there to realize its value in delivering applications.  Many CorasWorks customers have dozens of applications on SharePoint, and hundreds of point solutions. 

  • We can help you think through the broader architectural questions, and how to leverage various capabilities to both deliver and maintain solutions.  See William Roger’s blog on Applications for SharePoint.  SharePoint also offers tremendous value as a collaborative platform for general use like basic team sites, which CorasWorks can extend and enhance. 
  • Stay tuned with CorasWorks v11.2 release that offers enhanced end user enablement like printing reports, modifying information displays ‘on-the-fly,”  preconfigured Widgets, default data displays and actions, and more to enhance general collaboration and applications.

Feel free to lean on us and our educational resources, support team, solution consultants, and professional services to help get you more proactive to meet individual, team, and organizational goals. 

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