I’m just heading back from the International SharePoint Conference after an intense few days of insights, learning and a spot of socialising.
There were some new things from vendors that really stood out, quite apart from the high quality of the event itself.
Enovapoint – these guys have an amazing natural language processing interface to SP (called Emma), that lets you ‘ask’ for things from SharePoint via email or an App (Android and iOS). So you could send an email to the Emma service saying “What are my outstanding tasks”, or “Create a new policy called Diabetes Monitoring”, or “Book a car for tomorrow”. Have a look at this list: http://www.enovapoint.com/SiteAssets/SitePages/default/Things-Emma-Can-do-for-you-v2.pdf
They also have a neat document creation interface (JungleDoc) that automatically creates new documents (from templates), with metadata pulled from an existing document – so you could create a new follow up letter which grabs all the address details, prices, report names name etc from a previous proposal, with a single click. It also doesn’t require you to go to the library where the document needs to be created for this, you can have a ‘Create documents’ link which fires a browser overlay with the document actions on it.
I’m so impressed I’m going to look at using it in house.
Lightning Tools have some nice components that I haven’t explored before:
- Social squared – A very good discussion list/forum solution, with emailing, awards for posting (‘gratification’) drives user adoption and other neat features.
- Meta Man – a tool for easy integration between SharePoint and other systems without having to write code (uses BCS but let’s mortals like me do clever integration things). I watched it generate the code for a full integration in seconds, something our in house experts would have taken hours to craft.
- Deliver Point – Permissions management across the whole farm. Allows power users to have the right to assign permissions locally (so a Project Manager could manage rights for his team) without having to go through IT (or you), but without being able to set permissions outside the project area, for example. It can also allow an Admin to be able to assign permissions without having access to the content itself (so useful for confidential document, HR records etc). It has reporting that SP can’t natively support, such as who has access to an item of content, all the areas and items a specific person has access to, etc.
- Lightning Conductor– This is very powerful, acting as a super Content Query web part (which is another part of SharePoint that power users can rarely get to do what they want). This includes the ability to aggregate tasks and content for individuals:
- Roll up/aggregation across site collections, lists, web apps etc
- build views without writing XSLT
- Dynamic, user personable filters.
- Built in XSL styles for Calendars (any number and across site collections), Posts, Announcements.
Infragistics are continuing to develop SharePlus, which is an App for iOS and Android (I use it on my Android phone for mobile access to our intranet). They have an Enterprise version which doesn’t have to be installed via the Apple Appstore, supports branding, offline, encryption etc. Well worth a look for mobile users, iPad users etc.
Vizit have some great technology for instant document viewing in SharePoint (with in-library and in-search document thumbnails), plus the ability to add notes to content without altering it. These notes are great for collaboration, for annotating PDFs on the fly in SP etc. We already supply this to some of our clients for use with clinical documents.
Avepoint‘s DocAve 6 suite is looking very good and we continue to recommend it to all our clients wanting to do more sophisticated platform management and governance. We have had great success with previous versions for migration (from file shares, old versions of SharePoint etc), granular recovery, connections to legacy content repositories (often file shares again) and more.
If you want to know more about any of this let us know, we are keen to help.
Lastly a big thanks to Combined Knowledge and their excellent team for a great event.