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The Role of SharePoint in Your Business’s Digital Strategy

The digital marketing strategy of modern businesses focuses mainly on customer relationship management and customer engagement. Often businesses look for innovative customer relationship management (CRM) systems to enable their marketing, sales and customer service professionals to build long lasting customer relations. The right CRM solution can help your business in implementing a personalized customer engagement model to engage the customers and deliver higher customer satisfaction. Businesses across the world rely on SharePoint as a smart CRM platform to optimize its digital marketing strategy.

sharepoint application development

Why SharePoint can Optimize Your Business’s Digital Marketing Strategy?

Simple and Attractive Interface: SharePoint 2013 comes with an interface that is clean, simple and easy-to-use. While accessing the interface, users can avail the universal navigation feature of Office 365 navigation. As the interfaces supports touchscreens, it becomes easier for users to access it on their mobile devices. Also, they can use Office Web Apps to edit and drag-and-drop documents.

Mobile Experience: The latest version of SharePoint also renders site based on the user’s mobile device, and accommodate mobile web browsing. With more and more users accessing internet on their smartphones, tablets and phablets, the feature makes the interface effective in staying connected to their work on-the-go. At the same time, the user can view the interface in both landscape and portrait display modes, while accessing push notifications and location services.

Easy to Share Information and Ideas: SharePoint 2013 is also designed with a set of social network-like features. The authorized users can publish their Office documents to SharePoint, and share the files with others. The interface further allows them to post activity updates, share ideas, check what members of the team are working on, and get answers from their colleagues. Further, they can use their mobile devices to share their ideas and documents on the go.

Option to Organize Projects and Tasks: The professionals also use SharePoint as a CRM system to arrange their projects and tasks. Once they organize the tasks and projects, those will appear as upcoming deliverables across SharePoint, Outlook and MS Project. A business, at the same time, can set up a team site to gather the documents and emails of the teams in a centralized location. The documents can be further synchronized across the conventional and mobile devices through Microsoft SkyDrive.

Design and Publish Public-Facing Websites: An organization can create a public-facing website by availing the streamlined design features of SharePoint 2013. Microsoft has further updated SharePoint with an improved Content Management System (CMS) to make it easier for users to publish a variety of content. Thus, an organization can create community sites to enable its sales and marketing teams to share and collaborate with others.

Integrated Search: The latest version of allows businesses to effectuate document management and collaboration through a super fast search engine called FAST. As FAST is now embedded in SharePoint 2013, the users can avail the advantages of the super fast search engine without incurring any additional expenses. Also, FAST comes with a set of features that make the searching process more efficient and faster. For instance, the users can use the thumbnail preview option to browse through the documents without opening those up.

Enhanced Stability and Security: The updated version of SharePoint is compatible with several operating systems and mobile devices. So the users can access the web interface by using any of the major web browsers on Windows or Mac. It also comes with workflow advancements to eliminate the chances of system outage. The authentication enhancements further contribute towards optimizing both security and connectivity.

Most businesses, nowadays, deploy distributed teams to reduce project overheads. Microsoft has updated SharePoint 2013 with features to complement the needs of distributed teams, and help them in working together. Further, the users can start using SharePoint site without requiring any additional or specialized training.

You can hire developers from top custom sharepoint development companies in India who can help you build your projects within allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide sharepoint application development services. If you would like to know more about the experience of our sharepoint developers, please get in touch with Mindfire Solutions.

Business Value and SharePoint

Most organizations adopt new technology platforms only after evaluating their business value. Many reports have highlighted how an organization can avail several benefits by creating a well-designed intranet solution using SharePoint 2013. But the design and implementation of the intranet solution need to be customized according to the organization’s specific business needs and objectives. At the same time, the business as well as technology departments must understand the full capabilities of the web application development platform from Microsoft to get higher ROI by optimizing content and document management through a customized intranet solution.

Driving Business Value with SharePoint 2013

Create Intranets Accessible on Several Devices
sharepoint custom solutions developmentThe modern professionals use a variety of devices to access their corporate resources. In addition to desktops and laptops, users also access the document on smartphones and tablets. So the intranet must be scalable enough to allow employees to access documents on devices of their choice. SharePoint 2013 allows organizations to create customized and scalable intranets that allow their employees to access the information on any device. Further, the platform is compatible with major operating systems and web browsers.

Bring the Distributed Teams Together
Nowadays, most professional service organizations work with remote teams. An organization can easily curtail overheads by working with teams located in different regions. But it must facilitate quick and interrupted communication between the members of the in-house and distributed team to carry out the business process without any hassle. SharePoint is widely used by enterprises to create secure and effective intranet solutions that can be accessed simultaneously by multiple users. The intranet will further acts as a central location where employees can access the required documents and information anytime and anywhere.

Share Internal Documents Securely with Various Stakeholders
Each enterprise also has to share internal documents with various stakeholders to facilitate the decision making process. Each stakeholder in a project must access the internal document immediately to facilitate key activities like project planning, resource sharing, documentation, collaboration and approvals sign off. The custom SharePoint solution provides a secure environment to modern businesses to share a variety of content with various stakeholders. In addition to members of a remote team, the solution can also be used by partners or clients to access the required information. The solution further help users in avoiding the complexity associated with document sharing.

Easy to Find the Required Information
Along with being secure, the SharePoint solution further makes it easier for the stakeholders to find the required information immediately. Microsoft has updated the web application development framework with both Bing and fast capabilities. These features enable end users to quickly find a specific document, along with reviewing the search results while initiating or after the search.

Realign Business Processes
The complex projects often require organizations to restructure and realign their business process. While realigning business processes, the strategy must be communicated to different departments in a detailed and unambiguous way. For instance, the details of a sales deal must be clearly conveyed to the sales, finance and project management departments. The native SharePoint applications make it easier for enterprises to realign key business processes. Each time a department initiates in change, it can submit the information into the system on a daily basis. The solution will further inform other stakeholders about the updates and changes by sending notifications. Thus, business process realignment can be done smoothly without affecting the core activities of an organization.

Microsoft has further released SharePoint 2013 with a set of new features to deliver enhanced business value. The business and technology departments of an organization must avail these capabilities to create customized and scalable technology solution that complements their needs and objectives.

You can hire developers from India’s top companies in sharepoint who can help you build your projects within allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide sharepoint custom solutions development services. If you would like to know more about the experience of our sharepoint site branding experts, please get in touch with Mindfire Solutions.

Top 5 SharePoint Collaboration App for Android

SharePoint wildly popular as an enterprise platform for many reasons such as integrates meta data stores, document repositories and successful social enterprise deployments.

According to IT survey on enterprise collaboration, last year it was found that 73% of its respondents were using SharePoint for their business apps. And slowly it gained success as a new collaboration and knowledge sharing platform. SharePoint 2010 SharePoint 2010 lacked mobile support, hence SharePoint 2013 came to picture with new enhancements and customized features. Finally SharePoint 2013 has finally gone mobile supporting varied screen sizes with different kind of gadgets.

sharepoint development servicesSome of the new unique features makes SharePoint all the more interesting and useful for creating best business apps:

Mobile Browser Experience
SharePoint provides different browsing options depending on the usage of the mobile browsers they can be called as Contemporary View, Classic View, the and Full Screen UI. The Contemporary View is new to SharePoint 2013. This view renders beautifully in HTML5 and is made available to the newest mobile browsers such as iPhone’s Safari 4.0+, Mobile IE9.0+ and Android 4.0+. It is a clean view with the goal of providing quick access to document libraries, lists and other common SharePoint content. The Classic View gives backward compatibility for older mobile browsers. It is always meant for a specific purpose and function and it is not going to win any user design awards. The Full Screen UI deals with a full desktop view of the site shown on the mobile device.

  • Device Channels – Device Channels renders content flawlessly on different devices. SharePoint 2013 cleans up. master pages, page layouts and style sheets that can be mapped to specific mobile browsers, allowing much more control over the usability of content.
  • Push Notifications – SharePoint library fulfils the needs of every business and gets notified on mobile device when a new or changed document is posted to that list. Alert functionality was there before and even one can send an email or text. Now SharePoint 2013 takes it a step further by providing users with notifications on their mobile devices when specific activities occur on SharePoint site. This powerful tool keep users informed of key changes to SharePoint-based sites and business solutions. It can automatically push notifications to the employee who submitted the idea each time the status of that idea changes. This is a great way to keep occupied users and increase overall use of solutions.
  • Location – With the help of geolocation field type in SharePoint many numerous application can automatically log the location of a user each time they enter any information. This powerful feature of SharePoint-based applications where mobile users capture information through their smartphones is unique. Bing Maps helps to display this exact location information.

SharePoint 2013 and the Office Web Apps Server work together better than ever before to provide a higher quality experience for users who interact with documents on their phones. This covers Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and the viewer for these documents is now optimized for phones. Microsoft continues to enhance this experience, since viewing and editing documents on our mobiles devices is becoming much more common.

Top 5 SharePoint Collaboration Apps

SharePlus
It offers secure SharePoint browsing from anywhere. The app supports all Content Types and there’s native support for Office files. To ease collaboration, one can share documents via email or send a link. Collaborate with team, sharing documents and tasks lists right from the meeting room, a taxi, or when out visiting a client. Browse documents, discussions, announcements, wiki pages and custom lists.

Filamente
Filamente is a SharePoint client for iOS from Aircreek. It gives users a touchscreen optimized interface for SharePoint, the ability to upload files from a mobile device and offline access to resources.

Forms Central
Formotus offers a SharePoint client for Android, iOS and Windows Mobile called Forms Central. Like Filamente, it provides offline access to SharePoint data. It’s free to download, but requires a subscription.

DocAve
DocAve is a management platform for SharePoint created by a company called AvePoint. It consists of a suite of products to enable integration, document migration and data management. These products can be purchased as a suite, or individually. Free trials are also available to download from the official AvePoint website.

Quick Apps for SharePoint
This application is created by Dell and is available to download directly from their website. It is a great app for smaller businesses because it allows quick and easy customization of SharePoint, without the need for large IT departments. It is also quicker and faster than making custom code changes.

Huddle
This is the best cloud collaboration tools, designed with ease and efficiency kept in mind, with millions using it for content management and enterprise collaboration. Small, mid and big businesses can easily manage and exchange information or projects with others. It also allows to track milestones, project deadlines, view late projects, completed tasks, making collaboration effective and easy. In addition, unlike the on-premise SharePoint, it supports several mobile applications such as Android, iPad, BlackBerry and iPhone.

SharePoint is one of the most versatile business software applications available on the IT web market. Its popularity over the years has dramatically increased because of the systems flexibility and the abundance of professional apps that can be integrated into the platform with little time and effort required and supported almost all browsers and electronic gadgets.

You can hire developers from top custom sharepoint development companies in India who can help you build your projects within allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide sharepoint development services. If you would like to know more about our sharepoint site branding experts, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Design Tips for SharePoint 2013 Apps on Tablets

The discussion on the tips for designing for the SharePoint 2013 Apps on tablets should essentially begin with the concept of minimal viable product. The idea is to enhance the user experience with Office 365 and Microsoft Office. Enterprises seem to be on the lookout for continuously updating the products to gain a strong competitive advantage and engaging in viable business in Office 365.

SharePoint site branding expertsWith the increase in the number of mobile devices and tablet users, it has become necessary for the SP 2013 apps to stay accessible as well as work effectively on these devices. Here is a list of tips on designing excellent SP apps for the tablets.

Always Go For Responsive Design
Whenever it comes to designing SP 2013 applications for tablets, a responsive design is a prerequisite. Now, for those working on a publishing site or planning to render it with a great look and feel, a responsive web design is must. Now, for those not using a custom master page as a basis for compatibility with other apps, a responsive design might not appear to be that suitable.

Maintain the Minimum Possible Width
Although the base resolutions vary depending on the landscape mode, majority of them have a width of 980 pixels. While the meta tags, JavaScript and CSS allow for control over the zoom behaviors and view port to a significant extent, it is always better to ensure that the columns in the tabular layout look impressive. This would also keep the initial investment to be made by the enterprise pretty low.

Make Efficient Use of CSS
The detailed pages for the varying entities in the form of matters and clients comprise a table at the top along with a set of tabs at the bottom, displaying related data. It is the entity as well as the data that work together in determining the number of columns in the header. On the other hand, for the clients, the columns denoting the phone numbers, address and notes are hidden especially, in cases where there is no data.

Now, these tables pose challenge because of the fact that both the width of the browser as well as the one that is required to display particular data within the table vary. The solution lies in using the base of 980 pixels, which renders a lower bound. Also, with a vertical alignment at the top, padding is explicit while word-break is natural.

Derive Benefits Out of the ‘Focus on Content’ Button
The ‘Focus on Content’ button appears at the upper right hand corner of the page. This is quite a beneficial feature and using it optimally can actually lead to an effective designing of SP 2013 applications for tabs.

Not Putting any Options in the Quick Launch Section
The pre-dominant belief is that while using a tablet, focus should always be laid on the content. However, it is better not to put any important option in the ‘Quick Launch’ section for this section can not be viewed by the tablet users and hence, the app will be of little significance for them.

Avoid Adopting the Minimal Download Strategy
The minimal download strategy is fine for those in any app web. However, this feature calls for some serious compatibility issues in certain browsers. The minimal download strategy can be disabled using the CSOM.

Prefer a Dynamic Sizing of Dialogs
While much of the discussions so far have been done with, height is also a matter of concern when it comes to using a dialog framework. It is always essential to go for dynamic alignment and setting the options depending on the natural height of the page.

With the above-mentioned tips and strategies, one can certainly develop suitable SharePoint 2013 apps for tablets. And while looking for SharePoint services India, make sure you are reaching out to companies who have solid credentials and have proven expertise in application development in SharePoint and have equally strong domain expertise as well.

We provide Sharepoint migration services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint site branding experts, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Design Manager in SharePoint 2013 Designer – A Detailed Introduction

Understanding the Design Manager
Design Manager is primarily meant to help the users of SharePoint create custom designs and achieve the respective goals if they want SharePoint 2013 to represent the brand of the organization. It comes up as a particular feature in SP 2013, paving the way for a completely customized, pixel-perfect outcome using the familiar web designing tools. As a publishing feature, it is available in the publishing sites in both Office 365 and SP server 2013.

This extremely useful feature allows the creation of visual design for websites using the web designing tools and HTML editor. Only HTML and CSS can be used after which the design has to be uploaded into SP. Basically, it enables management of each aspect of a custom design.

So, designers using this excellent feature will have to precisely undertake the following activities:

  • Grasping and understanding the main SP design concepts
  • Creating a mock-up of the design in CSS and HTML
  • Implementing the same utilizing the Design Manager feature

SharePoint 2013 developmentImplementing a Design by Means of the Design Manager
It is essential for the SharePoint 2013 users to be aware of the usage of the feature in implementing designs. On looking at the feature, one gets to see a series of links representing the high-level tasks to be performed. Following is a step-by-step sequence in which the task of implementing a design is executed with success:

Prior to Making Use of Design Manager
Even before you start using the feature, you have to create an individual design or use a ready-made website template. While mocking up the sites in HTML and CSS, you will come across certain HTML files implementing designs for the particular way in which you want the different pages to appear. You also need to take the necessary SharePoint permissions, more particularly, you have to be at the Designer permission level to use the feature.

Management of Device Channels
Before starting right away with the task of designing your site exploiting this essential feature, you need to take into account the specific devices to be targeted and the kind of user experience on each of them. Once you have considered the specific device channels, it is time to use multiple ways in rendering a single publishing site by means of mapping varying designs to equally varying devices.

Now, the device channels, which are created as well as stored in the SP list, have ranking and therefore, the order of the same also matters. The inclusion rules are also processed accordingly.

Uploading the Designed Files
Once the designing is done, the designer can use any HTML editor of his preference and work with files locally on the specific computer. However, these files need to be uploaded to the Master Page Gallery of the SP site so as to enable the feature to convert, preview and at the same time, polish the already created design.

The best- possible way to upload as well as continue working on these files is by mapping a drive on the computer to the Master Page gallery of the SP site. This paves the way for a folder on the computer to be connected to the Master Page Gallery. The result is that one can work on files that are present on the server in SP 2013 provided that they are local files.

Editing the Master Pages
The next task is to create a fully branded master page containing all of the functionality of SharePoint that one wants. The steps through which the editing is done are:

  • Conversion of HTML file into a SP master page
  • Previewing the master page while also facilitating fixing of the possible issues
  • Addition of the SP snippets to the master page

Editing Display Templates
In the event of using the on-premises installation of the SharePoint server, one has the option of using the Content Search Web Part along with a few other search- driven web parts. This helps in the display of the results of the search queries as content on the pages. Now, the search-driven web parts make use of the display templates for two main purposes. These are firstly to map managed properties returned in the search result items to properties that are available for JavaScript. This includes any custom JavaScript that one chooses to implement. The second purpose is to make use of CSS and HTML to find out how these properties are displayed.

Editing Page Layouts
The process involving the creation of page layout in Design Manner is somewhat different from that of creating a master page. First, a page layout needs to be made using the .aspx file and HTML file. Following this, the associated HTML file has to be edited from the mapped drive in the HTML editor. The feature ensures that the page layout is created in a manner that the correct set of page fields get added to the page layout.

Apart from the above-mentioned steps, creating themes and composed looks, publishing and applying the designs and creation of the package of the same are the final steps to be taken when it comes to using Design Manager in SharePoint 2013 development projects.

We provide SharePoint CMS customization services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Getting Started Developing for SharePoint 2010?

The process of developing for SharePoint is naturally quite elaborate and encompasses several steps. In order to have a complete overview of the development on this much popular and preferred web application platform, it is good to go step-by-step and accordingly, begin with a conceptual overview of the SharePoint foundation.

Understanding SharePoint Foundation

SharePoint bespoke developmentThe application of Microsoft SP Foundation is built on top of the Microsoft ASP.NET framework and the Internet Information Services. Server Farm, which is basically a set of servers running the various components of SharePoint Foundation, also comprises more than one front-end web servers along with Microsoft SQL server database servers. Every farm has an individual configuration database consisting of information about the front-end web servers in the administrators of the farm. Each content including that of the user information, on the other hand, is stored in the content database while the server farms too have multiple content databases.

Choosing the Best-Suited SharePoint API

Microsoft SP comes with three different types of APIs and the next question that arises with regards to the development on this platform is which of the APIs to be used. Here is an overview of the three kinds along with their advantages and limitations.

  • Server-Side Object Model

To begin with, there is the server-side object model coming up with a wide range of options for extending the capabilities of SP 2010. The good part of this is that it has all APIs that are documented in the SP 2010 Class Libraries and Web Service References section of the MS SP 2010 software development kit.

  • Client Object Model

The client object model allows for integration of SharePoint 2010 capabilities into script. This can be executed in the browser or code, in a .NET framework managed application or in a Microsoft Silverlight application. The APIs in this particular model act as wrappers around a customized web service, dispatching the calls to the server- side object model.

  • SharePoint 2010 Web Services

The SP 2010 web services pave the way for an integration of the SP capabilities into a code that runs in a client- side or server-side applications remotely. This specific variety offers a limited set of REST interfaces for developers, who happen to be familiar with the particular standard.

Glide Path for ASP.NET Developers

This area concerns the use of SharePoint Foundation as an ASP.NET application. Developers must be aware of the manner in which development differs with respect to ASP.NET and SharePoint. The areas that need to be taken into account are mobile adapter development, modification of Web.config files, page development as well as user and group authorization.

SharePoint Foundation Development Tools

Several tools are implemented when it comes to developing solutions for this remarkable web application development platform. These tools can accordingly be customized to maximize the efficiency of the developer and lead to a better outcome. The setting up of the development environment for SP 2010 on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is an essential consideration. At the same time, one must also be informed about the usage of visual studio and SharePoint designer for SP development.

Important SharePoint Programming Tasks

A number of SharePoint programming tasks are taken up as a part of the process of developing for SP 2010. Following are some of these tasks:

  • Conversion of date as well as time values
  • Description of forms of URL strings
  • Addition or deleting of list items
  • Returning items from a list
  • Registering as well as Importing of Namespaces
  • Security validation and making of posts to update data

Knowing about the Best Practices

When it comes to development on the highly advanced platform of SP 2010, understanding the best practices is essential to ensure perfect execution of the task. Some of the best practices include the following:

  • Avoidance of the suspended impersonation of the calling user
  • Avoidance of unnecessary construction of SPWeb and SPSite objects
  • Disposal of objects
  • Restrictions on file naming
  • Techniques of object caching
  • Optimizing of the code performance

The above-mentioned steps offer an overview of how the development process can take place in a smooth manner. If you were to attempt a SharePoint site migration project, understanding of these best practices would ensure a successful migration.

We provide SharePoint bespoke development services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint programmers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.