Archive for May, 2010
May 16, 2010 1 comment
The objective was to automate a part of the clients’ document management process that was entirely manual before. Indeed, it was the source of classification problems like duplicates or lost information. The implementation of this plugin had four main advantages for ISMAT:
- Increase of productivity by reducing the number of manual actions to perform by the user to customize teaching materials for a customer.
- Decreased risks linked to misfiled documents, like information loss or duplicates, thanks to the automatic mapping of customers’ metadata.
- Less training necessary for the end user, as the process is fully integrated into SharePoint Onlines’ user interface.
- Minimized maintenance: the plugin was designed to be easily installable, configurable and portable. Indeed, just a line in a content editor web part is necessary to enable it, and the plugin requires almost no configuration. Furthermore, it is entirely cross browser compatible and can’t possibly crash SharePoint Onlines’ servers as the code is executed on the client side.
The plugin works like this: Checkboxes are added near the documents displayed in a Document Library WebPart. They use HTML structural patterns that are in Document Library WebParts to detect the place where to insert the UI elements (see schema below: How UI elements are injected).
Clicking on any of those checkboxes generates a new “Copy to” button that appears in the Web Part’s toolbar. When the user moves his mouse over this new button, a list of clients is revealed in a drop down menu. These clients all come from a list of clients that resides in the same SharePoint Site collection. Each time the page is loaded, the plugin fetches the updated list of clients.
Once the user clicks on a client name in the menu, the selected documents are copied to a clients’ library that resides on another site. These documents are updated with business metadata along the way. Another particularity of this plugin is that it uses SharePoint Onlines’ Web Services as well as structural HTML patterns as data sources (see picture below: jQuery plugin for SharePoint bidirectional interactions).
This alternative way of extending SharePoint Onlines’ Standard functionalities proves to be particularly interesting for small companies like ISMAT, who do not have enough employees to be able to benefit from the dedicated variant of the service which allows custom code deployment.