SharePoint Workflows

I am trying to understand how workflows work in SharePoint. I want some functionality like routes in ENOVIA. I want selective email alerts.
Currently SharePoint either floods my inbox or no emails. My requirement is that the list item creator should get alert about changes in list item and workflow members should get alerts when they get tasks.

– Ashish

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

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SharePoint 2013

Hey,
Started exploring SharePoint 2013 today. They say that social is the main feature they have added to SharePoint. I am looking for following points.

    1. Blog and community integration.
    2. Project Management features without MSP integration.
    3. Team communication without email.
    4. Profile management integrated with legacy applications.
    5. Easy to create filtered lists.
    6. Search and Task integrated with PLM tasks and search.

I will keep on posting updates on SharePoint 2013.

– Ashish

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Microsoft and Others

Some time back I was one of the computer users who used to hate Microsoft Applications and including operating systems. Windows Vista was the main reason. But these days I am liking Microsoft applications.

I liked two products of Microsoft. One is licensed and other is like open source. I am one of the lovers of Content Management Systems (CMS). In open source products, I like Drupal the most. I still love it for its features. But I like Microsoft SharePoint as well. Though I am a end user or just a portal administrator but still I liked it a lot. It is always debated that can it fight with PLM? Answer is NO. But still it can replace many features of PLM like Document Management, Workflows or any typical information management feature. I liked Custom Lists feature a lot. One does not need programming experience at all. Just some added commonsense is enough to create very useful custom list which can reduce your lot of data management efforts. As I always say, we need to integrate PLM and SharePoint with some social networking features. In this area, I do not see Google anywhere. I know they have many things for corporates but you need internet connectivity. I think in organizations where internet is still under control, SharePoint is the best option to have company intranet.

Another Product I like is Microsoft WebMatrix. I am still a novice in WebMatrix but it is a good tool who want to experiment with web applications. Basically Microsoft has given us a tool to experiment without much programming knowledge or a monopoly feel. Earlier I used XAMPP for this purpose but it needs some amount of basic knowledge of how web applications work. WebMatrix is just wonderful. It does all background work and one does not need to worry about Database Server, WebServer and so on. It just simple helps you to download some of the templates based tools and configures it for you on your localhost. Then you can publish your site with world using WebMatrix or just keep on experimenting locally. Here too, I see Google not much ahead. Google gives some good site development features but everything is static. Yes, Google Apps is there but again you need programming knowledge.

I liked these two products. May be sometime in future I will write more about features in these Products. I wish Microsoft keeps doing this good work.

thanks and regards
Ashish Kulkarni

Company Intranet Sites and PLM

Now a days, Intranet Sites are available in all companies which think of implementing PLM. They already invested in intranet to share company announcement, events and so on. To reduce time to market for their product they think of implementing PLM. In many organizations which have both I have observed some gaps.

Let us talk about what is Intranet? In layman’s language, it is nothing but a website which can be accessed which organization network only or if possible outside organization network with some secured access control. Normally intranet sites are used for announcement, some sort of publishing method, sub-sites for departments, individual sites and so on. Intranet sites go more close to public websites and give similar features like searching content, publishing photos etc. If it is SharePoint site, then it may offer much more but less than a PLM tool. More or less, it is a communication or collaboration medium or content management system like Drupal or SharePoint.

Now if we think of a PLM tool, ideally we do not have similarities. But it you think deep, there are 2 common points. Those are

  1. PLM Web Client can be used to collaborate and view information instantaneously over the browser.
  2. Web Client as name suggest are web based and security is same as intranet, internal or secured.

Now most of the organization which have both the application. They may use single sign-on facility. But they are rarely integrated. PLM talks about collaboration. Intranet provides a platform for information sharing which is nothing but collaboration.

Now if we integrate both what can be achieved? Or what is that I expect as output of integration?

  1. Part/Object Search: Intranet sites provide search facility, PLM Tools provide search facility. Then why not to make PLM Object Search available on intranet site?
  2. Task Integration: All PLM Tools provide task notification through emails or their UIs. If companies are using intranet site, they normally provide outlook like facilities, so why not to provide a widget in intranet site which can show me my task related to my project in PLM. Those tasks might be of just notification or approval or any thing which is listed against my name.
  3. Discussions: SharePoint sites or CMSs offer discussion facility. Now if give a facility to link a PLM Object and start a discussion on intranet, it can increase collaboration level to next level and decisions can be taken much faster.
  4. Document Management in SharePoint: PLM performance can be improved by using SharePoint for document management and using URLs to document in PLM as reference or specification documents. This can reduce load on PLM file server. SharePoint provides workflows hence document approval can be done in SharePoint and even office integration works much better with SharePoint.

These are some of my thought on PLM and Intranet/CMS integration. Till date I tried to find some readily available tools but I could not find a satisfactory results. If you know anything just leave a comment to this post. if anyone is interested to develop something let me know.

Issue with MySite in SharePoint

Recently I created many custom lists and posted many posts on my blog in my organization. But somehow MySite on our SharePoint Server was deleted. This was very strange. If this happens with many users then its very serious. No one will trust capabilities of SharePoint. I am looking forward for answer from Microsoft which our SPAdmin is following up.