Friday, July 25, 2008

Joining the Dots with Sharepoint

Quite often I run into people who think something can't be done in SharePoint because of an apparent 'Showstopper' with the way SharePoint appears to function.

Hopefully I made sense with that opening sentence but what I'm referring to is the great wealth of 3rd party add-ons and the community aboard have been developing webparts, features, custom code or just posting design ideas to make things work in SharePoint.

Below are some of my favourites which I roll out in most implementations and if you didn't know about them, it may bring a new perspective to what and how you can architect solutions on the SharePoint platform.


Community Kit for Sharepoint
This is a truely amazing piece of work... Dont let the name fool you either, I've used the blog extensions on intranets to give them some serious enhancements and a new UI.

CKS Weather & World Clock
Everyone wants the weather on their intranet :) - this is the best free one I've found.
Alternatively, I've used the web capture webpart to snap the weather from nice looking weather sites like MSN.

These guys have been round a while, and I'd say they've really matured recently with the quality of their webparts and features but also they've found the holes  in SharePoint and plugged them well... Check out their site, as you can view online demo's or trial most things.
This is the only 3rd party I've listed here, everything else listed here is free to download. 

Lists & Libraries
SmartTools for Sharepoint
A nice little feature that provides some additional features to lists and libraries.

The Expert Calendar
this mini calendar webpart was developed by Courtenay one of my colleagues in Sydney.

Custom Workflow Activities
Some great ones in here that really help extend what you can do with workflow scenarios.

Site Provisioning Activity
I modified a sample from a blog I found which allows me to automatically create a site from a workflow, I gave it some mods so it basically allows me to tweak all the settings you get in the 'Create Site' page - including the site template. I use it alot for project/meeting related requirements where a workspace usually gets created.

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