Archive for CW Products

CorasWorks v11.3 is Released-that makes 10 Years, 4 SharePoint Platforms-and now CAPS

On Monday, July 15th, we released version 11.3 of the CorasWorks platform to the CorasWorks download library.  The v11.3 release supports SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010.  This is our first release for SharePoint 2013 (although we’ve worked with Microsoft on this release for 2 years). 

This means that over the last 10 years, we have released the CorasWorks Solution Platform for four SharePoint platforms:

  • SharePoint 2003
  • SharePoint 2007
  • SharePoint 2010
  • SharePoint 2013

With each SharePoint platform and each CorasWorks release we have enhanced the ability of our customers to address their work management needs within a CorasWorks-SharePoint shared application services environment.  We have also continued to perfect our “puttyware” approach that enables users to design, build, enhance and extend applications, without the need for custom compiled code to be introduced into the shared services environment.

CAPS – A Big Step Forward in v11.3 (SP2010 and SP2013)

While v11.3 is just a .dot release, it is also of major importance.  I believe that for CorasWorks customers, the most important part is not the support for SP2013, but rather, that we have included the CorasWorks Application Service (CAPS) technology

CAPS is just the right thing at the right time.  Client side web development is exploding and so is the potential for a mess.

CAPS is a REST-like service (runs server side) that enables client-side web developers to build very rich and performant apps and advanced features that leverage a clean server-side service.  We have been using it in our off-the-shelf Solutions and in custom solutions for the last 6 months.  With v11.3, it is now included in the CorasWorks platform. 

CAPS is targeted towards the web app developer.  It gives them a powerful service, including items like XSLT 2.0 support, one call joins, one call batch requests, Global Variables, mobile/tablet support and lots of good clean stuff.  But, it is also important because it simplifies and structures the architecture to avoid client-side chaos and bloat.

To launch CAPS, we have provided the new CAPS Learning Center (available in the Resources section of CorasWorks Community) that takes a more developer approach to learning with online examples, scenarios, and features that can be re-used, leveraged, and learned from.  If you can cut and paste, you can leverage CAPS in your work environment.

william

Overview of CorasWorks Capture and Proposal Management solution v2.1

Version 2.1 of the CorasWorks Capture and Proposal Management (CnP) solution for Federal Government Contractors has been released.  Over the next few weeks you’ll see articles, press releases, webcasts, and customer case studies for the solution.  This article will provide you with an overview of the solution to get you started.

Background of the Solution

Over our 10 years, we have supported many customers that have leveraged the CorasWorks Work Management platform to create custom Proposal Management solutions that run on SharePoint.  Over the last year, as we’ve built our Federal Contractor business we’ve found considerable demand for a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solution for Capture and Proposal Management running on SharePoint.  Version 2.1 delivers this COTS solution as a comprehensive, integrated, and flexible way to master the full life cycle of Capture and Proposal Management.  Its flexible design (technically and via pricing) enables it be leveraged by small and mid-sized businesses and the largest enterprises.

Overview of CnP v2.1

CnP v2.1 is a 3 module system.  It is designed to allow you to get started quickly with a COTS, comprehensive, integrated solution that can be easily customized, enhanced and extended.  The schematic below depicts the core three modules.

Modules of CorasWorks Capture and Proposal Management

Capture and Proposal Management Center – this module is the center of the system.  It allows you to manage all opportunities/proposals through a structured Stage-Phase-Step life cycle.  It provides you with the top down visibility and overall management of your proposal pipeline.  Typically, customers configure this module to reflect (visually and functionally, see screenshot below) their custom Shipley/Lohfeld/APMP process model.  CorasWorks then automates the work of the users to manage the process.

Proposal Working Sites – this is where the collaborative work takes place for each opportunity/proposal from capture through post-proposal.  It is full of CorasWorks enhanced Work Management features to organize and automate the work with integration with all CnP system features, native SharePoint and external applications and systems.

Proposal Asset Library – a key part of the system is the availability of the Proposal Asset Library (PAL) to manage assets such as Past Performance, Forms, Policies, Boilerplate, Graphics, Resumes etc. Leveraging the integrated nature of this solution these resources are made available to users as they work in proposal sites.

Below is the home page of the CnP Management Center.  In this implementation, a customers’ 4 Stage, 8 Phase, 22 Step “baseline” process is depicted visually to show where everything stands.

[Click on the image to enlarge]

Capture and Proposal Managment Home - Stage-Phase-Step: Shipley-Lohfeld process

Key Features of the Solution

Below I’ll highlight key features of the CorasWorks CnP v2.1 solution.

  • Support for custom Stage-Phase-Step Process -  flexible Stage-based process management and the ability to embed the solution with your customized way of working
  • Auto-provisioning and configuration of Proposal Working Sites
  • All Documents Work Management – special display allowing users to go to one place to see and act on all documents related to a proposal across multiple libraries
  • Color Review Workspaces – special workspaces for proposal color and gate reviews supporting review and commenting
  • Master Calendaring – central master calendar of events such as color reviews across all proposals in the system, editable and accessible from within each proposal working site
  • Pinpoint Search and Fetch – ability for users to search and fetch information from Proposal Asset Libraries while working within a proposal site
  • Writer Assignment Management – automation of the assignment, notification, and management of writer tasks
  • My Work – enable users to see, contribute and act on work related to them as individuals from across the system
  • Support for Role-Based Work Consoles – ability to create work consoles where users of a certain role, such as teaming partners, can go and work with information from across the system
  • Configurable reporting – off-the-shelf you have configurable reporting in Tabular Reports with one click to print, to Excel, PDF, and Word.  You also have configurable Pivot Charting.
  • Integration of third-party CRM Systems – ability to integrate the solution with the leading CRM systems  (Deltek GovWin, Salesforce, MS CRM) and just about any other external system (ERP, HR, Custom, SAAS app)

CnP v2.1: Flexibility to Accommodate and Innovate

If you are using any of the COTS legacy proposal management solutions in the market you are constrained by their proprietary, fragile, and custom coded design.  If you are using SharePoint that is heavily customized by IT or a proprietary system, while this may mean that it could be modified, the cost, risk, and time is so high that change is constrained.  If you use native SharePoint or Alfresco or file shares, you are probably working with tools that are feature constrained, relying on manual content-driven work, siloed document libraries, siloed proposal sites and an environment where assets like proposal asset libraries are siloed.

With CorasWorks CnP v2.1, you are in a different world.  The COTS solution is feature rich but is really your base solution.  As a solution on the CorasWorks Work Management platform, it is unusually flexible and unusually easy to change – so easy that it is normally business users that customize, enhance, and even extend the solution leveraging the market leading CorasWorks Configuration Wizards.  This flexibility enables organizations to get what they want today, change things on the fly to accommodate specific work needs, and to innovate as their needs change.

A new choice

Now, with CorasWorks CnP v2.1 you have a new choice.  If you have little in the way of formal CnP tools or are using native SharePoint, you don’t have to just make do.  Our affordable pricing model allows you to move up the value stack to a COTS solution on SharePoint with a rich feature set to optimize your work and stay competitive.  Or, if you are heavily invested in a legacy, costly system you can replace them or enhance them with just what you need often at less than it costs you to maintain them.

No matter where you come from, the key is that you are not switching to a locked-in COTS system.  CorasWorks CnP is open, flexible and will allow you to decide where you want to go from here.

For more information:

 

william

Overview of CorasWorks IDIQ Task Order Management v2.1

Our newest version of the CorasWorks IDIQ Task Order Management solution for Federal Contractors is now available.  On April 10th, we did a webcast introducing the solution to the market.  For access to the recorded webcast, that includes about 30 minutes of demo time and the powerpoint deck used in the webcast – email info@corasworks.net.  In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the v2.1 release.

The Purpose

Simply put, the solution provides you with the means to efficiently and effectively manage Task Orders through their life cycle.  Below is a graphic showing the core stages of the life cycle supported by the solution.

image

Solution and Implementation Scenario Flexibility

The solution consists of 6 modules leveraging the CorasWorks v11 Work Management platform running on SharePoint 2010.  It is designed to be flexible to meet a number of scenarios such as:

  • Corporate IDIQ/GWAC centers with many IDIQs
  • Prime, multi-award IDIQs
  • Sub contractor IDIQ Task Order Management
  • Single Award Task Orders
  • Business Units with multiple IDIQs and depth of working on Proposals and Delivering the Work
  • IDIQs with extensive partner engagement or no partners
  • Small Business with their first IDIQ as a Prime contractor

Core Features

At its core the v2.1 solution continues to support the core IDIQ work management workload with the following features:

  • Manage Portfolio of IDIQ Vehicles
  • Capture Task Orders
  • Auto-Provisioning of IDIQ Vehicles and Task Order Working Sites
  • Bid/No Bid Decisions
  • Manage Partners, Partner Surveys and Engagement
  • Business Unit Surveys and Engagement
  • Proposal development and review
  • Shared Proposal Asset Libraries (such as Past Performance, Forms and Templates, Boilerplate, and Graphics)
  • Stage-Gate Management Process and Activities
  • Task/Work Request Management
  • Shared Calendaring
  • Real time Reporting/Drill Down
  • Platform support for Integration with external CRM, ERP and HR systems
  • Highly configurable actions and workflow
  • Leverage SharePoint data, security and administration.

New Features in v2.1

This version has been extensively upgraded.  Below I highlight three key enhancements.

IDIQ Management Hub

This new module provides a single place for users to go to see, contribute, and act on work across many IDIQ vehicles and Task Orders.  From one place you can post task orders to different vehicles, see Task Orders across vehicles and their stages and drill down into the working sites, see and respond to partner and business unit expressions of interest (surveys), get reporting across vehicles that aggregates the information or that is comparative.

Below is a screenshot of this module (click to enlarge).

image

Enhanced Partner Engagement Sites

In v2.1, each Partner has their own site where they do their work and engage with you.  From here they can view new Task Orders, submit their expressions of interest, and review previous EOI’s and your response.  In addition, in v2.1 we’ve added support for partners to submit “future opportunities” that you can then centrally manage.  These opportunities can be reviewed and moved into Watch Lists and eventually into the appropriate Task Order when it is released.

Below is a screenshot of the new Partner Site (click to enlarge).

image

Increased Flexibility with new configuration wizard: Features Designer

All of the modules of the solution have been enhanced to make them even more flexible so that you can configure the solution to meet very specific needs.  For instance, you may want to configure vehicles and their processes to be slightly different.  Or, you may want the Proposal Working sites to be different.  Using CorasWorks configuration wizards, power users are able to make changes on the fly without affecting the overall system.  A new configuration wizard added in v2.1 is the Features Designer.  This allows power users to very easily turn on and off features of a module with a click or re-arrange their navigation with drag and drop.

Below is a screenshot of the Features Designer wizard (click to enlarge) for an IDIQ Vehicle site.  Note that the Watchlist, Pipeline, and Vehicle Library are greyed out.  To enable the feature just click the light-bulb.  You can change the names and drag and drop items to rearrange the navigation.

image

With v2.1 – Comprehensive AND Flexible

If you are interested, watch the demo for the webcast mentioned above.  This will show you the comprehensive feature set of the solution out of the box.  However, it is the flexibility of this solution that really makes it work for customers.  In our implementations, we always start with our “base solution” and get the customer up and running quickly.  Yet, every customer at the end of the day is different.  It is typical for each Business Unit and often each Vehicle to need changes that allow users to optimize their work.  The unique configurability of the solution leveraging the CorasWorks wizards supports this.  Thus, with this solution you get the best blend of commercial off the shelf software that can be easily configured as if it were custom.

William

+++++

See additional articles for IDIQ Task Order Management in this blog.

Visit CorasWorks IDIQ Task Order Management for product information.

Cim v2.1 Overview: Social Business Software on SharePoint 2010

It’s that time again.  We’ve been heads down on CorasWorks Cim v2.1, the next release of our Social Business Software solution on SharePoint 2010.  In this article, I’ll cover some of the key aspects of this release…

Release Date: The target release is the week of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) – July 11-14. 

Social Business Software Layered on SharePoint: There is a growing group of social software players primarily with SAAS offerings on proprietary platforms transitioning into social business offeringsCim has taken a different path. We layer our social business solution on top of SharePoint, taking advantage of the broad adoption of this enterprise collaboration platform already owned by many organizations, while also, serving to bring it all together as an integrated system.  In addition, by leveraging the CorasWorks platform and native SharePoint capabilities, Cim is able to offer the flexibility and customization depth for organizations to create robust business processes and apps that leverage social business collaboration.  This combination of breadth and depth, provides organizations with a very compelling approach to driving business value through social business software while leveraging the platform, existing build outs, knowledge, skills, and adoption that they have already invested in.

New Base Solution – Cim Collaboration: The purpose of our base solutions in the product is to make it faster and easier to get productive with robust social business scenarios with Cim.  We started out with Cim Innovation for Idea and Innovation Management with the v1.2 release in September 2010.  With the v2.0 release in February 2011, we added Cim Process for Social Business Processes.  Now, with v2.1 we are addressing the broad collaboration needs of users on SharePoint 2010 with Cim Collaboration.  This new core solution makes it a snap to enhance collaboration across your SharePoint 2010 environment. 

Cim Activity Stream: The key new sub-system of Cim v2.1 is the Cim Activity Stream.  It is the ultimate in collaborative convenience.  Users now have one place to go, to interact across all of the social business scenarios – general collaboration, collaborative business processes, and innovation scenarios.  The collaborative activity, the management activity, and the downstream process activities all feed into a single activity stream.  From there the user can see their personal activity across all of SharePoint, see the activity of others on the items they have created or watched, and manage their stream.  It is designed to reduce navigation, lower the “social noise” and the “email noise”, and, allow people to easily collaborate with others on relevant work.

SharePoint 2010 Social Network Integration: For the pure social side of activity, we’ve opened up Cim v2.1 to integrate with SharePoint 2010 social features.  This includes integration with user profiles to see who co-collaborators are, drill down into My Sites so that you can directly interact with people, and, social tagging (likes and notes) to push individual items into the SharePoint social network via users My Sites.  For those with SharePoint 2010 Standard or Enterprise, this gives you a convenient channel into your social network and activity without pulling the potential “social noise” directly into your business focused Cim Activity Stream.

Getting More Native with SharePoint 2010: With previous releases of Cim, we’ve often emphasized, custom branded portals.  We still support that and we make it easy.  However, most customers have lots of existing SharePoint sites.  With Cim v2.1 we have extended our architecture with “Snaplets” to allow you to drop a lot more functionality directly into existing SharePoint sites, be they Enterprise Portals, Department Portals, Team Sites, or My Sites.  We even allow you to deploy “micro-communities”, so that you can support multiple communities, challenges, campaigns, collaborative processes in a single existing SharePoint site.  Thus, there is no requirement to create “yet another place to go”.

Social Business Apps: We believe that purpose-driven, social business apps represent an important next generation of collaborative business applications on SharePoint.  They are simpler to understand, easier to use, more collaborative, and, with Cim v2.1 all natively integrate into a single user experience.  We have started to show off specific Cim-based social business apps in the new CorasWorks App Showcase.  We started with Knowledge Pool (collaboration) and Change Request Management (a nice example of a robust social business process).  Check them out.

Cim Open App Framework:  Cim v2.1 continues to build out the Open App framework.  For those familiar with CorasWorks v11 solution platform on SharePoint, Cim leverages this platform and delivers a whole new open development framework used to customize Cim for your application needs.  The Open App framework relies on “xDeveloper” skills (CSS, XSLT, XML, jXXX) – all non-complied code, but, definitely for developers.  You are able to customize the UI completely, the middle tier, and the back-end connectors.  With social business apps, we believe that the market needs this extensive flexibility.  It is an area of apps that is very rapidly evolving and innovating.  The Open App approach allows us to innovate and you to innovate.

I’ll be fleshing these topics out over the next month as we move to the release.  If you want a preview of Cim v2.1, just ping your CorasWorks account rep or send an email to innovation@corasworks.net.

william

CorasWorks Zen on 2010 – Experience the new look of apps

Adam just posted a 5 minute video of CorasWorks Zen on 2010, check it out http://www.screencast.com/t/4VxiFNTn3.  Here is what you’ll experience.

Along with some cool music, you’ll see the new SharePoint 2010/CorasWorks interface.  We’ll be flipping through an Employee Onramp app, some distributed self service UI’s, and a Line of Business database app.

You’ll get a feel for the new web UI look and feel.  The power of Ajax forms and modal dialogs.  Cool flash based gauges, graphics, and visual displays.  Context sensitive user actions and webified navigation.  You’ll see the new ribbon bar with the CorasWorks “flip side” to work full screen in your “app mode” and then flip back to your ribbon bar based “content mode”.

Welcome to the CorasWorks Zen on 2010.

william

CorasWorks on SharePoint 2010 – Available Now

Yesterday, SharePoint 2010 was announced to the world.  The NDA’s are off and we can now talk.  Instead of just talking, we are delivering.  Yesterday, we announced the general availability of our core products on SharePoint 2010.  Yup, you can download them now.  Here is the roadmap.

Yesterday, we released CorasWorks on SharePoint 2010.  We released the CorasWorks Workplace Suite and the Data Integration Toolset on 2010.  This is our first release on SharePoint 2010.  If you are a CorasWorks customer or partner on our Premier Support and Maintenance, this release is free to you.

Now, there are only a few hundred of us in the world that currently have the SharePoint 2010 bits to run it on.  If you are one of those fortunate few you can download it and start right away.  In November, when Microsoft releases the public beta, a much larger audience will have access to SP 2010 and our initial releases.

Over the next few weeks, leading up to the public beta CorasWorks will be releasing applications to our App Store that run on SharePoint 2010.  So, when the public beta releases you can start off with CorasWorks on SP 2010 and your first wave of plug and play apps for SharePoint 2010.

Shortly, after the release of the public beta, we will be releasing our next version of CorasWorks on SharePoint 2010 that will be running on the beta.

From there, we will be doing incremental releases of our products and applications from CorasWorks and partners towards the RTM release of SharePoint 2010.  By the time SP 2010 releases, our plan is to have a rather vast supply of plug and play apps/solutions available that deliver immediate business value.

Much more to come this week about SP 2010 and CorasWorks plans for SP 2010 and SP 2007.  The next era of SharePoint has begun and we are really excited to be part of it.

Stay tuned,

William

App Store Apps: FREE to CW Customers on PASM

About half of the apps in the App Store are published by CorasWorks.  Of these CW apps, half have a list price.  However, if you are a CorasWorks customer on Premier Annual Support & Maintenance (PASM) , they are FREE to you.  The way the ecommerce checkout works it may not appear that they are Free.  So, lets walk through it.

 

 The Real Short Story

To get the CW Apps for FREE:

-  you need to be a CorasWorks Customer on active Premier Support & Maintenance (PASM)

-  you need to be logged into the Community

-  you need to be a CorasWorks Administrator (one of the people with rights to download CorasWorks software (the bits) from My Place)

 

The Longer Version

Most of our customers are on PASM.  As part of PASM, you get the apps published by CorasWorks in the App Store for FREE.  If you are not on PASM, then, you need to pay list for the apps.

All apps to be downloaded, whether they have a list price or are free all go through the same checkout process. You add them to your cart, go to checkout, then, you download them.

If you go to the App Store and you are not logged into the Community, then, all of the apps will show their standard list price when you add them to your cart.  This includes those apps published by CorasWorks that should be free to you as a customer on PASM.

Thus, whenever you go to the App Store, it is important that you first log in.  This is the only way for our system to know that you are a PASM customer and if you are the CorasWorks Administrator with rights to download apps.  This needs some explanation. 

CorasWorks Administrators are the people that we have on record that have download rights to CorasWorks software bits via My Place (formerly Central).  While the apps are different (being DLL-Free software vs. software product bits), only the CorasWorks Administrators are known by our system to be people that have PASM rights.  So, the way it works is as follows:

-  if you are the CorasWorks Administrator, log in, and when you add CW Apps to your cart that have a list price, they will show up as FREE.

-  If you are a customer of CorasWorks on PASM, but, not the account administrator, when you add CW apps to your cart, they will show a price. 

-  If you would like to be added as a CorasWorks Administrator, please make this request of your administrator. 

-  If you don’t know who this is, then, send an email to support@corasworks.net and we will figure this out for you.

 

We hope that this clarifies how it works. 

william

“Ready-for-Work” App Certification – The Process and the Value to You

Each of the apps in the App Store goes through a CorasWorks “Ready-for-Work” app certification process.  This includes apps published by third parties and CorasWorks that are built with CorasWorks and run in a CorasWorks on SharePoint environment.  In this article, we’ll review the standards, our process, and, how this translates into value for you.

 

“Ready-for-Work” Standards

To be certified as a CorasWorks Ready-for-Work app it has to meet a number of standards as follows:

  • it must be productized, meaning packaged, downloadable, and usable “out-of-the-box”
  • it cannot contain any custom DLL’s that require installation (it must be “DLL-Free”)
  • it must be portable, meaning that it can be downloaded and installed and used without requiring manual configuration of components for URL changes
  • it must contain documentation that is deemed adequate for the scope of the app
  • it must install in a normal manner (by normal we mean in accordance with the standards of CorasWorks and Microsoft SharePoint)
  • it needs to work in accordance with the documentation
  • it must meet the basic CorasWorks standards to be able to be customized and connected to other apps and the environment using CorasWorks wizards

 

Our Process

Each app is run through a process.  We review the package, install the app, deploy it, and put it through its paces in accordance with the documentation.  Now, with that said, we are only validating that it works without errors.  Our process is not intended to review the application for its suitability for purpose or to judge it.  However, we do sometimes write our own reviews of apps or promote them – these you can take as de facto endorsements of the app.

 

Are all apps “Ready-for-Work”?

At this time they are.  All of the apps in the App Store are by default Ready-for-Work certified.  However, we will have apps from publishers that contain custom code.  When they are published, we will note the app as a Custom app with an icon on the listing and detail pages, and, a notation in the Specs.

 

Why Ready-for-Work Apps are valuable?

So, what does Ready-for-Work certification mean to you?  Here are a few ways that this translates into greater value and lower cost and risks.

- They work – The apps will run on your CorasWorks on SharePoint environment – whether you are running the AppEngine, the Workplace Suite, or the Toolset – they are certified to run out of the box.

- Supportable by the Ecosystem – If they meet the standard then CorasWorks or any CorasWorks professional can support the apps.  This vastly reduces publisher risk.

- Portability – This has two benefits. First, that the app is easy to install and get started.  Second, that its configuration means that it is portable within your environment. This is important if you are running apps through a build, test, deploy process.  By being portable it means that you can promote the app into the next stage without having to reconfigure for URL changes.  This reduces costs and improves manageability.

- Lower Cost and Risk with DLL-Free Apps – You can use any apps from any publisher without having to install and support custom dll’s.  It also means that your entire app environment is effectively supported by CorasWorks.  It is our responsibility to move the app platform forward to the next version of SharePoint (2010) and to manage the app code base.

- Customizable and Connectable – You know that the apps can be customized and connected to other apps and your environment using the standard CorasWorks wizards and methodology.  This reduces your costs and gives you the power to move your apps forward on your own.

 

The bottom line is that an environment of CorasWorks certified “Ready-for-Work” apps can have many apps from many different publishers and they will all work on the same standards and be able to be customized and connected to meet your changing needs.  Effectively, CorasWorks is able to stand behind all of the apps and take responsibility for moving the underlying app platform forward onto new versions of SharePoint.

We did a good job of protecting our customers’ investments as they went from SharePoint 2003 to SharePoint 2007.  By having the Ready-for-Work certification we are able to do the same as we plan to move from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 next year – the difference is that we are now effectively supporting an ecosystem of third party publishers, as well as, apps from CorasWorks and custom built by customers and services partners.

 

william

AppEngine – What is in it? What is not?

In my last post I gave a brief intro to the AppEngine for SharePoint.  In this post, I’ll drill into the details of what is in it and what it not?  This is important for those that are building apps for the AppEngine as a target app platform, whether you are an independent application publisher, a custom solution provider, or, part of an in-house builder team.  It is certainly not exhaustive, but, it does cover the key features.

 

 Core Workplace Suite System engines

The AppEngine includes most of the capabilities required to run any application that you build using the CorasWorks Workplace Suite v10.2.  To support this natively, it includes the same core system engines of the Suite, consisting of:

-  CorasWorks Installation Manager

-  CorasWorks Data Engine

-  CorasWorks Display Engine

-  CorasWorks Management Engine

-  CorasWorks Action Framework

 

 Included User Interface Extensions

It includes the following capabilities that allow you to create and customize display web parts for the UI leveraging the core engines above:

-  Display Wizard for Customization of Navigation and Displays

-  Grid Display

-  Calendar Display

-  Chart Display

-  Menu Navigation

-  Tree View Navigation

-  Up To Navigation

 

Supported Runtime Features:

The AppEngine provides runtime support for the following features that are typically part of an app built using the Workplace Suite:

-  Support for Central Views

-  Support for Standard New, Edit, View Forms for SharePoint

-  Support for Custom Action Forms

-  Support for the Action Launcher

-  Support for Document Upload and Document Creation Using Templates

-  Support for Email Notification and Email Actions

-  Support for Publishing Actions and End-User Selected destinations

-  Support for standard Create, Modify, Delete, and Print Document Actions

-  Support for Snaplets – local or central view based

-  Ability to Copy a Central View to a Local View

-  Support for Central Configuration Sites

-  Support for Global Navigation

-  CorasWorks Central Configuration

-  Support for Parent-Child views of any type

-  Support for Global Links

-  Support for site directories for portfolio management

-  Support for Lock-Down

-  Support for Local and One Touch application configurations

-  Support for Data Connections across data types, sites, site collections, and web applications

-  Support for Displays using Data Integration Toolset data providers to SharePoint and External data sources

-  Workplace ID custom field for Generating Unique ID’s

 

What Capabilities are not Included

The following capabilities are not included in the AppEngine:

-  Ability to Attach a Central View to a Local Display

-  Ability to Add or Remove Actions from a Local Display

-  List Activation Triggers and Scheduled Activity Timers

-  Builder Wizards – all of those appearing in Site Settings – Actions Wizard, Central Views Wizard, List Activation Wizard, Scheduled Activity Wizard, Master Page Wizard, and Global Links Manager

-  The Data Integration Toolset and its capabilities are not included

-  Design Migrator

 

The bottom line is pretty much that if you build it with the Suite you can run it, customize it, and connect it up with the AppEngine. You can use the Community Forums or contact support for more questions on features not mentioned here.   In future articles, we’ll be addressing the new “application server” deployment model and how you are now able to have a combined, yet, separate (and less expensive) runtime production web farm and in-line builder environment.

 

william

AppEngine for SharePoint – Quick Intro

This week, we released the AppEngine for SharePoint.  This new product is a key piece of our go forward product line.  In this intro article I’ll cover what it is, what you can do with it, and what is in it.

 

 What is it?

The AppEngine provides you with an extensive “app” runtime system for SharePoint.  It enables organizations to add immediate business value through plug-and-play apps.  It is a product you install onto SharePoint 2007 (WSS or MOSS) and it enables you to run any apps that can be built using the Workplace Suite.  You can run apps from any CorasWorks App Store app publisher, apps that you build, or apps that you contract to be built for you.  In addition, it allows you to customize all apps and to connect up apps and your entire SharePoint environment (including, CW-based apps, all team sites, other types of sites, and any other apps from anyone).

This product is now the first step in the CorasWorks application stack.  It is priced differently – $4k for the first server and $8k for unlimited servers and users on a farm.  This means that you can scale out your SharePoint production environment with the AppEngine without ANY additional costs.

 

What can you do with it?

First, you can use plug-and-play apps built for the AppEngine.  Standard types of “apps” consist of team sites/workspaces, business processes, departmental apps, project-based apps, department-group-role-and-personal dashboards, portals, and others.  Visit the See Apps In Action library to see video demonstrations of a sample of apps in the App Store from CorasWorks and application publisher partners that run on the AppEngine.

Second, you can extensively customize the apps.  The AppEngine comes with the CorasWorks Display Wizard used to customize all navigation, displays, and data connections of plug-and-play apps and components that you create.  Yes, you can create your own display web parts and navigation to add functionality to your native SharePoint sites, business applications, dashboards, portals, etc..  The product contains extensive documentation and online resources to make it easy.

Third, you can connect apps and build your own “front end” solutions connected to apps and team sites across your environment.  You can create your own custom dashboards, portals, my sites, extranets, task-specific consoles, and cross-app connections.  These  types of “apps” are typically custom designed; the AppEngine makes them easy to create,  to customize, and to connect everything up.

You connect things together through the data, through structural connections such as global navigation and line-of-site hierarchies, and through action based task automation, distributed application functionality, and connected workstreams.  The AppEngine is used to connect all apps and information across the entire SharePoint environment (across data types, sites, site collections, web applications).  The sites/apps may be built using CorasWorks, just native SharePoint, custom built, or, off-the-shelf from a 3rd party vendor – it doesn’t matter.  With the AppEngine you can connect them all to create a dynamic, integrated, manageable work environment.

 

What is in it?

It contains the full core CorasWorks v10 Modular Application System – the same as in the Workplace Suite.  Thus, it contains the same data engine, display engine, management engine, and custom actions framework.  It contains the full display set for Grids, Calendars, Charts and Navigation.  It supports the full set of custom Action types and forms.  It contains the Display Wizard and supports Global Links, Lock Down, Central Views, Snaplets, Central Configuration & Management and One Touch configuration – powerful system level features of the Workplace Suite.

The difference is that you don’t use it to design and build apps with custom business functionality, end-user task automation or system activities.  It doesn’t include the Builder Wizards from the Workplace Suite, the Timer and Triggers framework, the ability for end-users/site owners to Add or Remove actions from displays or attach Central Views, and, the higher level design and management features of the Workplace Suite.  It does allow you to connect to Toolset and any other XML data streams from across your SharePoint workplace or the cloud, but, the Toolset is sold separately.

 

Summary

The AppEngine for SharePoint is a very powerful runtime system for “apps” on SharePoint.  It is the front-end piece of the CorasWorks application stack.  It is priced to enable organizations of all sizes to immediately get the business value of plug-and-play apps as part of a fully connected work environment on SharePoint without having to worry about additional costs as they scale.

We’ll be drilling down into various aspects of the AppEngine, Apps, and the CorasWorks App Stack in future articles, stay tuned…

william