CorasWorks on SharePoint 2010: First, the Bridge

With our new release today of Workplace Suite (v10.3.1) and the Toolset (v1.6.1), we begin the process of transitioning into the SharePoint 2010 period.  Today’s release provides customers with the platform to bridge their SP2007 application environments to SP2010.  Let’s talk about it.

It works like this.  You install v10.3.1/v1.6.1 on your SP2007 environment and go about your business of building apps and building out your environment on SP2007.  When the time is right, tomorrow or in 2012, you just do an inplace upgrade of your SP2007 environment to SP2010 and your CorasWorks apps just keep on working.

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The v10.3.1/v1.6.1 release runs on both SP2007 and SP2010.  This means that you do not have to do a rip and replace to move to the next platform.  Just upgrade.

We reckon that the SharePoint community has invested north of $5B in building out environments on SP2007.  With this release and our bridge approach we figure that we’ll be preserving some major investments as you move onto SP2010.  Let’s face it, the move from SP2003 to SP2007 was expensive and time consuming.  With the v10 bridge, you can continue adding business value through apps on SP2007 and then move to SP2010 and start taking advantage of its features and new apps.

Speaking of apps, with the v10.3.1 release today, we also released our first SP2010 app – our Help Desk v1.2 for SP2010.  You can install this app directly onto new SP2010 environments running v10.3.1 and you are good to go.  It uses the new .WSP Solution format vs. the .STP format.  The wave of apps for SP2010 on v10.3.1/v1.6.1 from CorasWorks and our Application Publishers will come surprisingly quickly.  You will first see existing apps that run on SP2007 made available for new SP2010 environments.  Then, you’ll see apps built just for SP2010 as the platform gets adopted.

This is all possible because we’ve had the opportunity to work with Microsoft since January of 2009.  Over the year they have worked hard to make SP2010 backward compatibility possible.  My hat is off to them.  This shows some real care for the investments that their customers have made in the platform on SP2007.  We have worked hard to properly plan our v10 releases which first came out in February of 2009 to be forward compatible and to put standards in place on the SP2007 platform so that the user population will have a consistent experience when they upgrade to SP2010.

A major example of this is our Ajax-based web dialogs.  On v10 on SP2007, our users have been getting used to doing data entry using pop-up web dialogs.  This carries over to SP2010. Another is being able to select multiple items in a display and act on them with a custom action – this user experience also carries forward.

Our plan is to continue building out the v10 platform.  Our next release, v10.4 for SP2007 and SP2010 will come out in Q2.  It will keep getting better for users on SP2007 and on SP2010 and start to embrace, enhance, and extend SP2010 features.  You will shortly see this starting to show up in the apps for SP2010.

Simultaneously, we are working on the next CorasWorks version that will be SP2010 only.  When we release this version, it will run side by side with your v10-based apps and environment, yet, it will take much greater advantage of the SP2010 feature set.  This side-by-side approach worked well for our customers when we transitioned between our v9 and v10 versions during the SP2007 period.

William

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