Over the last few months we’ve gotten some good input about the CorasWorks Community – thanks for providing the feedback. Before this week the CorasWorks Community v1 had our downloadable apps bundled with support and learning items in one Resources section. We’ve now changed that.
The first thing we did was to create a new section called App Store. This contains just the downloadable Ready-For-Work apps from CorasWorks and Partners. The apps in the App Store have no additional compiled code; that is all in your product software. So, any of the apps from any vendors all run on CorasWorks software and can work with one another, be integrated, and be reused. (NOTE: The underlying CorasWorks product software is still only accessible via My Place.)
Now, with the new App Store there are a few changes.
We’ve changed the App categories as follows:
- Business Applications – These are “classic” specific-purpose business apps. They are generally site-based, or multi-site or distributed. An example is Time Off Management from R3 Business Solutions
- Add-Ons – These are add-on features for your SharePoint work environment – generally not site-based. These can be added into any site within your SharePoint environment, including the Business Applications – examples are What’s New and Workplace Reporter displays and reports.
- Integration and Application Services – This is a new category. CW and partners will be adding a growing number of apps here. There are integration apps, such as integration of SharePoint with Salesforce.com and MS CRM. And, we have Application Services that are central services with distributed functionality for things like Content Distribution Services, Cloud Integration Services, and Enterprise Application Mash-Ups.
- Building Blocks – For Community v1 this category used to contain what are now Add-Ons. Now, this category will contain just those elements to be used by builders who are building their own apps – examples are starter templates and web service connection files.
We’ve also added new types of listings with metadata and changed the Browse By categories. You can now see at a glance if the app is FREE or for FEE. You can see what CorasWorks product(s) it runs on. You can also use the Product Browse By category to see all of the apps for a given product.
Who can download the apps? We’ve gone back and forth on this one with our customers. For the App Store, only individuals that have download rights to CorasWorks product software can download the apps. If you are a user in a company with CorasWorks software, just send the “downloader” an email for the app using the Email This Page feature on the page of each app.
We have now focused the Resources section on providing the support and learning resources customers need to succeed. We have broken it down into individual types of Resources that are like mini-apps. For instance, we’ve added more than 70 videos to the Video Library with product overviews and tutorials. We’ve also consolidated the content from the Data Integration Toolset community into the main Community Resources.
One feature you’ll find for most of the grid-based Resources is an email action called Fetch. Right click on an item to bring up the context sensitive menu and choose the action Fetch. Enter your email address and the system will send you (and/or anyone you add) an email with the content and/or link to content for the item (BTW, we DO NOT store your email addresses). This way you’ll actually have the content you want in your inbox and don’t have to always go back to the Community. It’s also helpful if you want to send other users content without having to push them into the Resources section, which could be a bit overwhelming.
Over time, you’ll see more content, additional features and new Resources coming on line. This initial set came from customer feedback.
So, give the App Store and Resources v2.0 a try, and, keep the feedback coming…