Tag Archive for Extranet

Providing a secure BD extranet for partners and customers using CorasWorks on SharePoint

Lockdown

All Federal Government Contractor customers of our Business Development solutions will at some point face the need to provide secure access to their Partners (Vendors, Suppliers) and Customers.  This month, Steve Evangelista, one of our Lead Architects wrote a series of three articles that cover securing and hardening of your system for this scenario.  We use all of these methods in our BD solutions.  You can also use them in your own CorasWorks solutions.

The articles are:

Part 1: Securing & Hardening SharePoint Sites for External Users: Basic configuration using CorasWorks to support working with external parties.

Part 2: Securing & Hardening SharePoint Sites: How to modify SharePoint Master Pages to security trim common native pages (All Content, native web part pages, etc.).  This is a SharePoint best practice.

Part 3: Securing & Hardening SharePoint Sites: Leveraging CorasWorks to create a secure proxy account to tightly secure what external users can see and do.

Comment: Design for Multi-Party Usage

It is very common for people to design systems in a classic way in which we think about all users sharing the same user interface, with security as a back-end system issue.  However, in most collaborative systems and certainly BD systems, it is a better design approach to think of your groups of users as having separate interfaces.  CorasWorks and SharePoint easily support this approach.

So, imagine your employees, your partners, and your customers each having their own user interface.  It is their place to go.  This interface is then optimized for them.  It supports their role.  You may even get more granular so that you have interfaces for Executives, Managers, and Doers internally or different types of partners or partners in different roles.  Yet, effectively, all of these users are working off of the same data.  This design makes it far easier to manage the security by role in a different interface.  This makes it more secure.

william

Large Federal Contractor Drives Customer Intimacy and Value with Dedicated Program Workplaces on SharePoint

Our customer is one of the top 10 largest Federal Government Contractors.  Being so big you’d think that they would act it.  But, when it comes to contracts, performance, and customer value they have found a way to act small, local and drive very tangible customer value.  They are accomplishing this by creating dedicated Program Workplaces using CorasWorks on SharePoint.  In this article, I’ll tell the story of one $150M contract/program and how this has become a successful model that is spreading. By the end of 2012 this approach will cover 5 contracts/programs worth more than $1 Billion dollars.  And, as you’ll see, it is a story of organic innovation at the edge of the business, where the customer value is created.

 

The Challenge

Our customer won a contract worth $150 million over 5 years.  The contract is for services for a program for a Civilian Agency that involves delivering on a schedule of similar yet differing “projects”.  The user base is about 500 people with 200 of them being employees from our customer and the rest being customer and partner employees.  Our customer believed that the best results could be achieved by enabling their employees, partners, and Agency customer participants to work together in a dedicated, seamless, program work environment.

 

The Solution

A year ago the contract started.  Our customers’ Program Manager decided to invest in their Program Workplace out of their own pocket.  They deployed an extranet infrastructure based upon “vanilla” SharePoint.  They then used CorasWorks to build out their Program Workplace.  It took just a month to get the environment up, built and being actively used.

Now, this is not some passive intranet or a skinny extranet portal.  It is a dynamic, integrated, seamless, interactive, role-based workplace for everyone involved with the mission of the program.  Here is what this means:

- it is a dedicated environment for employees, partners, and customers working on the program

- it is role based – the Agency customer people have their work consoles, the functional managers have their work consoles, and the contributors have their consoles and places to go to get the work done.  They are enabled to see, act and contribute from wherever they work.  They see only the information and activities that they have rights to see.

- everything is there – it is a self-contained environment.  All of the information, reporting, processes, collaboration that relates to the program are there.

- it is about the mission and the work – it is a workplace dedicated to delivering the projects on schedule.  Effectively, the projects are managed through a structured set of stages with a final result.  All of the users have their roles and participate in the work.  Any supporting processes are part of the environment

- it evolves – effectively, the workplace gets better every month.  They learn with each project, they make changes in their work processes and the workplace, they get better.

Each project of this program is mission critical.  A project either succeeds or fails.  Everyone is accountable.  By having this workplace, the users share accountability.  And, in the last year they have succeeded with each project.

 

What makes this Workplace Different from an Extranet

Most SharePoint extranets are designed and built as appendages of an Intranet.  They are skinny – a place customers can go to maybe see reports and access information.  What happens is that the extranet is separate from the intranet where the internal people work.  Thus, the work and information environment have lots of seams (holes, gaps, barriers, cracks).  Lots of information, productivity and accountability thus gets lost – it is a seamy way to work with others.

With their dedicated Program Workplace, our customer has changed the game.  They designed it top down from the perspective of the whole team to accomplish the mission of the program.  Thus, everyone works equally together.  The result is that the work and information flow from person to person and task to task instantly and seamlessly.

Technically, the environment has more than 200 SharePoint sites.  But, unlike most SharePoint environments this fact is transparent and irrelevant to the users.  They do not have to navigate to the sites to see what is going on, contribute or act.  The majority of the sites just store information and establish security barriers.  Instead, the users see, contribute and act from their role-based consoles.  The information, work to be done, and results come to them.  You don’t prepare reports, you just do your work – the system takes care of the rest.  It is role-based and seamless. Imagine, a workplace that makes it easy and convenient to be productive.

What is truly unique here is that this customer invested from their own budget to bring up a dedicated environment, that they own, and that has become part of their service offering for this contract.  Plain and simply, it is a better solution for driving customer value and achieving contract success – breakthrough stuff.

 

A Cost Neutral Solution

Federal Contractors, particularly with service driven contracts, have to worry about costs – margins are tight.  Initially, this contractor made the investment up front – a minor miracle.  They were clear in their objective and how to get there.  They had planned that they would get change requests from their users.  They did.  So, in addition to the normal contract task orders, the Agency customer has been issuing change requests as task orders to enhance and extend the workplace.  In this first year they received more revenue in change request task orders then they had projected for the 5 year period.  This revenue has enabled the original team to stay on the project to maintain and enhance the environment and has made the environment a cost neutral part of their offering.

 

The Solution Becomes a Business Model – Organically

This Program Workplace has been very successful.  The approach is being adopted for other contracts/programs across our customer…

For instance, our customer has another contract with the same agency.  They are also a user of CorasWorks but have been supporting the customer via their internal Division Intranet.  The agency has now “guided” the Program Manager to move out of the Intranet and into an extranet workplace – to provide them the benefits that their other agency comrades have on the other contract.  In fact, they are consolidating the workplace of that program into the infrastructure of the first program.

In a new contract with a different Agency to be awarded this year, our customer is including a CorasWorks-based Program Workplace as part of their bid.  This contract will be about 3 times larger than the other two mentioned above.  They intend to leverage the same Program Workplace overall design with the primary difference being the workstreams and processes.

And there is more…  There are two other contracts/programs within the same customer, with different Federal Agencies, that are also following a customer-intimate, dedicated, Program Workplace model based upon CorasWorks on SharePoint. They have been running for years. The fascinating part is that until a couple of months ago these different programs and their managers did not know what the other groups were doing. CorasWorks has now connected them up.

 

Innovation Happening at the Edge of the Company

The miracle of it all…

This approach was not explicitly driven by Corporate or even the Divisions.  It emerged at the edge of the company.  This very large Federal Contractor has somehow magically created a culture that has enabled the drive towards customer intimacy on these contracts.  It empowered the local program managers to truly do what is best for the customer and the mission of their contract.  It delegated accountability.  Now that they know about each other, they are starting to share their designs, approaches, practices, even application templates.  So, without explicit corporate guidance, funds, or systems, there is an evolving common approach, to drive their customers’ success, that is driving the delivery of more than $1 Billion of business.  This is pure goodness.

In our increasingly hyper-competitive world, customer intimacy that delivers exceptional results, is a (if not the) key differentiator – particularly in services based sectors. The fact that this is happening organically in a very big company, sets a new bar for competition in Federal Contracting – one that other organizations large and small should take notice of.

 

william

International Health Agency Gets More for Less through App Consolidation on SharePoint 2010

The potential is there.  SharePoint provides organizations with a platform that can be used to consolidate applications (existing and new) and add value through the native integration of the work of the users.  In this article we’ll look at the experience of a customer who drove this home over the last year with benefits in cost savings and organizational improvements.

Our customer is a 3,000 person non-governmental Health Agency.  Their mission is to improve health and standards of living for 35 member countries across the Americas.  Headquartered in Washington, DC they serve a broad and diverse community with 31 in-country offices in the member states.

 

Getting to the New Model

They have been a CorasWorks customer since 2004.  They have used CorasWorks on both SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007.  On these environments, CorasWorks was used to enhance their Intranet with content services, collaboration, and work management.  In planning for 2011, they were preparing to move to SharePoint 2010 and to use CorasWorks v11.  They decided to expand their perspective of SharePoint from a collaborative environment to become an application platform.  To accomplish this they planned a shared services, Service Delivery model heavily leveraging CorasWorks that they would use to consolidate applications and build new apps.

 

App Consolidation during 2011

Armed with SP 2010, CorasWorks v11, and, a new App Service Delivery mandate, during 2011, they began building and consolidating applications on SharePoint.  Below is a list of the top 10 applications that they delivered based upon CorasWorks.

paho2 apps 2

The applications had a broad range of Types. “Typing” and understanding the design patterns behind the types is an important part of the standardization of their Service Delivery model.  In addition, in the table we list how the application was delivered.  While all of them are CorasWorks-based, their service team used a different set of resources to deliver the apps to their business customers.  Note that more than half of the apps were delivered using just internal resources.

 

Cost Impact of CorasWorks-based App Consolidation

We worked with the customer to do an analysis of the delivery cost impact for these applications.  We looked at each application and alternatives evaluated.  Many of the alternatives were apps delivered as separate Application Services.  Some were only possible as a custom project.  The comparison applications were the middle range of applications with a comparable feature set.

The result of the analysis is that using CorasWorks they saved $321,000 or 64% of the cost of using alternative 3rd party off-the-shelf apps and services.  Some of the details are as follows:

- The total cost to deliver the 10 apps above was $184,000 ($18k/app).

- This cost includes software license costs to CorasWorks, CorasWorks Professional Services, services from CorasWorks partners, and, the man-days used internally to deliver the apps. The organization used 75 man-days internally.

- The cost of the applications if delivered using 3rd party software/services was estimated to be $505,000 ($50k/app).

Further, it is estimated that over the next 3 years with the CorasWorks/SharePoint licensing model, the organization will save another $250,000 in additional licensing and services costs over the costs of CorasWorks for these 10 applications.  In addition, they are able to leverage their Corasworks/SharePoint investment and Service Delivery capabilities to build and consolidate additional applications over the three years with even greater savings per app.

 

Overall Success of Service Delivery Model

The cost savings noted above are significant.  But, in their annual review of the model, they highlighted additional benefits as follows:

- The projects were delivered, and, within time, budget, and feature set. By delivered we mean, made it to production.  A 100% success result was significant.  There were few surprises because they knew in advance where they could get to and what it would take.

- The business users got what they wanted.  Unlike the alternative apps that were initially reviewed before they decided on a CorasWorks solution, the business groups were able to get what they really wanted and needed.  Thus, in their opinion what they got was superior to the alternative.

- They did this with little impact on the operating environment.  Only one feature required custom compiled code.  Thus, the apps were delivered on top of the standardized CorasWorks/SharePoint environment which enhances the ongoing maintainability of the entire shared services environment.

- The cost of applications is declining as they gain on the learning curve.

- The user experience is improving as the apps become inter-connected across the environment.  Thus, instead of a user having to go to many separate apps and learn new interfaces they are able to access all relevant apps from wherever they work and use a common interface.

 

My Comments

Here are some of my general comments about this organization and their success with their App Consolidation and Service Delivery model.

- They have very good people managing Service Delivery.  They know SharePoint.  They know and have invested to learn CorasWorks.  They are exceptional at understanding the design patterns for collaborative applications and how to apply them and reuse the designs, frameworks, and components.  They are confident enough to deliver complete applications internally and know when to outsource.

- The Service Delivery group has the trust of the business groups and the support of IT and general senior management.  It helps that a number of the applications were specifically for the senior management of the organization.

- During 2011, they invested in the CorasWorks Solution Frameworks, Cim for Collaboration, and PPM for Project work, which they have leveraged for multiple applications and which had a significant impact on the reduced costs.  The Solutions were on top of the CorasWorks v11 platform.  (These costs are included in the costs analysis above).

- Their organization is really just learning to collaborate.  Six months ago I was speaking with the Service Delivery Manager and he told me “people in our organization don’t collaborate; they work and they share information when they have to”. This may seem odd for an organization that has had SharePoint for 8 years, and, has a globally distributed operating structure.  But, real collaboration is a lot more than sharing documents in a team site.  Over the last 6 months with SP2010, CorasWorks Collaboration and the collaborative applications they’ve delivered and on their roadmap this has started to change.

 

william

Clyde and Co’s Claims Management Application: OpenApp Development with CorasWorks v11

Last week, Rhonda Jenkins of Clyde & Co, a major international law firm, graciously presented their Claims Management application to our customers and partners.  This mission-critical business application was built using CorasWorks v11 running on Microsoft SharePoint.  She presented the detailed business case along with a demonstration.  It is a very compelling business success story that demonstrates the potential of the “OpenApp” style of development made possible with CorasWorks v11.  Here’s the story…

Background and Business Resultslogo

Clyde & Co is a major international law firm of 1,400 people, in 26 offices, covering 130 countries and headquartered in the UK.  It was named Law Firm of the Year in 2011 by Lawyer Business magazine.  The San Francisco office specializes in insurance claims for professionals and insurers with a brand name list of high tech companies.  This was the site for the Claims Management application.

Over the last few years, the insurance claims management practice in San Francisco has grown rapidly and Clyde & Co wanted to build a system that would support their process in a more efficient and effective manner and enable continued growth and better service and lower costs.

In six months over the last year, they built their Claims Management system using CorasWorks v11 on Microsoft SharePoint.  Effectively, they have went from a manual, ad hoc work environment to an integrated system.  This new system has been running for 6 months and has increased productivity 10X (1,000%).  It is used to drive 80% of their business.  They stated a full Return on Investment payback period of 1 month.  It has also vastly reduced cycle time.  For instance, previously it would takes weeks to prepare a status report for a client.  This is now available at the click of a button.  It is chock full of specific features that supports the unique process of Claims Management for Clyde & Co.

 

Getting to the Application

Rhonda did a great job of telling the story by going through the 3 main generations of their “way of working”.  A couple of years back, in Generation 1, their process consisted of emails and distributed file stores.  It was ad hoc at best, with distributed information.  Finding the status and details of matters for a client across attorneys was “challenging” (meaning practically impossible).  The focus with Generation 2, was simply to build an Excel based tracking system to augment the ad hoc work process.  This made it possible to begin to manage top down.  However, the lack of a central repository and database cost a great deal in productivity.  As above, to create a client report across matters could take weeks to prepare.  The goal in Generation 3 was to centralize the documents and information and create a single system with unique features for attorneys and clients.  They decided to go with CorasWorks on SharePoint.  Cost was important.  However, more important was the flexibility of CorasWorks to enable them to follow a very agile process to build out the application and innovate as they got feedback from internal users and clients.

 

OpenApp Development Approach

The team to develop the application was Rhonda Jenkins, Head of Administration and Practice Support and a CorasWorks-certified developer, Michael Bradley.  At first glance, you would refer to their approach as agile.  They built the application in sprints with user feedback at each step.   However, using the OpenApp development environment of CorasWorks, they were able to accomplish this with real hands-on user input.  Since CorasWorks is a componentized, integrated open environment for SharePoint, there is no coding (no Visual Studio compiled code).  Features are able to be added to a running application, providing instant, practical user feedback.  SharePoint provides the data, security, and administration.  The OpenApp pipeline of CorasWorks allows developers to customize the data connections, the UI, and the business logic independently to support new features.  This OpenApp style of development allows for faster and more agile development with a much tighter relationship with business users.

The result is that the application was able to go into production after 6 months and succeed right away.  Since then, the application has continued to evolve, a feature at a time, while, it is delivering business value.  For instance, when we first saw their demonstration (about a month ago) they emphasized the wonderful value for clients that their new reporting provides – they could provide status reports in specialized document-oriented formats in seconds for their clients.  However, by the time of the web cast, they had extended this functionality to an Extranet environment in the cloud (running CorasWorks on SharePoint at FPWeb.net).  This enables their clients to access and get reports whenever they want.  In effect, in a matter of weeks, they now have a hybrid application with an Extranet in the cloud integrated with their Claims Management application running on their Intranet on premise.

 

Summing Up Their Success

This is a mission-critical, very customized application.  80% of their business relies on the application.  CorasWorks provided our v11 software, standard training and support, and, a bit of up front design assistance.  However, their team designed and built out the app working closely with the business users.  The requirements were not documented in detail up front.  They evolved as users experienced the application and discovered how they could improve how they work.

Clyde & Co’s success is a great example of how our customers are succeeding using our software.  Successful projects are always driven by business users that are deeply engaged in the process and committed to driving practical business results.  The CorasWorks v11 OpenApp development style on SharePoint really puts the software at the service of the users and developers which drives unusually effective business results.

 

Cheers…

William

Intranet-Extranet Integration on SharePoint – Recorded Webcast

On March 4th, we did a webcast on integrating an Extranet and Intranet with both running on SharePoint.  It hits on getting across the barriers of firewalls, cross farm, cross data sources, and multiple channels of consuming.  It is focused on how you can accomplish it at the app levels.

We did three scenarios.  For each scenario, we lay out the scenario, then do the demonstration, and then, go behind the scenes to show you how it was done.

The Scenarios

- Publishing information from Intranet to Extranet

- Interacting with information between the Intranet and the Extranet

- Working with database information in the Extranet via multiple channels: Intranet via Browser, RSS, and Mobile

 

Click here to access the webcast (runtime 1 hour). 

 

william

Intranet >to< Extranet Integration on SharePoint

Increasingly customers are looking to extend their use of SharePoint to Extranets and Internet web-facing sites.  Over the last few months their have been a flurry of products, applications, video demonstrations, and white papers released covering the use of CorasWorks to address this scenario.  This article will list a number of these resources and summarize how they relate to the scenario.

image

First, we have a new White Paper that goes through a number of scenarios for  Intranet>to<Extranet Integration.  What your are building, why, and what your integration needs are vary greatly.  The point of this white paper is that there are standard “big” designs and that the CorasWorks stack supports these designs and a broad range of specific scenarios using standardized components and methods.  It covers scenarios where you have SharePoint running on both sides.  It covers Extended Scenarios where you are using databases and/or SP in the Extranet or the Intranet or other enterprise apps or services in the cloud and how it is all brought together using CorasWorks.

We have also released a number of video demonstrations of the integration at work in a SharePoint-to-SharePoint scenario.  They are demonstrations of scenarios covered in the White Paper:

  • Intranet>Extranet Push Scenario – this video shows how users working in their departments within the Intranet can push announcements through a process which automatically end up in the Extranet outside the firewall (click here, runtime 6:48)

 

  •  Integration Scenario: Omega Product Community – this is a series of three videos that cover an integrated scenario where users work in the Extranet with data from the Intranet and work in the Intranet with data from the Extranet.  The videos are:
  •  
    • Overview of the X Design – this is an overview describing how the 2 zones are integrated through this X Design (click here, runtime 4:58)
    • Extranet – this shows an Extranet built using the Spirit Community Services Suite for the Omega Product Community and how it is dynamically showing news from the Intranet (click here, runtime 5:00)
    • Intranet & Back Again – this shows the Intranet side and how a Product Team can see the community articles and comments from the Extranet within the Intranet and how they can make comments and even contribute new articles from within the Intranet (click here, runtime 4:44)

For a live, hands-on, sense of an Extranet using a database (also referenced in the White Paper) we recommend that you take a look at the CorasWorks App Store.  The App Store uses back-end SQL Server database and SharePoint information.  Effectively, it is a mash-up of information that is transformed using CSS/XLST.  The Community is a pure Extranet with integration with our Intranet.  The key part of this solution is that the entire Community was built using standard CorasWorks products with no custom code development, but, a good deal of CSS/XSLT customization (with the exception of the Registration system which was hand coded).

Now, let’s take a look at the core off-the-shelf solution sets that you can use to get you going with the two separate zones of work (pre-integration). 

  • For the Extranet, we show and recommend the Spirit Community Services Suite as a core building block  This 4-module product uses the CorasWorks Toolset and is used to build Extranets or to add community services such as Group Blogs to any environment.
  • For the Intranet side, in late January we released the new CorasWorks Department Solution Set.  This 5-module system provides a comprehensive framework to build out a departmental work environment for your Intranet.  The whole system is centrally managed and administered as part of our One Touch system design.

The power behind the integration scenarios is the CorasWorks Toolset.  In February we released v1.6.1.  This release runs on both SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. Thus, you can build and deploy on SP2007 and do an in-place upgrade of your solution to SP2010.  Or, you can deploy directly on SP2010.  This robust product provides the core capabilities to build out your extranet, whether it uses SharePoint data, databases, enterprise apps, or cloud services.  A key part of the Toolset is that it spans sites, site collections, and web applications across a SharePoint farm.  And, it goes cross-server farm.  And, it spans to just about any external data source located anywhere.

Some of the core capabilities of the Toolset typically used for integrated Intranet><Extranet scenarios are:

  • External Data Providers – to connect to external data sources and manage multiple connections and output information in simple XML
  • SharePoint Data Providers – to connect to SharePoint data and manage multiple connections and output information in simple XML
  • Mashup Adapter – used to mashup different data sources as XML
  • Database Writer – to do Add, Edit, Delete functions between data sources and thus maintain synchronization
  • Business Data Form Adapter – to create read/write forms that connect to the other components, including the uploading of binary files to an ADO database, and manage the business logic

A key design aspect of the Toolset is that you are UI independent.  Typically, in the Intranet zone people will use the CorasWorks Workplace Suite UI with its rich, Ajax-based web dialogs and custom actions to automate work.  This UI integrates with the Toolset XML stream.  For web facing environments they will use lighter, CSS/XSLT displays that consume and work with the XML data.  The Spirit solution takes this approach.  The key to the whole approach is that all data streams are converted into simple XML that may be consumed and worked with in a read/write way across firewalls, server farms and the cloud.

Lastly, we have recently had two announcements of strategic partnerships that extend the CorasWorks solution set for Intranet><Extranet scenarios.  Our joint venture with Fpweb.net means that you can bring up an Extranet as a managed service, with the full CorasWorks stack and integrate it with your Intranet or any other source of data across the cloud or the enterprise.  Leveraging H3 Solutions Mobile Entre product we will soon be releasing a server-side mobile solution that enables you to mobile enable these environments, with task oriented apps, with no custom coding, and that work with just about every client side mobile device in the market.

As you can see, we have gone a long way towards being able to provide a comprehensive, pre-integrated solution set for building Intranets and Extranets and integrating them.  Because of this pre-integration the major challenges of making these scenarios work are reduced to the practical work of implementation.  We believe that the Extranet and Web Facing sites offer a great opportunity to provide workforce leverage for your business that quickly translates into increased productivity.  Through these tools we hope to put this potential value within your reach.

william

Spirit Releases the Community Services Suite for SharePoint

This is cool product. We did a joint webcast with Microsoft in November where we talked about integrating Extranets in the Cloud with Intranets on premise (what we termed the X design). In it, we highlighted the Spirit Community Services Suite which was just released. This product allows organizations to create very webby UI, integrated collaborative communities on SharePoint. It contains a set of 4 modules that you use to create your communities, or, you can use the modules to add “community services” to any site in any SharePoint environment – Intranet, Extranet, or Internet.

 spiritbinoc-800-omega community-as

We’ve been using the different modules for some time in our own Community – so I am a believer. If you visit the Resources section of the Community you’ll see the link service in action. In our Partner Extranet we use the link service, the news service, and the group blog. The neatest part though is the UI that is all clean CSS/XSLT. This is particularly important for the main community navigation template, which makes it very easy to change and rebrand. With that piece, it is quite easy to pop up, eye popping communities across your environment.

A subtle but key part of the design is that the services modules run as centrally configured web application services. You configure them using a simple, native SP interface, then, you distribute the UI’s, called Service Viewers as web parts to wherever you want to use them. So, when you make changes centrally to a service, any and all uses of it across the environment are immediately updated. This allows you to make access to community services convenient for users by putting them where the user works (like in their departments) while minimizing the maintenance.

It runs on the CW Toolset on top of WSS 3.0 or MOSS. You can run it on premise or in the cloud via our offering with Fpweb.net. The documentation is rather extensive. Armed with it, you can deploy your first community, as shown in the demonstration video, in just a couple of hours. In a full day, you can have a slick, branded community, integrating information from across your SharePoint environment.

If you want to get some business leverage for your organization in 2010, interactive communities that engage and leverage people, inside and outside your organization, is a great way to start.

william

Follow-Through on Microsoft-CorasWorks Webcast: Extranets in the Cloud Integrated with Intranets Using CorasWorks on SharePoint

Last Thursday Microsoft and CorasWorks did a joint webcast entitled “X Design Pattern: Where Contributors and Consumers Cross Boundaries”.  It was part of the TechNet series on SharePoint for Internet Business.  This article provides an overview of the webcast and access to the recorded webcast, the presentation deck, and separate videos of the live demonstration.

Organizations in the SharePoint community have historically used SP for primarily Intranets.  Increasingly, they are looking to extend SharePoint to more robust web facing scenarios.  This webcast was about using CorasWorks on SharePoint for “business interaction” scenarios that are web facing and outside the firewall.  These are often the core business drivers for organizations to go to the web.  They go beyond one-way (“passive”) public facing web sites.  They cover scenarios that integrate your “external workforce” with your internal users.  Examples are extended business processes, application portals, extranets, and communities of purpose.  

Leverage

This webcast was a kick off of our go to market to start driving packaged applications and standardized frameworks from CW and partners for Web facing scenarios.  These efforts are targeted at reducing the time, risk, and cost and increasing the flexibility and robustness of solutions that leverage SharePoint on the web.

The webcast provided the following:

A top down overview of Business Interaction scenarios and how they fit into a “web” strategy   

  • Presenting the core business value of these types of scenarios which is to leverage your external workforce in solutions where external and internal workers work together seamlessly
  • We introduced the X Design Pattern which is at the  core of these scenarios and how it supports Cloud-to- On-Premise deployments and the dual roles of contributors and consumers for each
  • We presented 3 case studies where organizations have used the X Design Pattern for an Application Portal, an Extranet (business network), and a CommunityX Design
  • We provided an overview of the CorasWorks Data Integration Toolset and how it supports the X Design and business interaction scenarios (today on SP2007 and into SP2010)
  • We did a live demonstration of a Community Extranet in the Cloud integrated with an on-premise Intranet – the Omega Product Community
  • We introduced a pre-packaged solution (to be released to the CorasWorks App Store and to CorasWorks in the Cloud in December), the Community Services Suite, by Spirit EDV-Beratung that we used in the live demonstration for the Community Extranet

Click here to view the recorded 58 minute webcast.  In addition, click here to download the presentation deck in PDF format.

Further, we have separately prepared a set of 3 videos that cover just the live demonstration where we show the Omega Community on the Extranet in the Cloud. They are:

 

william