TechFuse Recap–SharePoint No-Code Application


This is a continuation of my presentation from Benchmark Learning’s TechFuse.

My other presentation was on day two of the conference and dealt primarily with SharePoint and how organizations can rapidly create business applications using out of the box features or taping into other products.

Something that I always try to incorporate into my presentations in the “Crawl, Walk, Run” approach to doing No-Code Application building. As always I believe organizations need to work on the Out of the Box (OOB) features first and have those work for you before getting into third party tools or even getting into code. Examples of Crawl, Walk, Run approach include:

Crawl:

  • List and Libraries – use look up fields between objects
  • Content Types – Document Templates, Site Columns, Document Information Panel, OOB Workflows
  • Using built in Web Parts to display the appropriate information
  • Records Center or In-Place Records Management (SharePoint 2010)

Walk:

  • Connect Web Parts – help to filter information between web parts
  • InfoPath Forms/Forms Services – this includes connecting to content within SharePoint as well as using the User Profile service
  • SharePoint Designer – this includes Dataview Web Parts, custom workflows as well as in SharePoint Designer 2010 using Visio workflow diagrams to create a custom workflow
    Run:

  • Database Connections – Business Data Connection in SharePoint 2007 and Business Connectivity Service in SharePoint 2010
  • 3rd Party vendors – Nintex and K2 are two of the top companies who have products that can extend the ability of business applications
    In this sessions I primarily concentrated on the Crawl and Walk which ended up being great since a majority of the participants had not done must with SharePoint No-Code solutions.
    In my demo’s I concentrated on two ideas. First OOB using SharePoint Content Types with document templates and then moving to InfoPath with Form Services.

Between the two demo’s the one that had the more “Ummmmmmmm” factor was the use of document templates within SharePoint content types. More specifically how site columns when associated with a site content type can be used within a MS Word document as Document Fields. In the demo I was able to take the columns created and eventually add them into the Word document and fill out the necessarily information without having to add this into SharePoint after save or upload.

Within the InfoPath demo I created a form that was for project expenses and was able to connect to a SharePoint list that pulled necessary project information into the form. As a new project was created or removed the list would show me that information. I also talked about using Conditional Formatting with InfoPath to be able to display sections when needed or even using coloring to be able to format a specific color when a certain range is displayed.

All in all there were a lot of great comments/questions and overall a great event to speak at.

You can find my deck at SlideShare.

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