SharePoint and Frontpage

FrontPage investments

  • professional web design
  • SharePoint no-code applications
  • great integration with the rest of the Microsoft web authoring platform

Front page has made big improvements in compliance with web standards

Dataview web part, used to integrate diverse data sources and present them through SharePoint

  • WYSIWYG design experience
  • conditional formatting
  • static and ad-hoc sorting filtering and grouping
  • integrate data from SQL server, OLEDB, XML, SOAP, server scripts, RSS, business data catalogue and combine them into single views
  • integration with all the different types of lists in SharePoint
  • the demonstrations showed very simple creation of views and forms from tables and joined tables without any code

Workflow

  • rule based designer for no code workflows
  • composes workflows from pre-existing workflow components and custom actions
  • workflows modelled as events, conditions and actions
  • workflows are associated with specific lists,  I think this means not with a template,  ie the association is with a specific provisioned instance of a list
  • rapid application development and deployment
  • positioned for minor variations to the simple standard workflows
  • visual studio is for complex workflows

example workflow actions

  • assign a custom task
  • send an email
  • create, update or delete a list item
  • collect feedback
  • send for approval
  • wait for a timer
  • wait for a data change
  • custom actions can be written and installed on the SharePoint server, the front page client can they see this and include it in new workflows
  • more actions are being developed

Workflow demo, key points:

  • first it seems a real shame that the workflow designer is not a web application that is provided as part of WSS itself, rather than the overly complex FrontPage which many enterprises will not want users to go anywhere near
  • all of the workflow capabilities that you expect would be there for simple workflows,  particularly nice is the way to extract data from other WSS lists, or AD queries based on condition data that is extracted from the current list item that the workflow is acting on
  • to build more complex workflows though I can image a rats nest of additional list items being created and then further workflows acting on them etc. 
  • as with all of these extensions that you would expect to be implemented many thousands of times,  there is always a concern that upgrades might break them, or at least they create a significant testing burden.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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