Microsoft® Adds Business Connectivity Services (BCS) to Office 365 SharePoint

On November 30, 2011 Microsoft® announced the addition of Business Connectivity Services to Office 365 SharePoint. Using SharePoint Designer, Office 365 users will now be able to configure BCS to include external databases, document repositories, etc within SharePoint Online. We were particularly gratified to see this announcement. In August of 2011 Asif Rehmani wrote an article for MSDN on Customizing SharePoint Online with SharePoint Designer. Much of the content from his article will be useful as users start working with the BCS feature of SharePoint Online. Adding BCS to Office 365 SharePoint makes a lot of sense. Microsoft appears to…
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Implement Business Connectivity Services (BCS) for SharePoint to Help Hasten User Adoption

Microsoft has counseled that “[f]ailure to sufficiently integrate external systems with SharePoint solutions can slow the adoption of SharePoint within an organization.” (quoted from MSDN Chapter 11, Business Connectivity Services, SharePoint 2010. The key to avoiding this failure is to use Business Connectivity Services (BCS), “a set of technologies that brings data from external systems into SharePoint Server 2010 and Office 2010” (ibid) to “integrate external data” into SharePoint. We got the message and built a suite of 11 video classes on this collection of tools. Our classes were each conceived and authored in entirety by Raymond Mitchell a widely…
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FactoryTalk VantagePoint Software from Rockwell Automation Brings Factory Floor Process Control to SharePoint

Industrial Automation (IA) is often referred to as the “dirty side of the house” of computing applications for business. The dirt here is the dirt of the factory floor. This image is emblematic of the reality that two distinctly separate computing silos exist within most businesses that manufacture products, or generate power, or even drill for oil and gas: one silo for Information Technology (IT), and the other for IA. Usually these silos function entirely separately within the business with the end result that gathering useful Business Intelligence (BI) on the IT side of the house about IA has either…
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Neudesic Pulse v2.1 Delivers Enhanced Collaboration to SharePoint

Neudesic Pulse v2.1 delivers a promising set of social features to SharePoint, including: Native integration with UC (Unified Communications) platforms, including Microsoft® Lync Server 2010 and Client Micro Blogging Bridge Connect with Experts Mobility and Native integration with SharePoint My Site But the objectives here are pure business, very far removed from a FaceBook of Google+ skin for SharePoint. Check out Neudesic’s superb Video Presentation of Pulse v2.1 Features. This strong piece of marketing communications stays strictly focused on business, illustrating the utility of each of the features of Pulse within the context of a “team collaboration, system integration and…
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AvePoint DocAve6 Will Make Enterprise Wide Governance for SharePoint Manageable through Automation

AvePoint’s soon to be released DocAve6 purports to address a pressing need of SharePoint enterprise business & public sector users: how do we automate and hasten the application of governance over SharePoint? On the surface, establishing governance for SharePoint may seem like an activity that is, at best, of peripheral importance. Dig deeper. Think long and hard about low levels of user adoption within very large corporate environments (with thousands of users who ought, otherwise, to be using SharePoint). Might some silo or silos within the business be actively retarding the spread of SharePoint? You bet. But why? You need…
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PointBeyond Gears Up for 2012 with White Paper on “Business Applications Deficit”

Management at UK based SharePoint Application Developer PointBeyond seem to us to be on the right track for the coming 2012 business environment. While we can’t be certain who actually orchestrated the release of PointBeyond’s “Business Applications Deficit” WhitePaper, we’re none the less pleased with this nice piece of marketing communications. What’s nice about this piece? Well, they’ve touched several of the mandatory bases that we think should be covered by this type of presentation for the coming year. These bases are: Utilize fact-finding to collaborate and engage with prospects in a manner that will help facilitate decision-making in the…
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Crafting SharePoint Projects within Enterprise Architecture Parameters

Shooting the rapids of so-called Enterprise Architecture (EA) requires a dextrous handle on the rudder, fortitude and solid attention to the simple objective of getting to the banks on the other side. Looking for much more maybe asking too much, but we still think it’s worth the look. Here’s why: First let’s gauge the depth of the obstacles. Just consider the fact that the definition of EA, itself, is not clear. Educational institutions like MIT, & Carnegie Mellon do not proceed, in lock step, along the same EA path. For MIT, the definition of Enterprise Architecture quite clearly dictates that…
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Get Social with NewsGator for SharePoint

Social Sites® for Microsoft SharePoint 2010 from NewsGator has been very well received by leading SharePoint analysts. As recently as Thursday of this week, November 17, 2011, David F. Carr wrote for Information Week, The Brainyard, that a product like Social Sites® from NewsGator transforms SharePoint “into a satisfying corporate social network”. Social Sites® includes features that will be very familiar for users of Facebook and/or Google+; including Profiles, MicroBlogging, Communities & Activity Streams. These social features substantially enhance the collaborative capabilities of SharePoint within the enterprise which, in turn, empowers the organizations that opt for these capabilities to derive…
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SharePoint CRM

ACRM Software and Calinda Software have teamed up to enter the market for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications built on Microsoft® SharePoint®. ACRM Software is a CRM industry veteran, with over 16 other niche CRM offerings directed to specific industries, including Oil and Gas, Wealth Management, Finance and even business to consumer industries like Personal Fitness/Health Clubs. Calinda, based in France, provides the SharePoint “muscle” behind this effort. A manufacturer of SharePoint web parts that “add on” real world functionality, Calinda’s value add is directed towards enhancing the native collaborative power of SharePoint. SocialFactor and SocialFactor365 (designed for Office365 SharePoint…
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Eliminate Development Hurdles to Support High Utility SharePoint Implementations for Specific Needs

The folks at Bamboo Solutions want us all to build more customized solutions with Microsoft® SharePoint®, they just don’t want to see us hard coding them. Makes sense when you consider that the best way to get users to adopt a platform solution like SharePoint is to provide them with business specific features that deliver just what they. Makes even more sense when the SharePoint power users for the business can include what Gartner Group calls “Citizen Developers”, highly technical individuals who, nevertheless, do not want to deal with code. A large number of the no code SharePoint web parts…
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