Webparts360 AppStudio – a SharePoint Solution Killer

In category SharePoint | March 17, 2016

Product analysis by Thuan Nguyen in ThuanSoldier.NET requested by CRN Solutions, but these thoughts are my own.

What is Webparts360?

Webparts360 extends the configurability and feature set of SharePoint to simplify the development of custom solutions that easily combines SharePoint content with line-of-business data. Its low code development approach makes it suitable for empowering non-programmers use it as a rapid application development platform for moving business workflows and collaborative solutions to SharePoint.

This HR system can be built by WebPart 365 within a few hours.

Unlike other SP workflow add-ins such as AgilePoint, Nintex or K2, Webparts360 takes a more holistic view to application development cycle by providing the following features and functionalities:

  • Solution Designer – provides a web based solution designer that manages all the resources within the solution including SP contents such as groups, custom lists, documents libraries and external databases
  • Business web parts – fills in gaps user interface components (i.e. input, process and output) for data entry forms, dashboards, reporting and navigation with granular permission control options. These web parts can consume both SP contents and back-end databases.
  • Solutions Manager – allows you to package a completed solution from one sub-site to another. During deployment, it will update all the links with the solution and map roles based on groups to the actual ones on the production server.

Due to its popularity with Lotus Notes developers, it is not uncommon to see hundreds of solutions within a single SP farm. Therefore, they have added some features that can greatly increase solutions governance and manageability, including:

  • Solutions Gallery – a centralized repository of published solutions that make it easy for site administrator to deploy a solution unto a new sub site.
  • Solution Viewer – a visual tool to show all the components/resources within a solution, including database model, entity relationships diagrams, solution pages and workflow diagrams
  • Web parts management – Adding to solution pages, web part check-in/check-out feature for team development, and web parts versioning control.

Webparts360 is well suited for developing business solutions such as procurement, employee self-service, supply chain management, customer service and business process automation projects that delivers a single view of work.

Using Webparts360

Using Webparts360 is easier because it provide a single design console that contains all the elements that make up the solution.

  • Solution: This section allows you to define the solution properties and storage for the system interfaces, e.g. pages and icon images.
  • Security: The security section controls the people who can manage the solution (developers) and those who can use it (user roles)
  • Data: The data section provides the data connectivity access to external database and to leverage on SQL to manage data retrieval.
  • Lists & Libraries: Custom lists and libraries are the main data that make up this solution and you can see how they are used in the relationships diagrams.
  • Webparts: Web parts contains all custom widgets (user interfaces) for data input and workflow (transactions), output (reports) and menu (navigation) elements for this solution.

The transactions web part essentially extends a custom list or document library feature to support multiple states where you can control which columns can be updated or viewed. The reports web part provides a combination of different data presentation views that also allows you to add context sensitive menu options. Here are a list of some of the interesting features and functionalities of Webparts360 that makes it possible to build bigger and better solutions, including the ability to:

  • Use SP custom lists and document libraries as relational database
  • Create user groups based on data in SQL instead of adding to SP groups chaos
  • Create multiple data entry forms based on user roles or transaction processing states
  • Add context sensitive menu options on table or data grids
  • Create charts using SP custom lists or SQL database with drill-down capability
  • Provide context sensitive filters to show related data
  • Package and deploy solution from one sub site to another
  • Upgrade SP solutions across versions, e.g. 2007 > 2010 > 2013 > 2016
  • View your solution from a single design console

Summary

Webparts360 is flexible and powerful applications development tool for SharePoint that empower users to build total solutions easily and quickly. If you have a lot of business workloads to build, this is a good tool that will help you to get more done while increasing your control and ROI of SharePoint.

Please find more information about WebPart360 here http://www.webparts360.com/

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