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Application Request System RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    From a high level the scenario is as follows

    1. The system should collect all the customization/bug fixes that the users request for each application. Basically a user will fill out a "eForm" and the system store the form.
    2. The system should provide basic approval process

    Initial Design
    1. Using Sharepoint 2007 since the company is using MOSS
    2. Using InfoPath 2003 for the eForms
    3. Use Sharepoint Workflows for the approval process

    Any comments or suggestions on the design? I'm debating whether I should write the whole application using plain ASP.Net or just use InfoPath 2003. We don't have InfoPath 2007 so it is out of the question. Moreover, any MOSS template that I can use to build up this project?

    Thanks,

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 2:51 PM

All replies

  • Here's how I look into the "should i use moss or code my own" issue. First, in many organisations MOSS is a strategic asset. If that's the case in your organisation you should aim to reuse it as much as possible, because in the long run you'll have more apps built into it and it will make heaps of sense in the future when you'll have to extend/integrate this app you're now building. If, on the other hand, MOSS is not a strategic technology but just a nice to have, you might want to consider evaluating MOSS from a capabilities point of view i.e., what services MOSS provides you that are suitable for the app you're building (so that using MOSS will reduce the overall effort required to build the app).

    So, let's see what does MOSS give you in relation to an web-enabled issue-management app:
    • security: moss gives you the ability to store content contextualised with security so it's possible to have different roles having different security contexts
    • versioning: moss supports versioning so you can revert / roll-back versions of e.g. a submitted issue eform. this is especially handy for workflows.
    • searchabilty: moss gives you indexing, crawling and search capabilities out of the box.
    • metadata: moss gives you the ability to store items (in your case i assume it would be forms submitted by the users) with metadata relating to who & when the content was created and modified, as well as custom made metadata.
    • metadata infopath propagation: moss enables you to propagate infopath data into the item metadata. this is extremly useful for forms & workflows.
    • Web-enabled forms: MOSS enables you to expose infopath 2007 forms as web pages so the users don't have to have a infopath installed. risk: this might not work with infopath 2003.

    Now let's see what are the constraints and considerations you have to bear in mind when working with MOSS:
    • new technology: moss have it's own way of doing things. you have to understand what are e.g. size limits affecting capacity planning, graphical layouting affecting layouting options. there's really a lot to learn but luckily, there's a lot of information on the net so you're not alone :)
    • new technology, design & development: moss is not "just an asp.net app" you can plug your own solution to. it requires you to design & develop your solutions in a very specific way. there's a lot of content in the net. I'd recommend you to start with the SharePoint Guidence of the P&P guys.
    • cost: MOSS (especially the full version with search and infopath web-enablement) comes with a price which should be considered into the overall cost of the project.

    risks:
    • InfoPath 2003 & MOSS 2007: this smells risk all over. I know moss can integrate really nicely with InfoPath 2007 and support exposing InfoPath 2007 as web pages, but you might want to do a POC to see how InfoPath 2003 is supported by MOSS.


    so, should you go with moss or create your own? well, although i can't answer that question for you, i hope this provides enough information to at least progress a bit in your dilemma. again, think whether moss is a strategic app (will it be use for other apps in the future and will your app have to be integrated), and also think what's the benefits and drawbacks for developing in moss.


    hope this helps!
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 1:42 AM