Academy 9 Sharepoint Solutions Designing And Branding Moss 2007
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  • Henri De Roeck, The Reference Experience at TR Topic of today: designing and branding Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS in short). Small topic, however very important. Everything that is said, will be in relation to the aspect of designing and branding MOSS.
  • Let’s hear what Microsoft said about MOSS, in their white paper: ”Planning and architecture for Office SharePoint Server 2007”. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a rich server application for the enterprise that facilitates collaboration, provides full content management features, implements business processes, and provides access to information essential to organizational goals and processes. It provides an integrated platform to plan, deploy, and manage intranet, extranet, and Internet applications across and beyond the enterprise. Office SharePoint Server 2007 facilitates the creation and deployment of feature-rich and content-rich Web sites, including organizational portal sites, Internet presence sites, team collaboration sites, and specialized sites such as content repositories or meeting workspaces. Although Office SharePoint Server 2007 is customizable and has a rich object model, it comes with a full set of features, such as ready-to-use Web site and portal templates, Web Parts, lists, libraries, workflows, and site variations to tailor content to different cultures, markets, and geographic regions. That’s a lot! Still, before implementing SharePoint think about ...
  • Analyze and document : Data and Information Architecture (the statics) Analyze and document : Data and Information Flows (the dynamics) Define the organizational goals you want to achieve with a solution based on MOSS. When choosing to use SharePoint and have it implemented, the reasons why may vary. Some are looking purely for a collaboration platform, others for a platform that is created to expose data from various data sources, while others are looking for a platform that can present company information in a user-friendly matter on an Internet presence site. In all those scenarios, we guide our customers in the most critical phase of a SharePoint implementation: Define the organizational goals you want to achieve with a solution based on Office SharePoint Server 2007. Forget this phase, or fail to spend the time it deserves, and the SharePoint implementation will go out of scope before you can say “MOSS”. SharePoint is all about information. Let your information be analyzed and structured before continuing.
  • Rich feature set: Workflows, Wiki’s, Search Center, Data Query Web Part, Business Data Catalog, … AND A WHOLE LOT MORE (play around!)  Fully extendable by adding web parts, adding custom code, own web parts …! Design and Branding: It has some examples. But if you are thinking about design and branding (and you should), it’s very unlikely MOSS will have it out-of-the-box.
  • This is what it looks like (screen 1, one more to come ootb)
  • This is what it looks like (screen 2, one more to come ootb, but with Blueband master)
  • Looks nicer. But less information. And nobody showed us on how to make one of those on our own. Another master page was applied here.
  • Start off (next slide) with a screen I found by using search engines. It shows a design effort… Next, I’ll walk you through three cases with specific attention towards the design and the branding.
  • A nice try, probably by the SharePoint developer. Watch the Navigation Logo Layout of the datagrid
  • Start off (next slide) with a screen I found by using search engines. It shows a design effort… Next, I’ll walk you through three cases with specific attention towards the design and the branding.
  • Who is GS1? GS1 is a leading global organization dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors. The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. What was The Reference asked to do?   GS1 wanted to have an intranet based on MOSS and already started implementing it internally, using their own SharePoint developers. GS1 did the information architecture, data analysis and development internally. The decision for SharePoint was taken and the organizational goals were defined. GS1 did the initial effort of integrating an appealing layout into the intranet. GS1 soon found out integrating an attractive design into SharePoint wasn’t a task easily accomplished. GS1 asked The Reference for help. This screen was what we started with. (NEXT SLIDE)
  • What GS1 gave us.
  • Since GS1 both used out-of-the-box web parts and custom developed web parts, we decided to stick to layouting and developing master-pages and creating the different themes for the different branches GS1 has. This way we wouldn’t end up in layouting and designing every single webpart that was available and that would be developed in a later phase.   The Reference proposed several graphical concepts. After some modifications, our developers started integrating the themes and master pages.   This was done with success by investigating the SharePoint CSS stylesheets, tweaking them and creating several themes, that could be applied to several sites. Although it was done with success, the SharePoint CSS stylesheets turned out to be large and complex.  
  • Since we were working on a local (virtual) server and had to install and update the developed themes and master pages later, we chose to use Features instead of using SharePoint Designer directly on the master server. The Feature-model of SharePoint is designed to install add-ons and updates to those add-ons on a server. The Feature model turned out to be quite complex in a first setup, but resulted in a very easy and flexible way to update our work. This way GS1 could continue developing their Intranet, while The Reference was making modifications to the design on another server. By using Features, the two came together without problems.   Some pages inside SharePoint are using a master page that comes out of the box: Application.master. This master pages can be edited as is possible for every master page. However, when service packs or patches are released, it is very likely these master pages, originally installed by Microsoft, will be updated by Microsoft, which would override all changes that were made. Changing this page, would result in an installation that isn’t fully support by Microsoft. By using a workaround with an HttpModule, a very specific technique, the internal SharePoint pages were layout as requested, while a Microsoft supported installation was guaranteed.
  • Who is Borealis? Borealis is a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastic solutions. What was The Reference asked to do?   Borealis wanted to have an intranet based on MOSS and already started implementing it internally, using their own SharePoint developers. Borealis did the information architecture and data analysis. The decision for SharePoint was taken and the organizational goals were defined. For Borealis, the time to market was very importing, which resulted in a firm decision only out-of-the-box web parts would be used. No true custom development was part of the project. Borealis prepared the mockups.
  • What Borealis gave us. (mockups)
  • The Reference proposed a graphical design based on the mockups.   Since Borealis only used out-of-the-box web parts and no custom developed web parts, we decided to layout every web part that would be used.   Since almost all web parts that come out of the SharePoint box are able to be modified by XSLT (eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations), a lot was achieved by creating new XSLT. XSLT is the language that transforms XML, a universal generic data format, into another format, in this case HTML with a specific layout.
  • Result 1: homepage
  • Result 2: content page
  • Who is Attentia? The ATTENTIA group is a ‘full service’ Human Resources business partner. ATTENTIA is active in many social domains: social insurance, child benefit fund, … ATTENTIA depends heavily on legal measures and documents. What was The Reference asked to do? ATTENTIA wanted to build an intranet website that would be maintained by few, but consulted by many. The search functionalities are very important. ATTENTIA employees should be able to find the information they need with as few clicks as possible. ATTENTIA had experience with SharePoint: their current intranet was running on SharePoint 2003. ATTENTIA was happy with the product, but usability wasn’t the best asset. ATTENTIA specifically asked The Reference to build an intranet based on SharePoint where the users, the employees of ATTENTIA who would be consulting the intranet several times a day for finding the legal texts they were looking for, should not be aware of the fact that the intranet was in fact running on SharePoint. This was a very specific requirement of ATTENTIA. All SharePoint features, advantages and functionalities aside, this requirement was considered a challenge for The Reference. A challenge The Reference took. A challenge where The Reference proved that SharePoint CAN be designed and branded, even to a level where the users aren’t aware of the fact SharePoint is powering their intranet. Not unimportant to mention: all information should be available in multiple languages.
  • The Reference analyzed the functional needs and the information architecture.   Keeping the presentation requirements in mind, The Reference built a full publishing website on top of SharePoint, which took full advantage of the rich API (Application Programming Interface) SharePoint offers.   This project is a whole different story when compared to the previously mentioned cases of GS1 and Borealis, where mostly out-of-the-box SharePoint modules are designed and tuned.   The result was a intranet, with “internet presence looks”. All content is, when having the proper credentials, inline editable, with no separate administration section.
  • Where is SharePoint? (of course: this is admin mode, so you can still spot it IS SharePoint) INLINE EDITING! The screenshots you see are all powered by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. This was the total opposite of an out-of-the-box installation.
  • Sitemap
  • Structured content, analysed data.
  • MOSS is a great tool for a lot of applications. Most of the problems we faced mainly apply to external-facing sites. Chief amongst these is cross-browser compliant HTML. It is possible to override the default HTML renderings from the native MOSS controls, but the process is hacky, complex and if not done by a supplier that respects “the rules”, could potentially results in a site no longer supported by Microsoft. (updates and patches) Using the rich API of SharePoint (and ONLY the API) can be a workaround, but since no out-of-the-box parts are used, it results in more work. When choosing out-of -the-box functionality, it can be difficult to customize to a different look and feel. NOT A CLASSIC/TRADITIONAL APPROACH (Concept, Development, Integration) <--> SharePoint developers must follow-up on the graphical concept to point out the limitations or pitfalls. In contrast to the above, an internal installation of MOSS can represent fantastic value for money. An intranet could take immediate advantage of the rich features provided by MOSS around collaboration, document management, workflow, and other enterprise requirements. Building such functionality from scratch using another WCM platform would be an expensive exercise!
  • When data is available, managed, maintained, structured, ... Inside your company (SharePoint is great!) And you want to expose some of this data for a large audience (public faced websites)  DESIGN IS A MUST Choose the wCMS module of SharePoint (small sites, not a lot of functions, templates, ...) Other wCMS vendors see the SharePoint potential and build SharePoint Connectors

Transcript

  • 1. Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 2.
    • Introduction
    • Henri De Roeck
    • The Reference
    • Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 3.
    • Topics
    • What is SharePoint
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
      • Case 1: GS1
      • Case 2: Borealis
      • Case 3: Attentia
    • Conclusion
    • SharePoint Connectors
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 4.
    • Topics
    • What is SharePoint
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
      • Case 1: GS1
      • Case 2: Borealis
      • Case 3: Attentia
    • Conclusion
    • SharePoint Connectors
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 5.
    • What is SharePoint (Microsoft)
    • Collaboration
    • Full content management
    • Business Processes
    • Information Access
    • Intranet, Extranet, Internet
    • … .
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 6.
    • Topics
    • What is SharePoint
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
      • Case 1: GS1
      • Case 2: Borealis
      • Case 3: Attentia
    • Conclusion
    • SharePoint Connectors
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 7.
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • Information architecture
    • Data flows
    • Define your organizational goals
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 8.
    • Topics
    • What is SharePoint
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
      • Case 1: GS1
      • Case 2: Borealis
      • Case 3: Attentia
    • Conclusion
    • SharePoint Connectors
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 9.
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • Rich feature set
    • … very likely to have a lot what you are looking for
    • Some designs
    • … most likely not what you are looking for
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 10. SharePoint out of the box Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 11. SharePoint out of the box Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 12. SharePoint out of the box Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 13.
    • Topics
    • What is SharePoint
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
      • Custom design by (unknown)
      • Case 1: GS1
      • Case 2: Borealis
      • Case 3: Attentia
    • Conclusion
    • SharePoint Connectors
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 14.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
    • Custom design by (unknown)
    • Case 1: GS1
    • Case 2: Borealis
    • Case 3: Attentia
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 15. When out of the box isn’t enough Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 16.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
    • Custom design by (unknown)
    • Case 1: GS1
    • Case 2: Borealis
    • Case 3: Attentia
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 17.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 1: GS1
    • GS1
    • Our task: brand and design an existing MOSS
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 18. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 1: GS1 Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 19.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 1: GS1
    • GS1
    • Our task: brand and design an existing MOSS
    • What we did
      • Master pages
      • Themes
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 20. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 1: GS1 Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 21.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 1: GS1
    • GS1
    • Our task: brand and design an existing MOSS intranet
    • What we did
      • Master pages
      • Themes
    • Specials
      • Features
      • HttpModule (Application.master)
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 22.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
    • Custom design by (unknown)
    • Case 1: GS1
    • Case 2: Borealis
    • Case 3: Attentia
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 23.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 2: Borealis
    • Borealis
    • Our task: brand and design an existing MOSS intranet
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 24. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 2: Borealis Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 25.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 2: Borealis
    • Borealis
    • Our task: brand and design an existing MOSS
    • What we did
      • Master pages
      • Themes
      • XSLT: out of the box web parts
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 26. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 2: Borealis Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 27. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 2: Borealis Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 28.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
    • Custom design by (unknown)
    • Case 1: GS1
    • Case 2: Borealis
    • Case 3: Attentia
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 29.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 3: Attentia
    • Attentia
    • Our task: develop, implement, brand and design intranet
      • « Shouldn’t look as SharePoint! »
      • Multi-lingual
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 30.
    • When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 3: Attentia
    • Attentia
    • Our task: develop, implement, brand and design intranet
      • « Shouldn’t look as SharePoint! »
      • Multi-lingual
    • What we did
      • Functional needs
      • Information architecture
      • Usage of rich API
      • Internet Presence look and feel
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 31. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 3: Attentia Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 32. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 3: Attentia Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 33. When out of the box isn’t enough – Case 3: Attentia Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 34.
    • Topics
    • What is SharePoint
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
      • Case 1: GS1
      • Case 2: Borealis
      • Case 3: Attentia
    • Conclusion
    • SharePoint Connectors
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 35.
    • Conclusion
    • MOSS is a great tool for a wide range of applications
    • Data architecture and flows
    • Design and branding is possible but has limitations
    • External-facing sites
      • Full custom development (compliant HTML)
      • Respect the architecture
    • Not a traditional concept/development/integration approach
      • SharePoint Architects and Developers take the lead
      • Even on the Graphical Concept!
    • Fantastic value for money
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 36.
    • Topics
    • What is SharePoint
    • Choosing SharePoint
    • SharePoint out of the box
    • When out of the box isn’t enough
      • Case 1: GS1
      • Case 2: Borealis
      • Case 3: Attentia
    • Conclusion
    • SharePoint Connectors
    Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 37. SharePoint Connectors Designing and Branding MOSS 2007
  • 38. Thank you! Any question?