SharePoint components - business processes without development, InfoPath, SharePoint Designer or workflows. SharePoint Services, SharePoint Foundation & SharePoint Server 2010-2016.

August 2014
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Introducing new licensing model for SharePoint apps

By: Vladi Gubler | Comments [0] | Category: Products | 8/28/2014

Hi,

As you know, we've been working hard converting our products into apps that can be installed by Office365 customers. It's a long and labour-intensive process, especially considering the drastic paradigm change. But we already have 5 products in the app store with 2 more coming up early next month. Most of the others are expected by the end of the year.

App store provides a convenient way of licensing and selling apps, the sale process itself as well as licensing are provided by Microsoft as a service, so we, as developers, do not need to be concerned about it. It sounds good in theory, but unfortunately we found this system to have severe shortcomings:

  • We have no direct knowledge of who the customers are and what they bought.
  • We have no control over license prices, we cannot provide discounts or free licenses to our partners.
  • Only per-user and per-site license types are available. The subscription model is monthly only.
  • Per-user licenses must be assigned to named users before they can be used. It's a manual process and could take some time to accomplish.
  • We cannot provide support with any license related issues.

We decided that we needed our own, alternative licensing model, without relying on the one the store provides. We developed our own infrastructure and modified our existing products to use this new system. We now have the ability to sell licenses directly, licensed by user / site / site collection / web application, with the ability of providing discounted developer licenses as well. We can manage and provide annual support as well as extend trial periods if needed. An additional benefit is the way per-user licenses now work. When you purchase a set of per-user licenses, they will be automatically assigned to your users "first come - first served" until the license pool is exhausted. Then you can manage your user licenses through our website (noticed License Management in the top menu?).

To our existing customers, who purchased license through the store: please contact us directly with your proof of purchase and we will convert your licenses free of charge.

I hope you will find the new licensing model more convenient and better suited for real life scenarios!

 

Automate process of copying project documents

By: Genady Vaisman | Comments [1] | Category: Products | 8/12/2014

The setup I'm going to describe can be applied to many business processes that require documents being copied for each given subject.

In this case the subject will be a project.

intro

In my example I have a projects list, which gets filled with projects according to departments.

Each department has a preset of documents that need to be filled for each project, these documents are stored inside a Templates document library and are associated to the relevant department through a choice site column.

Project Department

My goal is: as a new project is entered into the projects list, copy all relevant documents into a dedicated documents library under the path: {Department}/{Project Name} and then connect them back to the project item for fast access.

This is how the templates library looks like:

templates

Each document is connected to a specific department.

 

The Projects list in my example is pretty simple and contains the following information:

  • Title: name of the project
  • Project Department: using the same column as in Templates to specify the relevant department
  • Documents: using our Associated Tasks Field to connect the copied documents to each project

Documents column

All the documents will be automatically copied into a documents library named Documents, where I have a Project lookup column, which is being used to connect a document to its project.

Project lookup

In order to set this field to the correct project, I have defined a simple action, using the Smart Action Pro. This action will set Project field's value to the value of the document's folder. I remind you that all the documents will be copied into a folder structure of type: {Department}/{Project Name}, so eventually each document's parent folder is also the title of the project.

Lookup Field Action

Now let's get to the actions that do the heavy documents lifting. These are the actions that are defined in the Projects list:

Actions List

 

1. Action to create the Department folder inside Documents library

Department Folder Action

 

2. This Action will create the project folder under the Department folder

Project Folder Creation

 

3. Finally the action to copy the documents

Copy Documents Action

 

and so after creating a project item with the title "Module X Development" and selecting the department to be RnD, the final result is:

Final Result

A quick summary of the process:

1. Project item is entered

2. The following actions are activated on the Projects list

2.1 Create Depatment folder

2.2 Create Project folder

2.3 Copy department relevant documents from Templates library into Documents library, under the folder {Department}/{Project Name}

3. Each document added to the Documents library, triggeres the following action:

3.1 Set Project lookup column to the value of the parent folder, thus connecting the project item to the document through the Associated Tasks Column

 

hope you'll find this helpful and enjoy using our products