Click here to close now.

Welcome!

.NET Authors: Ian Khan, Greg O'Connor, Michael Kanasoot, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Adine Deford

Blog Feed Post

If SharePoint forms is a priority to your business, then maybe Office 365 should be too

There has been a lot of talk about forms in the last year.  Your business users need it and your developers want it too.  The current version of SharePoint doesn't offer much in this space right now.  At SharePoint Conference 2014, Microsoft announced the forms roadmap for SharePoint.  Since at least last year, Microsoft has been telling you that SharePoint is now a "service-first" offering.  That means if you want the newest features, you need to be in Office 365.  Excel Surveys was one of the first examples of this.  If you don't mind waiting three years to get something new, by all means stay on-premises. 

That being said, we're going to start seeing iterative releases for forms technology based on Access showing up as soon as this summer in Office 365.  This is the Forms on SharePoint Lists "FoSL" technology mentioned in the session.  Microsoft is focusing on an iterative process for continuous improvement here.  That means, we'll get a simplified version of the forms technology soon that includes some of the following features (mentioned in SPC348):

  • Auto form layout based on list schema
  • Lookup between lists
  • Cascading combo boxes
  • SharePoint list workflows

This tool is designed around the information worker so that they can easily build their forms around SharePoint lists.  What is particularly exciting is that it supports workflows.  This was a key reason that information workers couldn't build business solutions using Access Services 2013.  Cascading combo boxes have always been particularly troublesome in the past as well.  All of these features are subject to change, but these are some great features targeted for launch.  Will it have everything you need?  Probably not, but they have more features targeted such as hiding / showing sections, profile information, and business logic coming in the next year.  Want to have a say what is going into the product?  Vote for it on User Voice.  Here you can suggest ideas and vote for the features that matter most to you.

I've had this forms discussion with a lot of clients in the last year.  It's been a hard conversation, because there really was no good answer.  For clients that just needed a handful of forms built, many of them found it was cheaper and more effective to just engage a developer.  For clients that wanted to empower end users, the discussion usually turned to third party tools.  Both Nintex and K2 make some great forms products, but they both tend to be highly cost prohibitive.  Even some of my clients with the largest budgets, just couldn't pull the trigger due to cost.  If you have the money, these third party tools can probably meet your immediate needs.  However, if you can wait a bit longer, maybe it makes sense to put those dollars towards migration to Office 365.  By the time you are done, Microsoft will more than likely will have a forms project that can meet a lot of your needs.  That being said, the third party tools are more mature products at this point.  They will offer more features to you now, than FoSL will at launch, so you really have to weight in what makes sense for your business. 

Now, I could be totally wrong on this since all I have seen is the same demo many of you have at SharePoint Conference.  Many ISVs have built good businesses around the gaps in SharePoint.  They can charge a premium for a feature you need now.  However, those gaps tend to get filled over time.  Social is a great example.  Back in 2011, lots of companies were considering NewsGator.  Many opted out, again due to cost.  Then Microsoft bought Yammer and now the company formerly known as NewsGator is now known as Sitrion and is focusing on HR solutions.  I'm not saying that I see K2 or Nintex going out of business any time soon, but I hope they are working on something great to fill that next gap.  While you may argue that the Microsoft forms solution may never be as mature as what the ISVs offer, it may be good enough.  Customers will opt to get by with what it provides rather than sign a PO with an ISV to get more.

As I said at the end of last year, 2014 is the year of the hybrid.  You'll see more organizations this putting one foot in the cloud.  Whether they start with OneDrive for Business or they go all in, you'll see new organizations looking at the cloud this year when previously they swore they would never go.  Never say never.  When companies look at spending 500k, 1 million, or even more on doing an upgrade every couple of years, you have to ask yourself why?  Wouldn't you rather just do one last migration to SharePoint Online and then never have to worry about it again?  If I was a CIO, that's certainly where I would be looking.  Of course, moving to the cloud has it caveats, concerns, downtime, performance issues, and risks.  I understand that it's not right for everyone.  However, if Office 365 is viable for your business though, why wouldn't you do it and never have to worry about another migration again?

After the forms session, I had a conversation on SPCtv with Greg Lindhorst, Sonya Koptyev, and Karuana about the future of forms.  Be sure and watch it for more information.

SPCtv Insights into the Future of Forms

Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is a consultant at Hitachi Consulting specializing in SharePoint and Office 365 for clients in the energy sector. He has more than ten years of experience delivering solutions in the energy, travel, advertising and consumer electronics verticals.

Corey specializes in delivering ECM and search solutions to clients using SharePoint. Corey has always focused on rapid adoption of new Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio 2013, Office 365, and SharePoint.

He is a member of the .NET Mafia (www.dotnetmafia.com) where he blogs about the latest technology and SharePoint. He is dedicated to the community and speaks regularly at user groups and SharePoint Saturdays.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microservices, and more.
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
After making a doctor’s appointment via your mobile device, you receive a calendar invite. The day of your appointment, you get a reminder with the doctor’s location and contact information. As you enter the doctor’s exam room, the medical team is equipped with the latest tablet containing your medical history – he or she makes real time updates to your medical file. At the end of your visit, you receive an electronic prescription to your preferred pharmacy and can schedule your next appointment.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dr...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
The list of ‘new paradigm’ technologies that now surrounds us appears to be at an all time high. From cloud computing and Big Data analytics to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT), today we have to deal with what the industry likes to call ‘paradigm shifts’ at every level of IT. This is disruption; of course, we understand that – change is almost always disruptive.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabilities include HD voice, video, multimedia messaging, mobility, conferencing, Web collaboration, deskt...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.