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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Demand Management using SharePoint Designer 2013

One of the amazing capabilities of Project Server 2010 was introduction of Demand Management concept, which let us automate complete project/proposal life cycle to provide more control to the project flow and data.

Development of Project workflows, at high level, can be seen comprises of following major steps process:

1. Configuration within project server, such EPTs, PDPs, custom fields etc. etc.
2. Develop workflow using .Net or Use of any 3rd part tool such Nintex workflows for Project Server 2010

The above can best illustrated by following diagram, where the complete process was categorized in three major phases:

Sometime back i have blogged in detail about the development options to build Project Server 2010 workflows here.

Now in Project Server 2013 (#projectserver2013), Microsoft has taken major steps to improve this experience and simplifies the process of implementation of Project workflows. Project Server workflows can now be implemented using SharePoint designer in addition to Visual Studio.

Yes you are reading it absolutely rite, its now possible to create workflows by using SharePoint designer 2013. which means that with very limited coding knowledge, see the emphasis :), you can create complex Project workflows to manage the life-cycle of a wide range of project and proposals.

I am excited about this improvement, and believe that it can attract more users now to utilize the advantage of workflows. Let me dig more into detail of and share with you soon in future.

Until then you might be interested to follow the official blog of SharePoint Designer 2013 to stay up to date with the new features and offerings.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Project Server 2013 - My First PWA

In continuation to my work related to evaluation of Project Server 2013, i have finally reached to the final milestone of provisioning my first PWA 2013 site .. wohooo... :)

My very brief and spontoneour reaction was, man its awesome :) .

The interface and arrangment of options are quite different than its predecessors, where Project Server 2010 was following almost the same interface and same placement of navigation links to different options as it was in Project Server 2007.

However PWA 2013 in first glance looks quite different, first the links in navigation pannel are all filtered out and only major ones are there now such as Projects, Approval, Resources, Tasks and Reports. Which is good as i always use to think that this whole lot of options on home page can be be quite puzzling for naive end users. But ofcourse this doesnt mean that options are missing, its just that they are hidden by default.

The home page also got metro interface, where i can see few quick link to options such as more settings and etc., and i have yet to explore all this in detail.

Prior to reaching to this stage, i have created OOB web application and its also nice to see all new SharePoint site.

The option to change the site look and feel and logo etc. let me quickly change the layout of my site. It comes with few built-in themes, with flexibility to change the color theme and font style etc.


Keep coming back for more interesting stuff related to Project Server 2013 here.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

SharePoint 2013 becomes more customer's oriented :)

Now this might not be a big deal for many of you, but i am quite excited to have my first SharePoint 2013 server farm configured and Central Admin up and running :)

Also the first thing which strikes to me, and encouraged me to be more optimistic towards the promisisng offerings by this new version, is when i was configuring farm services through wizard and been put on hold with this nice polite message while server doing its best to run all the services.

Isn't it reminds you of nice polite sound been heard from customer services desk, or by support engineer sitting over to the next side of your phone when you connects with customer support :) Seems like SharePoint decided to be more customer centric this time, and will treat its customers (including consultants, developers and end users) with more love and affection then it ever had :)

Kool stuff....

Look forward to more blogs coming up your way as soon as i move forward with my evaluation of 2013 product...