Document sharing is a very important part of an enterprise organization. In fact, many studies have even shown that easy access to documents or information for an employee, information, or document that they need to work with, drives productivity and engagement. Easily sharing information with people while ensuring that the information is not being over shared or seen by any unwanted eyes contributes to the organization’s success. SharePoint is a great platform for organizations looking to share documents and sensitive information with ease and controlled access. Since its inception in 2001, SharePoint has gone through a lot of changes that made it the best in industry collaboration software. SharePoint’s reputation can be attributed to the innovations it has brought around in secure content collaboration and sharing. It can also be attributed to its unique flexibility. Custom SharePoint has become a reliable platform for companies to collaborate on a daily basis, over 300,000 companies worldwide are using SharePoint and that is including 85% of fortune 500 companies.
Companies are given total control over the design and behaviour of their SharePoint environment using a SharePoint server which is installed on the client’s IT infrastructure. Like most of us know there are three different SharePoint server editions Standard, Enterprise, and Foundation (discontinued in 2016).
Custom SharePoint is primarily used as an enterprise content management solution owing to its,
- Safe and secure storage
- Search and retrieval features
- Archiving features
- Effective tracking and management of electronic documents and records
Since SharePoint is integrated with Microsoft’s other services like Office 365 and OneDrive for Business, collaborative real-time editing is made possible. It is also interesting that SharePoint has built this collaborative environment around various legal, information management, and requirements in enterprise organizations.
SharePoint also doubles up as an intranet platform for organizations. An intranet portal or platform provides centralized access to enterprise resources.
SharePoint’s custom development capabilities allow rapid prototyping and development of integrated enterprise solutions. SharePoint development is a very growing trend in companies, the flexibility that SharePoint offers allow companies to develop a collaborative environment that is unique to their company culture, business solutions that are unique to their requirements.
Through standards such as REST/ODATA/OAuth, SharePoint enables developers to access corporate directories and data sources and use them to build custom web applications. SharePoint’s access control hierarchy is also favoured by many developers and enterprises while developing such custom applications.
Why use SharePoint for Custom Web Applications?
Like discusses before SharePoint as a collaborative platform offers many a benefit for enterprise organizations. So, when it comes to building a custom web application for businesses, SharePoint is favoured by most. Some of the factors that cause this favouring for SharePoint might be the benefits it offers. Like we discussed before, Flexibility, Security, Data management capabilities, etc… Let us take a look at some of those benefits in detail.
Flexibility and unique Customizations
This is a very much discussed ability or feature of SharePoint. You have full control over the behaviour and design of your SharePoint environment. You can customize it to fit the organizational standard, or to be used as a business application. You can integrate with it, other enterprise solutions. Organizations can also develop their own solutions or applications.
These customization capabilities allow organizations to develop a wide variety of applications that could benefit them in their day-to-day activities. These applications include Intranet Portal, Contract Management, Project Management, Help Desk solution, Learning Management, Document Management, etc…
Access Control Hierarchy and Admin Centralization
The access control hierarchy that SharePoint offers is very reliable and easy to administer structure. The SharePoint admin decides who can view what on the environment. They can grant or revoke permissions to users at any time as they wish. This ensures that all documents that are shared and accessed on the environment are only seen by those with required permissions. The safety of the data is ensured.
Centralized admin controls are the most helpful and exciting feature that SharePoint offers. Admin can access all operational features from a single dashboard. Making the management process a lot easier and streamlined.
Collaboration and Document Management
SharePoint is primarily built and marketed as a document management platform. It is a platform where organizations can share, store, and access documents in a very reliable and smooth process. When employees are collaborating and working productively using the right information, that they can access easily, the overall output of the company increases. It has a very positive impact on the work culture at organizations. A team cannot work efficiently without the right information and tools when they need it. Document management and collaboration can be a painful task without the right tools. That is why SharePoint as a Document management platform has so many benefits when compared to most of the conventional document management methods. That is why most organizations prefer and rely on SharePoint to manage their documents.
With features like the SharePoint document library and lists, you can organize and store documents in SharePoint. The process of document management planning gets a lot more clarity with SharePoint.
Many other benefits like integration with other Microsoft applications and solutions like ERP and CRM, ease of use, etc. makes SharePoint favourable for organizations.
Do more with SharePoint Development capabilities
The scope of development in SharePoint is growing at an exceptional speed as we speak. Every year Microsoft adds more and more features to this to make SharePoint development a dynamic process. Microsoft assures that with every new release they make it work to help developers leverage SharePoint Framework in new and improved ways. Many developers are using SharePoint Framework to develop and deliver custom solutions to clients across the world. In the last two years itself, Microsoft announced multiple new capabilities.
In September 2018, the capability to call Microsoft Graph and web APIs to deploy extensions across organizational SharePoint sites were announced. With this capability, developers were able to access dozens of key data types and connect to any Azure Active Directory-secured API as well as Web API libraries. The tenant wide deployment of SharePoint extensions enabled the developers to deploy customizations across SharePoint easily.
That was the same year when the capability to add SharePoint web parts and application pages to Microsoft Teams was introduced. This meant that developers could deploy applications they developed as a tab to Teams making it easier for users to use it conveniently.
2018 also saw the introduction of some great features like the ability for page authors to connect across components with dynamic data capabilities. With this ability, authors could mix and match with web parts and create very interactive and informative pages.
The feature that allowed developers to create and deliver complete applications with application pages were also introduced in 2018. With this improvement, developers could host SharePoint framework applications on a single page, like the SharePoint web parts.
The year 2019 came with more exciting features. The application page was one among them. The new app page concept made it possible for users to add full page tools to site pages. Add new site page feature was also added so that users will be able to add new applications pages to the existing sites. Improved API experiences, New API and File developer experiences were others among the features announced that year.
The global scenario and customer requirements for business applications are changing every day. Developers need to be updated on the newest features and updates if they are to develop custom applications that would benefit their clients. Microsoft is working every day to add more features to make the custom SharePoint development process easier for developers. With the new features Microsoft is introducing companies can streamline their daily processes and develop efficient solutions like contract management, project management or other solutions.