CorasWorks Workplace Suite
CorasWorks Workplace Suite for SharePoint allows organizations to design, build, and maintain collaborative web–based solutions on SharePoint in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost. It is a system of modular software products for Microsoft SharePoint.
Whether you are building from the ground up, need ready–built solutions, or enhancing already–deployed SharePoint solutions, the Workplace Suite can provide you with an end–to–end set of collaborative features and capabilities to meet your specific needs. And best of all, the Workplace Suite is further supported by CorasWorks’ full line of software and service offerings.
With a variety of modular web parts, more than 50 pre-built “starter” solutions for rapid development, and application design patterns and templates, you can quickly and easily build a wide range of collaborative web–based solutions. Add to that, a complete set of documentation, training, technical support and an online knowledge base, and the result is a dynamically integrated, role-based Workplace delivering business solutions to teams and managers. All by tying together the right people, information, and processes.
The key features of the CorasWorks Workplace Suite are delivered through a comprehensive set of modular web parts. These web parts are fully configurable and have been designed to give you maximum flexibility in how you choose to use them to find, collect, and display data and information from your SharePoint environment.
All of the CorasWorks web parts reside within your standard SharePoint galleries and can be placed on any page with a simple “drag and drop.” Once you learn how to administer one web part, you know how to administer all of them due to the common administrative interface. The web parts also offer a Central Configuration benefit so you can control the configuration of web parts across your environment from one central location.
Solutions and Templates
The CorasWorks Workplace Suite includes a comprehensive set of pre–built solutions and generic site templates. The solutions serve primarily as examples of the types of web-based collaborative applications you can build using the Workplace Suite. And, our generic site templates are pre–configured to incorporate many CorasWorks features and can quickly and easily be modified with your organization’s specific terminology, processes, or documents.
The Solution Set includes more than 50 pre-built solutions that serve as examples of the types of applications you can build. They also demonstrate various application design patterns and the diversity of displays, actions, and processes that can be configured. These solutions can also be used “out of the box” and may be an appropriate starting point for an organization’s custom solution. The Solution Set maps to a variety of solutions you may be trying to build on SharePoint.
Generic Site Templates are SharePoint site templates that have been pre–loaded with many of the CorasWorks web parts, primarily the navigational components. In many cases, the templates consist of a series of blank pages that include administrative lists and libraries, basic navigation, and some process, to allow for quick and easy understanding of the layout or purpose of the content in a site. Generic site templates could include:
- Various site navigation formats incorporating tab menus, site and list navigation with options for administration and personal preferences, cascading menus, global menus, and vertical lists.
- Data-driven navigation pre-configured for the page set.
- Action libraries to hold actions that are specific to your workspace or application.
- Support for Master pages and the CorasWorks Design Migrator to manage deployment and upgrades with SharePoint 2007.
Design and Architecture
The Workplace Suite offers a series of architecture and design tools intended to provide guidance to users when building applications.
Whether you have a basic SharePoint collaborative environment, or a more sophisticated collaborative workplace, we understand the growing demands by business users to learn how to get more and better applications through SharePoint. We refer to this as a Workplace Continuum. Regardless of where you are in this continuum, the CorasWorks Workplace Suite can help you achieve greater results and value for your organization.
CorasWorks has identified at least 10 key application design patterns that are being used by our customers: Applet, Centralized, Distributed, Master, Matrix, Knowledge Management, Personal Productivity, Secure Separation, Tiered, Workspace
Corasworks Workplace Suite - great toolset
I have used CorasWorks components at a few clients including one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. There is really no other product out there that allows you to increase the value of collaboration on top of SharePoint like CorasWorks. One of their best components that I really like is their ability to create new roll up web parts on the fly without writing a single line of code. You can roll up data from multiple lists across multiple sites (not just out of the box SharePoint lists and libraries, but customized lists too) and present it on a single page with different grouping and sorting options. You can also very easily color code your data. They have a lot of useful site templates too. One of my favorites is the help desk template that allows me to implement a support site in a matter of minutes.
CorasWorks Workplace suite
The CorasWorks suite was sourced as the HR Department at my client required a robust, secure case management system.
Other Helpdesk tools were considered but was dismissed due to a number of concerns around the security of what could potentially be sensitive HR Data.
As SharePoint was already being used as an interim tool and offers a highly secure native permissioning model, the technology was further evaluated as a longer term tool.
The CorasWorks suite contains a template, which effectively provides an ‘off the shelf solution’ This was sourced following
A quote from IT to deploy a MS Dynamics based system, which estimated 582 days and totalling £1.8m!! (inc Support).
The same functionality is provided with CorasWorks with a total cost of £90k, (including PM and Support Resource.)
Other SharePoint solutions were investigated such as SharePointHQ and WebCon however, neither had the respected client list of CorasWorks who are also highly respected in the SharePoint community.
In summary, CorasWorks suite provides better case management and self-service functionality and offers greater scope for further usage
(ie Can be used for building multiple SharePoint Applications).
Lots of useful apps
Other Custom Workflow tools are better
I have used Corasworks web parts since WSS v2. I have never had any real problems with them. Work as advertised. Only issues I have had have been related to configuration or customization of web parts. Issues are readily addressed by their support team. Given their regular update schedule, perhaps more aptly named improvements schedule, maintenance is worthwhile.
Using the WorkplaceSuite as a replacement for MOSS
I love this product. I wouldn't know what to do if I moved to a new environment that didn't include CorasWorks.
CorasWorks allows us to roll-up multiple lists from multiple sites. Example: Task lists. If you have task lists on multiple sites, instead of making the user go to each site to complete their tasks, the roll-up allows the user to go to one page to see all tasks assigned to them. It also allows them to see the tasks displayed in a custom display such as red, green, yellow (status). The roll-up not only allows the user to see their tasks, but act upon them in one place, too. All the user has to do is check the box next to the tasks they wish to complete, change, or add to, and using an easy drop-down action menu, they can make the changes right there. Click the tasks, choose an action, enter the data and save. All of the tasks are now updated even on multiple sites and the user never left the page.
Another big seller for us was the cascading navigation. With MOSS you have great cascading navigation which you do not get with WSS. WSS limits the amount of real estate you have for navigation. With CorasWorks, not only do you get the functionality of cascading navigation, you also get the flexibility of using the same navigation on multiple sites and only having to update it in one place. You also can go pretty far with the navigation; drop-downs, fly-outs, and more drop-downs..etc.