With over 160 Million persons using SharePoint for their job around the world, SharePoint is one of the most used Collaboration platforms out there. As workers increasingly work from home, a coffee shop, a public library or on the train, a lot of today’s work isn’t done on the corporate laptop anymore, but more on a mobile device such as a phone and tablet. Core to this demand is employer’s expectation for anytime access to information, people, applications and communications to support increased demand for productivity and customer responsiveness.
However, since Microsoft does not offer neither a native application for Android or iOS or responsive sites Out of the Box, mobile users do not have the experience they are looking for when using SharePoint from Android or iOS tablets. That is where third-party vendors come in. In this Blog Post, we will look SharePlus, a Mobile Application created by Infragistics that works on any iOS or Android device. Before starting the review, here are a few words about the application from the Infragistics website:
SharePlus is a native mobile application that provides online and offline, read/write access to SharePoint content like libraries, lists, and social features. SharePlus offline capabilities allows you to continue working with your SharePoint content even while offline. Changes introduced while offline are synchronized automatically with the server when the devices goes back online
- Stay connected– Securely collaborate anywhere in the world.
- Customize your workspace – Adapt SharePlus to match the way you work.
- Include the power of data – Data analytics in unison with content for ultimate productivity.
- Enable Enterprise security – Easily set policies and configure SharePlus for your organization.
SharePlus by Infragistics Review
In this review I used the SharePlus by Infragistics app on iOS on my iPad mini, and used an account they gave me so I can test with some existing content. When you open the Infragistics App, you will automatically be in one of your customized workspaces (More on that later). You have an easy access to your Social, Sites as well as documents. Let’s look at the features into more details.
When we go into the Sites section as seen below, we can see all the Site Collections we have added into “Portals”, and any Sites or Subsites we are following under the “Following” section. If you own the Enterprise version of SharePlus, the SharePoint Administrator can push some pre-selected sites in the Application, but if you use the standard version, you will simply have to add the Site Collections one by one.
When you go into a Site, you are able to view all the Site Content, including Subsites, Libraries as well as Lists.
Something that I really liked is that SharePlus supports all types of SharePoint Lists and Libraries, and shows their native views. This is really cool for certain types of list / libraries such as the Calendar and the Image Libraries with thumbnails as seen below!
Whenever you go on a list or Library, you can view all the properties for an item, as well as switch between the available views in that library as seen below.
SharePlus also lets users work offline! You can go on a document library for example and enable it for Offline Support. You can decide if you want to sync over your mobile data connection, or Wi-Fi only, as well as the max document size. What I also really liked is that you can select to only sync a certain view, in order to not fill your mobile device with documents you won’t need.
Those documents are then synchronized, and then you can switch your iPad to Offline mode, do your job, and they will sync back to SharePoint once you go back online!
Documents can be edited with both the local Word Application, if you have it on your mobile device, or with the Word Web App, if you are online of course.
The SharePlus App also comes in with a built-in PDF viewer that also allows you to add text and/or stamps on PDF documents such as “Approved”
You can also apply a custom “view” to every type of site. For example, for a Construction company we had this type of “home” view:
While, every project had the same layout with the Project’s data!
It’s the first mobile app that I saw that can do something this cool. Furthermore, the SharePlus App also includes a module called ReportPlus. The ReportPlus module allows you to create cool looking dashboards, directly from the iPad app by linking to SharePoint sources or even google Analytics, Salesforce SQL Server and more. Here are some examples:
By having reports presented in the app, in context, users can see data in a more natural way and make informed decisions.
The SharePlus app also makes sure the data is secure. All the data is encrypted on the device, and you can set a Passcode to open the app as well as centrally configure Secure Data Wipe of the Application data if a passcode has been failed X number of times. SharePlus also integrates with popular Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions such as AirWatch, Intune and etc. Furthermore, you can enable Feature Trimming, which allows administrators to adjust SharePlus features at a global level.
In this blog post we did an overview of the SharePlus by Infragistics iOS app. I must say that I really liked this app, and from the iPad there is nothing that I couldn’t do. What I liked the most is being able to have all the types of SharePoint lists and libraries, including their native views such as the thumbnails for the Image Library. Also, being able to synchronize documents that are only in a specific view can be a big storage saver, especially for the 16GB iPads. But I think the biggest, or the most “unique” feature of SharePlus is being able to create custom workspaces to increase productivity for employees that travel a lot on their iPads.
If you’re looking to increase your employee productivity and enable them to work on mobile devices, you definitely need to check out the SharePlus by Infragistics app by clicking the logo below: