Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Future of Rapid-Development, No-Code Business Applications

As a follow up to my previous post on Access 2013 Web Apps and the fact that Microsoft will be discontinuing any further development of the InfoPath product, a major question remains on the future of custom forms development and data-driven business applications. I submit to you, in my humble opinion, that Visual Studio LightSwitch will be tabbed as the primary tool for rapid development business applications. LightSwitch has many options for creating, consuming, and exposing data. LightSwitch includes robust validation, easy screen customization, and the ability for coders to take their applications to the next level, but isn't necessary for business users who want to build nice, responsive (mobile device-friendly), data-driven applications.  The data can be external data stored in SharePoint, SQL Azure, and other common data sources, yet LightSwitch can also create its own data entities and relationships that it stores and exposes as OData through web services.  Access 2013 is good for quick prototyping, but as I'm finding out, its UI is not very customizable and has an overall data storage limit of 1 GB.

LightSwitch and its SharePoint-specific tooling known as Cloud Business Applications is available as a free add-on to the Visual Studio Community developer suite.

Other nice to have skills are HTML, JavaScript, and T-SQL. T-SQL is a necessary skillset if you want to host your data in SQL Azure.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today's Worst Mis-Titled Job Description Award Goes To...

The Pew Charitable Trusts!

From their "SharePoint Administrator" job post...

"Position Overview:
The SharePoint Administrator will be responsible maintaining the organization’s SharePoint platform and several custom applications developed on the platform. In addition the Administrator will manage changes and enhancements to a handful of other custom .Net applications. "

"Design, implement, test and deploy  Share Point custom features  and packages, 2007/2010/2013 solutions programmed in ASP.NET/C# with particular attention to user interface design."

"Demonstrated experience  in Microsoft .NET development technologies, including Visual Studio 2012, C#, ASP.NET,  HTML, CSS, JavaScript,  LINQ, WCF, Silverlight, AJAX,CAML,XML,  XSLT, REST, and DOM "

DEVELOPER!  Not Administrator.

Sorry, but this is unacceptable for the recruiter or the hiring manager who labeled this as a SharePoint Administrator position when it is clearly a SharePoint Developer position.

Don't let this happen to you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

If Your Job Posting Contains "SharePoint Online"

If you are an employer and your job description contains the phrase "SharePoint Online", like any of these, you can expect that candidates seeking a 100% telecommute position are going to come knocking your door down, even if you do not advertise the position as a telecommute position - and rightfully so. If SharePoint Online offerings (part of Microsoft Office 365) can be accessed from any location via an Internet connection, those who are applying for positions to support this platform should be able to perform that support from any location, including their homes. Onsite support can be replaced by Lync video conferencing (if you subscribe to a plan that includes Lync) and possibly a phone call. Isn't mobility and location independence one of the core drivers of Office 365? Microsoft certainly thinks so, and I would have to agree with them.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Recent Announcement from Microsoft Could Affect Your Skillset Recruitment Efforts

So, Microsoft has officially announced that InfoPath 2013 will be the final version of InfoPath, but will support its use in its existing forms until 2023. Okay... so now what?

At SPCON2014, Microsoft has stated, in more detail, that it will shift its forms development platform from InfoPath back to Access 2013 and Excel, and that future versions of Microsoft Word will be enhanced to include additional forms capability to replace InfoPath.

In fact, Microsoft has made HEAVY investments into Access 2013 and subsequent releases as the new SharePoint 2013 Web Apps are also SharePoint Apps that can be packaged and monetized in the Office 365 SharePoint Store and in an enterprise's corporate App Catalog. Microsoft is actively polling for insights on how to beef up / improve future releases of Access even more.

As a recruiter, it will probably be in your best interest to, for now, still consider candidates that have expertise in InfoPath. However, you should probably give equal consideration to those users who have past experience in Microsoft Access for SharePoint Business Analyst / Power User openings.

As I have recommended before, obtaining an E3 subscription of Office 365 ensures that you will have access to the LATEST that Microsoft has to offer in terms of power user / citizen developer tools. Give Office 365 a free trial today!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

This blog just celebrated 1 year and over 1,600 worldwide visits!  Thank you for making this blog a smashing success.

Now... on to business. Today's way-too-long initial application / resume submission goes to... (drumroll, please! .... ..... .... )

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System!

If you want good candidates, don't show that you're willing to waste their time and energy right from the get-go.