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Editor’s note: Contributor Chris Howell is Acting IT Systems Analyst at WorkCover NSW. Follow him @enigmaticit
Following the posting of my Mobile SharePoint Clients Overview article on Nothing But SharePoint, I became aware of this application. I had not previously come across Harmon.ie for iOS when preparing for this series of reviews and in the end only found the application when searching by name within the App Store.
Harmon.ie is available for both iPhone and iPad and is a free download. At the time of writing this review (26 March 2012) the application is at version 1.1 and is only a 1.7 MB download.
This review is written based on using the application on an iPad 2 running iOS 5.01. The application has primarily been used with an Office 365 site but I also connected to a SharePoint 2007 site.
The application is very simply described as:
"Share documents and collaborate with your colleagues by connecting to Microsoft SharePoint sites"
Unlike other Lite or free applications, there are no listed restrictions or limits to how the application can be used.
Tapping the application icon, Harmon.ie launches and appears to work only in a portrait orientation. This applies even if the iPad is locked to landscape orientation. The fixed orientation works well but I personally prefer to use the keyboard in a landscape mode (bigger keyboard).
This aspect of the application was going to make this a long post due to image size so I’ve truncated some of the screen shots.
After the application splash screen has displayed, you will be presented with the nice, clean and simple interface showing the Sites page:
Harmon.ie Sites Page
Other icons along the bottom of the screen include:
To configure a SharePoint site, tap the + symbol in the top left corner. This brings up the following window for you to enter details of the site:
Harmon.ie Add Site
- Enter the URL of the site inclusive of the http:// or https:// to avoid any error when trying to save the site
- Select your authentication mode from the available options: Automatic or Browser
If you select Browser, you will not be required to enter any further details. If you choose Automatic, you must enter:
Tap save when you’ve finished. If there are any errors you are given the chance to resolve or alternatively you can still save the site even though it won’t connect. Once saved, you are returned to the Sites page:
Harmon.ie Site Added
Tapping the Edit button in the top right hand corner will allow you to amend any settings, amend the order your sites appear in (when you have more than one) or delete a connection to a site.
Tapping to select a site will then take you into Browse mode:
Harmon.ie Browse Site Content
Personally, I’d like to see a count indicator that shows the amount of content within a folder e.g. Shared Documents.
From here you can drill down into any available subsites or access site content such as the Shared Documents library:
Harmon.ie Shared Documents
Tapping in the top right corner allows you to select the sort options for the library content. Tapping on a document icon allows you to favourite content.
You also have the option to use the search field to find content.
Tapping on an item of content will bring up the information panel for the item:
Harmon.ie Document Properties
In addition to seeing the document information in the above example, you have a number of icons down the left hand side
- Send - Send as Link or Send as Attachment
- Copy Link - Self explanatory
- Open With - Quick Look, Open In "Pages" (or equivalent installed App) or Open In…
- Properties - More detailed properties including ratings with option to edit
- Check Out - allows you to Discard Check Out or Check In
The locations area allows you to view the history of locations that you have visited. If you have made any content a favourite then it will also be shown here.
You can edit any content that appears in this section by tapping the button in the top right corner. Using this option, you can clear a favourite and also clear your viewing history.
This is a very interesting feature of the application and something I would very much like to see in other SharePoint applications on iOS.
Using this feature, you can search the social server configured within settings to find user profile information. The screen shot below shows information that is coming from the Office 365 My Site user profile:
Harmon.ie People Search
You can tap the email address to either send an email to the person or copy their email address to paste elsewhere.
On the iPad, you can tap the Work Phone number to either Add to Contacts or Copy. On the iPhone, you can call the number.
Skills, Ask Me About, Interests and About Me are all brought in from the SharePoint 2010 site.
At the very bottom of the screen there is the option to view updates from this person. I wasn’t able to get this feature to update despite several attempts and leaving for some time to allow any timer jobs to run.
This area of the application allows you to configure a number of areas of the application:
Allows you to configure the Social Server to be used for people search based off sites that have been added within the application.
You can also configure options to display the My Site within the application and define the My Site Host URL. If this option is switched on, the My Site will appear in the Sites area.
Allows you to configure the number of last visited locations to be remembered. The default setting is 15.
Allows you to configure the timeout value (default: 30 mins) and the max items to be cached (default: 150).
Allows you to configure whether SSL Certificate Validation is to occur. Default value is on.
Allows you to configure logging for General, Network and UI. The default setting is off.
There is also an option to submit logs to support.
Allows you to clear any proxy credentials.
For a free application, this is very impressive. It has a nice clean user interface and is easy to use. The inclusion of People Search makes this stand out from other free applications and I believe this needs to be an inclusion in other applications (and not just at an Enterprise level).
The lack of any obvious security features means this application would be for casual use and not suitable for the Enterprise with sensitive content. Saying that, I’d be prepared to consider paying a reasonable price for an upgrade to a full version with security features.
The thing that appears to impact this application most is its lack of visibility within the App Store; if you search for "SharePoint" you don’t find it.
- Feature rich free client with no apparent imposed limitations
- Incorporates People Search which would assist collaboration
- Great interface design
- Ease of use
- This application lacks visibility within the Application Store. If I hadn’t searched by name I wouldn’t have found it.
- Lack of security options/features
- Wasn’t able to get My Site updates working in the application