On Saturday 22nd, at SharePoint Saturday EMEA, we’ll be launching a new store for SharePoint. We are calling it Sharevolution. Why? Because it’s a place for publishers to share solutions they’ve built, and a place for end users to go for solutions that make SharePoint just that little bit better.
The concept of a store means different things to different people. What we’ve tried to do with Sharevolution is to think beyond your standard Product Catalog/Download store, by imagining what a store built especially for SharePoint would look like.
Our store is different to any store you’ve visited before. It’s been built from the ground up to integrate tightly with SharePoint in the Cloud**. It knows what a list is, what site templates are, and it knows what to do with Masterpages and Stylesheets.
Our goal is to become the place you think of when you want to make SharePoint just that little bit better.
Our inspiration of course has been the Apple AppStore, a marketplace which created an enormous opportunity for developers and iPhone owners. It’s been the driving force behind making the iPhone the multipurpose device it is today.
So, that is where we started. Could it be possible to do the same for SharePoint? Could we build a store for SharePoint that made the installation of solutions as simple as a single click? The answer turned out to be “Yes”.
You start with a problem
To take you on a brief tour of Sharevolution, let’s begin where you do, with a problem.
Let’s say you have a geographically dispersed team, working across different time zones, but working on the same project. Perhaps you work on a sales team that uses SharePoint (BPOS), within a company that has many branch offices. In this situation communication between people in the team is always a challenge. How do you ensure everyone knows what everyone else is working on, and make it easier to share knowledge?
You may have looked longingly at Twitter as a model for sharing short burst of information, quickly and frequently, by way of sharing your status. Given this is sales, it’s not something you want to share on the internet. Could SharePoint be a little more like Twitter?
This is where most people get to. There is nothing to stop you creating an announcements list, and then having everyone post a short announcement whenever they feel like it. In my experience, this rarely ends up working. Why? Because it’s an announcements list, not a twitter list. SharePoint ends up being just not quite good enough.
But what if you could have a SharePoint site that looked like this?
TeamTalk, our “Assembly Free” or “Client-Side” solution makes SharePoint good enough, making it just that little bit better at sharing your status. On the left you can see all the messages from your team, scrolling down. On the right, a very quick and easy text box in which to write and post your message. Below that, any messages which mention your name. Finally, by using “Hashtags” you can start to arrange messages by topic, with these displayed on the left in “Trending Topics”. You can even subscribe to a tag.
Perhaps you are looking for a simpler way to manage your web content, or to transform SharePoint’s “look and feel” with a brand new theme!
SimpleCMS is an amazing add-on for SharePoint content management in team sites, and the support in Sharevolution for Masterpages should lead to a growing selection of new themes by designers.
Sharevolution’s best feature though, is how simple it will make it for you to install these solutions. Our “Direct Install” technology means solutions are up and running on your environment with just a single-click.
I can’t wait to finally go public with a project that has kept us busy for more than 12 months. We hope you can join us for the launch at SharePoint Saturday EMEA, on 22nd of January. Launching a store like this is both huge in scope, and massive in ambition. We are absolutely launching in true “Beta” mode (not Google Beta mode), there will be bugs and teething problems (it’s complicated), but we’ll do whatever we can, to be as responsive as we can.
Of course there is no possible way we can succeed without the community being totally behind us. We’re not some huge organisation with endless resources, we’re just passionate enthusiasts with an idea.
What I’m trying to say is…..we need your help.
If you are a Developer’s or ISV’s
We built Sharevolution because first and foremost, we wanted to see the SharePoint community served by a marketplace which supported small time developers. Just as the Apple AppStore created new dream careers for mobile developers, we want to see SharePoint developers, like ourselves, have the same opportunities. If this is you, then sign up to have one of our “Publisher Concierges” contact you by filling in this form:
Community based solutions hosted for free of course.
If you are one of the SharePoint End Users!
EndUserSharePoint has done a great job helping you get more out of SharePoint, we hope that with Sharevolution we can take this even further, and make it even easier. We would love to have you browse our store, and we need your help and understanding while we work out the inevitable kinks. In return we will work as hard as we can to bring new and innovative solutions to SharePoint from developers everywhere. Feedback can be given via our User Voice forum, accessible via the feedback form which will appear on the left of the screen, or here:
To thank you in advance, during the first month the store is live, all solutions are free.
If you are a SharePoint Hoster
There is a very good chance that Sharevolution works for your SharePoint customers today, if there’s a problem, we are committed to fixing it. Sharevolution offers your customers a great way to get more value out of the platform you provide them. We’re interested in partnering with you so that our store can be even more tightly integrated, making it even easier to use. Contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, I would like to say a big thanks to those from the community that have been supporting us so far.
Sam Dolan of PinkPetrol for the amazing design work, I never expected to launch with such polish.
Mark Miller of EndUserSharePoint.com for keeping the pressure on us to get this out the door, and his ongoing support and ideas.
Our launch publishers for contributing their great solutions:
Jose Morales with SimpleCMS
Christophe Humbert PathToSharePoint with EasyTabs
Andre Salomons SmartSharePointSolutions.com with the Financial Suite
Thanks also to Serge Salomons, our lead developer, the team at Codezeven, and Hans Blaauw, a mate never short of cool ideas.
See you at SharePoint Saturday EMEA online.