It has been two months since I’ve joined skybow, and I always get the same question: what are you guys doing, and what is your role there. I’ll try to give answer on both questions here, in the series of few short articles, for which I hope that they answer the most important questions.
1 – What is skybow?
2 – skybow solution accelerators: data modeling and processing
3 – skybow solution accelerators: UI and reporting
4 – skybow solution accelerators: what is under the hood?
5 – skybow: the next generation of products, and my role in it
Let’s face it: SharePoint was never a platform for making quick business solutions, on the way that Lotus Notes once was. Since I am in SharePoint Business, and that is 13 years now, there is always – how I call it – the “request for leave conversation”. It is difficult for customers to understand, that even after installing SharePoint, they don’t immediately get a “request for leave” solution, which fits their own processes and needs. First of all, that process is just enough different in all companies, so that a generic solution wouldn’t work. And second, when we go for a custom solution in SharePoint, that inevitably means the whole cycle of requirement engineering, development, debugging, deployment and change management.
Yes, SharePoint is a development platform. Regardless if we are doing AddIns, or full-trust code, SharePoint is giving us all the tools we need to develop “request for leave” solution: business logic, UI, event receivers, timer jobs – it is all there, at our disposal. But that means few things: we cannot just put the “request for leave” solution quickly and painlessly, it takes time. And that is pricey. And there is a lot of repetitive work involved in that process: I don’t know how many event receivers I’ve developed in my life, which send a customized email when certain conditions are met. Yes, I hear you shouting “workflows” now – but workflow solutions are not always applicable. They are too often focused only on the process side of the solution, neglecting the data structuring part, and the UI part. And they are often an overkill, for the given requirements.
And this is where skybow fits in. skybow solution accelerators are the abstraction between SharePoint platform components (web parts, application pages, even receivers, timer jobs…) and the solutions that customers need. It is a clockworks of timer jobs, event receivers, and business logic, which is helping you to create structured data, processes on that data, and visualization (UI) and reporting on that data, with as little coding as possible. Skybow takes all the “let’s quickly develop an event receiver for sending emails” tasks away. And, yes, the retract->deploy->debug->retract->… deployment process is also gone.
So how do we do that? In this series of 5 short articles, I will try to answer the most common technical questions I am getting about skybow.