Six slick adds-on to SharePoint Server

Tools add needed IT features to popular server

SharePoint 2010 may be on Microsoft's immediate road map, but users churning away on the current 2007 platform can still juice their rollouts with a host of add-ons that make the existing version seem new again or at least easier for IT and users to manage.

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BlueThread

BlueThread

(Storage)

StoragePoint for SharePoint plugs into the Microsoft server and lets users configure end-points by site collection or Web applications so they use different storage nodes located either on-premises or in the cloud.

Plans for 2010: Tap SharePoint 2010’s Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) to provide a second interface for externalizing content.

Colligo

Colligo

(Client integration)

Colligo takes its reputation for rich support of content types and metadata to client side extensions for SharePoint that integrate with Outlook, Windows Explorer and SharePoint content. The Add-in for Outlook has become the most popular Colligo add-on with its integration of SharePoint libraries and lists into Outlooks folder tree.

Plans for 2010: New functionality in the content management and records management area, and support for all the 2010 desktop applications, including metadata editing in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Metalogix

Metalogix

(Migration)

SharePoint Site Migration Manager helps users migrate between SharePoint servers or between versions of the technology. And the company is branching out to migrations from on-premises deployments to the cloud. It's a cut-and-paste migration interface encompasses sites, libraries, lists, Web parts and permissions.

Plans for 2010: Add support for migrations from the 2003 version to 2010, 32-bit to 64-bit migrations, add server consolidation features.

Nintex

Nintex

(Workflow)

Workflow for SharePoint is a server-based GUI interface for creating workflows that run on SharePoint's native workflow engine. It is designed for everything from top-down corporate business processes to minor workflow chores. The tool uses standard Windows Workflow Foundation activities and builds a visual XML description of a workflow. Its "lazy approval" lets users complete a workflow task simply by responding to an e-mail.

Plans for 2010: Add data access features for combining data from multiple locations into a workflow process.

Quest Software

Quest Software

(Administration)

Site Administrator for SharePoint strength is centralized control and the ability to set policies. A popular feature is the ability to centrally block users from creating sites under SharePoint's My Sites, and its Security Explorer provides a unique cloning feature for permissions. It also has reporting via a Web portal.

Plans for 2010: Management of external lists will be added, as well as, a set of 50 wrappers for PowerShell cmdlets that give them a GUI interface. Also coming is a free online service called Site Administrator Reports on Demand.

RepliWeb

RepliWeb

(Lifecycle management)

Operational Synchronization for SharePoint (ROSS) is designed for managing large number of sites, collections and large amounts of content spread among development, test and production sites. The focus is around corporate development of SharePoint-based Web sites, portals and applications. The Roll Back feature in the tool gives users a bail-out option on any changes that are made, and users can roll content and code between any development, test or production site. There are also governance and delegation features to control who can do what and when.

Plans for 2010: Plan is to add features that support Microsoft's push to make SharePoint 2010 a development platform.

What is your favorite SharePoint add-on? Use the comment section below or Tweet the name of your favorite add-on.

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Microsoft SharePoint add-ons offer tantalizing system tweaks