As you may have noticed I have every now and then mentioned MatchPoint and SharePoint. Company where I’m working is the first official MatchPoint partner in Finland. I’m also a certified developer of the framework. But what actually is MatchPoint and why should you use it together with your SharePoint solution?
First of all MatchPoint is a framework solution that brings more flexibility and possibilities to solution developers and administrators. Framework is made by company called Colygon from Switzerland. It means that the framework internationality used and maintained. What I can say as developer is that the flexibility is create and the response time from the community (www.matchpointcommunity.com) and support team from Colygon is support is good.
One important thing to notice is that MatchPoint isn’t solution that offers for example readymade web parts or complete functionality. Offered tools are especially target to developers, heavy users and administrators. What the frameworks offers are things like extended metadata and tag management, more flexible template management, easier and faster web part development components and true reusable framework for web parts.
On the images below you can find all the reusable web parts frames included to MatchPoint framework.
On this other image you can find all the components from the service layer and API level.
Why to Use?
If I should give you 7 reasons why you should use MatchPoint framework they would be:
- You are able to extend you solution with features not available OOTB.
- Development time is much lower than usually.
- You are able to maintain your custom solution from one place.
- You can do more things straight from UI than with OOTB SharePoint = no coding.
- Even your or your customers power users can easily learn and maintain the system.
- The framework is internationally maintained and developed = lower risk in continuation, support and upgrades.
- There is active developer community and very low organization from framework developers and customer support to partners and developers.
Of course you have to ask why not to use it? One thing is that using a framework means that you are doing some kind of customization. Some one could thing that is bad but almost in all SharePoint environments there is some customization done. When I have to change OOTB features I rather do it with controlled tools that has been proven earlier in other projects.
From my opinion the tag and provision framework are the best things that MatchPoint can offer. OOTB SharePoint term management is great but MatchPoint offers a lot more like. Tag inheritance and automatic tag creation. Inheritance means that I can tag some site (or library etc.) with tag like Finland and every item or document can then inherit this information from the site level.
Provision framework offers more flexible way to create templates right from the browser. Users can for example create a team site, add new lists and web parts and then save this site as a template. Others can then use this template to create new team sites. Ok this can also be done with OOTB SharePoint but what if you have to add new web part to default page and add n column to the task list? Normally this would mean quite a lot time or even work especially if you are using templates made with Visual Studio. But with MatchPoint you will have one XML file that holds all the necessary elements and settings of the template and you can modify that file with easy to use editor.
Here you can find a short video of an example where I’m making a very simple web part that is listing links from link lists from multiple sites. I won’t go this through very deeply, at least not yet. But what this video can show you are how fast and easy you can make web parts and nice functionality compared to traditional development.
The scenario here is that we have a site that has multiple sub sites. On each site there is and Announcement list called Announcements that has an extra column called Highlight. The request is that on the top level site all the announcements marked as Highlight will be shown on a web part.
More information about the framework can be found from the web site www.colygon.com/technical-features. I will also cover these things more deeply on upcoming post. If you have some questions just send me and message or contact people from Colygon. They also have very nice webinars where you can see this MatchPoint in actions.