10 ways SharePoint 2010 will impact your Lotus Notes migration

By Steve Walch, Quest Software, Inc., Network World |  Software, collaboration, knowledge management

Many new capabilities are available to administrators who configure lists and libraries in a browser, including the ability to use simple input validation formulas. Now, you can specify validation for individual fields, or for the document as a whole, including messages that should be displayed if the tests fail. You also can add multi-level column indexes, specify which columns require unique values, and enforce "relational" constraints between lists.   

SharePoint Designer, which facilitates deeper design of your sites without writing code, also plays a big role here. Now a free download, SharePoint Designer enables you to design declarative workflows and define external lists; perform more extensive page customizations; edit master pages; work with complex web parts; and add custom action buttons.

Another great way to further expand your code-free development options is to use third-party Web parts.  Some Web part products on the market today are specifically designed to help reproduce Notes-like functionality in SharePoint at a much lower cost than if you had to develop it yourself.

8. InfoPath List Forms: Form design is one of the most important parts of a Notes-to-SharePoint migration. InfoPath, of course, is Microsoft's primary solution for building data entry forms for complex business documents.  Microsoft InfoPath 2010 is designed for both advanced business users and developers, and there are great tools available for migrating Notes form designs to InfoPath templates, as well as Notes documents to InfoPath data documents.

With SharePoint 2007, InfoPath could only be used with form libraries and brought some unfortunate limitations, but SharePoint 2010 introduces InfoPath List Forms, a feature that allows you to use InfoPath forms as your editor for list items.  Now you get the best of both worlds - a lightweight method of storing documents with custom schema, and a great way to design custom forms for entering and displaying them.  

9. Declarative workflow: When we think of complex custom Notes applications, we think of workflow.  Notes workflows are almost always implemented as code attached to various buttons, form events, and agents.  By contrast, the Microsoft platform encourages the use of declarative workflows to express your application logic as a set of rules that even a nonprogrammer can enter, modify and understand.

Declarative workflow capabilities have improved significantly in SharePoint 2010, and include a much richer set of out-of-the-box workflows to use in your applications, depending on what edition of SharePoint you install, and which SharePoint template you're using. SharePoint Designer can address the majority of workflows in Notes applications without having to write code, eliminating the need to use Visual Studio.  


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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