SharePoint Branding and Customization

Often times a client interested in SharePoint wants to do something, sometimes small and sometimes drastic, to change the look of the out of the box SharePoint site. The basic branding changes include a few color palette changes and a logo placement. Eventually though, a client will want to alter some of the layout, remove a menu, or wish to lay out a page that just is not possible with the page layouts offered in SharePoint.

The first place to start branding your site can be with the SharePoint’s master page. SharePoint’s most recent version offers two out of the box master page layouts, named Oslo and Seattle. Seattle is the layout that most people who have used SharePoint are accustomed to, and Oslo utilizes a top line of navigation as opposed to a left menu that Seattle employs. These master pages can be customized to fit the branding requirements of the client as needed.

Web Parts are a fairly popular option for adding content to a SharePoint site. When creating a page in SharePoint, the user can opt for certain layout options that provide positions to place Web Parts. In some cases a client may find these layout options limited and unsuited for their needs. Custom page layouts can fill the void and provide these clients with the customization that meets their requirements.

Microsoft recently released the SharePoint color pallette tool which will provide an easier method for customizing all the colors involved in a SharePoint layout. Previously, a custom css stylesheet was the method for making site wide color changes, but utilizing SharePoint color pallettes make this job a whole lot easier. Stylesheets and css can still be used in certain cases to make precision like changes to a layout, along with some client side javascript or jquery.

A client may want to match their SharePoint environment to their external facing web site, or may just want to provide their users with a fresh look as opposed to the default SharePoint experience. In either case, there are plenty of avenues to make things look just right when it comes to a SharePoint site to change the generic out of the box look.

What is the most cost effective way to convert complex Lotus Notes databases?

Lotus Notes was a very effective tool for its time.   The platform allowed for the effective deployment of applications that could range in size – from simple expansions of existing database templates to highly customized and complex applications.

Converting mail files and templates has been done.     Many partners have developed advanced tools and techniques that makes performing a Lotus Notes migration a very painless process for the consumer.    But what do you do about the more complex applications?

The McKula Inc solution

Our methodology with complex Lotus Notes migrations is to take a very detailed and specific look at the application.   We do not rely on tools to attempt to estimate the application based upon forms, views, and agents.    We rely on our team and their experience to give you the best estimates for effort to convert your applications.     We perform a detailed assessment that includes interviews with the business users and a detailed analysis of the application by our own Lotus Notes developers.     Once we have completed our interviews and assessment, we will present you with a path to moving the application to a possible technology (such as SharePoint) along with an estimate of effort to do so.

When it comes to actual database conversion, we again rely on our experience working with both Lotus Notes and Microsoft technologies to build a new solution.     We are also available to assist with any data migration and constructing tools (if necessary) to assist you in moving your Lotus Notes data.    Our team has experience with common Lotus Notes data migration tools – including DocAve, Dell Migrator, and SWING.

Our strategy has been successful in converting complex Lotus Notes applications for many large, enterprise clients.     Contact us today if you have a challenging Lotus Notes migration on your schedule or would just like to ask some questions regarding a potential Lotus Notes migration opportunity.