10 Ways SharePoint 2010 Will Affect Your Notes Migration - Slide 11

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Notes had a lot of capabilities for connecting to external systems like relational databases and enterprise applications such as SAP and PeopleSoft. As a result, some Notes applications that will be replaced don’t really have much content of their own — they are just front ends for some back-end system.

SharePoint 2007 has a somewhat limited facility for connecting to external data: the Business Data Catalog. In SharePoint 2010, this is replaced by a much more powerful feature called Business Connectivity Services (BCS). You can use this new facility to search, read and write content in your back-end systems. BCS introduces External Content Types, which are basically definitions of where your external data lives and how to read and write entities in your back-end data source.

This feature gets really powerful when you expose this content as an External List. An External List looks and feels like a native SharePoint list, and you can easily include it as part of any SharePoint page. You can design views, display the content in custom Web parts, and even build custom InfoPath forms for displaying and editing data. It really is that simple.

Over the past five years, many organizations have decided to abandon their legacy Lotus Notes/Domino environments and transition to a platform based on Microsoft collaboration technologies (Exchange Server, SharePoint and Office). Many of these organizations, though, have hesitated in tackling the most difficult part of this transition: migrating their applications from Notes to SharePoint. Some hesitate due to concerns about the cost of rebuilding their applications on SharePoint, while others worry whether SharePoint has all the capabilities that their applications would need.

Quest Software contends that the release of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 has changed the situation dramatically, for two reasons. First, Microsoft added a great deal of functionality that directly targets the needs of enterprises migrating from Lotus Notes. Second, Microsoft significantly improved the tools for developing custom applications in SharePoint, thus reducing the time and cost required to rebuild applications.

This slideshow highlights 10 aspects of SharePoint 2010 identified by Quest Software that will change the game for enterprises of all sizes who want to use SharePoint to replace or enhance their Notes environments. The first six items are major platform and functionality improvements that Notes people should especially appreciate and that will change their thinking about how applications might be rebuilt. The last four items address improvements of particular interest to developers who want to rebuild the functionality of their Notes applications on SharePoint.

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