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New View of SharePoint

Document imaging company Atalasoft released version 7.0 of its flagship toolkit DotImage for .NET in January. Last week, the company launched a SharePoint plug-in based on the new functionality in the latest SDK.

Atalasoft used DotImage v7.0 and Visual Studio 2008 to build a document viewing app called Vizit SP on top of SharePoint. Vizit SP enables SharePoint users to annotate documents (PDF, TIFF, .DOC), quickly view thumbnails, and index and clean up document images.

SharePoint lends itself to document imaging in part because it's a server-side platform that enables DotImage's "zero footprint" viewer for multiple formats, said Lou Franco, Atalasoft's director of engineering. Franco offers his "top considerations for document imaging in SharePoint" in his blog.

"What Microsoft did with SharePoint is make it possible for any ASP.NET developer to extend SharePoint by providing a very clear-cut API for how to develop pages and content in ASP.NET," Franco said. "So SharePoint in a lot of ways is an extension of the ASP.NET model and it fully supports Web controls that support that."

He added, "There are definitely gotchas" especially around deployment. "How you actually get your finished product into every SharePoint smoothly is definitely the most interesting concern for people."

Still largely a departmental play in many organizations, according to analysts, SharePoint remains a hot button among developers and IT. The server OS, lack of developer tools and guidance on things like SDL processes from Microsoft are among the complaints.

Editor in Chief Michael Desmond looks at SharePoint as a development platform in the March issue of Visual Studio Magazine. Is Microsoft finally providing the necessary tools and guidance? We want to hear from you. Express what rocks about SharePoint as a development platform and your pain points at [email protected].

Posted by Kathleen Richards on 02/12/2009


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