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I have a question about a project we are planning to develop.

I will start by describing the project and later I will expose the possible approaches I see to tackle this task. I hope you can give me your opinion on them.

There are 2 main parts:

First part:

In our organization we want to create a kind central access point where users will log in (just one time) and from there they will have links (depending on their roles) to the different services we provide.

Approach: We are using Active Directory to manage our users, so we thought to create this central access point with SharePoint Foundation. Do you think that it is a good approach?

Second part:

We have services as a SharePoint were users can share documents, and also other web apps. The idea is to integrate all that in to the previously described central access point.

So far, so good. Now we were asked to develop a new web application. This application will be also part of our services; therefore will be needed to integrate it in the central access point.

Description of the application: It will be an application were 3 different roles of people will fill some information (in an specific order, 1st role will fill in, then the 2nd role, and then the 3rd role). After each step of filling information the next person will be informed by email that his/her part is ready to be filled in. The information to be filled in is an evaluation of a product (just for your information).

The managers of the organization will also want to have a control panel were they can have some statistic over the use of the application. There they can see thing like pending evaluations, evaluation per year, per role, …

Approaches:

As you will see our main doubt are about using

SharePoint Site <--> ASP .NET Pages (C#)

Workflow (SharePoint Workflow or just Workflow Foundation) <--> Using some flags in the internal code to control the workflow

We were thinking to:

1- Giving the idea that we would like to use SharePoint for our “central access point”. We would create the app as a SharePoint web (Using SharePoint Designer 2010 if possible). And apply the SharePoint Workflow to the process.

2- Create an ASP.NET Site and export it as a web part that we can integrate as an application in SharePoint. Try to use somehow the SharePoint Workflow on that. (We actually don’t know well how to do it).

3- Create an ASP .NET Site and forget about the Workflow tools, as our workflow is quite small and sequential, and control all that in the code with some flag.

What do you think about our ideas at the moment? Would you propose us something different?

Thank you very much for your help

Our SharePoint is the free version SharePoint Foundation.

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1 Answer

Everything you've explained so far seems totally doable with Foundation, some custom lists, workflows and dataview/listview web parts.

The central access point can be the root of the web application and the second part could be a subsite within that or it's own site collection under that web application.

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Don't I need any External Content Type? to save all the evaluations in SQL. I'm really beginner in SharePoint. –  pepersview Jan 19 '12 at 13:01
    
You didn't mention anything about external systems in the requirements above. The SharePoint data is stored in a SQL database and there are API hooks to pull it out if you need it. There are also third party workflow tools that can write to external SQL server databases. –  PirateEric Jan 19 '12 at 13:15
    
So would you recommend me to use only SharePoint to store all the information? (Is it possible to save all the form fields from the evaluation?) I thought in SQL because I have never worked in SharePoint. –  pepersview Jan 19 '12 at 13:22
    
I can't make a real recommendation because I know very little about your organization and process, but from what you're describing, all of this could reside in SharePoint. The evaluations fields could be fields in a custom list or it could be a word template in a dicument library. SharePoint can definately fill the role here. –  PirateEric Jan 19 '12 at 13:27
    
Hi PirateEric, could I contact you?, it will not take too long. I would like to describe better the problem to you, given that at the moment I'm trying to configure a "Secure Store" to access to the external content types, and maybe I don't need that. –  pepersview Jan 19 '12 at 13:49
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