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I've been working on a project for around 3 weeks in Sharepoint, and made no progress at all. It is my first experience with Sharepoint, so everything I know about it I've learned in the past 3 weeks. My supervisor basically said take this Sharepoint site and make it work this way. Problem is I'm now starting to think Sharepoint isn't a good platform to accomplish what she's trying to accomplish, especially considering the extra restrictions they have given me. I cannot use a provider hosted Sharepoint add-in, and I cannot connect to databases via external content types.

What she wants is basically this:

An internal learning website to be used by employees. Various features are needing to be implemented in this site, such as...

  1. A calendar that, when a user logs in, is filled with courses that the user is currently signed up for. The information is contained within a SQL database we keep on-prem (The server itself is hosted by microsoft).

  2. Tells students their progress towards completing "tracks", which are sets of courses. (Uses same SQL server).

  3. Which classes they need to take in the future.

  4. Gives badges/points for completing courses and keeps track of those, displaying them.

etc...

My supervisor is having me use Sharepoint because it's what the previous site was on, and it's what our company uses a lot of the time. I started looking around online and from what I've read Sharepoint seems to get really dicey if you try to extend beyond it's out of the box functionality too much. Is Sharepoint a viable platform for this type of website?.. I'm starting to think not.

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1. A calendar that, when a user logs in, is filled with courses that the user is currently signed up for. The information is contained within a SQL database we keep on-prem (The server itself is hosted by Microsoft).

You can create a job that will be pushing items from your SQL to SharePoint (you can use Client Object Model or rest object model https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj164022.aspx and https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/fp179912.aspx) Then create a list view that will display only items for the user, when creating the list view select display items @ME

2. Tells students their progress towards completing "tracks", which are sets of courses. (Uses same SQL server).

The same job will need to have some logic to find the task associated with the users and give them the correct completing percentage (look on client object model or rest model how to look for an item and update it)

3. Which classes they need to take in the future.

This same classes can be in the same calendar, just create another view which will have 2 filters, one for @Me and another for classes that haven't been taken yet.

4. Gives badges/points for completing courses and keeps track of those, displaying them.

As for the badges, I dunno where do you want to display them. Maybe you want to create a new property in the user profile which will be called badges and update that field on the profile, then update the profile page to display the earned badged.

Hope this works!

  • Thank you for the helpful response. What exactly do you mean when you say "create a job"? A Sharepoint workflow? – YungGun Jan 31 '17 at 14:44
  • This "job" could be hosted outside of SharePoint. A SharePoint workflow hosted by Microsoft is not likely to have access to your on premises database. – Alexey Krasheninnikov Feb 1 '17 at 16:50
  • A custom job that can run as a windows service. Or a SQL job using integration services – Lugube Mar 16 '17 at 20:49

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