Lialis SharePoint Teamroom

Advanced Document Team Collaboration in Microsoft SharePoint

The Lialis Teamroom is a document Team collaboration tool for Microsoft SharePoint.

This solution is based on our vast experience with IBM Notes Teamrooms that offer great features such as one consolidated view with Rich Text; Files and a Response Structure.

We developed the Lialis SharePoint Teamroom to offer companies a great alternative in SharePoint with even enhanced teams collaboration features.

Enhancing your SharePoint Document Library

The SharePoint Document Library is a handy tool to collaborate, store and share attachment files since it is a Document Management System.

We enhanced the default Document Library capabilities with business teams collaboration features that end users love. Combining the best of both the IBM Teamroom and the SharePoint world in 1 tool. An example is a combination of SharePoint’s advanced file versioning and sharing functions with IBM’s response structure.

Main topic and response items

A big differentiator of the Lialis SharePoint Teamroom is that it allows the end user to create a main topic as starting point. Subsequently, users can create response items to this main topic. As a result, users can create an endless parent and child content response structure  or, in other words, a kind of chapter and sub chapter structure.

An example of such a structure is a ‘Project Teamroom’ with the main topic that describes the project goals and a response item that contains the project sub task. A response document can have its own response items as well. For example to show each sub task’s outcome and deliverables.

In the picture below you see a display of the response tree in the right panel. This tree is relative to the parent document in the left panel.

Home Page to view and create main topics

The Teamroom has a very user-friendly Home Page that lists all main topics and a prominent button to create new main topics. To browse the response structure a user clicks on the main topic.

Consolidated View with all form information

The SharePoint Teamroom provides users a consolidated overview of all information on one page. For instance, subject, category drop down, files, workflow and item permissions. As a result, users do not have to search for these important details in the ribbon for example. There is no big functional difference between the response and main topic forms as you can see below.

View and edit attachments

All attachments are listed under the ‘Attachment Tab’ at the bottom of the screen, both for the main topic as well as for the response item. The user can easily drag and drop files into this section or add them via the ‘add’ button.

To have a quick preview of the content in the right panel, simply select the document.

Moreover, to edit the file, simply click the file name and it will open in another browser tab for editing.

User Friendly Rich Text field

The main topic and the response items all hold a user friendly Rich Text Field that allows users to paste images and write Rich Text. This is much easier compared to creating the same content in a Word document and adding the file to the item.

Privacy setting

Another important feature is that users can label the main topic, the responses and all files as ‘Private’ and assign specific persons who can read the content. If you do this, automatically all other persons who do have access to the specific SharePoint Site will not be able to view this particular item. This function is useful to limit access to a certain confidential document such as senstitive pricing information.

Review approval workflow

As in any document Microsoft collaboration software environment approval workflows are essential. The SharePoint Teamroom offers a built-in review workflow that allows the author of a document to select a reviewer in a main topic and submit it as you can see in the green highlighted boxes below.

After saving the item the author can submit the topic for review.

After that the review status column of the newly created item will change to ‘Pending’.

The workflow automatically sends out an email to the reviewer with the request to review the topic. The email contains a link to the workflow task.

After clicking the link in the e-mail the reviewer is directed to the specific area where he/she item can review the item. The workflow task displays the topic approval options on the left side and the topic content (in Edit mode) on the right side.

Finally, once the reviewer approves the topic topic, the review status column changes to ‘Approved’.

The Teamroom topic holds a workflow history page where all approvals and rejections are visible.

In the above example there are 4 review requests. The reviewer can view each request by clicking on the link. For example:

The technology behind the SharePoint Teamroom

For the development of this Teamroom functionality in SharePoint Online we used the Shareflex business application platform (‘Shareflex’). The result is a 100% SharePoint solution that can run on your own Microsoft tenant.

So where do we store all elements in SharePoint?

  1. The main topics are stored in a SharePoint List named “Discussions”.
  2. All responses are stored in a dedicated SharePoint List named “Responses”.
  3. Finally, the files are stored in a SharePoint Library which is responsible for SharePoint’s extensive document features like versioning, online editing and much more.

Shareflex allows us to enrich native SharePoint with those collaboration processes that users need.

Conclusion

The Lialis SharePoint Teamroom offers your end users a great tool to cooperate in documents. Using the Shareflex business development platform we are able to combine the best features of SharePoint and IBM Teamrooms and deliver a 100% SharePoint-based document collaboration tool. So, is SharePoint a strategic solution in your organization? Are looking for ways to improve document collaboration processes and productivity? Then don’t hesitate to hit the contact button so we can give you a personal demonstration.