SharePoint MVP Explains How BPA Addresses Developers’ Needs

SharePoint MVP Explains How BPA Addresses Developers’ Needs

SharePoint MVP & Independent Consultant, Mohammed A. Saleh

Mohammed A. Saleh, SharePoint MVP & Independent Consultant

“I found BPA website at the beginning by chance, I was searching the web for a complete SharePoint-Based framework, where I can build a business/data-driven solution quickly in a productive way. I tried most of them (I tried 12 vendors’ products) and honestly I wasn’t impressed or convinced. It felt that these vendor web parts are not tight together perfectly and don’t share the same user experience. BPA web parts gave me the feeling that they are loosely coupled but coherent and works perfectly together and this is what I was looking for, where other vendors provide very useful web parts, but something is missing when it comes to the idea of building a business solution (Data-Driven Apps) like a Lego on top of SharePoint and keeping the user experience persistent. They miss this attractive aspect of unified UX”, said Mr. Mohamed Saleh, SharePoint MVP & Independent Consultant.

“I don’t really know how the product management process works internally at BPA, but that’s a great job! The problems that are addressed by the web parts bundle are very common between developers and SharePoint projects, and many of the technical guys don’t even realize or have the ability to describe the problem properly (something that BPA did perfectly)! Especially how the web parts are understanding and dealing with the many-to-many relations model”.

“One of the toughest challenges in building a data-centric line of business application on top of SharePoint is the user experience of many-to-many data relational model. BPA product engineering team tackled this challenge perfectly, all the relational data (where they reside into different custom lists) can be manipulated centrally from a single data entry screen, where the end user can view and edit the main data and all its related data without confusing the end user by navigate between different screens. This can be achieved by using different BPA web parts (BPA Data Viewer & SharePoint User Interface solves that) and by grouping and categorizing the related data into Tabs in the same screen. One of the coolest features is the ability to display custom buttons/actions that is related to the data context operations. They even took care of the button’s icons in a very sophisticated way using a custom Icon picker that understands the images as a map of Icons”.

“I’ve been there for years, I was solving these problems by writing a lot of event receivers and nasty custom SharePoint fields code, and it was messy (BPA custom fields and field replication solve that), then I have to use 3rd party tool to develop custom forms or InfoPath that isn’t sharing the same UX of whole solution (BPA User Interface & Data Viewer/BPA Tabs/BPA SharePoint Forms solve that). Then I have to use an open source SP Calendar (BPA Calendar solves that) or a 3rd party one with limitations, then I have to use SharePoint designer workflows to do the document generation/automation (BPA Mail Merge solves that) and when it comes to navigation we usually use JavaScript/JQuery menus and it’s not a pleasant experience at all (BPA Navigation solve that). When it comes to data importing, we usually do it manually using scripts and copy paste (BPA Import solves that) and I have built something similar to BPA Query, but honestly, BPA Query is greater and easier to use than what I already built. Something that end users can learn and use easily, I cannot even compare! I can go on and on regarding other web part, especially the integration connectors, search, and permissions. Regarding Mobile, I didn’t try the BPA Mobile App yet, but am pretty confident that its perfect considering the quality of other BPA products and the screenshots I saw. When I saw the BPA web parts bundle information over the website first, my first reaction was like THIS IS WHAT I REALLY LOOKING FOR!”

Mr. Mohamed Saleh
SharePoint MVP & Independent Consultant

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