When you think about SharePoint development the first thing that probably doesn’t come to mind is, “Wow! Building our custom-branded experience on this platform could NOT be easier!”
The reality is that SharePoint IS a great platform. Combine it with Office 365 and you have arguably the best digital workplace cloud platform on the planet. However, in a lot of cases companies stand up the out-of-box version of SharePoint with some minor color palette changes. Ultimately this doesn’t deliver on the organization’s brand guidelines—all it does deliver is a lackluster user experience for employees. The reason? Frankly, it’s just a lot of work using traditional SharePoint development means.
Another approach? Use Akumina! Akumina is a lightweight development and user experience framework that fits within your existing SharePoint on-premise or SharePoint online architecture. With Akumina’s widget technology you can quickly deploy page components with tight control over the page output. As a result you can build beautiful user experiences in a fraction of the time. This is done through Akumina’s concept of a “view” which is an HTML file that includes Handlebars JS syntax to build semantic templates.
In a moment, I’ll provide some clarity on what exactly I’m talking about. But first, a little background on Akumina widgets…
An Akumina widget is a client-side component that provides a building block of functionality that can be deployed within the SharePoint runtime. The scope of what a widget could be is quite vast—anything from a widget that pulls SharePoint list data onto a page to a widget that pulls in tasks from a variety of sub-applications like Workday or ServiceNow. The anatomy of a widget is as follows:
Furthermore, since the view file’s anatomy is raw HTML, you can leverage standard front-end development frameworks like Bootstrap to roll out a fully responsive set of components with ease. Each widget instance can have multiple views, allowing the site manager to quickly switch between several renditions of the same data set. New to handlebars? No problem, let’s look at a sample:
Notes from above view file
Global organizations will especially benefit from the resource files in Akumina’s view technology. Akumina stores a set of values in a JSON file that can be referenced within a view. Each language the site supports would have its own resource file.
When would you use these? Well let’s say you have a label or button in your view. You don’t want to hard-code the value of those elements because you’d then have to create the same view for every language you are supporting—THAT would be a major headache. Instead, you can reference a token value that refers to the resource file mentioned. Here’s an example:
Hopefully this helps outline how much control you have over the end markup that shows up on your page with Akumina. With the Akumina platform organizations bring their creative designs to life, crafting compelling user experiences that employees can consume and take advantage of.