Recently we introduced the concept of the SharePoint Application Portal as a friendly, functional interface for users to engage with our SharePoint-integrated applications. In our initial blog article, we discussed the benefits of application portals for both users and admins; in a subsequent article, we went into more detail about how our application portals facilitate specific business processes for our customers.
By providing simple, attractive interfaces, application portals make it easy for end users to do the everyday tasks that are critical to running an organization — requesting support, approving purchase requests, onboarding new hires, gaining system access, acquiring new equipment, providing customer service, and so on. The portal provides the interface; the backend SharePoint/Office 365 application provides the power and capability to manage the request or activity.
SharePoint Application Portals: Different Than SharePoint Intranets
A SharePoint application portal is similar to a SharePoint intranet only in that they are both web-based interfaces that present information. The difference is that an intranet is oriented towards broad dissemination of news, events, videos, and other content, whether generated internally or aggregated from other sites. An application portal is focused on the particular activity of an application, using forms, lists, and graphical elements that facilitate interaction and engagement.
Though application portals and intranets have different functions, there can be some interactivity. An intranet can include a link to one or more application portals. The link can be a button, graphic, text – it really does not matter. The link launches the application portal, enabling the user to move from the broad intranet to the focused interface of the application.
Similarly, the application portal can have a link that sends the user to the intranet. Application portals often have a number of links to FAQs, Knowledge Bases, and other documentation that pertain to the application. A link to the company intranet can just as easily be included.
Another way intranets and application portals can interact is that some elements of the application portal, such as a “new request” form or a list of submitted requests, can appear in a section of the intranet. With that approach, the intranet has some capability to interact with the application, but in a much more limited way when compared to an application portal.
Driving User Adoption in SharePoint and Office 365
Whether an intranet is in place or not, our SharePoint and Office 365 applications are adaptable to the structure and culture of an organization. We can fit the application into whatever SharePoint or Office 365 arrangement is in place and modify the interface to be whatever serves the end users best.
Our goal, which corresponds to the first of our Three Pillars of Application Design, is to provide SharePoint and Office 365 applications that engage and empower users, thereby driving user adoption. The application portals are an important factor in achieving this goal, making everyone’s work easier and simpler with attractive, intuitive UI’s.
Crow Canyon Software delivers the power of a connected, digital workplace to your organization, helping you be more successful and competitive. We provide the tools that allow you to gain the maximum benefit from SharePoint and Office 365, Microsoft’s premier collaboration platforms.
Want to learn about how our business productivity applications for SharePoint and Office 365 can power up your organization? Give us a call at 1-925-478-3110 or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.