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18 January 2017

Auto-Creation Of SharePoint Project Site Collections

SharePoint icon The kalmstrom.com team has recently finished a custom SharePoint project that gave us good experience and a very flattering testimonial. I will describe it here, because I think that many more organizations would benefit from our solution for automated creation and configuration of site collections.

Randek is a Swedish company that delivers high performance woodworking machinery to house manufacturers all over the world. The company runs large and long projects for their customers, and they contacted kalmstrom.com to have assistance with their project management system.

Before they started to use our solution, Randek created a subsite for each project and configured it manually. This is of course a time-consuming method that is prone to errors, so they wanted our help to develop a solution that automates and improves the current system.

I will let Marcus Englund, Software Developer at Randek, explain the situation, so I quote from the testimonial you can find in full on the kalmstrom.com Services page:

Randek icon"The goal was to automate the creation of SharePoint project sites that will be used by Randek personnel as well as consultants and customers. The project sites act as a collaborative platform for our often long and work intensive projects."

After a workshop where we got to know Randek's situation and heard their requests and suggestions, we offered a solution that worked as the Randek people had intended, but with a few enhancements.

For example, it is easier and more user-friendly to enter information in a SharePoint list than at a script prompt, so we suggested that a SharePoint list should be used instead of a script. Then a script could get the parameters from that list.

"The project became both a development project as well as an education in SharePoint and project management."

Kanban TaskManager for SharePoint iconThe solution we offered, auto-creates a site collection for every new project entered in the SharePoint list. Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint is installed in a subsite to each site collection, so that the Randek staff can manage the tasks connected to the project in an efficient manner.

The configuration of these sites is of course also automatic and builds entirely on Randek's requests. When the solution came into place, Randek changed some of these requests to make the solution work better.

This is something we are used to in custom projects, because it is difficult for a customer to take everything into consideration from the beginning. Sometimes we can do such changes quickly, while other changes take more time.

"The kalmstrom.com team has given progress updates on almost a daily basis, and the collaboration has been excellent. As the project developed some issues occurred, and the flexibility of the kalmstrom.com team to adapt to new demands has been perfect. The final product is all that we asked for and more."

PowerShell iconChanging systems is never easy, but we included migration services in the offer: a manual/scripted migration of existing information from subsites to the new structure. For Randek this was a smooth operation, and they could quickly start working with the new system without any disturbances for their customers.

"We can, without hesitation, recommend Peter Kalmström and his team to anyone in need of SharePoint development, and although there is a significant distance between our companies we have, throughout the project, always felt as if the kalmstrom.com team has been very close through chat-sessions, Skype calls and emails."

The site creation application we created for Randek is automatic, correct and easy to use, and we are all happy that the customer is satisfied with it. We can also honestly return the praise and say that working with Marcus Englund and Randek was a positive experience not only from a development point of view. My colleagues and I also got to know some nice new people!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions