Or at least it’s capabilities. For years I’ve struggled with, and invented,
and fudged, and jury-rigged, many ways to deal with and track project information.
We have a status report InfoPath form in a Sharepoint library, and each Monday I read
each project status for the week, and compile it to a separate spreadsheet
and status report. This week I gave in to my feeling that there must
be a better way, and spent a day digging into InfoPath, and how I could surface information
from the status in the library views. I ended up adding a couple of fields to
the form to allow us to group status in different way (there’s still not an easy way
in Sharepoint to filter documents in a relative date range, so I added a “WeekOf”
field), and then an internal type grouping field), and created views which allow me,
and everyone else at MDSN, to check current project status at a glance. It’s
so exactly what I need.
My mind has been spinning with possibility. I also created a form this week
for requesting new projects, and spent my Saturday morning tweaking it (adding validation, conditional
fields and the like). I had to be reminded at dinner tonight that not everyone
was interested (luckily my partner is, at least to a point) in the opportunities provided
by the InfoPath/Sharepoint combination. I can’t wait to finish up and roll out
the new form, and also I can’t wait to update the status report InfoPath form to use
a secondary data source, xml of course, to feed my drop-down lists. Woo hoo,
this standardization of project names will allow me to connect with other data
sources like bug stats, and give me a way to comapre the current lists of projects
with what’s in the library to make sure we’ve gotten status for each one.
It should also allow me to work towards a file name standardization by suggesting
a filename that combines project name and date for saving to the library.