Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for WebSphere Portal | FAQ
- What is Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for WebSphere Portal?
- Can I still continue to manage my SharePoint sites directly while the content is also federated onto WebSphere Portal?
- When would I want to use Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator to give WebSphere Portal users access to the SharePoint data, instead of giving them direct access to the SharePoint site?
- What type of SharePoint contents can be integrated into WebSphere Portal?
- What are the authentication and single sign-on (SSO) options provided with Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator?
- How does Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator work?
- Do I need to install special extensions on WebSphere Portal?
- Do I need to install special extensions on the SharePoint side?
- What are the system requirements for the SharePoint Integrator portlets?
- Do I need to develop code in order to get Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator to run?
- What types of customization can I do using the SharePoint Integrator SDK?
- What are the main components in the SharePoint Integrator SDK?
- What are system requirements for the SharePoint Integrator SDK?
Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for WebSphere Portal
Mainsoft's SharePoint Integrator enables you to integrate contents stored on Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Servers (MOSS) into WebSphere Portal. Use the SharePoint Integrator when you want to:
- Give WebSphere Portal users personalized, role-based access to SharePoint contents.
- Integrate these contents into enterprise portal composite applications.
Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator features ready-to-use portlets (available in source form) and an ASP.NET control toolkit. To demo the federation capabilities, download the SharePoint portlets or contact email@example.com to evaluate the SharePoint Integrator SDK.
Yes. In fact, preserving your ability to maintain full, direct control over your SharePoint site is one of the main differences between Mainsoft's federation solution and a migration solution. While corporate portal users gain role-based, secure access to the SharePoint contents through the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets, content owners continue to manage the SharePoint site using the SharePoint interfaces. Likewise, team members can continue to collaborate on a project using the SharePoint Web interface to the SharePoint site.
If you need to expose your existing SharePoint sites to audiences inside and outside the organization, you can scale up quickly, and integrate SharePoint contents in portal composite applications and a service oriented architecture, by federating SharePoint data into WebSphere Portal.
You can also extend role-based access, aggregation, personalization, and branding values from WebSphere Portal to your SharePoint contents.
Read more about the value of federating SharePoint sites within WebSphere Portal in this white paper.
You can integrate SharePoint document libraries, announcements, events, contacts, tasks, and customized SharePoint lists using the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator.
You cannot integrate SharePoint Web Parts using the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator. However, you can use Mainsoft, Portal Edition, to integrate Web Parts into WebSphere Portal, provided you have access to the source code.
Using Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets, you can choose among several authentication schemes to deliver SSO to enterprise portal users.
- You can configure your portlets to leverage your trusted environment, provided you have an existing SSO authentication system based on Kerberos or other SSO infrastructures, and both your WebSphere Portal and your SharePoint servers are trusted entities.
- You can build centralized, enterprise access to your SharePoint site. In this case, the authentication is performed by WebSphere Portal. Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets use shared credentials that are safely stored in a WebSphere Portal Credential Vault slot, and they are configured by the portal administrator. This scheme is particularly useful when you want to expose a departmental SharePoint site to a broader audience of corporate users.
- In organizations with dual user directories, one for WebSphere Portal and one for SharePoint, you can deliver an SSO experience in which enterprise users configure their SharePoint credentials the first time they access the SharePoint site using the 'Edit' portlet mode. Credentials are safely stored in WebSphere Portal Credential Vault slot and are retrieved by the portlets on all future visits. This way, end users do not need to re-enter their credentials every time the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets access the SharePoint site.
In all three cases, you can use the Integrator SDK, which includes a SaveCredentials ASP.NET control, to build personalization and configuration forms to capture the SharePoint credentials and store them in WebSphere Portal Credential Vault slots.
Read more about single sign-on in mixed environments in this white paper.
Mainsoft built the SharePoint Integrator portlets using the SharePointDataSource control, which leverages the SharePoint Web Services to fetch SharePoint contents for a specific site. The SharePoint site is acting as a back-end data store, providing document libraries and list data, while the portlets act as the front-end, delivering a secured and personalized user interface.
No, Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets are pure Java portlets (JSR 168), which you can deploy via the standard WebSphere Portal administration portlets. When you use the SDK to build custom portlets or enterprise composite applications, you may want to optimize your deployment by deploying the Mainsoft Java runtime libraries into the portal server shared classpath.
No, Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets and the SharePointDataSource control connect to SharePoint sites through standard SharePoint Web Services. You just need to ensure the SharePoint Web services are accessible.
Currently, to deploy Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets, the following is required:
- WebSphere Portal Version 6.1, 6.0, or 5.1
- Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) version 2 or 3, or SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2003 or 2007
No. For basic integration needs, you can just use Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets: the SharePoint List Viewer and the SharePoint Item Viewer portlets.
The List Viewer portlet provides a rich configuration form, which enables a portal administrator to configure the SharePoint site, the authentication schema, SharePoint lists and list columns, sorting and filtering, and the portlet appearance, without having to write code.
The Item Viewer portlet can be wired to the List Viewer portlet to receive selected item data using inter-portlet communications.
Building custom portlets, and creating composite applications that integrate the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets with your enterprise portlets, require coding using the Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator SDK.
Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator SDK provides the source code for Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator portlets. Modify the source code in order to build custom integration points for your enterprise portal composite applications.
You can also use Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator controls, including the SharePointDataSource and the SaveCredential controls, to create custom ASP.NET portlets that integrate enterprise business logic with a custom user interface.
Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator SDK is a plug-in to the Visual Studio IDE that provides ASP.NET controls and class libraries you can use to build custom portlets and composite applications for WebSphere Portal.
The main control is the SharePointDataSource control, which follows the ASP.NET 2.0 declarative model for data access like the SQLDataSource control or the ObjectDataSource control.
The SharePointDataSource can be dragged and dropped to an ASPX designer and then assigned to any ASP.NET data-bound UI control such as GridView, DataList, or TreeControl to display SharePoint data in WebSphere Portal. The SharePointDataSource control provides a rich designer wizard, which takes you through the configuration steps, including connecting to the SharePoint site, selecting lists, selecting fields, conducting items filtering, sorting, and grouping.
Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator SDK also provides the SaveCredentials control, which enables you to build ASP.NET portal Forms that capture SharePoint credentials and store them in the WebSphere Portal Credential Vault slot. Using the SaveCredentials control, you can provide a single sign-on experience for enterprise portal users viewing SharePoint contents.
The SDK also includes the Mainsoft.SharePoint class library that provides access to SharePoint Web Services through a secured connection, which can be based on the WebSphere Portal credential vault.
Currently, to install Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator SDK, the following is required:
- Visual Studio 2005 SP1 or later
- WebSphere Portal Version 6.1, 6.0, or 5.1
- Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) Version 2 or 3, or SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2003 or 2007
Check the Mainsoft, Portal Edition release notes for more details.