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Updated by Mark Jones on Feb 01, 2021
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Mark Jones Mark Jones
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Tools and Services to help run a SharePoint software company

This is a list of all the tools we use to help us at Collaboris.

Source: http://www.collaboris.com/blogs/collaboris-blog/mark-jones/2013/01/27/25-tools-and-services-to-use-in-a-sharepoint-software-company

DocRead for SharePoint

Yes - we "dog food"! There are certain individuals at Collaboris (mentioning no names) who don't always read their e-mail. DocRead allows us to send out really important docs to each other and make sure we read it! Things like contracts, NDA's and release notes that MUST be read are all sent with our own product! Using DocRead at Collaboris also allows us to test it and get a really good feel for what it's like to use as end-user.

AnalyticsPro for iPad (and Iphone)

This is my favourite way of seeing google analytics. I used it when I had an IPhone and still today on the IPad. Simple and effective.

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Trello

Trello

Trello is a web based list management service. We use Trello to manage many things such as company-wide tasks, new blogging / marketing ideas and also to manage the feature backlog for DocRead. Trello has an purpose built Apps for Windows 8, Android and very soon for the IPAD.

Sitefinity

SiteFinity had it's problems when v4.0 was first released, but it's now grown into a very stable and very sweet CMS. We use SiteFinity to host our company web site, blog, news, RSS and SharePoint Community Newsletter. My personal favourite feature is the page layout designer as it can all be done using the Web UI with drag and drop. There's almost no reason to write any code with SiteFinity, but if you want to then it's good old ASP.Net.

Office 365

We manage all of our company documentation in Office 365. This includes invoices, technical docs, customer docs, sales docs and so on. We also make use of Harmon.ie to integrate with e-mail and the SharePoint Workspace to manage off-line docs. However, most "todo lists" are managed in Trello due to its simplicity and speed.

Highrise

This a great starter CRM that manages the entire relationship with the customer. All you need to do is BCC or forward an e-mail to Highrise and it will log it against the correct customer. It does lack a good dashboard and advanced reporting, so we also maintain our own bespoke solution for this.

Zendesk

Zendesk is a pretty nice and easy to use support ticketing system. Allows customers to raise tickets and allows our support engineers to manage those tickets. We also store all of our knowledge base articles with Zendesk.

LinkedIn

Need I introduce LinkedIn ? We use it to communicate with SharePoint people. (We manage the SharePoint Community Group). We also have a company page on LinkedIn which provides more visibility for our company. Obviously, one of it's biggest benefits is to be able to socially connect with existing and potential customers.

SEO Moz

SEOMoz crawls you site regularly and provides reports (with grades). It's a great way of keeping on top of your target keywords and also has a way to compare other sites against yours.

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Listly

Listly

We use list.ly to share lists with the world. It's a great way to get feedback and a great way to support blog post writing that allows the community to vote.

CloudShare

CloudShare allow you to host your own development and test rigs in the Cloud. We have a few environments which we use for testing at Cloudshare. We still develop on local Virtual Machines as we aren't always guaranteed to have an fast network connection.

PartnerPulse

We are also listed on PartnerPulse which is a new directory for Microsoft Partners. PartnerPulse is an alternative to MS Pinpoint and also generates more traffic MS Pinpoint. I know the guys that run it and I know where they want to take it, so to be a part of it now could bring benefits!

HootSuite

Allows you to manage many social accounts from one application in a web browser. You can see all posts in swim lanes and post updates to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter all at the same time. It's also possible to schedule updates should you need to communicate with folks in a different Timezone.

Team Foundation Server

We manage and host our own TFS server which stores all of our source code. TFS also manages our build and deployment process. We have adopted Continuous Integration for a few years and always build and package on checkin. We also use TFS to manage defects (bugs).

SharePoint Web Parts | Pentalogic

Web Parts for Microsoft SharePoint. Analysis, planning, formatting and alert web parts designed to improve user adoption of your SharePoint site.

ReSharper

Massively speeds up development in Visual Studio, our developers love it. Big time saver. The Refactoring features in Resharper make this a must have.

Harmon.ie

We use Harmon.ie with Outlook to automatically post email and attachments to document libraries within Office 365. Quite a time saver.

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Ahrefs

Ahrefs

This is a massive links database that is refreshed quickly. It allows you to analyze who is linking to you overtime. Quite important stuff when you get up to speed with SEO techniques.

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DISQUS

DISQUS

Disqus is a great commenting system for your blogs. Can easily be added to your blog by copying some javascript, works with Facebook, Twitter accounts, so gives comments a far greater reach. Good moderation features to.

GotoMeeting

We tried many web conferencing products (and have also used those of our customers). This is the best. It's always quick, has good features and never freezes. We have also used GotoWebinar which is just as good - but with a little more power. GotoMeeting also allows you to carry out support with customers by remote controlling their environments.

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Dropbox

Dropbox

Dropbox allows us to share files quickly. One of our major uses is within the build process. When we check code it, that gets built and packaged by TFS. Once this is done, the MSI's are copied to a drop box folder and then sent to everyone's machine. This means that everyone always has the latest build sent to their PC without having to lift a finger.

Balsamiq

Balsamiq mockups is very easy to use. In just a few minutes you can create and share a new wireframe of your latest feature.

Selenium

Selenium allows you to script and replay a real user using a browser. This means that you can automate a LOT of your testing needs. We use it to help us test our products. Also works with Cloudshare enviroments.

ShareTest

This is a light-weight, open source, testing framework we have written to make automating testing in SharePoint easier. This framework allows you carry out common features in SharePoint. However, we need more coverage so would love to work with others to make it much more comprehensive.

Analytix for Google Analytics on Android

I am an analytics junky. We use Google analytics to track usage, but it isn't the best to use on a mobile, or IPAD. This little app works wonderfully well on my Samsung S3 and even comes with Gadgets (of which I have 2 screens dedicated).

  • I have spent many many hours working as a SharePoint Developer Architect and Consultant for lots of organisations in the UK such as the NHS, Tarmac, O2, Lloyds of London, Lloyds TSB, BT etc.

    More recently, I spend all my time either marketing or developing DocRead for SharePoint. Strange mix I know, but I still love to develop so I always make sure I keep my hand in.

    When I am not telling the world about DocRead, I am very active in the SharePoint community and am one of the co-founders of the SharePoint-Community.net. I also moderate the 2nd largest SharePoint group on LinkedIn.

  • Tools