Over the last 5 years, organizations have started to realize the benefits of delivering business value from applications that are built for and run on application platforms. Many such platforms are Software as a Service (“Saas”) platforms, such as Force.com on top of Salesforce. They enable organizations to build and deploy any number of business applications on top of a single managed service platform, with no custom compiled code to install and manage. This propels business innovation and eliminates the burden of business innovation on IT. It is a virtuous cycle.
The SharePoint ecosystem has operated in this model for most of its life time. SharePoint is the core platform infrastructure. People can build applications on top through custom development. However, a classic custom development approach is very costly and risky. It also inhibits the ability to manage SharePoint as a shared service. The more effective approach is to leverage an application platform that runs on Microsoft SharePoint.
The leading application platform for SharePoint is HumanTouch CorasWorks. The CorasWorks platform was first launched in 2003 and has been upgraded and enhanced through the releases of SharePoint 2003, 2007, 2010 and now 2013. It is now in version 11 and has become an industry standard with more than 1,000 customers and 1 million business users. It is used across a broad set of industries, and, has a large presence in the Federal Government and Federal Government Contractors.
The CorasWorks application platform provides a layer of software that enables developers to create business applications without writing custom compiled code. This layer of abstraction from the underlying SharePoint services means that applications are portable and re-purposeable for different uses or for different customers. It also means that the user experience can be controlled so that users are only able to see, contribute and do what the application allows them to do. It is unusually flexible and powerful and provides a model-driven framework that drives consistency across applications. Further, it comes with end-user oriented wizards and tools to make it easy for power users to modify and even enhance the applications.
R3 Business Solutions has adopted the CorasWorks application platform to use to create its business solutions. It is a key part of our Open Application Platform approach. This enables us to:
- Focus our efforts on the richness of our off-the-shelf business solutions
- Provide business-critical applications that remove users’ direct access to SharePoint data
- Focus efforts and talent on our customer rollout success
- Provide off-the-shelf solutions at low cost and risk compared with competitive proprietary products
- Rapidly innovate and bring new solutions created by us or like-minded partners to our customers
- Provide solutions that are unusually flexible, empowering customers to customize, enhance, and extend them on their own
- Provide customers with multiple purpose-built solutions that natively work together
- Enable us to better support our solutions and the changes made by our customers or others over time
- Integrate our solutions with external systems and applications
- Enable our customers to leverage their platform investments to reduce the total cost and risk
- Enable our customers to reduce their need for legacy, proprietary systems and expensive custom development projects