Thursday, January 10, 2008

How to invite IntelliGantt users from a SharePoint web page

We're hearing more and more customers ask questions about how they may put IntelliGantt project files up on SharePoint so that everyone can work from the same copy. We're pleased to surprise them when we answer that IntelliGantt is already doing this for them.

The usage scenario is as follows:

A project manager publishes a project from MS Project or from IntelliGantt Plus to SharePoint. Let's take the simple project shown below:

After publishing, IntelliGantt fills out the task list so that the project on your desktop and the task list on your SharePoint server are in sync. But notice there has been an additional modification to the Shared Documents web part on the SharePoint site:

If we click on the 'TeamDirection' folder in the Shared Documents web part we see the following:

The folder with the long, ugly (but unique! :) name is where the shared copy of your IntelliGantt project data lives. IntelliGantt uses the files in this folder to merge and synchronize all your changes (and makes for a great backup-- a users machine might blow up, but all they'd need is to click on the invite file to catch to up where the group is).

It's the file with the box around it that we want. This is an invitation file. By default, it is the name of the project. However, notice the full URL at the bottom of the image? It ends with .tdiconnect. TDIConnect files are the invitation glue that allow multiple IntelliGantt users to work and collaborate together on the same project. It's also the same file that is attached to the emails sent to users inviting them to the workspace.

A user might navigate to this folder and click on the invite file. Or, the site admin might put a link to the invite file in the links web part like so:

This puts the invite file front and center on the SharePoint workspaces home page for easy access:

At this point, the project is shared via SharePoint and is represented in the SharePoint task list for any SharePoint user to view and update. And the invite file is also available for any IntelliGantt user to join the 'behind-the-scenes' project to see a rich desktop view. For example, here Julia has clicked on the invite file and has joined the project:

This situation is also ideal if the user is a member of the project, needs to take it offline and update outside the office, return to the office and synchronize changes. This means a project team can really be a mix of project managers, SharePoint only users and mobile IntelliGantt users in and out of the office.