Viewing SharePoint Sites on an iPad


Why would you want to use a mobile-specific application to access a SharePoint site instead of your mobile browser? If you want to browse document libraries and SharePoint lists, the native mobile list views are perfect methods of displaying list data. Many of the mobile applications currently released allow you to go straight to the lists and skip the visuals. After all, mobile devices are made for quick access and shorter sessions.SharePlus Lite

I have been playing with an iOS application called SharePlus Lite by Infragistics. This is a free application that provides read-only access to your SharePoint site. There are Pro and Enterprise versions that greatly expand the feature set including offline access to files, editing of documents and check-in/out of list items. This is just one of several applications available in the Apple App Store that supports SharePoint.

SharePlus supports several ways to provide authentication for your site. Options include Windows-Based, Form-Based and Office 365. You can add as many sites as you would like for quick and easy access.

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Once logged in, you will be presented with the structure of your SharePoint site. This includes subsites, lists and libraries. You use the navigator pane to find the list or library you wish to view.

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After selecting your list or library, you are presented with a list of the SharePoint items. There are some basic icon indicators that tell you the type of list item and the checked in/out status. In the screenshot below, we have a document library of documents - all text files. You can also change the way that this information is presented.

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You have full access to any custom views for the list or library. You cannot edit them directly through this application.

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For customization of the current view on the mobile device or filtering, you can access the Settings button and you are given an interface to build your filters.

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Finally, to view the properties of a selected list item, you tap on the row and the following view is presented:

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From here you can tap on the icon to view the document. This uses the built-in viewers of iOS that include text files, pdf, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also supports the opening of the documents in other iOS applications you may have installed on your device.

For the quick ability to access and view documents while you are away from your desktop computer, SharePlus Lite does an admirable job. It is easy to use and responsive, and the filtering options are very flexible. I find I prefer to read documents away from a desk, but perhaps that's because I spend most of my work day in front of multiple monitors. I hope to look at the Pro version of this application in the near future and experience the ability to edit documents in document libraries.


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