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SharePoint Hybrid Solution: Extranet Synchronizes Content Between On Premise and Office 365 Cloud

Summary

Daley Mohan Groble is an established law firm based in Chicago, Illinois that provides a broad range of legal services for public and private clients in the transportation, energy, telecommunication, technology, real estate, construction and manufacturing industries.

DMC's consulting services team implemented a hybrid extranet solution to synchronize content between their on premise SharePoint site and their new Microsoft Office 365 (SharePoint Online) Extranet to provide their clients with easy access to matter documents. This type of implementation is often referred to as a "SharePoint Hybrid Solution". The project included the development of a custom web part that the legal firm can use to selectively synchronize document libraries down to the granularity level of individual folders.

Customer Benefits

  • Secure, encrypted, and convenient access for clients via the browser
  • Reduced time spent emailing documents to end clients
  • Reduced email account bloating by eliminating the need to send large file attachments to clients
  • No upfront investment in server infrastructure (Office 365 includes backup and recovery)
  • No ongoing IT staff costs to manage the Office 365 SharePoint Extranet infrastructure
  • Only minimal end user training required

Technologies

  • Office 365, SharePoint Online
  • SharePoint 2010
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft C# .NET

Solution

DMC worked with an established law firm based in Chicago, Illinois that wanted to share select documents from their SharePoint Document Management System with their clients, without spending a lot of time creating SharePoint sites and libraries with appropriate permission policies. Along with documents, the law firm also wanted to be able to share specific list items without sharing an entire list of items with their clients.

To address these needs, DMC implemented a solution that automatically synchronized selected files and list items with the legal firm's new Office 365 SharePoint Online Extranet.  This allowed clients to easily access the law firm's Office 365 SharePoint Extranet, while also providing the firm's staff with the ability to quickly provision appropriate client access rights to the corresponding client matter site.

DMC created a custom .NET application to synchronize selected Document Libraries and folders to an Office 365 SharePoint Online site. The custom application was capable of synchronizing all metadata attached to the documents and also performed differential checks to prevent unnecessary duplication operations and improve performance. The law firm wanted to be able to easily select entire Document Libraries to be synchronized and individual folders, so a custom web part was developed by DMC to enable users at the legal firm to quickly select as much or as little content as they needed to be synchronized.

The synchronization solution also required the on premise SharePoint site structure to be replicated on the Office 365 SharePoint Online Extranet whenever documents were synchronized. This feature was built directly into the custom .NET application so that the user would only have select library or folder and the corresponding structure containing the content would seamlessly be built around it.

Learn more about DMC's SharePoint consulting services.

Posted in C# .NET Application Development, Custom Applications, Custom Software and Hardware Development, Document Management, Microsoft Consulting Services, OCR Solution, Office 365, Office 365 Migration, PC Application Development, SharePoint, SharePoint / Office 365 Packaged Solutions, Team Collaboration

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