After a long period of research and development, this week, Hans announced the official launch (really worth a read) of our first ever hosted solution, TunnelPoint. We are pretty excited about it.
So what is it? Well, if I were to summarise for an audience like the one that reads this blog, then I would say that its the BDC for SharePoint in the Cloud.
What does that mean? Well, it means that through the TunnelPoint service you can connect internet based Web Services to SharePoint lists. For example, you can connect a Stock Quote service to a list that stores stock tickers, and automatically have the price updated for you, on a schedule. We have SMS, Stock Quotes, Twitter, Currency, Driving Directions, ShortURLs, and more, with more coming!
Its been designed with simplicity in mind (though we know we have a way to go) with the whole process taking less than 5 clicks. You tell us about your site (must be internet accessible, for example Microsoft Online (BPOS) sites), you select which service you want, TunnelPoint will configure the site with the necessary list and columns, and then after saving, do all rest for you!
Here’s a screenshot of a TunnelPoint enabled site, you can take a look yourself here: http://demo.zevenseas.com/sites/tunnelpoint/stockquote/default.aspx
I have highlighted the bits that TunnelPoint is busily updating for us (note the modified date), but what we also show is other functionality built on this Live update. For example a Twitter message if the price drops too far (could also be an SMS).
All this is built on a platform (we are calling SP-RIF, SharePoint Remote Integration Framework) designed to make really creative use of the power of SharePoint web services. Its incredible just how much you can achieve without having to go anywhere near the server.
Anyway, we are really keen to get feedback.
Head over and Try TunnelPoint.
The service is in Beta, and I mean REALLY beta (not as in Gmail beta). So please have a play, and let us know what you think! I’m always here: email@example.com