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What is Blueprint?

SharePoint provides information architecture (IA) capabilities to suit any sized organization.  However, SharePoint’s abilities are largely unknown. It’s recently been pointed out by technology and marketing professionals that many companies “could be getting a lot more out of their investments—except they often don’t know what all SharePoint can actually do” (Junk). Even SharePoint’s basic functions go unnoticed as “many of these companies could be benefiting from more of the technology’s capabilities than they currently are.”

This being the case, businesses and schools are compelled to hire a costly and time-consuming SharePoint architect (if not an entire team) to create their internal IA. LiveTiles Blueprint bypasses this expense, and gives the user greater control over the organizational plans and layouts. This also comes with the added benefit of allowing quick and easy changes to any aspect of the IA as needed, without requiring external SharePoint specialists. Businesses’ overhead costs are drastically reduced, and there is a significant amount of time saved as well. Lack of SharePoint expertise will not be a problem for organizations that use Blueprint.

What is Blueprint?

For example, we can observe a bank’s IA mock up pictured above. As is the case with most banks and credit unions, it relies on SharePoint to frame activity, website design, employee interaction and projects. Blueprint provides the user-friendly UI that makes design and modifications simple, so mapping out lists, libraries, sites and groups is possible in a fraction of the time that it would otherwise take using a standard SharePoint interface.

Mapping out internal IA is a very useful practice; however, there is also the need for sharing designs with our teams and partners. It can be repetitive and time-consuming to replicate a complete hierarchy of sites and content. This leads into the second critical function of Blueprint.

Blueprint developer Chet Mitchell points out that using the program, users who have completed their design,

“Can then use that exact same Blueprint to build identical site hierarchies in other site collections if they wish. Blueprint also supports the ability to export your design, allowing you to import it to completely different SharePoint tenants and build the same site hierarchies there, too.” 

The user-friendly functions of Blueprint have many real world applications. For example, a network of academic institutions had spent months trying to duplicate their internal IA to share with all of the separate school locations. Unfortunately, they were getting nowhere with the external IT consultants they brought in for the project, and were instead incurring a large expense with little progress. Within a few weeks of using Blueprint, they had successfully deployed their IA across dozens of school locations. It became clear to them that Blueprint allowed for the easiest sharing and recreation of IA.

Blueprint is available with the LiveTiles Digital Workplace Suite, which also includes LiveTiles Design and Build. Free hosted trials are available for 14 days.

For more detailed information on the technical how-to aspects of Blueprint, see the second article in this series, “LiveTiles Blueprint Uses and Details” on our blog.

References: 
1. Junk, Dennis. “How Real Businesses Are Using Sharepoint.” Aptera Blog 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 27 April 2016.

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