How do you solve a problem like Iron Man? Silverlight as a visual interface for SharePoint
A slight aside if I may as our team back at base have been working on something very nice that I wanted to show you. I like the way the development team have started working now, solving problems that our students and teachers are facing in their everyday community. Last Friday Twynham School became World Record Holders! The students and staff were all encouraged to dress up as Super Heroes for a day to break a World Record held by Bournemouth University. By 2pm we had a World Record with 580 staff and students dressed up in costumes from Superman to Danger Mouse. You may be surprised to find Danger Mouse on an official list of Super Heroes, as was I. When I said to my Year 13 class, ‘How on earth can Danger Mouse be classed as a Super Hero’ one amusing students shouted out ‘How many talking mice do you know that can drive cars?!’
So with hundreds of different photos changing hands on Monday from the great day how do we make these memories available to all in a convenient and easy way. We started by looking for a picture viewer as the SharePoint out of the box picture gallery leaves a lot to be desired. The team found some source code on CodePlex and would like to thank Koen Zwikstra for making the code available. Here is how Super Hero day looks on the Silverlight Slideshow that Koen has produced.
Above is a full scale view of the picture viewer which has a great interface. It has been on the staff page since Tuesday and has gone down really well.
At the same time our developers recognised that the work they needed to do to get pictures into the library were impossible for the end user (use of SharePoint Designer was needed) and so they set about using the code to create a simple and easy to use web part which pulls from a SharePoint list. Now any member of staff can easily upload photos on to individual sites without the need for technical input. We have put this web part on an external facing anonymous access site so you can have a look at it.