There are any number of SharePoint add-ons and web parts available today. We can't cover them all. But sometimes one crosses our path that we find interesting enough to pass on. That's how it was Friday when we told you about SharePoint Solutions's new Data Zoom Web Part.
And that's how it is today as we tell you about a new offer from Bamboo Solutions (news, site) called SharePoint Navigators -- a new tool that lets you customize and personalize the navigation for your users in Windows SharePoint Services (WSS3.0) or MOSS.
Building on the WSS Platform
Sometimes all you have in your environment is WSS or Windows SharePoint Services, the foundation of SharePoint Server 2007. It has a lot of functionality on its own and may be all you really need to get the collaboration capabilities you require.
But it has its limitations and navigation is one of them. Out of the box you can add new navigation items to the top and left hand menus, but it isn't as functional as you may like. This is especially true if you want the navigation to change based on who logs into the application.
If you want some nicer navigation in your SharePoint site other than the cluttered Quick Launch or the need to open a new browser to get to a new site or collection, these Navigation tools are a good option to look at.
SharePoint Navigators enable you to create custom navigation such as menus, tabs, trees and even a Site Actions menu to get to sites, pages and lists within the current site or across site collections.
And you don't have to worry about giving someone access to something they shouldn't have access to -- SharePoint security will kick in and keep this from happening.
You can also set unique permissions for each node of a navigation menu, effectively creating custom menus based on the user's SharePoint group.
What Comes with SharePoint Navigators?
SharePoint Navigators is a combination of three web parts: Menu Navigator, Tab Strip Navigator and Tree View Navigator and a Feature: Site Actions Menu Navigator.
Bamboo Solutions SharePoint Navigators
Have a look at this blog entry on Bamboo's community site to understand how the navigators work. Note that both the Menu and Tree Navigators do provide multiple levels (branches) of navigation, but Site Actions and Tab do not.
Although SharePoint 2007 does provide custom navigation capability out of the box using Audiences, you can use the SharePoint Navigators instead. And of-course for those with only WSS, this is a perfect solution if you need to provide custom menus.
SharePoint Navigators started out as an add-on feature to some of the Bamboo Suites. Now you can purchase them individually for a server license of US$ 600 plus annual support. You can download a 15 day trial of the Navigators to see if you like what they do.