Integrating SharePoint and Silverlight Web Parts for PriceWaterhouseCoopers
PriceWaterhouseCoopers engaged Microsoft to help them build a proof-of-concept (POC) application related to enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the goal being to provide it to businesses in order to perform due diligence risk assessments of potential partners. In order to create a rich, competitive, and interactive application, the project would utilize Microsoft’s Silverlight technology to deliver interactive dashboards and onscreen reports, within an integrated Sharepoint environment. Microsoft brought in Wintellect to create the Silverlight-based web parts that integrated with SharePoint, providing charts, tables and other drilldown capabilities for a great user experience.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers needed to build a Business Partner Anti-Corruption Compliance solution relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a set of regulations from the SEC that are related to companies doing business with foreign partners. The SEC has begun tougher enforcement of these laws, which effectively require American companies to register, risk rate, and vet their partners, in order to make sure that those partners are not doing business with illegal third parties or countries. In building a technology solution to support these requirements, the company wished to leverage Microsoft technologies including Silverlight and SharePoint.
The challenge was to quickly provide a fully functional proof-of-concept that was integrated with SharePoint using Silverlight. SharePoint 2010’s new client object model would be utilized to expose custom SharePoint lists to the Silverlight controls. The application would include rich graphs and visual data featuring interactivity and drill-down capabilities.
Microsoft, already familiar with the Wintellect brand, decided to outsource the development of the Silverlight and SharePoint integration portions of the effort. Wintellect, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Silverlight Alliance Partner, had the experience with SharePoint and Silverlight to deliver the product within the timeframe, and to the high level of quality, desired by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Taking advantage of SharePoint 2010’s new client object model, Silverlight 4.0 was used to develop rich, interactive web parts that integrated directly to SharePoint lists. The Wintellect team of experienced Silverlight developers created design-time aware Silverlight controls that could be easily styled and manipulated in Microsoft Expression Blend via sample data automatically generated when the controls are in design mode. The Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) was used to query the SharePoint lists to interact directly with SharePoint data.
The solutions were packaged using SharePoint 2010 target projects that include features and packages. These features are automatically detected on the target server, configured, and deployed with necessary support files (such as the Silverlight XAP files) to create fully integrated Silverlight Web Parts and pages within the SharePoint application.
The proof of concept was rapidly constructed due to the high level of integration between Silverlight 4.0 and SharePoint 2010. Wintellect was able to quickly build several dashboards and reports using the Telerik Silverlight 4.0 data visualization and grid controls, while interfacing with the native SharePoint lists using CAML and the SharePoint client object model.