(Rating: 4 out of 5)
Most businesses want an open and communicative environment. This most commonly includes the display of an organization chart on the company intranet. For the growing number of companies who implemented SharePoint as their intranet, Microsoft left a gaping hole in the out-of-the-box functionality of both WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 when it comes to addressing this need. Content and Code’s 1OrgChart is one of the better products that has appeared on the market to fill the gap ...
1OrgChart provides a nice solution for managing organization charts on SharePoint. SharePoint administrators will like the easy installation and the option of using a custom SharePoint list or the User Profiles to generate the organizations charts. If your company maintains its Active Directory with the primary user information, then using 1OrgChart to provide organization charts makes your life easy.
Installation is fairly straight-forward with the much improved installation manual provided by Content and Code. Earlier versions were not as thorough or easy to follow as the current guide, which provides clear instruction and includes screen shots to help reduce any possible confusion.
The product offers both 32-bit and 64-bit versions to fit your environment. After selecting the appropriate version you will need to verify the items described as “Pre-Installation”: enabling session states and installing Ajax Extensions. Even with these tasks added in, the installation is fast and can be completed in less than 30 minutes by the first-time user of this product.
MOSS Administrators have a few more steps to do in setting up a new Managed Property and indexing properties that allow for slick Search capabilities. Again, the new installation manual walks you through step-by-step making this whole process super simple. The installation application handles everything for you except Activating the Site Collection Feature.
1OrgChart is a web part that your web front end has to know about, so if you have multiple WFE’s you will need to install on each. Once that is done your next step is dependent on where you are planning to obtain user information for your org charts. If you plan to use the SharePoint list option, then you will need to go out to the 1OrgChartUserInfoList that the installation setup for you. This is an empty custom list containing all of the required columns for 1OrgChart to use when creating views of your organization. If you plan to use the AD populated User Profiles, then you can jump right in by adding the 1OrgChart web part to any web part page on your site.
The next step for either option is creating a view in the newly added web part. Selecting Create View opens the Create View screen which allows you to configure the display of your organization chart. One of the nice features is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, you can go back and modify the view at any time. This allows you to see how the chart displays for each setting you change and lets you get the look you want for the final chart.
The Create View screen allows you to select the Data Source – this is either your Profile Database or the Custom List. You also can choose the Chart Type, Number of Levels that your chart can expand, width of the “people cards”, if you want to enable Online Presence, whether or not you want to display profile photos, and what profile information should be included – and what order that information should be displayed. There is a lot of flexibility provided by those options, which allows you to produce organization charts that look differently for each department if so desired.
Adding the web part to multiple pages and configuring multiple views increases the usability of this product. If you have a large organization, you will want to place an org chart at each department rather than producing one extremely large chart. That will make the user experience much nicer and avoid scrolling all over the place to see the whole chart.
Here is an example of a chart taken directly from Content and Codes User Manual:
Notice that the person name is blue highlighted in the picture…these are active links to the persons My Site, or if you are using the custom list you can specify the URL. Spending a little time creating such professional looking and functional org charts for your company will certainly bring you some kudos.
- Departmental Views
- Print as image
- Online Presence
- Aggregate from My Sites
- Populate from User Profiles or Custom SharePoint List
- Choose chart content
- Collapse Chart
- Multiple views with subcharts
- Ability to control location and size of photos
- Control display of person information
- More features and flexibility than other org chart web parts
- Professional appearance of org chart
- Linking to department sites or other locations
- Ability to maintain from a custom SharePoint list or User Profiles
- Limited flexibility with the custom SharePoint list implementation - cannot create your own columns and display them on the org chart
- No control over the org chart line colors, which may not sit well with some “visual” executives
The ability to print the org chart is important to many companies, as is the ability to create a variety of views of the same chart data. This product also provides the ability for most organizations to maintain the organization charts within SharePoint directly. Overall, the product does a nice job streamlining the effort to produce an organization chart within SharePoint and makes maintenance simple. I recommend this product for anyone struggling with maintaining and displaying or sharing org charts in their company. It is definitely worth your while to test out the 30-day free trial to help you make the decision to use this great product.
Version’s tested: 3.5 and 4.0