Anyone that builds SharePoint environments knows CodePlex (Microsoft’s Open Source Project Community) is the biggest hub for free SharePoint solutions. I’m always looking for add-ons to play with in my SharePoint farms. Here are a few that I find very useful. MAKE SURE to test them out in a test farm before deploying to a production environment!!! Every company’s SharePoint farm is unique so you must make sure a 3rd party add-on doesn’t break functionality for existing or custom webparts or create security issues before deploying to a live farm:
1. SharePoint Learning Kit (SLK) – http://slk.codeplex.com/ – Used as an e-learning and delivery system. Think of it as a student teacher portal. A lot of school districts like this one and it has a huge following.
2. PlanetWilson Color Calendar – http://planetwilson.codeplex.com/ – Gives you the ability to color code Sharepoint calendar entries. Immensely popular with users! Once you install it, you’ll wonder how you ever used a Sharepoint calendar without it. Big kudos to Mark Wilson for developing this project!
3. Smart Tools for Sharepoint – http://smarttools.codeplex.com/ – A ton of nice little tools that will make your life as an admin or user easier.
4. ChartPart – http://chartpart.codeplex.com/ – Generate graphs from Sharepoint lists. A lot of users request this feature so give it a shot. There are other alternatives out there too that I have tried but ChartPart has been prettty popular with my end users.
5. SharePoint Access Checker Webpart – http://accesschecker.codeplex.com/– Allows site owners to check access for users within their site. Helps keep requests to Sharepoint farm admins down when site owners can easily check their security settings. It can also check permission inheritance.
6. SPWakeup – http://spwakeup.codeplex.com/ – I had previously made a blog entry about this. It allows you to “warm up” your Sharepoint farms so the first users of the day don’t have to wait for your app pools to spin up and your IIS cache to be rebuilt.
These are just a few I find very useful. Hope they help you out! 🙂