Top 10 Bamboo Best Sellers... What Are Other People Buying?

Bamboo now offers over 60 individual software products for SharePoint.  As our product portfolio has grown, there have been some interesting changes in buying patterns.  I think you can read quite a bit from this list. 

#10  List Rotator Web Part

The 10th most popular Bamboo product in 2009 is a perennial favorite, List Rotator Web Part.  List Rotator has dropped two spots in 2009 falling from the 8th most popular product in 2008.  List Rotator offers very simple functionality enabling users to create "slideshows" or rotating displays based on items from a SharePoint list.  List Rotator Web Part can be used to rotate images, or to create a more complex display leveraging data from multiple columns.  List Rotator supports most SharePoint list types including Announcements, Contacts, Events, even Discussion Boards.  Starting at $200, List Rotator is a classic Bamboo product, providing extremely useful functionality at a great price.

#9  Mini-Calendar Web Part

The 9th most popular Bamboo product in 2009 is another old favorite, Mini-Calendar Web Part.  The Mini-Calendar Web Part displays data from a SharePoint list in a compact display that will neatly fit on virtually any SharePoint page.  Mini-Calendar offers users the ability to filter the data source and can be connected to Bamboo's Calendar Plus Web Part to provide a compact view of a much more robust SharePoint calendaring solution.  Mini-Calendar now offers a "micro-view", the most space efficient display of calendar data you'll find anywhere.  Starting at $300, Mini-Calendar is another inexpensive way to make your SharePoint sites more attractive and easier to navigate.

#8  Data-Viewer Web Part

Data-Viewer Web Part is a rising star, climbing into the #8 spot from the #11 spot in 2008.  The original value-proposition for Data-Viewer was that it allowed users to create complex views of data (i.e. from SharePoint lists, SQL tables, BDC enabled-sources or Bamboo List Rollups) without having to purchase SharePoint Designer.  Since Microsoft made SharePoint Designer free a few months ago, we expected some softening of demand for the Data-Viewer Web Part.  However, what we seem to be seeing is that many users still prefer to use a simpler, more intuitive interface like Data-Viewer Web Part than jumping out to SharePoint Designer.  Data-Viewer Web Part is one of those products that enables SharePoint end users to self service and generate reports or queries that might otherwise fall on IT or a business analyst.  Self-service business intelligence definitely seems to be one of those areas where we continue to see demand for more solutions and more functionality.

Data-Viewer Web Part

#7  SharePoint Task Master

Task Master is one of the hottest new products at Bamboo, reflecting a big trend in the use of SharePoint as a platform for project management.  Task Master is a Web Part that turns an ordinary SharePoint task list into a full fledged project schedule.  Task Master lets users create parent-child and dependent relationships between tasks, and displays these tasks in a dynamic Gantt chart.  Task Master's AJAX powered drag and drop interface gives real horsepower to SharePoint as a PMIS.

#6  SharePoint Custom Column Pack

If someone were to ask me, "Which Bamboo product is the best value?", I would tell them to go for the SharePoint Custom Column Pack.  The Custom Column Pack includes six individual products that provide an enormous amount of functionality, filling key gaps in the SharePoint feature set and improving usability across your farm.  In general, the components of the Custom Column pack add new column or field types to SharePoint.  Here's a very brief summary of the individual components:

  • Bamboo Rich Text - Essentially upgrades the out-of-the-box SharePoint text editor, providing spell check, rich text formatting, and one-click publishing of pictures and images. The ability to upload an image directly to a SharePoint column without separately uploading the image to a picture library is worth the cost of the entire pack.
  • Bamboo Lookup Selector - Basically a super-charged version of a Standard SharePoint Lookup Column. Auto-fill column entries, duplicate elimination and parent/child relationships between column selections.

    Bamboo Lookup Selector
  • Bamboo KPI Column - An automated indicator for Key Performance Indicators. Define ranges or conditions for a KPI and this column will provide a colorful, communicative indicator that makes key values jump out of any SharePoint list.
  • Bamboo Column Level Security - Encrypt/mask SharePoint columns based on SharePoint roles and permissions.
  • Bamboo Validator Column - Robust input validation for SharePoint Columns. Control the format and structure of data as it is entered in a SharePoint list.
  • Bamboo Visual Indicator - Similar to Bamboo KPI Column, Visual Indicator provides a graphical representation of "percentage complete". There's no more hiding the fact that your assigned task is only 5% complete... Visual Indicator adds teeth to your SharePoint task list.

    Bamboo Visual Indicator

#5 Alert Plus Web Part

Alert Plus Web Part is one of Bamboo's core offerings, a hall of fame all-time best seller.  Alert Plus provides much more control over SharePoint alerts, including conditional triggering and customizable e-mail templates.

#4  List Search Web Part

List Search Web Part is holding it's ground as the #4 top seller in 2008 and 2009.  List Search Web Part is another, classic "SharePoint Essential".  As you might guess, List Search simply provides users with the ability to search the contents of a SharePoint list.  List Search comes in two flavors, a "Simple" and "Advanced".  Starting at $200.00 and $300.00 respectively, this is one of those basic fundamental Web Parts no SharePoint deployment should be without. 

#3  Password Change Web Part

It couldn't be simpler.  This Web Part allows users to change their own passwords so SharePoint administrators don't have to.  Personally, I would recommend that folks acquire this Web Part by purchasing the IT Productivity Pack. With this bundle you also get User Account Setup and Password Reset Web Part as well.  Together these three products provide a very basic, but complete user management solution.  But starting at $200.00, Password Change Web Part remains one of Bamboo's most popular products of all time.

#2  List Rollup Web Part

I have previously described List Rollup as the single most useful SharePoint Web Part.  If I could only pick one Bamboo product for my SharePoint deployment, it would be this one.  List Rollup provides the ability to aggregate list data across sites and site collections.  Combine lists of anything, and filter the output with an infinite variety of controls.  Plug in List Rollup as the data source for Calendar Plus Web Part, Chart Plus Web Part, Data-Viewer Web Part, etc. etc.  My favorite feature of List Rollup is auto-discovery of new list items.  There are a few competitors out there who also offer rollup Web Parts, none of them offer the performance, speed and flexibility of Bamboo's Web Part.  If you're serious about SharePoint, this is one product you must own.

#1  Calendar Plus Web Part

Calendar Plus is probably Bamboo's most mature product offering.  I think our COO told me recently that something like 27 man years had gone into the successive iterations of Calendar Plus.  This is the premier calendaring solution for SharePoint.  Calendar Plus should be the centerpiece of any SharePoint site used for collaboration.  Calendar Plus is the preferred solution for any site that is built to track or manage events, shows, etc.  It's number one for a reason, it's flat out just the best solution available.

Calendar Plus Web Part

So, what can you tell about SharePoint, and how people are using the platform based on this list?  A few observations:

At least until SharePoint 2010 is released sometime next year, the key feature gaps in SharePoint are well known and well documented.  The biggies that virtually every SharePoint deployment will eventually run up against are data aggregation, user management, calendaring and managing SharePoint Alert spam.  If you can comprehensively solve any of these issues by spending a few hundred dollars on a time tested solution like a Bamboo Web Part, it's a no-brainer decision for most SharePoint administrators.

The adoption of SharePoint as a platform for project management is accelerating at a rapid pace.  SharePoint's baseline collaboration and document management features provide 90% of the feature set that a typical organization requires in a PMIS (project management information system).  Products like Task Master, Project Portfolio Dashboard, PM Central and Bamboo's Project Management Suite give SharePoint the additional functionality required to fill out that last, all-important ten percent, at a manageable cost.

Finally, it's becoming increasingly apparent that as our products mature, improvements to both functionality and performance make them more appealing than ever -- most of the products on this list have received one or more significant upgrades, improving existing features or adding new ones our customers have requested.  We're committed to rolling out new, cutting edge products for improving SharePoint, and solidifying those solutions as we receive feedback.  It looks like customers realize this too, so keep an eye on young, rapidly improving offerings like Team Calendar and Task Master (the latter of which is already a top ten product!).

Posted Aug 13 2009, 02:45 PM by Steve Gaitten | Edit this post

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