Bamboo Solutions Product Evaluation


From web parts to integrated product suites

by Karen Forster

When you're looking for a way to customize SharePoint, you have a vast array of products to choose from and a lot of decisions to make. For overall considerations before you make a decision, see Richard Harbridge's excellent discussion, "When should we use SharePoint OOTB, leverage 3rd party apps, or build custom solutions?".

To help you get started in your search for the right approach for your needs, here's an overview of Bamboo Solutions. Find out about the products Bamboo offers, and learn what the community and customers say.

Problem: Filling gaps in SharePoint’s out-of-the-box functionality as you grow your SharePoint implementation


  • Build web parts and applications as you encounter needs

  • Purchase and integrate individual web parts from one or more vendors as you go

  • Purchase individual solutions from a single vendor, knowing that the products have integration capabilities as you add to the individual products

  • Purchase a comprehensive suite of SharePoint products from a single vendor

Product : Bamboo Solutions products and suites: Project Management, Essentials, Knowledge Management, Community Management, Bamboo Premier

“The Bamboo Suites are flexible, cost-effective collections of SharePoint tools and components designed specifically to help you extend some of Bamboo's most powerful business applications. Whether it's project, community, or knowledge management that you're interested in, there's a Bamboo SharePoint application and a corresponding suite that's perfect for you."

What You Should Know

Microsoft designed SharePoint to be extensible so that customers and third-party vendors would be able to build on the product’s base capabilities to customize solutions for various environments. And indeed, as organizations roll out SharePoint, they quickly run into specific business requirements that call for refinements of and additions to SharePoint’s out-of-the box functionality. These SharePoint customers have the option of building their customized solutions as needs arise, or they can purchase individual web parts and applications for each need.

Choosing whether to build or buy a solution is not as straightforward as it might appear. The cost of creating your own customizations goes beyond just the cost of a developer. A Bamboo Solutions white paper ( ), “Build vs. Buy: The case for using commercial solution frameworks to extend Microsoft SharePoint,” explains:

“…such projects end up costing more and taking longer than expected…a variety of barriers such as end user adoption, governance, and training were mentioned…, but the leading barrier to deployment was the development time and effort required to build applications… SharePoint deployments were technically more difficult than expected, and…projects took more time than was planned.”

Not only are the initial costs higher than most organizations expect, but many neglect to consider the ongoing costs of maintaining homegrown solutions.

Bamboo Solutions provides individual web parts and applications, as well as different suites of products that allow companies to adapt to changing requirements as the business expands. Julie Aullette, director, Solutions Center, at Bamboo Solutions told me that Bamboo strives to serve customers from the time they look for their first web part to extend SharePoint’s capabilities through their organization’s expansion: “We grow with you,” Auletta said. “We’re with you to support you wherever you are on the spectrum.

Auletta noted that the differentiation point for Bamboo solutions is “the breadth of our portfolio. You can pool your spending with one vendor {Bamboo Solutions}, and you get more from that vendor.”

What Customer Report

Bamboo Solutions provides customer case studies

What the Community Says

Bamboo Solutions has an extensive online community for SharePoint. You can read and join the discussions at

The SharePoint Reviews site is a resource for learning more about the individual products and the suites: Here are some excerpts from a few reviews and links to the full reviews:

Andy Dale’s SharePoint Award Winners 2010:

“Best SharePoint Administration Tool: Winner - ControlPoint (scored a perfect 10)

“Expert Comment -Hands down the best in the industry. Very user friendly. Extremely strong permissions reporting capability – the top requirement for managing large farms as 80% of all support calls come from permissions management”

Richard Harbridge:

Executing Relationships Between Lists with Bamboo's List Integrity Web Part

“For me personally, and many of you out there, I would rather have my developers working on the powerful things we will do once these lists are connected, rather than spend their time on the connection.

“The tool is relatively simple, works for the same or different sites, highly reusable and applicable to many scenarios. Its flows include read-only views of information, cannot have TWO lists showing on the same page with the Bamboo Link column type - Will result in duplicate links, and it can only show list data in child list forms, so the parent child relationship is almost '1 way' in a sense.

“I would recommend trying the trial out and seeing if this product meets your needs, I know it did for me.”

Mike Ferrara:

Better Than Ever: Bamboo’s World Clock and Weather Web Part, 2.0

“Bamboo’s World Clock and Weather web part is without a doubt one of the most popular free web parts for the SharePoint community. But being free is not the main reason why this web part is so good. It addresses a pretty basic need that SharePoint does not have out of the box.”

Michael Nemtsev:

Quick Look: Free SharePoint Management Tools

“SharePoint Analyzer from Bamboo Solutions provides rich, good, structured overview of your SharePoint farm from administrator/infrastructure perspective – detailed info about servers, web applications, logs, and etc. Good usability, grouping and detailed information across all your farm servers, but there is also useful info for developers.”

You can also find both positive and less positive reviews of Bamboo Solutions product on the Microsoft Pinpoint site: .

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