Friday, August 03, 2007

Microsoft's SharePoint Team Blog published a fascinating case study on the development of Glu Mobile Games's website a few weeks ago...The website was built on MOSS 2007 but with some significant rejigging to support some distinct needs: namely support for multiple cultures, fast load speed, streaming flash videos, and mobile devices.

The blog entries are here:

  • Part 1: Overview of the Solution
  • Part 2: Master Pages and User Controls
  • Part 3: Performance - Cache is King

Glu Mobile shows what can be done using SharePoint as a product and SharePoint as a platform. The company creating the Glu Mobile website, AllIn Consulting, used MOSS as the basis for the site's content publishing and lists functionality, and then built their own custom ASP.NET controls and features to meet the stringent functional requirements. To quote them,

Our design philosophy from the start was to integrate the best of ASP.NET 2.0 and MOSS 2007 to implement a highly functional, manageable, and scalable site within a short amount of time.

Their attention to detail was so exact that they actually created a special "whitespace filter" - an HTTP Module I guess - that stripped out the whitespace in the HTML code so that when a page was downloaded it was an average of 5k smaller! Other examples of their exacting care are their server-side code that streams JavaScript that is targeted to a user's browser for maximum browser compatibility, and a custom-built "variation" engine to simplify maintenance of localized site content.

As their company name suggests, AllIn were prepared to gamble on the core feature set of SharePoint and their ability to recognize the areas where the project required them to strip out existing functionality and roll their own code.

What they created, from the evidence of the blog case study and the website itself, is more than the sum of its parts. Congratulations to the AllIn team for providing such a lovely example of cutting-edge development on the MOSS platform. I hope the SharePoint blog features more examples like this in the future.

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