This article is specifically on the Colligo Briefcase Lite version aka the free version. This is post based on version 1.1.2 which is in the App store as at 1st March 2012:
Colligo Briefcase is available in three variants: Lite, Pro and Enterprise. I don’t have access to the Enterprise version of the product so will focus only on the Lite and Pro versions within my posts.
The App can be obtained via the iTunes App store. The link to the application in the Australian store is:
The application is currently a 6.4MB download so you are OK to download over a 3G service.
As covered within the webinar by Colligo, this version provides limited functionality compared to the Pro and Enterprise version. It is intended to provide an introduction to the features before you commit to spending AU $15.99 on the Pro version or making an investment in the Enterprise Edition.
When you open the App, you will get the same look and feel as the Pro version. Tapping on the settings icon, brings up the Colligo Briefcase Settings window:
With the Colligo Briefcase Lite version, some restrictions apply to these settings. If you try to amend the global storage limit to other options that are shown (10MB, 20MB, 50MB, 100MB, 200MB, 500MB, 1 GB, Unlimited), you will be reminded this is the Lite version:
Similarly, if you try to enable a passcode, you will be reminded:
These are just friendly reminders and they do not impact your evaluation through general use.
Adding a site that you wish to sync with is both easy and intuitive. From the select site drop down, tap to add. This will bring up and Add Site pane:
Enter the URL of your site along with your user name, password and if required, Domain.
- You can change the Sync Interval to be: Every open, 15 min, 30 min, Hourly or Daily
- Storage limit in the Lite version is fixed at 50 MB.
- Lists to Sync will be defined when you have added the site.
When you have entered the values, you can tap “Done” to proceed. In the example I used, I’m working with Office 365 so I was presented with another dialogue to authenticate:
For another example where I was working with SharePoint 2007, I did not receive any further prompts for authentication. Personally, I like the way the application determines what is required and asks the users as it is needed rather than swamping a user with lots of options.
Once the user has logged in successfully, the client will sync the site. This interface is the same for Lite and Pro:
Once the sync is complete you need to tap close to remove the sync progress window.
It is a nice touch that you can resize the area used by the site structure and navigation on the left to the point where you can hide it completely to get maximum real estate.
Selecting the Shared Documents documents library allows you to view the content of the library:
NOTE: Whilst Team Discussion is shown above, you are not allowed access to this list type in the Lite version.
Tapping the blue arrow to the right of an item within the library will allow you to view the properties and select whether you sync the item. From here, you can also choose to favourite, copy link, email as attachment, emails as link or go to folder.
Tap and drag the “Preview” area up and this allows you to view the content of a selected file. Again, you can tap and drag the preview bar to resize the area. The formatting of the previewed document is reasonable in the absence of a full Microsoft Word client on iOS (this is not a criticism of the Colligo product):
Going full screen with a preview enables the option to open in another application or favourite the item. Personally, I’d prefer an option to tap and hold to bring up this option.
There is no option to add content to the SharePoint site from within the Lite client whether it be a file or a folder.
Trying to add another site within the Lite client will give you another reminder that there is a paid option available:
Search works well to provide access to content. Search results are presented as you type search term. Search results show content location and tapping on search result provides preview of content.
Another nice touch to this application is that there is a user guide available through the About Colligo Briefcase dialogue. This presents a 27 page file that covers features of all versions of the product. To be honest, the application is reasonably easy to use so this is a nice value add and probably helps promote/sell the features of the other versions but it does include some useful information:
The only negative here is that the hyperlinks within the help file that are supposed to take you to the section on adding a site and managing settings in the Lite client do not work. In fact, none of the hyperlinks appear to work.
One of the security features that is promoted in the webinar is that the Briefcase content will be hidden during app switching. This is definitely in place if you do the four finger vertical swipe/double tap home button.
I’m unclear on the validity of this as a security feature given that I was able to screen shot in App content as shown above – I’d be able to email “secured” content whilst in the app but be blocked when switching. I’ve also verified that this occurs in the Pro version.
The application works well in portrait and landscape and is slick and responsive. I experienced a couple of instances where the client exited to the home screen but I’m unclear why this happened. There doesn’t appear to be an option to submit logs/crashes to Colligo. Unclear whether the application does this in the background.
For a free client this is very impressive and will certainly promote the features available and facilitate use of SharePoint site functionality that will not be available within Safari on iOS.
- Very strong showing for free client
- Very easy to use, intuitive
- Very good interface design
- Good support for file types
- Unclear on security value of blanking screen during app switching but allowing screen shots in app
- Links don’t work in help
- Would like to see tap and hold to reduce steps to content
About the Author (Author Profile)I’m a husband, father of two amazing little girls and acting IT Senior Systems Analyst. I have a keen interest specifically in SharePoint and iOS platforms but also have an interest in other technologies that can be used to enable collaboration and mobility.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Mobile SharePoint Application Reviews | SharePointSocial | 07/05/2012
- Reviews: Mobile SharePoint Clients Overview : SharePoint Down Under | 10/06/2012
- Colligo Briefcase Pro Review | 02/07/2012