Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything serious.  We just got back from a relaxing vacation, and I am finding it hard to get up the motivation to pick up a couple of blog posts I have had lying around and get them ready for prime time.

In the meantime, our IT guys just got a demo environment stood up in the cloud, and I figured I’d try it out from my iPhone (3GS OS4) to see what the experience would be like.  This is a completely unscientific survey conducted from my couch during the span of a single Hannah Montana episode (which the kids have on, not me).

I point out that this post isn’t entirely tongue-in-cheek.  I can predict with 100% certainty that this question will eventually come up in a requirements session somewhere, somehow; and thus, it behooves me to conduct this research and document accordingly.

First of all, note that I am not talking about the Exchange integration in 2010 which is well documented in articles like these:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee782548.aspx for the geeks…..

….and http://appleparkltd.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!EB0688A7A6F04E1D!2386.entry for the folks who like illustrations… (good post, Ben).

Just to make sure this is clear to everyone, no, the Exchange integration DOES NOT support timephased task updates.  I see that question appear on a pretty regular basis in a number of forums. Check out the Applepark post above for more information.

Project Web App

The Project Web App looks as follows on the iPhone:

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Probably not the most compelling of interfaces, but at least it kind of works, which mildly surprised me.  I was expecting a total #FAIL. You see that you have links to the Workflow Tasks list, various other content, and at the bottom, it helpfully provides the Project Workspace list.

Here’s the Workflow List:

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BI Center

The BI Center actually seemed to work just fine:

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I didn’t try out the PerformancePoint content, but looky here, Excel Services:

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I sense that there may be a niche market for mobile device-optimized project reports using SSRS and Excel Services.

The Project Workspace

The Project Workspace worked much like any other SharePoint site on a mobile device.  The Project Details Webpart won’t render, but the lists and libraries seem to work.

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…and that’s about as far as I took it….

In Summary…..

My conclusion as the credits roll is that the iPhone wouldn’t necessarily be a bad way to consume the data, especially if we had a couple of reports designed for mobile devices.  You can interact with your tasks using the Exchange interface, and most importantly, you can interact with the workflow as needed.  That may be of use to some – although I point out that the Nintex Project Workflow engine has some much cooler interfaces which would even allow you to interact with workflow using text messages.

I am also sure that the new Windows Mobile phones will offer a much better user experience.

And with that, I leave you with a link to further reading on SharePoint and mobile devices:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/office2010/archive/2010/03/09/configure-sharepoint-server-2010-for-mobile-device-access.aspx

Stay tuned for more serious posts in the next couple of weeks.