SharePoint 2013 Upgrade – PowerShell to Update View Property
- May 24, 2013 07:10 PM
If you are planning to upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, and use Inline Edit in views, then you will see some issues in SharePoint 2013 after the upgrade. In testing we discovered that
Friday Funny: Tell us about Project Management!
- May 24, 2013 07:37 AM
Many of the people we communicate with on a daily basis are PMBAs (Project Managers by Accident)! They have had little to no formal project management training and find themselves answering questions
BrightWork at the Sacramento SharePoint User Group
- May 23, 2013 05:08 AM
BrightWork was recently invited to present at the May meeting of the Sacramento SharePoint User Group. The meeting is quite innovative, in that members can attend in person or remotely (via webinar).
3 Simple Steps to Initiate a Project the Right Way
- May 21, 2013 07:35 AM
Before you can even get started planning and working on a project, you have to get the project started properly. You need to know that the budget and resources are in place and what approach you are
Strategy execution tool: Rdigo Tracker® powered by BrightWork engine
- May 21, 2013 05:07 AM
Rdigo is a management consultancy based in Helsinki, Finland. We advise clients on how to accelerate strategy execution: we help the client crystallize strategy, identify the Must-Win Battles the clie
5 Ways to Master Collaboration, and Other Stories of the Week
- May 19, 2013 02:55 PM
It's that time of the week again, so sit back and enjoy these articles about collaboration, SharePoint 2013 and why you should care about organizational culture! The Blueprint of We: 5 Ways to Master
TEMIS unveils Luxid for Microsoft SharePoint 2013
May 22, 2013 11:56 AM
The integration of Luxid with SharePoint 2013 automates the enrichment of columns with domain-specific metadata
Fixmo launches industry’s first mobile data leakage-prevention solution for Microsoft SharePoint
May 17, 2013 01:22 PM
Fixmo SharePlace delivers integrated mobile security and DLP for Microsoft SharePoint
SeeUnity R3 release includes support for Microsoft SharePoint 2013
May 16, 2013 10:55 AM
Enterprise software developer announces support for SharePoint 2013 across entire product line
Datapolis announces new product: Datapolis Workbox 2013
May 15, 2013 10:49 AM
Datapolis Workbox 2013 allows users to quickly implement and maintain even the most complex processes
Metalogix launches Content Matrix Migration Express
May 15, 2013 09:00 AM
Metalogix today announced the launch of Content Matrix Migration Express for simple, fast SharePoint migrations
harmon.ie brings Office 365 to the mobile enterprise
May 13, 2013 12:37 PM
harmon.ie 4.0 native app brings secure Office 365 experience to iOS, BlackBerry and Android devices
New app brings SharePoint data into Microsoft Project on interactive dashboard
May 7, 2013 03:08 PM
The Sensei Project Dashboard pulls together Microsoft Project schedule information and SharePoint data for a status dashboard
SharePoint 2013: Tips for strategic alignment
By Eric Riz
With SharePoint 2013 now well past the six-month mark of its release, I have been surprised to see that few of the typical “tips and tricks” articles have been written to address SharePoint from a business and strategy perspective. Yes, I absolutely agree that branding and mobile are big changes from 2010, but many of our clients are asking about what attention needs to be paid toward the strategic use of SharePoint and how its enhanced capabilities will address business challenges across the enterprise.Simply stated, upgrading to 2013 for the sake of doing so will not provide the value that organizations today seek. What you need is a strategy and the associated components that will make your upgrade or rollout a success.One of the big pushes in the 2013 product is toward social, and those who attended the SharePoint Conference last year heard all about the Yammer acquisition from Microsoft and Yammer staff alike. One of the issues that businesses face with social is that the term itself is associated with sites like Facebook and is thus determined to be a time-waster, particularly if your business is one that has implemented a social-networking policy internally. To address this, start your strategy by understating that social is all about the experience, meaning what you put into social internally is what you get out of it. You will need to create a policy that stipulates how and when social should be used. For example, creating a Yammer site for projects will allow your staff to collaborate in ways that it hadn’t before, such as by commenting on documents and having broad distribution for a project team.This can work well, but everyone on your team must use it in order to achieve those results. Social can be further expanded to areas such as MySites, where larger organizations can encourage employees to list interests or commonalities on their profile pages in order to create synergies among staff between departments or common causes. Remember that social isn’t just in one place in 2013, so expand your thoughts and strategies accordingly.I also recommend creating a reward strategy in order to recognize the people internally who are using 2013 to greater degrees than others. New to 2013 is the Community Badges feature that can provide users with “badges” when particular levels are met. These rules are customizable and can be set within a community to recognize an individual who has completed certain tasks. These are great adoption tools for internal recognition; it also turns users into Subject Matter Experts for certain areas.A question that I get quite often these days is whether SharePoint 2013 should be hosted or on-premise. There is no quick answer to this question (insert standard consultant answer here) and each scenario is different. There are many factors to consider, including modifications to third-party (or in-house) applications, data security, and governance.A general rule of thumb is don’t reinvent the wheel. If you are upgrading from 2010 with all data and interface points internally, the recommendation is to remain on-premise. If you are implementing a new installation, my suggestion is to evaluate a hosted solution for 2013. This may be the best result in order to keep your infrastructure costs low while providing a fully supported solution. Above all else, remember that SharePoint 2013’s goal is to transform the way people work, so be sure to address the core competencies of content management and enterprise collaboration in your social and upgrade strategies in order to provide the right information to the right people at the right time. Eric Riz is the Executive Vice President of Concatenate, creator of the RealTime suite of products. You can reach Eric by e-mail at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @rizinsights. Read his other SharePoint thoughts on his blog at www.ericriz.com, and catch him at SPTechCon Boston August 11-14.
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Keep growing, SharePoint world!
By Tom Resing
I heard someone say that Microsoft has announced SharePoint hit US$2 billion dollars in sales last year. I haven’t seen that confirmed in writing yet, but let’s just pretend it’s true for a few minutes. What does that milestone mean?I compare it to something close to home. In San Antonio today, there is no bigger tech story than Rackspace, where I’m working. But when I moved here in 1997, Rackspace hadn’t started yet. The biggest software company I could find was GlobalSCAPE, maker of CuteFTP. I think we might have gotten close to 20 employees while I was there. It had decent growth. I guess it has hundreds of employees by now. Not bad, but SharePoint’s growth has been closer to Rackspace’s story. Crazy-big growth.Rackspace was started by three local college students in 1998, and it now employees more than 5,000. SharePoint Server 2001 development was probably started around the same time. In the 15 years since, both have had huge growth. Rackspace had $1.3 billion in revenue last year. If SharePoint sold $2 billion, it sold more as a single product than the whole company of Rackspace, but the growth curve on both is pretty amazing!To me, comparing the biggest tech story in town to just the SharePoint part of Microsoft’s business really paints the picture of the growth of the product. I can look around my desk at work and see new renovations completed every few months to accommodate our growth. I work in a former shopping mall that had 1.2 million square feet to grow into, and each renovation added more workstations. That’s physical growth of a company that I can feel.I can picture that SharePoint, as a product, is growing at the same rate, maybe even faster! That really drives the story home to me. I don’t know how many employees at Microsoft are dedicated to SharePoint or where they sit, but I can only imagine the growth inside the two companies is comparable.But what does that mean to you? As a SharePoint enthusiast, you are riding the wave, too. SharePoint is becoming more and more pervasive. With SharePoint Online, Microsoft is making a huge push into the small-business area with Exchange and SharePoint. Your years of SharePoint experience become more valuable as more people look to learn about it. At the same time, new experts are coming into the space, bringing years of experience in other spaces into the product. Overall, the SharePoint World is growing and maturing.#!The physical signs of SharePoint’s growth go beyond Microsoft’s own revenue numbers. One sign is how SharePoint is doing in the book market. There are many examples, but I’ve heard one book stands out as the bestselling SharePoint book of all time. It’s written by my friends Chris Beckett and Johnathan Lightfoot. I look at the sales ranking on Amazon and I think, Wow! That book outsells a lot of mainstream books. SharePoint is becoming mainstream.As SharePoint grows, we need to continue to grow, too. How did Chris and Johnathan tap in to that new broad appeal so well? We can look to them as a model. These two Microsoft outsiders collaborated to show SharePoint to readers trying to understand the product for the first time. I don’t exactly know what they did right, but if I did, I’d probably be writing books that sold like theirs! But I do see some signs pointing us in the right direction.This bestselling SharePoint book is titled “Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Plain & Simple.” It’s mostly screenshots. It’s a full-color, visually appealing book, and it costs less than $14 on Amazon today. As SharePoint grows, there are more and more people who need this. They need plain and simple. They need appealing content aimed at newbies. They’ll buy it in droves if it doesn’t cost a lot. The title ranks No. 3,452 in Books at Amazon. By comparison, “The Return of the King,” the third book in the hugely popular Lord of the Rings series, currently ranks No. 4,926. This is significant.For those of us who aren’t new to SharePoint, part of our success in this growing world, like the success of Chris and Johnathan, will be how well we tell the story to the others who are new to SharePoint. What part of SharePoint can you explain in a plain, simple and appealing way? SharePoint is huge and growing crazy-fast. If we’re going to ride the wave, we have to keep moving forward. If not, the wave will just pass right over our heads.Tom Resing is a SharePoint consultant with Rackspace.
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SharePoint 2013 branding: Using the Design Manager, or going old school
By Mark Watts
When news first started trickling out about the new Design Manager in SharePoint 2013, for most it generated more questions than answers. Would standard Web designers be able to brand for SharePoint now without any knowledge of SharePoint? For that matter, would end users be able to create SharePoint branding through a simple no-code interface? What did all this mean for the specialized SharePoint brander?Now that SharePoint 2013 has been out in production for a little while, we have had a chance to kick the tires on the Design Manager and learn about what it can do and can’t do, what it’s really good at and where it falls short. Still, though, the question I hear time and time again when anyone starts a SharePoint 2013 branding project is, “Should I use the Design Manager, or can I do it the way I am used to with SharePoint 2010?” In this article, I will try to answer that question, and lay out the pros and cons of both choices.In SharePoint 2010, the most popular way to do a SharePoint 2010 branding project was to download a starter master page (such as the one created by Randy Drisgill) and create a design that was still fully functional in SharePoint. A separate style sheet to be used by the starter master page, any assets such as images or scripts would be uploaded to the Style Library and, if need be, custom page layouts were created. At this point, everything would be packaged as a solution in Visual Studio, and the .wsp would be deployed to the SharePoint farm.Of course, for smaller branding projects, there were other valuable options such as themes, SharePoint Designer, and alternative CSS, but for any major branding project that would be used on multiple site collections, the starter master page method as described above became the de facto standard. Using a starter master pageThe good news in SharePoint 2013 is that, even with the Design Manager, you can still create a SharePoint 2013 design the same way you did in SharePoint 2010, and everything will function just the same. In fact, Randy Drisgill already has a SharePoint 2013 starter master page available for download. So if you are more comfortable with doing things the SharePoint 2010 way, then by all means continue to do so. You will still need to learn about the new branding techniques in SharePoint 2013 like composed looks, preview files, device channels and display templates, but you are by no means forced to create your SharePoint 2013 master pages from the Design Manager. But should you decide to stay the course and do your branding like you have always done, one change I recommend you make is embracing mapping your master page gallery to a network drive and working from there instead of using SharePoint Designer like you may be used to. By enabling the Design Manager on a site collection, you open up the ability to map a network drive to the master page gallery. From here you can upload files and edit your master pages, page layouts and style sheets with the text editor of your choice instead of being limited to the text editor in SharePoint Designer. Also, keeping all your branding assets in the master page gallery instead of spread out between the master page gallery and the style library is a much cleaner approach.The one “gotcha” is that, when just using a starter master page that is not associated with an HTML file like with the Design Manager, you will not be able to use Adobe Dreamweaver to work with your master pages. Using the Design ManagerThe Design Manager most definitely addressed the issue it was trying to fix; that is, not everyone is comfortable creating SharePoint brands from a starter master page. Designers that come from a more traditional Web-design background often get frustrated that SharePoint doesn’t behave like other content management systems, and some may not be aware of things like content placeholders that are required in a master page for SharePoint to function.The Design Manager opens the door for more designers that aren’t as familiar with SharePoint to still be able to create SharePoint brands. The idea is you can create a mockup of your site in standard HTML and CSS and then upload the mockup to the Design Manager. At this point, the Design Manager will take the mockup and create a fully functional master page using your design.Once finished, you have a master page that SharePoint uses but also an HTML file that is associated with the master page that you use to make edits to the site. You never have to even open up the master page file, and better yet, you can use programs like Adobe Dreamweaver to edit the associated HTML file. When you make an edit to the HTML file, SharePoint will automatically sync that same change to the SharePoint master page.However, make no mistake: Design Manager does not remove the need to know SharePoint and how branding works with it. Once you have your converted master page, it will for the most part be static with no functionality. You must add this functionality using the Snippet Gallery, and while the Snippet Gallery does make the process easier than working with content placeholders, a basic understanding of what you are adding, where you adding it, and why is still needed.The best piece of advice I can give you if you use the Design Manager for your branding projects is to build your HTML mockups around how SharePoint works. What I mean by this is to create a laid-out page structure around what will be required for a fully functional SharePoint site. Create divs for where your search box will be, your navigation, and your actual page content. This will make life easier when you add your snippets as you will know exactly where these snippets should be placed. Also realize that once you have an associated HTML file, the branding work is just starting. You will still need to move, add and cut code to have a functional SharePoint site.Finally, when using the Design Manager, there are some caveats you should be aware of. First, accessing the Design Manager requires that you enable the publishing features on your site collection. So if you have SharePoint Foundation (or for some reason cannot enable the publishing features), you’re going to be forced to use SharePoint Designer 2013 for your branding. Also, be careful when using the Design Package feature. The idea behind Design Packages is a good one. It allows you to take your newly minted SharePoint brand and turn it into a .wsp that can be transferred anywhere without the need for Visual Studio.However, there are some issues: The Design Manager was created around the idea that it would be used to brand the site the Design Manager is enabled on. So things like relative paths will not work with a design package unless you disassociate the HTML file from the master page prior to the packaging. There are duplication issues when you use a design package on a site that also has custom composed looks, and you can’t uninstall or deactivate a design package without causing problems to your site collection. Basically, while the Design Package feature is an interesting one, at this time it is no replacement for packaging up your branding solutions using Visual Studio. As you can see, SharePoint 2013 has brought some huge improvements and new ideas to SharePoint 2013 branding. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to abandon all the branding methods you used in SharePoint 2010, and in all honesty, a combination of SharePoint 2010 branding techniques (along with using some of the new features in the Design Manager to make life easier) will most likely become the preferred method for SharePoint branders going forward.Mark Watts is a SharePoint designer with Rackspace.
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Strategy and adoption: Is there a connection?
By Eric Riz
On the heels of my three-part series on governance, I thought it timely to write something on adoption, the logical conduit between SharePoint governance and implementation. It would be difficult for me to count the number of times we have consulted on projects with adoption issues—seemingly perfect implementations that failed to have the functionality adopted enterprise-wide. These conversations and consultations typically begin the same way, with clients asking us to identify or specify why the implementation was not adopted with the review of some documents and a snap of some fingers.This is not a simple task where we can thumb through a manual and proclaim something specific that failed. It is never about identifying something specific; many times the analysis develops into more of a systemic issue than an individual item. By systemic, I mean something across the enterprise that was not seen as vital to end users but was supposed to drive the adoption.Naturally, it is very difficult to identify a specific reason why something did not occur as planned. Additionally, it’s a politically complex task, as many are reluctant to admit any type of failure with their shiny new SharePoint system, particularly when you are speaking to the owners of the system, or to the department that was responsible for bringing it into the organization.When the conversation begins, we start asking the normal questions you would expect: What were the original parameters of the implementation? What were the expected deliverables? How did you gather your initial requirements? Recently, we have started asking questions that are focused more on strategic vision and alignment to the business or IT road map, instead of the potential pitfalls of Web Part configuration or things promised that were not delivered. With these recently added questions in mind, I shifted the conversation and perspective on its axis. What would happen if SharePoint was rolled out as planned, but people came to the realization that it was not implemented against a core set of values or in alignment with the organizational strategy? Could this ever happen to your company? It certainly can.What we have seen recently is a change to the normal implementation of document-management, portal and search functionality. Businesses are pushing the limits of SharePoint to greater heights and depths; they are demanding a more inclusive system that operates as the go-to place for information, and one that also operates as the central hub of line-of-business systems. If users want information, they should be able to go to SharePoint and have any data surface.This is specifically what Microsoft’s Business Critical SharePoint (BCSP) program is designed to do: challenge and change the common perspective. And it’s just one of the reasons why SharePoint may not have been adopted. As a member of the BCSP program, we have seen these perspectives change in recent months, and we have changed our methodology to accommodate this shift.With this article, my challenge to you is not just to identify any missed elements in your adoption (which could have been the result of any standard reason), but more so to extend your perspective and align yourself strategically. The risk you run is not just an issue of an implementation not adopted, but one that may end up having to be completely redesigned from the ground up.For example, take an implementation that focuses on replacing your aging “H” drive (you know, the archaic system that is long-overdue to be tossed in place of a workable, searchable system). A business that stood up SharePoint as a document-management replacement in order to facilitate search and to decommission the H drive may have made a considerable error in its setup.The risk is foundational, like a building. The foundation of your SharePoint system has to be created with equal depth and consideration in order to scale and build accordingly. If the files were simply pushed over with no attention to taxonomy or metadata, you will not be able to build on top of the system when it comes to designing workflow and business processes.On the strategy side; be sure that the original strategy was effectively laid out when the project was initiated. Your SharePoint vision should align with your IT strategy and road map. There should be logical connection points between the business need and functionality that has been or will be rolled out.Finally, get together with the different business units involved and ask the tough questions needed to either vet your successes or change your direction. Letting SharePoint “exist” in your organization is not the goal here; the goal is to implement a system that will change the way you perform your business responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. If this isn’t the direction of your system, it’s time to make some changes. Eric Riz is the EVP of Systems Integration for Concatenate, a software firm focused on maximizing SharePoint through product innovation and systems integration based in Toronto. You can reach Eric by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @rizinsights. Read his other SharePoint thoughts on his blog at www.ericriz.com.
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Five quick tips to NOT look like a SharePoint newbie
By Peter Serzo
I can immediately spot a newbie to SharePoint. After 10 years of installing, configuring and developing SharePoint, I am going to give you my top five tips for not ever being confused for a newbie, or anything that rhymes with “newb.”One of the things I love best about being a consultant is going to different client sites and getting to see what folks do with their SharePoint installations. Often, I see some very creative uses of SharePoint and business solutions. Every time I go to a new customer site and investigate how they put their stuff together, I learn something new, even if that something new is what not to do. So, here are my five tips:1. Don’t use the default port assigned for Central Administration when installing SharePoint. When I see this done, I have fond memories of the mid-1990s drift into consciousness. Windows NT was shiny, new and battling Novell. I loved going to sites and seeing the creativity of naming a domain (you guessed it) “Domain” (and I am sad to report I still see this done).Maybe this is just me preaching as a consultant who has performed dozens of installations, but using a simple, memorable port number like 9999 just makes sense. Often, you need to navigate to Central Administration from another machine, and there is no shortcut. You need to recall the port number along with the machine name. The random five-digit port number the installation picks is not memorable. Assign a port number.#!2. Don’t use spaces anywhere. Spaces are the termites of SharePoint. As Orkin would say: Don’t let spaces destroy your home.First and foremost, don’t ever use them to name a column. Don’t use them to name a list. Don’t use them to name a library. Don’t use them to name a site.Metadata (Columns) with spaces will at first seem nice. Everything is so readable. Until users ask you to use the Content Query Web Part (for example), and you have to actually do something with these columns, and you realize that a space is really the alias for %20, and you grasp the enormity of the situation and the complexity of what you have created. Termite infection—bomb the house!There are two things to keep in mind in regards to spaces. One: SQL Server is SharePoint’s database (home), and everything you create gets saved there. The space in the name of the object you created has to be represented as something in the database, hence %20. Two: You can choose to follow my best practice, and after you create your column named “SpacesBad,” you can rename it in SharePoint “Spaces Bad.” The database still knows the column as “SpacesBad.” Win-Win.3. Use content types. Content types are initially tough to grasp, but once you do, they are invaluable. Content types are not the same as file types; they are about the type of information associated with the file type. This information is the metadata. Instead of a deep-dive explaining what they are (which would be too lengthy), I will give you the positives to utilizing them:• They have the ability to push a column change in a list/library to multiple sites and have the changes be dynamic• You can use the Content Type Hub to publish your lists and libraries to other sites collections. Now you can make a change to the metadata in one list content type and have it published across site collections• You can control auditing on a particular file type, such as legal contracts• You can institute a workflow across multiple sites based on RFPs that enter into the system• You can enforce consistent information across sites4. Do not use the WYSIWYG in the Content Editor Web Part. Just this week I was working with a client who made extensive use of this Web Part. She loved putting in the information and doing links, bolding information on the Web page, and all that good stuff. Then she had to make changes and subsequently got lost in the interface.I showed her how to use the Content Link. There are two advantages to doing this. The first is that all the HTML is now in a text file that you can manipulate. This leads to the second advantage, which is that you never have to edit the page to make changes to your HTML. This is significant since every time you edit the page, you open the page up to being corrupted in some way.5. Don’t modify or delete anything SharePoint begets. This is a general rule. You never know when you will need to revert back to the original item. I will give you some examples:• Assigning Content Types to a library: Typically a library will have “Document” as the main content type. If you want to add yours and not have the user to see “Document,” don’t delete it, just make it not visible.• You need a new Content Type that is just like “Document” but has a few more metadata columns. Don’t ever modify the original content types; create a child and modify that.• When it comes to Default.aspx pages or the Master page, do not modify the originals. Make copies and modify those.This is my starting list when looking at a SharePoint site and determining the capabilities of the folks asking for my help. I would love to know what others in the community have encountered when dealing with SharePoint newbies. I am certain there are some great stories out there from which we all can learn.Peter Serzo is a published author of the “SharePoint 2010 Administration Cookbook,” a founder of the SouthEastern SharePoint group, a speaker, and SharePoint Architect for High Monkey Consulting. Peter has been in the IT industry for 20 years. He has extensive experience with SharePoint implementing business solutions for several enterprise organizations over the past seven years.
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