Survey on SharePoint implementations in Belgium.

The University College Ghent is organizing a Survey about SharePoint implementations in Belgium.

2 students, Davy Loose and Gill Gonnissen created a survey to “measure the deployments of SharePoint in Belgium”.

The survey is anonymous, but if you are interested in the result of our survey you can fill in your e-mail address at the end of the survey and we will send you the result. This e-mail address will only be accessible by the researchers and won’t be given to third-party companies. Feel free to send out the survey link to other interested persons or to distribute it through social media channels – the goal of this survey is to reach as many SharePoint users as possible within Belgium.

You can fill in the survey at

My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Pictures of BIWUG1303 are uploaded

On March 13th BIWUG organized an interesting evening. The speakers were Thomas Vochten about “High Availability and Disaster Recovery” and David Smeets about “How to track your project resources by using SharePoint BI”.

During the event I took a few pictures. And at the #SharePint I took more pictures. There were about 80 enthusiastic SharePoint professionals attending biwug1303.
You can view the picture gallery by clicking the picture hereunder.

My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

SharePoint Saturday Belgium: April 28th with a lot of great speakers and topics!

With pride, BIWUG can announce the second official SharePoint Saturday organized in Belgium. Karine Bosch organized the first one in May 2010.
The second one is organized on April 28th by BIWUG, and since Karine is a board member of BIWUG, she is one of the co-organizers.

I am also co-organizing this great community event and my responsibility is to make sure we have enough funding to organize SPS (via sponsors) and to organize the Power User, Information Worker or Knowledge Worker track. You can call it whatever, my goal was to organize a track without Visual Studio and PowerShell. (Or at least just a little bit of Visual Studio and PowerShell ;-) )

Since I really like Daft Punk a lot, my goal was to make this SharePoint Saturday Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, hence this will be the best SharePoint Saturday EVER organized in Belgium. We will have a good organization, great topics, even better speakers and presenters, and a fast and hard prize draw and a strong SharePint at the end of SharePoint Saturday Belgium. Just as a site note, back in 1997 I was in New York to visit a friend, and we went to a Daft Punk concert and could even get a backstage pass. Therefore, yes, I am one of the persons who actually saw Guy-Manuel and Thomas. If only I knew at that time that these two guys  wore helmets al the time, I would have focused a little more to be able to remember their faces J

Now back to SharePoint Saturday Belgium.

Who should attend?

  • IT Pro
  • Developers
  • Information Architects
  • Business Analysts
  • Project Managers
  • Business CEO
  • Designers/Branding
  • Information Workers
  • Power End Users
  • End Users

Why should you attend?

It is a free event, organized by BIWUG. We will have 3 tracks (and maybe even 4 depending on the occupancy of the facility). There is a developer track, an IT pro/Administrator track and then track where I am responsible for, let us call it the IW track. It will be the first SharePoint Saturday where we will have a bunch of international speakers. We have a shortlist of international speakers, and while we are taking care of the latest practical arrangements, we can’t  disclose their names yet. There is one speaker who confirmed her travel schedule today, and that is Christina Wheeler.

There will be an exposition hall with booths from the SharePoint Saturday Belgium sponsors. Therefore, this is also a very good way to get to know the SharePoint 3rd party vendors and other SharePoint companies. Go and have a chat with them and broaden your SharePoint platform knowledge.
At the end of the day, there will be a prize draw and after that we organized a #SharePint.

Where is this SharePoint coolness?

The scene of SPSBE is in the Business Faculty of Xylos. We are grateful for Xylos in being our facility sponsor! You can find a map on the registration page, but for Murphy’s sake, here is a downloadable route description.

How can you register to attend?

I am really looking forward to meet you there. I might be busy that day, but when you see me, stop me, grab me and greet me. Do not fear my dark force ;-) .
Please feel free to spread the word. You can use #SPSBE as the hash tag in twitter.

My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Do you really need SharePoint Site Collection Quotas?

Setting some context

Like on almost everything in life, there are different opinions on using site collection quota.

In his blog post “Controlling Sites Sizes with QuotasMichal Pisarek proposes to use Site Collection Quotas and they should be one of the first things to be considered in your SharePoint Governance plan.
I do agree with him, but I also firmly disagree.

Why don’t I agree with the obsessive (IT) need to implement Site Collection Quota?

During a workshop I was delivering to the business key stakeholders for a SharePoint project (it was a workshop to gather business requirement for a SharePoint implementation) the topic of quotas presented itself. Without telling or asking anything about quota, the business representatives came up with this question. Technically it is not a question because the is no question mark in the sentence, it was more like a proposal or even a requirement.

“If our Enterprise IT strategy directs us to use SharePoint and use this tool to share files between countries and continents then we don’t need (read want) quotas.”
(They were at this moment not able to share information on file shares easily between different countries since file share servers are hosted in the office or country where the files were primarily stored)

Now, from an IT perspective this is a NO-GO because IT wants to (draconic) keep control on disk space consumption and storage capacity planning.

So my response to that was (I was also surprised of this statement, but understood exactly what they meant) asking them on how they can assure that only relevant information will be stored in their sites.
That old, outdated content will be removed. You know, people tend to start cleaning up disk space when they run out of it. And how can we make sure they will not have (too much) duplicates in their sites. And that’s for me the part where governance enters the discussion.

So what is a possible solution?

My solution is not just 1 solution. It is a combination of different solutions that can fulfill the business requirement (the need for “unlimited” disk space and freedom just like they now have on their file share) is not to use Site Collection Quota (or use a very big quota) and define content types (something you should always do on your SharePoint sites)

After defining the content types, you can configure retention policies on these content type. Just to make sure that legal documents don’t get deleted, after 2 years. And you probably don’t need to have your minutes of meetings available for 7 years in the production environment.

An extra step (and maybe a highly recommended one, although  I’m lacking real life experience with this as we speak (Jan 2012)) is that this retention policy actually moves files out of the SharePoint SQL database into another system. Like a tape or a BLOB. There are tools available on the market where you can do storage optimization and create rules that will move documents (or versions of documents) to a BLOB. So you offload these document from the underlying SQL database to alternate tiers of storage like a SAN. This will benefit the sizes and numbers of content database, but it is also a good thing for search and indexing. If you can keep the relevant content in your content databases lower, by off loading these files to BLOB, the overall performance of your database will not decrease (or decrease less) compared to when you keep all these files in the database.

Delivering Business value or loosing control over disk space capacity?

My point of view is that these solutions provide value to business users. Even though IT people will most probably freak out on the thought about not defining a quota, when you define the technical governance correctly and have the proper tools (like Docave Storage Manager from AvePoint  and Storagepoint from Metalogix) you’ll be able to provide a trustworthy solution.
Defining and configuring site collection quota requires less effort then defining  enterprise wide content types, retention policies combined with offloading the SQL server.
But I think it is worth it.