My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

  • JavaScript tricks for SharePoint

    tags: SharePoint JavaScript

  • Many organizations are finding that leveraging the full suite of capabilities SharePoint offers requires introduction of a new requirement – that of dealing with, managing and exploiting taxonomies.  Of course taxonomies are not new, but there is some confusion about where managed metadata services and the term store end and true taxonomy management begins.  There are also some misconceptions about the process of deriving and applying taxonomies in SharePoint.  The following are five areas of confusion that we have seen in our engagements and research.

    tags: SharePoint taxonomy myths

  • You can synchronize a SharePoint library, contact list, task list, Project task list and a certain type of SharePoint external list with Microsoft Outlook 2010. Because many SharePoint 2010 users also use Outlook 2010 to collaborate and coordinate activities and projects, the ability to synchronize these libraries and lists can help you become more efficient, especially if you work offline or don’t have convenient access to your SharePoint sites all the time.

    tags: SharePoint Office Outlook

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

  • JavaScript tricks for SharePoint

    tags: SharePoint JavaScript

  • Many organizations are finding that leveraging the full suite of capabilities SharePoint offers requires introduction of a new requirement – that of dealing with, managing and exploiting taxonomies.  Of course taxonomies are not new, but there is some confusion about where managed metadata services and the term store end and true taxonomy management begins.  There are also some misconceptions about the process of deriving and applying taxonomies in SharePoint.  The following are five areas of confusion that we have seen in our engagements and research. 

    tags: SharePoint taxonomy myths

  • You can synchronize a SharePoint library, contact list, task list, Project task list and a certain type of SharePoint external list with Microsoft Outlook 2010. Because many SharePoint 2010 users also use Outlook 2010 to collaborate and coordinate activities and projects, the ability to synchronize these libraries and lists can help you become more efficient, especially if you work offline or don’t have convenient access to your SharePoint sites all the time.

    tags: SharePoint Office Outlook

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.

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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.

Speaking at BIWUG on October 27th about Governance

On Thursday October 27th BIWUG organizes an evening full with great information. I’ll be a part of that, speaking about SharePoint Governance. Or we can also call it Governance for SharePoint. I’ll also participate in the second part of the evening where we’ll talk about the past, the present and the future of BIWUG. Oh yes, for the record, the third part of that evening will also involve some me, but in the form of attending and trying to get a good conversation and meeting great people at the #SharePint.

During this session I want to give the attendees a different view on Governance. Most probably (and hopefully) a view they didn’t thought at before. Yes, I’m talking about the softer side of a SharePoint deployment.

dreamstime_872766

This is the sessions abstract : Stop thinking about features features features when talking about governance. When designing governance for a SharePoint implementation, a lot (not to say all) energy and words go out to technical stuff, SLA’s and not to the things that define the business value. And the business value is not only a perfect technically tuned and performant SharePoint farm (if that even exists).

This evening will start at 18:00 in the offices of Microsoft (Leonardo Davincilaan 3 , 1935 Zaventem).
If you are interested in this session and haven’t subscribed yet, it can get tough to get in. 74 people already registered for this session and it’s sold out.

I’ll be speaking at Communityday Belgium 2011

14 Microsoft User Groups combine their efforts to organize this unique networking and knowledge sharing event. Microsoft Community Day will take place on Thursday 23th June 2011 in Utopolis, Mechelen, where we will
bring together over 350 IT Pro’s and developers. Of course, some other people will also join the party, like the “functionals” ;-)

My session will cover this topic: “SharePoint Governance: Stop thinking about  features features features when talking about governance. When designing governance for a SharePoint implementation, a lot (not to say all) energy and words go out to technical stuff, SLA’s  and not to the things that define the business value. And the business value is not only a perfect technically tuned and performant SharePoint farm(if that even exists). ”

Feel free to join me at 16:00.

Communityday 2011

Communityday 2011

Why Microsoft is wrong in their SharePoint bring to market approach.

Since a few years I execute the job of SharePoint consultant. SharePoint seems to be one of the most successful product, maybe even the most successful product Microsoft has launched. Then why should a guy like me complain about that Microsoft is wrong in their bring to market? They probably earn billion$ with SharePoint. And they should, because it is a great product! But at the end of this post, in the quote you can see my worry.

During the SharePoint Evolution conference SPEVO held in April of this year, my memory was refreshed of something that was said during one of the analyst sessions in the SharePoint Conference 2009 (SPC09) in Las Vegas.
The SPEVO was actually the SharePoint Best Practices Europe Conference, but because of the launch of a new version called SharePoint 2010 there were not a lot best practices to share on SharePoint 2010. BUT the organizers of this conference really got the message I’ll talk about in this blog post. They organized a IW (Information Worker stream) In fact, they organized even 2 parallel streams. Well done Steve Smith!

During a session from Symon Garfield, he explained why 70% of all projects fail. There are several reason, like unclear requirements, scope changes. One of the main failure reasons is that a SharePoint project can’t be driven only by IT.
SharePoint is a business driven product. IT can install, deploy and support it, but it can not solely drive it toward long term success.
You also need to have a good user adoption plan, and some corporate guidelines (let’s call them governance) to make sure that when people really start using SharePoint, it doesn’t get a maze where you can’t do or find anything. If you take a look at the Microsoft Press books, about 99% of the SharePoint books are technically focused. There is a lack of business side books. (Thank you Michael Samspon for representing this 1%)

During that analyst panel session at SPC09 there was a discussion about having a third pillar next to the Developers and IT PRO’s. The name was not specified, but lets call this group Functional people, or Functionals.  For me, but also for all SharePoint projects in general, I thought that was good, no even great news.

But until now, nothing has changed. From Microsoft’s opinion you are or a developer, or an IT PRO.There is no new group. Or you write code, or you have access to Central Admin.

A good example of this are Ignite Sessions. They are organized for IT Professionals and Developers, but not for Functionals. Even with such a huge release of  SharePoint 2010, where a lot extra power is provided to PowerUsers, and it very important to have that link between Business and IT.

Or the Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Developer and IT Professional Learning Plan.

In my first conversation with Karine Bosch (a Belgian SharePoint MVP) right after a BIWUG session  we were talking about what we did in the SharePoint world. When she explained what she does I replied, “Oh, you’re a code sh|tter”, without being disrespectful. That’s good because we need SharePoint code writers I replied, (you can also read developers)  to cover non ‘Out Of The Box’ functionality , When I explained what I do, I summarized it with “I’m a document sh|tter”. And We also need them (I guess). Actually that’s also what Karine confirmed.

That’s why in my humble opinion that Microsoft is acting wrongly. Until now, they don’t provide any special documentation or support for these Functionals. Besides some sales and marketing information on how SharePoint will make your organization more productive, there is no specific information for the Functionals. They are just twilights. They act the “Build it and they will come” way.
And they should pay attention to this, because otherwise SharePoint might become one of these “Oooh darn, it’s a SharePoint” applications.

That’s also why I am so happy that guys like Michael Samspon, the author of Seamless Teamwork, a book on using SharePoint from a business perspective, Raymond Dux Sy , the author of SharePoint for Project Management: How to Create a Project Management Information System (PMIS) and Paul Culmsee take a different approach on SharePoint. I will do my best to provide useful information like these guys do in their blogs, webcasts, books, … That will be my way to contribute to the grey twilight zone that Microsoft can’t fill.

On the other hand, I must admit that I know a few, but just a few guys that are good at coding, have a good knowledge of the the Out Of The Box functionality of SharePoint and are able to talk to the business and translate their requirements to SharePoint functionality. These are the golden egg chickens…

But to conclude, what I’m trying to explain is that Microsoft, and the Microsoft partners will be judged by their clients (the business) based on the return SharePoint gives to the business, not on it’s nice technical gracefulness.

Just for the record, here are my my questions to Microsoft.

What are your intentions to this issue? (When)Are you planning to setup a functional stream?

Since a few years I execute the job of SharePoint consultant. SharePoint seems to be one of the most successful product, maybe even the most successful product Microsoft has launched. Then why should a guy like me complain about that Microsoft is wrong in their bring to market? They probably earn billion$ with SharePoint. And they should, because it is a great product! But at the end of this post, in the quote you can see my worry.

During the SharePoint Evolution conference SPEVO held in April of this year, my memory was refreshed of something that was said during one of the analyst sessions in the SharePoint Conference 2009 (SPC09) in Las Vegas.
The SPEVO was actually the SharePoint Best Practices Europe Conference, but because of the launch of a new version called SharePoint 2010 there were not a lot best practices to share on SharePoint 2010. BUT the organizers of this conference really got the message I’ll talk about in this blog post. They organized a IW (Information Worker stream) In fact, they organized even 2 parallel streams. Well done Steve Smith!

During a session from Symon Garfield, he explained why 70% of all projects fail. There are several reason, like unclear requirements, scope changes. If you take £SharePoint,  one of the main reasons is that a SharePoint project can’t be driven only by IT. SharePoint is a business driven product. IT can install, deploy and support it, but it can not solely drive it toward long term success.
You also need to have a good user adoption plan, and some corporate guidelines (let’s call them governance) to make sure that when people really start using SharePoint, it doesn’t get a maze where you can’t do or find anything. If you take a look at the Microsoft Press books, about 99% of the SharePoint books are technically focused. There is a lack of business side books. (Thank you Michael Samspon for representing this 1%)

During that analyst panel session at SPC09 there was a discussion about having a third pillar next to the Developers  and IT PRO’s. The name was not specified, but lets call this group Functional people, or Functionals.  For me, but also for all SharePoint projects in general, I thought that was good, no even great news.

But until now, nothing has changed. From Microsoft’s opinion you are or a developer, or an IT PRO.There is no new group. Or you write code, or you have access to Central Admin.

Take for example the Ignite Sessions. They are organized for IT Professionals and Developers, but not for Functionals. Even with such a huge release of  SharePoint 2010, where a lot extra power is provided to PowerUsers, and it very important to have that link between Business and IT.

Or the Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Developer and IT Professional Learning Plan.

In my first conversation with Karine Bosch (a Belgian SharePoint MVP) right after a BIWUG session  we were talking about what we did in the SharePoint world. When she explained what she does I replied, “Oh, you’re a code sh|tter”, without being disrespectful. That’s good because we need SharePoint code writers (you can also read developers)  to cover non ‘Out Of The Box’ functionality , When I explained what I do, I summarized it with “I’m a document sh|tter”. And We also need them (I guess). Actually that’s also what Karine confirmed.

That’s why (I would say) in my humble opinion that Microsoft is acting wrong. Until now, they don’t provide any special documentation or support for these Functionals.  Besides some sales and marketing information on how SharePoint will make your organization more productive, there is no specific information for the Functionals. They are just twilights.
And they should pay attention to this, because otherwise SharePoint might become one of these “Oooh darn, it’s a SharePoint” applications.

That’s also why I am so happy that guys like Michael Samspon, the author of Seamless Teamwork, a book on using SharePoint from a business perspective, Raymond Dux Sy , the author of SharePoint for Project Management: How to Create a Project Management Information System (PMIS) and Paul Culmsee take a different approach on SharePoint. I will do my best to provide useful information like these guys do in their blogs, webcasts, … That will be my way to contribute to the grey twilight zone that Microsoft can’t fill.

On the other hand, I must admit that I know a few, but just a few guys that are good at coding, have a good knowledge of the the Out Of The Box functionality of SharePoint and are able to talk to the business and translate their requirements to SharePoint functionality. These are the golden egg chickens…

But to conclude, what I’m also trying to explain is that Microsoft, and the Microsoft partners will be judged by their clients (the business) based on the return SharePoint gives to the business, not on it’s nice technical gracefulness.

 

Just for the record, here are my my questions to Microsoft.

What are your intentions to this issue? (When)Are you planning to setup a functional stream?

SharePoint Governance survey on site Closure by @Collabguy.

A fellow consultant and blogger Michael Sampson @collabguy organized a survey on Site Closure.

Michael is the author of the book  Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint Technologies to Collaborate, Innovate, and Drive Business in New Ways, which I recently received from Combined Knowledge (many many thanks for that Zoé and Steve). I would recommend this book for everybody who is interested in empowering people and team with SharePoint.

But I don’t post this just to talk about this book. The reason I write this post is because Michael has launched a survey on Site Closure. And The survey will close on friday July 9th. So this is yet another last minute post…

His next book, SharePoint Roadmap Governance Themes, greatly expands on the governance chapter in SharePoint Roadmap for Collaboration. Two themes have been explored to date — Site Creation Rights, and User Adoption Strategies — and there are reports available on both of those. The third theme for investigation is Site Closure Policy. In other words, what do you do with SharePoint sites when their useful life is at an end, however you define that?

As with the previous two reports, there’s a survey. If you have involvement in setting governance decisions for SharePoint at your organization, please take the survey now.

Respondents who complete the survey will receive a free copy of the research report, due for publication in July 2010.

The survey closes on Friday July 9 … so please do it now!! Thanks.

A fellow consultant and blogger Michael Sampson @collabguy organized a survey on Site Closure.

Michael is the author of the book  Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint Technologies to Collaborate, Innovate, and Drive Business in New Ways, which I recently received from Combined Knowledge (many many thanks for that Zoé and Steve). I would recommend this book for everybody who is interested in empowering people and team with SharePoint.

But I don’t post this just to talk about this book. The reason I write this post is because Michael has launched a survey on Site Closure. And The survey will close on friday July 9th. So this is yet another last minute post…

His next book, SharePoint Roadmap Governance Themes, greatly expands on the governance chapter in SharePoint Roadmap for Collaboration. Two themes have been explored to date — Site Creation Rights, and User Adoption Strategies — and there are reports available on both of those. The third theme for investigation is Site Closure Policy. In other words, what do you do with SharePoint sites when their useful life is at an end, however you define that?

As with the previous two reports, there’s a survey. If you have involvement in setting governance decisions for SharePoint at your organization, please take the survey now.

Respondents who complete the survey will receive a free copy of the research report, due for publication in July 2010.

The survey closes on Friday July 9 … so please do it now!! Thanks.