Month: May 2013

SharePoint Platform – Soft design considerations

Internet wearing ”Intranet skin”

Sometimes words don’t mean the same, however every once in a while, they do. In this case I’d say that intranet and internet are the same, or at least they should be the same.

For some reason people regard the intranet as a completely different technology, a completely different world – when in fact they are very closely related! People implementing intranets are not really looking at all the experiences gathered from the internet 10 years back. For some reason people designing intranets are insisting on reinventing the wheel – when they are designing their intranet solution.
They are still designing long chains of nested clicking about to find content. They are still pretending to know exactly what the end users want to look at – all of them – with just one page!

They insist that whatever they thought of, is the right thing for the user. Typically designs are made static, with high costs in order to change it. Users are not allowed to manage their own stuff, their own sites, their own colors. – And they don’t even pay for it!

All right, what have we actually learned from the internet so far that could or should be implemented in the intranet.

1: Financing – One of the driving factors of the internet is that anyone could post anything, anywhere, in any way they like (at least until someone decided they couldn’t). Usually, and I’m not saying all the time, but a lot of times intranets are implemented as a single solution that a single entity is paying for. It becomes a large expense for that entity, which assumes all responsibility and is also considered the driving factor for the solution.

Intranets are usually a web service, each page representing parts of an entity within your organization. Be strong in your implementation and make sure anyone, can do anything within your intranet. Consider it a joint-stock company, you pay to get in.

Bottom-line: there is a reason that basically every company has a web page.

2: Implementation – The internet is not created by one person, one department, one organization. It was created by many. There are still expert organizations maintaining it, but unlimited amounts of users. Just remember that not everybody has the same ambitions, skill level or requirements.

3: Navigation – The internet changed completely with the invention of search engines. People no longer typed in www addresses. They were no longer forced to navigate and click to find it. No, they opened their favorite search engine and 7 seconds later they got the information they were looking for, and related objects they didn’t even know they needed..

Usually tons of time is spent designing and implementing a beautiful navigation. When time should be spent on optimizing search.

4: Usage – When are your users using the internet and when are they using the intranet?  This question should raise enough questions and answers to keep your intranet, I mean internet, solution running the next few years 🙂

The above is somewhat oversimplified, however it does hold a grain of truth. Not every scenario can be set up so simply, not every implementation is so straight forward. However keep the above in mind when you’re buying, implementing or designing the next intranet solution and you should get some wheels of steel for free.

SharePoint Platform Maintenance Guide

Introduction and purpose

In regards to daily operations of the SharePoint platform there is a set of tools available in order to support this. To give the best possible foundation to operate your SharePoint 2010 farm with as little and as short operational disturbance as possible, the below guide defines the most important elements in relation to this.

This guide describes the GUI-based Central Administration, its tools and options as well as Microsoft’s command-line shell named Powershell. All this with reference to daily operational challenges that occur on the SharePoint Farm.

First this guide contains the most important elements from the respective tools, thereafter examples of usage is with real life issues.

Covers SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

SharePoint Maintenance – English (Location on Google Drive)

SharePoint Vedligeholdelse – Dansk (Placeret på Google Drev)

SharePoint Platform – Backup & Restore Guide

To ensure continual operation of the implemented SharePoint Server 2010-solution, all the supported elements have to be secured in regards to reestablishing functionality and data in the event of a random element’s breakdown.

This guide describes how backup and restore of the SharePoint Server 2010-platform should be done as per Microsoft’s recommendations. This includes associated elements like Site Collections, Web Applications and the product Project Server 2010.

The guide begins with important considerations, before moving on to recommendations. It is important to emphasize that the actual implementation always has to be based on the physical setup and the customer specific demands for backup/restore level and time.

SharePoint 2010 Backup & Restore – English (Location on Google Drive)

SharePoint 2010 Backup & Restore – Dansk (Placeret på Google Drev)

Get a Domain Controller from any domain member

I needed to find an available domain controller in order to remote Powershell and use some AD modules. Didn’t want to start installing them on random machines. So how to find a DC? If you RDP, you can just write the domain name and it finds the first available DC. However that didn’t work for my PSSession, so what to do.

Turns out there was a neet oneliner for that 🙂

[System.Net.Dns]::GetHostAddresses($(gwmi WIN32_ComputerSystem).Domain)[0].IPAddressToString

Returns the IP Adress of the first available DC, which works, but not so good. As it’s impossible to use Kerberos when using IP, well this can be turned into host name also in a one liner:

([system.net.dns]::GetHostByAddress(([System.Net.Dns]::GetHostAddresses($(gwmi WIN32_ComputerSystem).Domain)[0].IPAddressToString))).hostname

Gotta love great colleagues !

SharePoint – Database – SQL options – Powershell

Ran into some challenges regarding database options on a few database. Turns out I didn’t completely agree with the default settings provided by Microsoft when SharePoint databases are created. So I created a Powershell script that will have a look at which databases are connected to SharePoint, find the proper SQL server and change the database options using the defined values in the script. I currently have  three categories defined, as that was my need. It should be easy to change the values, move databases between categories or define new ones.

I recommend that you read through the script before just running it, as the values defined might not be suited for your environment.

The script requires remote powershell to be enabled on the SQL server and could be run from the SharePoint server.

SQLOptions

Comments welcome 🙂

SharePoint platform – Vendor Management Guide

Introduction and purpose

The SharePoint platform can grow bigger and bigger until it reaches a size where it is no longer manageable by a single department or vendor. It could be the need for fresh input on neglected areas or, if possible, simply to get a better deal. No matter what the reasons are, the possibility to split up the platform is there, in order to focus where competences are the greatest.

This guide introduces recommendations on how the borderlines could be defined respectively between one or more vendors, as well as which areas of responsibility lie within which area.

Furthermore this guide will include simple tools for maintaining these areas as precisely and professionally as possible.

The following document should be regarded as an inspiration for how to handle the SharePoint platform. Each area should always be a merger of vendor abilities, platform requirements and industry related requirements.

SharePoint Vendor Management – English  (Location on Google Drive)

SharePoint Leverandør Håndtering – Dansk (Placeret på Google Drev)