Governance – A Key Requirement for SharePoint 2010


Imagine an IT organization where there are no rules or policies to control a user’s access to resources. Imagine users storing unlimited personal data on their corporate Storage Area Networks (SANs). Imagine searching for a HR policy and retrieving five different documents describing the same policy. Now, imagine your collaboration software platform is SharePoint and that you are responsible for leading the IT organization. What would be the first thing you do? How about setting policies and procedures? If you do, you have begun the journey towards successful SharePoint Governance.

Typically, there are several myths associated with SharePoint Governance, among them being:

· Myth#1 – Governance is only for the largest organizations

· Myth#2 – Governance is a waste of time and is just a user’s manual

· Myth#3 – Our users are not going to figure out these complex functionalities; hence we don’t need Governance or policies

· Myth#4 – Governance will restrict our users and hinder user adoption

All of the myths listed above are far from the truth. The idea that Governance is suited only for large organizations probably arose from a traditional view of IT Governance where there was minimal end-user content generation and large monolithic software systems. With SharePoint 2010, end-users can create and manage content without significant IT involvement. Therefore, Governance is a key requirement – even for medium-sized implementations. A well-governed SharePoint implementation provides an operational framework for the portal and increases user adoption by removing inconsistencies and environment barriers. Governance plans are developed collaboratively with IT & business stakeholders. These plans describe operational policies and procedures and are not just user manuals. A good Governance plan enables the organization to achieve its short-term and long-term objectives with SharePoint.

In this whitepaper, we will explore the various reasons for the emergence of Governance as a critical requirement for organizations implementing SharePoint 2010. We will also identify the key business and IT challenges around SharePoint Governance and analyze the new features in 2010 that will impact an organization’s Governance plan.

Click here to download this whitepaper

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Business Continuity Planning Whitepaper


If you had asked people to name some business buzzwords, Business Continuity Planning (BCP) would have rated as high as synergy, empowerment and paradigm shift on September 10th, 2001. The attack on the Twin towers and the subsequent destruction elevated Business Continuity Planning from a business buzzword to a pressing necessity overnight. TowerGroup, a research and advisory firm estimated the cost to replace technology after the September 11 attacks at $3.2 billion which included hardware, software and services1. Due to such high costs of recovery after a disaster, about one in five organizations never recover from a disaster and go out of business. Most businesses consider only natural disasters and terrorism as threats and dismiss them as highly improbable. On the contrary, surveys conducted by Forrester2 indicated that power failures, IT hardware failures and network failures account for 42%, 31% and 21% of business disruptions respectively. Terrorism was responsible only for 4% of disruptions and tornadoes and earthquakes came much lower on the list at 2% and 1% respectively.

Almost all businesses maintain some form of documentation in file systems, on network shares or on in a document management repository like SharePoint. SharePoint’s strengths in document management and collaboration make it an ideal platform for sharing disaster recovery documents, emergency procedures and disseminating critical information throughout the organization. With an increasing number of users depending on SharePoint for performing their day to day jobs, business continuity planning for SharePoint becomes critical.

In this whitepaper, we will explore the challenges and the steps to plan for business continuity for SharePoint. We will also explore some software solutions available from Microsoft that will help recover your SharePoint environment in case of a disaster.

Click here to download this whitepaper

SharePoint Capacity Planning Whitepaper


Recent Forrester research studies have indicated that 61%of all organizations are considering or are currently implementing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) for their enterprise portal needs. Coupled with the fact that almost 40% of IT projects fail for one reason or another, a strong foundation for your portal initiative is important to ensure a successful implementation.

In most organizations, SharePoint is a mission critical application responsible for driving business productivity; therefore, it is important to make certain that the operating environment can scale with the business while matching user expectations. A successful SharePoint implementation will need to answer the following questions:

  • What is the minimum amount of hardware needed to deploy SharePoint?
  • Will my SharePoint environment scale to support the business requirements?
  • What is the optimum server topology to support my user base?
  • What are the licensing options?
  • What are the usage metrics that will require the business to add additional hardware?

Capacity Planning targeted to your specific environment provides answers to these questions and helps in determining the environment needed for your SharePoint implementation. In this white paper, we will explore the various considerations for performing a Capacity Planning exercise and identify the components needed to determine your optimal infrastructure.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Retrieving Items from a SharePoint List with subfolders using CAML Filtering


When you run a CAML query to retrieve items from a SharePoint list, make sure that your CAML query tag does not include the <Query></Query> tags.  When you include this tag, the filters are disregarded and you will retrieve the entire list
e.g.
A caml query like this
<Query>
<Where>
<Eq>
<FieldRef Name=’Title’>
<Value Type=’Text>Title.xml</Value>
</Query>
Will not retrieve the list item.
Remove the <Query></Query> tags and you should be able to retrieve the results according to the filter specified.
Here is a sample

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Download GacUtil


GacUtil is a command line tool that allows you to install signed assemblies into the Global Assembly Cache.  Unfortunately it is only available as part of the .NET SDK.  This means that most Windows Servers will not have this utility installed.

I have decided to host it here in case you want to download the utility to install DLLs without installing the entire SDK

Download GacUtil

Hope this helps someone!

SharePoint 2010 configuration wizard TypeLoadException


If you are installing SharePoint 2010 rejoice only after the configuration wizard is through with its process. I recently ran into an issue on Step 5: Configuring SharePoint services. The configuration wizard failed with an InvalidOperationException with the following entry in the eventlog

Log Name: Application Source: SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard Date: 5/18/2010 10:20:15 AM Event ID: 104 Task Category: None Level: Error Keywords: Classic User: N/A Computer: MARA.dev.credera.local Description: Failed to register SharePoint services. An exception of type System.InvalidOperationException was thrown. Additional exception information: Failed to load or format string Id ManagementUI_ExcelCalculationService_FriendlyName for culture en-US: System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Host.ExcelServerHost’ threw an exception. —> System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. —> System.TypeLoadException: Could not load type ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Extensions.IHostExtension’ from assembly ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.MossHost, Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c’. at System.Reflection.Assembly._GetType(String name, Boolean throwOnError, Boolean ignoreCase) at System.Reflection.Assembly.CreateInstance(String typeName, Boolean ignoreCase, BindingFlags bindingAttr, Binder binder, Object[] args, CultureInfo culture, Object[] activationAttributes) at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.MossHost.MossHost.CreateHostExtension(String className, IHostExtension& extension) at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.MossHost.MossHost.LoadHostExtensions() — End of inner exception stack trace — at System.RuntimeTypeHandle.CreateInstance(RuntimeType type, Boolean publicOnly, Boolean noCheck, Boolean& canBeCached, RuntimeMethodHandle& ctor, Boolean& bNeedSecurityCheck) at System.RuntimeType.CreateInstanceSlow(Boolean publicOnly, Boolean fillCache) at System.RuntimeType.CreateInstanceImpl(Boolean publicOnly, Boolean skipVisibilityChecks, Boolean fillCache) at System.Activator.CreateInstance(Type type, Boolean nonPublic) at System.RuntimeType.CreateInstanceImpl(BindingFlags bindingAttr, Binder binder, Object[] args, CultureInfo culture, Object[] activationAttributes) at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Host.ExcelServerHost.CreateHost(String assemblyName, String className) at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Host.ExcelServerHost.CreateHost() at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Host.ExcelServerHost..cctor() — End of inner exception stack trace — at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Host.ExcelServerHost.get_Host() at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.StringManager.get_BrandStrings() at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.StringManager.GetString(StringId id, EncodingType encodingType, Boolean syncCultures, Object[] args) System.InvalidOperationException: Failed to load or format string Id ManagementUI_ExcelCalculationService_FriendlyName for culture en-US: System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Host.ExcelServerHost’ threw an exception. —> System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. —> System.TypeLoadException: Could not load type ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.Extensions.IHostExtension’ from assembly ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.MossHost, Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c’. at System.Reflection.Assembly._GetType(String name, Boolean throwOnError, Boolean ignoreCase) at System.Reflection.Assembly.CreateInstance(String typeName, Boolean ignoreCase, BindingFlags bindingAttr, Binder binder

If you encounter this issue or a similar issue with the configuration wizard, try deleting the registry keys for the service and re-run the configuration. The keys to delete are under HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\14.0\WSS\Services Delete the key for the service causing the error and re-run the configuration. After the delete the coniguration wizard ran successfully to completion

WARNING: Please see the comments. There are some issues with this fix. your mileage may vary

Empty SharePoint’s Recycle Bin


If you have a lot of items in your SharePoint recycle bin, it will be a pain to select items and delete them page by page.

Here is a cool trick to empty the recycle bin without paging through them

http://itfootprint.wordpress.com/2008/03/14/empty-sharepoint-user-recycle-bin/

Run 32 bit .NET applications on 64 bit machines


If you have a 64 bit machine and want to run a .NET application that only works with the 32 bit CLR you would have to make changes to the .NET framework on your machine

Set the .NET framework to load the CLR in WOW mode through this command

Open up command prompt and type this command

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\Ldr64.exe SetWow

Now you should be able to run apps that use only the .NET 32 bit CLR.

To revert back to the default 64 bit framework run

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\Ldr64.exe Set64

Office 2010 Integration with SharePoint 2010 compared with Office 2007


Based on my recent work with SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010, here is a list of my observations of the differences between the two versions of Office when integrating with SharePoint 2010.

Click here to download a PDF version of this comparison

Some enterprises may decide to rollout SharePoint 2010 without upgrading Office. In this case, here are the features that you will miss out on!. This is not a comprehensive nor the official list and is based on my initial experiences. Please post in the comments if you have additional features or if some of these work in 2010

Legend –

Fully Available – Fully Available

Unavailable – Unavailable

Partially Available – Partially Available

Word

Feature Word 2007 Word 2010
Save to SharePoint Fully Available Fully Available
View and Manage Versions Fully Available Fully Available
View/Manage/Start Workflows Fully Available Fully Available
View and Manage Workflow Tasks Fully Available Fully Available
Co-Authoring of the same document simultaneously Unavailable Fully Available
Set Managed Metadata Properties Unavailable Fully Available
One click document synchronization with the server Unavailable Fully Available
Social Integration with Notes and Tags Unavailable Fully Available
Office BackStage Unavailable Fully Available

PowerPoint

Feature PowerPoint 2007 PowerPoint 2010
Save to SharePoint Fully Available Fully Available
View and Manage Versions Fully Available Fully Available
View/Manage/Start Workflows Fully Available Fully Available
View and Manage Workflow Tasks Fully Available Fully Available
Co-Authoring of the same document simultaneously Unavailable Fully Available
Set Managed Metadata Properties Unavailable Fully Available
One click document synchronization with the server Unavailable Fully Available
Social Integration with Notes and Tags Unavailable Fully Available
Office BackStage Unavailable Fully Available
Slideshow Broadcasting from Powerpoint through PowerPoint web app Unavailable Fully Available
Edit Video and Pictures within the document Unavailable Fully Available
Screen Capture Tools Unavailable Fully Available

SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer 2010 is required to edit SharePoint 2010 sites. It is not backward compatible with MOSS 2007 either.

Outlook

Feature Outlook 2007 Outlook 2010
Social connector to LinkedIn Unavailable Fully Available
Take SharePoint lists offline Fully Available Fully Available
Overlay Calendars Partially Available Fully Available
Plug-ins to connect to SharePoint social features Unavailable Fully Available

Visio

Feature Visio 2007 Visio 2010
Save to SharePoint Unavailable Fully Available
View and Manage Versions Unavailable Fully Available
View/Manage/Start Workflows Unavailable Fully Available
View and Manage Workflow Tasks Unavailable Fully Available
Publish to Visio Web Services from the client Unavailable Fully Available
Build Workflows for SharePoint Unavailable Fully Available
Import Visio Workflows to SharePoint Designer 2010 Unavailable Fully Available
Office Backstage Unavailable Fully Available

Excel

Feature Excel 2007 Excel 2010
Save to SharePoint Fully Available Fully Available
View and Manage Versions Fully Available Fully Available
View/Manage/Start Workflows Fully Available Fully Available
View and Manage Workflow Tasks Fully Available Fully Available
Co-Authoring of the same document simultaneously Unavailable Fully Available
Set Managed Metadata Properties Unavailable Fully Available
One click document synchronization with the server Unavailable Fully Available
Office BackStage Unavailable Fully Available
Improved Publishing to Excel Web Access Partially Available Fully Available
Excel SparkLines Unavailable Fully Available
Excel data slicers Fully Available

InfoPath 2010

InfoPath 2010 is needed for customizing the display forms in SharePoint. Forms can be filled in but will not support the features like BCS metadata controls and people selected controls.

 

ASP.NET Development Server and Linking to Remote Shares using Symbolic Links


In one of our recent eCommerce projects, we needed to access images stored on a network share within our website hosted on the ASP.NET development web server.

By default, the ASP.NET web server does not allow you to add virtual directories like IIS does.  This article will give you the steps to find your way around this problem

Our scenario deals with a web project in Visual Studio.  The site uses some images stored on a network share.  It is not effective to download and store all these images locally.  When users access the site, the images should be loaded directly from the network share.  For (e.g) When you access http://customsite/images/image1.jpg , the web server assumes that you have a images directory underneath your webroot and will look for a image1.jpg file.

When users access the site, we need to pull image1.jpg from a network share.  The technique to achieve this is really simple if you are using Windows Vista/7/Windows Server 2008.

Symbolic Links are a core feature of these later editions of Windows and help us achieve the above

Read more about Symbolic Links

Step1: Map a network drive to the remote network share.

image

Map the network share location that has the images to a drive letter in Windows

image

Step 2: Create a Symbolic Link using the mklink command

In our example, when the user requests an image it is loaded from the images folder.  This images folder is supposed to be found by the ASP.NET web server under the root folder of your web application.  For e.g. if your web application is located under “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\webapplication1” then your images folder is usually under the webapplication1 folder.

Important Tip: Do not create the images folder manually and try to map to the network share. Mklink will do that for you

Open a command prompt as an administrator

Type the mklink command as follows

mklink /d “Your Image Folder under your webroot”  “Mapped Network Drive Location”

In our example, it will be

mklink /d “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\webapplication1\images” W:\

Now you should see Windows Create a Symbolic link to the network share.

Browse to the site and you should see your images loaded from the network share

Important Tip: Be very careful, when deleting the Symbolic linked folder. You will be deleting the underlying files on the network share

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