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Is Your SharePoint Healthy?

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Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by ScienceSoft. This information was provided by vendor for community education on product. No official review was performed by Vlad Catrinescu.

Is Your SharePoint Healthy

There is no better way to find out if your SharePoint portal is healthy than to analyze its users’ buy-in. If the users are satisfied, it means the portal successfully fulfills its goals. Still, even a portal developed according to all the requirements fails to gain users’ adoption. This is an alerting sign, as users’ discontent can result in rejecting the system.

In order to avoid such a regrettable final, the reaction should be very quick. And SharePoint performance is a number-one aspect to question.

Poor SharePoint Performance

When actively used, a SharePoint environment grows fast and the volume of data increases constantly. Though a positive trend, it can lead to unexpected SharePoint performance problems (e.g. slowly loading pages, media files and documents that don’t open, search that gives irrelevant results). A bad performance is both what users notice very quickly and what decreases their productivity right away.

Performance problems are usually caused by deployment mistakes or inappropriate system customization. Among the most frequent problems that impact negatively on SharePoint performance are large amounts of unstructured data, storage bottlenecks, lack of the server memory, etc.

So it’s either in-house system administrators or outsourced consultants who have to pinpoint the problems and troubleshoot them promptly in order to prevent the subsequent users’ reluctance.

SharePoint is not Used to Its Full Potential

If performance issues are fixed but the portal still doesn’t operate to its full capacity, it’s time to consider the system’s potential problem.

Users can choose a partial functionality if they don’t need all of the system’s capabilities. It’s worse if the system’s features are left aside while they are vital. A SharePoint portal that doesn’t comply with a company’s needs can’t complete its objectives and can hardly gain users’ sympathy.

To help your portal show its potential, the existing SharePoint functionality has to be analyzed and improved, then the missing functionality should be developed or customized according to the company’s business processes. The integration issue is to be considered as well (e.g. integration of SharePoint and CRM) in order to improve the systems’ and users’ interaction.

Unsecure SharePoint Environment

Security problems can be unseen by end users but cause system administrators’ headache. Security troubles can emerge because of the improper configuration of anonymous/unauthorized access rights and permissions, which leads to the system’s vulnerability (data leaks, data tampering or even system contamination).

In order to prevent unauthorized actions from users, access rights should be granted strictly according to internal security policies and employees’ roles. SharePoint security is also to be discussed at personal trainings, in order to explain users how to work correctly with data. This will help to guard every part of the portal, exclude security breaches and enhance the general system’s protection.

Complex Approach to SharePoint Treatment

When it comes to treating a SharePoint portal to overcome performance problems or improve its functionality, the portal’s owners usually prefer approach the issue locally. It means that they identify only a particular problem and try to eliminate it without analyzing the details.

However, the local approach rarely helps to improve the situation as several problems often go together (e.g. you fix a performance trouble but don’t notice a security breach, which results in extra time and investments in the future). Moreover, such an approach leads to extra investment into the system’s support: the more requests you have, the more support services you need.

Relying on our 6+ year expertise in SharePoint consulting, we can say that a complex approach is always more effective to prevent serious SharePoint troubles. To make a wraparound analysis of the SharePoint environment, our SharePoint developers recommend to apply a SharePoint health check methodology that allows to identify all the vulnerabilities that affect SharePoint performance, as well as to pinpoint SharePoint features that need to be developed for the system’s better productivity.

Conclusion

SharePoint health ensures not only the correct operation of the system, but also users’ buy-in. SharePoint problems instantly affect users’ behavior, so an immediate help should be provided to your portal in order to minimize the risk of rejection. A complete treatment cycle for your SharePoint portal is the best option, as it allows preventing multiple scattered actions, and thus saves the company’s time and budget as well as keeps employees satisfied.

By Sergei Golubenko, Team Lead and Solution Architect with 13+ years in software development, including 7+ years of working with Microsoft SharePoint.

Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by ScienceSoft. This information was provided by vendor for community education on product. No official review was performed by Vlad Catrinescu.

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Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by VirtoSoftware. This information was provided by vendor for community education on product. No official review was performed by Vlad Catrinescu.

VirtoSoftware is extending existing SharePoint workflow possibilities by creating a powerful 230+ custom SharePoint workflow activities set that can be leveraged by the company’s power users. Virto SharePoint Workflow Activities Extensions Kit is a no-code set of SharePoint extensions for creating custom workflows, which reduce development costs and time. This set simplifies the creation of business processes, so end-users have more time to focus on what really matters.

SharePoint Workflow

Virto SharePoint Workflow Kit enables the user to take advantage all kinds of Active Directory properties, including user and group management and interacting with almost all AD information. The kit offers abilities to work with e-mails and e-mail attachments, perform task management, work with lists, libraries, sites, and even site collections. User can generate reports about a list, interacting with several instant messaging platforms and sending SMS messages, execute custom VB.NET or C# code, interacting with HTTP at a low level, and much more.

If a SharePoint activity you’re looking for is not included in the Virto Workflow activities kit, you can send a request via the Virto Software website in SharePoint Workflow Activities Extensions section. Click “Request the missing activity” and you can send a request that will be fulfilled within 3 Business Days.

SharePoint workflows

SharePoint Workflow Activities Kit supports SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows. Also, VirtoSoftware just released a major update for SharePoint Workflow Activities Kit, it offers an additional set of 10 FREE activities and conditions, which are working with the native 2013 workflow engine. As well as 23 SharePoint workflow activities for SharePoint 2010 from the whole set are available for free.

All these workflow activities with a simple interface can be easily used by the end-users to build almost any SharePoint workflow and quickly automate day-to-day business processes.

Further information about the product and free 30-day trial can be found at the product page. Download it now and build your own custom SharePoint workflow within minutes!

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I wanted to let you know about a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th called the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference.   Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference.

Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference

The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of content for IT Pros, Developers and Consumer experts designed to help you navigate life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform, Steve Guggenheimer, will be on hand to deliver the opening Key Note Address.

Why attend MVP V-Conf? The conference will have 5 tracks, IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Portuguese mixed sessions & Spanish mixed sessions, there is something for everyone! Learn from the best and brightest MVPs in the tech world today and develop some great skills!

Be sure to register quickly to hold your spot and tell your friends & colleagues.

The conference will be widely covered on social media, you can join the conversation by following @MVPAward and using the hashtag #MVPvConf.

Register now and feel the power of community!

 

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Last week, Microsoft did a pretty big announcement that will probably impact all organizations around the globe. Starting July 1st, the on-premise User CAL pricing will increase 15%.

CAL prices to increase

With this move, Microsoft further delivers its message of “Mobile First, Cloud First”, by encouraging companies of going with the cloud licensing options (Office 365 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Enterprise Cloud Suite) that offer both online services and on-premises server software!

At first, this may seem like a bad move by Microsoft, who has been criticized of pushing the cloud and forgetting about on premises. However with the new on premises SharePoint, Exchange and Lync versions coming out this year, and with Hybrid promising to be a big part of SharePoint 2016, it might be a good time to review your licensing agreement, so you’re not blocked from going Hybrid only by your licensing team in the coming years! For more information, and how it affects you, make sure you talk to your account managers!

Make sure you spread the news about the Microsoft User CAL Increase on twitter by clicking on the birdie below:

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like the Absolute SharePoint Blog Page  on Facebook and to follow me on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content.

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Hello Canadian SharePointers,

KWizCom, a Canadian company that has been very active in the SharePoint Community in the past few years by sponsoring bloggers and various SharePoint Saturday events just shared one of the coolest promotions I have seen in a while in the Tech Space.

http://www.kwizcom.com/special-offers/canadieneh/

During the whole month of February, KWizCom would like to reward ALL Canadian SharePoint users with a production license of ANY KWizCom add-on of their choice! You simply got to send them an email, and you have it! If you’re looking for a SharePoint forms add-on, make sure you checkout my review on SharePoint Community: Review of KWizCom Forms Enterprise edition for SharePoint

To get your free license, just visit the page over here for all the details: http://www.kwizcom.com/special-offers/canadieneh/

What add-on did you pick?

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Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

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With the year almost over, I always take some time and look back what where the most popular posts of the year in order to see what SharePoint users all over the world are interested in reading. Without further talking, here are the top 10 Blog Posts on my blog on 2014.

Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

1 – SharePoint 2013 Service Accounts Best Practices Explained – 41,562 Views

Service Accounts are a very big part of installing almost every version of SharePoint, however everyone has a different way of setting them up. And once you install your SharePoint with a set of service accounts, it’s easier to do a clean install than to change them all. In this blog post you will learn what the best practices are for a successful SharePoint Installation. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2013/01/sharepoint-2013-service-accounts-best-practices-explained.html

2 – Install SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 the right way- 21,001 Views

This article will be focused on some questions I got from SharePointers from SharePoint-Community.Net and also from friends… How do I patch my SharePoint 2010 farm the right way? Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2013/08/install-sharepoint-2010-service-pack-2-the-right-way.html

3- How to move a List from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 – 12,275 Views

I recently had a client ask me, how he could migrate only a list from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 by keeping the data in it. I tried a quick Google, and nothing came up. I tried to export the list into a .cmp file, and import it into SharePoint 2013, but I got this Error. Importing SharePoint 2010 Files is not supported in SharePoint 2013. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2013/08/how-to-move-a-list-from-sharepoint-2010-to-sharepoint-2013.html

4- The Ultimate Script to download SharePoint Conference 2014 Videos AND slides! – 10,770 Views

After everyone posted about 10 script versions to download the SharePoint Conference 2014 videos I decided to add some extra value before releasing mine! This script has been very popular this year on other blogs as well. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2014/03/ultimate-script-download-sharepoint-conference-2014-videos-slides.html

5 – Microsoft killing some features in Office 365 SharePoint Online – 10,180 Views

In the past few weeks, Microsoft has slowly started to kill some features from SharePoint Online. Before we go on, here are some of the features that you will slowly see disappear from your SharePoint Online tenant…. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2014/09/microsoft-killing-features-office-365-sharepoint-online.html

6-Create a scripted SharePoint 2013 Development Environment Tutorial – 8,817 Views

Creating a SharePoint Development Virtual Machine is something you might have to do quite a few times as a Developer. Even if it’s a pretty easy process, on a slow machine it can easily kill 4-5 hours of your day only to install SQL, SharePoint, Visual Studio and all the others tools you might need to get started. What if you could just script it so it’s all done automatically while you go take coffee, chat on SharePoint Community or whatever else you enjoy doing? In this tutorial we will learn how to build a script that we will keep using for as long as you keep developing on SharePoint 2013. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2013/10/create-a-scripted-sharepoint-2013-development-environment-tutorial-part-1.html

7-Step By Step Guide to configure the “Replicating directory changes” for SharePoint 2010 and 2013 – 7,903 Views

This guide is a step by step guide with Screenshots to give the “Replicating Directory changes” rights to the SharePoint user profile account that will be used to synchronize the user profiles. The screenshots were taken in Windows Server 2012, however the steps are identical or very similar in Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2012/12/step-by-step-guide-to-configure-the-replicating-directory-changes-for-sharepoint-2010-and-2013.html

8- SharePoint 2013 Site Template ID List for PowerShell – 6,564 Views

When creating a new Site Collection or Web Application by PowerShell, we have the option to apply the Site Template Directly. However, for PowerShell to accept it, you must give it the Template ID (EX: #STS1). Here is the SharePoint 2013 Site Template ID List for PowerShell. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2013/06/sharepoint-2013-site-template-id-list-for-powershell.html

9-Step By Step Guide to configure the Managed Metadata Service Application for SharePoint 2013 – 6,530 Views

This guide is a step by step guide with Screenshots to create and configure a Managed Metadata Service Application in SharePoint 2013 as well as a Content Type Hub. It’s a really easy tutorial that should take maximum 30 minutes to complete! Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2013/02/step-by-step-guide-to-configure-the-managed-metadata-service-application-for-sharepoint-2013.html

10 – SharePoint 2010 VS SharePoint 2013: Minimum Requirements – 6,336 Views

This post is about the Minimum Requirements for SharePoint 2013. I also contrast them with SharePoint 2010’s Minimum Requirements. This will also help you see if your current SharePoint 2010 Infrastructure is ready for an upgrade to SharePoint 2013. Read it here > http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2012/10/sharepoint-2010-vs-sharepoint-2013-minimum-requirements.html

 

As for the overall stats on my blog, it has been a very good year with almost 300 000 Pageviews and over 170 000 Unique Visitors!

Also, when I compare the stats to last year, I can see that the blog has been a lot more visited, but since I shared a lot more news & quick fixes then last year, some of the stats went down.

I hope you all liked my blog posts in 2014 and I am already preparing some for 2015! Don’t forget that in order to see my blog posts the soonest possible, you can follow me on twitter @vladcatrinescu or like the Absolute SharePoint Blog page on Facebook. If you follow on Facebook, the best way to get notified is to go on the page and choose the “Get Notifications” option. This way you will get a notification every time I post a blog post. Don’t worry about receiving too many since I only do one blog post per week, unless it’s really something important, in which case you won’t want to miss it anyway!

Have a great Holiday Period and looking forward to see you all in 2015 at Ignite!

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A bit late on the announcement, but since most of the SharePoint people have been focusing on SharePoint Conference 2014, not many have realized that Microsoft also posted the Project Conference 2014 sessions online for free. Since many SharePoint Admins also have to manage Project Server, I think this is a pretty relevant topic!

Project Conference 2014 Sessions

To Browse and watch the videos go here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Project/2014

To download the videos and the slides go here: (coming soon)

Here are all the videos currently posted on channel9! However, before you check them out, make sure you share this with your followers on twitter so they can benefit as well!

Project Conference 2014 Sessions

Sessions for Project Conference 2014

In this keynote, we will share the product roadmap, present the latest in Microsoft Project family of products and our cloud offerings and showcase plenty of demos that will get you charged for the rest of the conference! Prior to his current leadership role, Ludovic was General Manager for the Microsoft Project Business Unit, where his responsibilities led him to run product development and head the strategic direction for the Project business. Ludovic has been involved with the Microsoft Project team since 1994 in various technical leadership roles for the Project and Project Server line of products. Ludovic holds a BS in CS from ESIGELEC, an Electrical Engineering school based in France.

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Meet me at events near you in 2014!

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After founding the amazing SherePoint-Community.net online community I had the pleasure to meet a ton of great people online, people to which I talk almost every day on the SPCOM Chat!  However, I did not have the pleasure to meet most of the 5000 members in person yet and it’s one of my 2014 resolutions to attend as many SharePoint events as possible, especially in Canada and the US!

Here are some events I will be at either as an attendee or a speaker in the first part of 2014:

DatesEvent NameSpeaking?Session
February 1st, 2014SharePoint Saturday AlbanyYesLync, Exchange, Sharepoint and Office Web Apps, the Fantastic 4  of Communication and Collaboration
February 8th, 2014SharePoint Saturday MontrealYesLync, Exchange, Sharepoint and Office Web Apps, the Fantastic 4  of Communication and Collaboration
March 3-6, 2014Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference 2014 in Vegas!No
April 14-16, 2014SharePoint Summit MontrealYesLync, Exchange, Sharepoint and Office Web Apps, the Fantastic 4  of Communication and Collaboration
May 26-28, 2014SharePoint Summit TorontoYesLync, Exchange, Sharepoint and Office Web Apps, the Fantastic 4  of Communication and Collaboration

If you are attending those events, drop a line in the comments and make sure to come say hi during the event!

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When Trying to Queue a new Build Definition, You might get this error: TFS215106: Access denied. Domain\User needs Delete build definition permissions for the build definition MybuildDefintion in team project MyTeamProject to perform this action.

TFS215106

You might get this even if you are a Project Administrator or have all the other rights in TFS because the inheritance for builds might have been broken to provide more security. For example, in my organization, only 2 persons are allowed to launch Build Definitions in UAT and Production. If you ONLY need access on this build right click the build name and click Security.

Then add yourself with all the permissions…. However if you’re a TFS Admin and you will have to deploy more builds you can go in the security of the TFS Server by right clicking on your default collection, clicking on Team Project Collection Settings and then Group Membership.

And then add your username to the Project Collection Build Administrators Group.

Leave  a comment and don’t forget to like us on Facebook here and to follow me on Google+ here and on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content

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I recently had a problem where suddenly TFS stopped sending emails and alerts. Furthermore, there was a permission bug with all new projects: The permissions were working perfectly in the SharePoint Site, however no one had the permissions in TFS Web Access.

TFS Permissions do not sync to Web Access

The problem was that the Visual Studio Team Foundation Background Job Agent service was stopped. The Visual Studio Team Foundation Background Job Agent service provides a general scheduling mechanism for Web services and jobs for Team Foundation. This Windows service is also used to run the tasks spawned by various wizards, such as the New Team Project wizard and create a Team Project Collection wizard. The service uses the service account for Team Foundation Server (TFS), referred to as TFSService. The service runs on any server that is running a Web service or Web application in the logical application tier for Team Foundation. To operate correctly, the service account for the Team Foundation Background Job Agent service must have the permissions required for the tasks that it performs.

The service should be on Automatic Startup and should always be running! If you ever experience problems like the ones I had, make sure the service is running!

Leave  a comment and don’t forget to like us on Facebook here and to follow me on Google+ here and on Twitter here  for the latest news and technical articles on SharePoint.  Also, don’t forget to check out SharePoint Community.Net for more great SharePoint Content

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