15 free SharePoint tools to make IT admins smile

SharePoint is a rich tool and offers extensive features for a better, customized and organized work flow. It enables to make processes easier and swift that enables organizations to make the best out of their employees. It is the best CMS that enables to manage huge amount of content effectively.

sharepoint site migration, sharepoint developers, sharepoint development companyWe live in a competitive world and latest technologies emerge to enable to deliver the best results possible. SharePoint is Microsoft’s tool that enables to build richer attractive websites. It is considered to be the most popular collaborative tool that provides all the necessary tools to manage people and content effectively. This platform makes it easy for employees of an organization to share ideas and engage smoothly in knowledge sharing activities.

Some of the free tools which helps admins while customizing their websites are as follows:

1. Microsoft’s SharePoint Administration Toolkit 2.0 (for 2010 and 2007 versions)

Microsoft bakes a bunch of nice things into this little add-on, including a kit that generates test loads to check how well any SharePoint deployment runs. It includes another important addon for the Security Configuration Wizard so one can harden the profile of deployment through Windows Server 2008. The SPDiag 3.0 utility is most useful. It grabs a heap of statistics from all the servers in a SharePoint farm, interprets them and presents them in a very neat and customized report.

2. ManageEngine’s Free SharePoint Health Monitor Tool

For smaller SharePoint deployment, this lightweight tool gives just an overall rollup of SharePoint farm’s health status at a glance. The ManageEngine Free SharePoint Health Monitor fits this bill nicely, giving a conveniently efficient dashboard view where one can see the details about the memory, CPU and disk space usage for each server running SharePoint. It can be drilled down into the SharePoint workload itself to see the response time, service status, Web server (Internet Information Services) process details and even SQL Server details such as buffer cache hit ratio, cache memory and free pages.

3. IntLock’s CardioLog Analytics Free Edition

If systems have a quarter of a million page views or fewer per month, one can use this free tool to help which finds out the sites employees are using, how long they are typically engrosed with those websites and what areas of those websites are most used. It installs quickly and is compatible with all kinds of versions of SharePoint, even the latest new SharePoint 2013. One can easily upgrade to the paid version where the free edition has all of the same features, with the only differences being the page view tracking limit and allowing for web-based support.

4. Microsoft’s SharePoint Designer (for 2007, 2010 and 2013)

Designer is like the FrontPage web design tool of the SharePoint world. One can use it to customize the look and feel of SharePoint websites, create and modify simple workflows and personalize a SharePoint deployment at ease. If one have a large SharePoint deployment with multiple versions running at the same time, one must use the Designer version specific to the particular SharePoint edition.

5. Idera’s Free SharePoint Admin Toolset

This is a combination of seven tools in one, a site monitor is present to check up on any SharePoint sites one manages, a space trends report to track using disk space on deployment for folders, libraries and websites, a handy accelerator that essentially rebuilds the database indexes on the SQL Server instance managing SharePoint deployment, a clean report to show how much SQL database space deployment is consuming, a permissions analyzer to show what users can access which specific websites and libraries, a smart tool to compare the configurations of site collections to see where they are different and a quick admin tool that brings together most frequently used links to SharePoint Central Administration. A very smart tool set to make tasks easier and smart way to deal with.

6. Idera’s Free SharePoint Performance Monitor

To have a detailed information at what is happening under the hood of any SharePoint farm, this great tool Idera’s Free SharePoint Performance Monitor is used. This tool gives a holistic overview of the performance statistics and metrics for SharePoint itself, the SQL Server instance on any given server and information about the host’s operating system and memory configuration. The tool also can be configured to send simple e-mail alerts when one of the performance indicators does not work. One can also monitor multiple websites at a time for their deployments and one can generate nifty graphs and charts about connections, requests, response time, pages, disk usage and many more.

7. McAfee’s Network Discovery for Microsoft SharePoint

It is a good SharePoint-specific inventory tool. If one has overall responsibility for a network, one might not even know if one of departments has deployed a SharePoint server. The McAfee Network Discovery Tool for Microsoft SharePoint will scan the network to find SharePoint 2003, 2007 and 2010 environments and then display the results of its scan in a nice neat HTML report that shows in detail which servers have been deployed and what version they’re running.

8. Axceler’s ViewPoint for SharePoint

This is a great tool for visualizing in a convenient table form exactly which users have what permissions on any given site. This could be very useful in an auditing scenario or any environment where permissions can tighten without granting full access to users needlessly. One can choose to work from the graphical dashboard, to run and print reports to provide to management or to work through with any administrative tools. It works with both SharePoint 2010 as well as SharePoint 2013 deployments. It even requires full SharePoint administrator permissions to do its job properly.

9. Quest’s Server Administrator for SharePoint

This great tool is suitable on SharePoint 2007 and 2010. It lets to see which parts of farm configuration are affecting the security, performance and availability of deployment. It helps to build PowerShell scripts to maintain environment. It also helps with a migration to SharePoint 2010 from 2007, required to get to SharePoint 2013 as well, by showing which parts of deployment are ready for the upgrade and which are not. And it provides an intelligent rating to show what is most important to upgrade before one begin against what would simply be “nice to have.”

10. SharePoint SUSHI

SharePoint SUSHI is an open source project hosted on CodePlex that essentially takes the most common administrative tasks and puts them in one convenient tool. SUSHI, which bills itself as a “Swiss army knife for SharePoint,” stands for SharePoint Utilities with a smart and useful interface. One can view the lists and sites of any given user can access, which is really helpful for looking at effective permissions, upload user photos as profile images, back up and restore sites; apply a theme to a group of sites with one click and much more.

11. Clockwork Software

It is SharePoint Migration Tool, reliable migration of documents from old ECMS to SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013. From any SQL Server based ECMS (EDRMS, DMS, CMS) with files stored on a network drive or share. ECMSs such as Hummingbird DM6, DOCs Open, Worksite, FileNet etc. Migrate all versions and metadata (including managed metadata).

– Migrate to SharePoint libraries and folders

– Apply document level security if desired

– Currently in use on migration projects totalling about 2 million documents

– Good for small migrations with a cost effective pricing scheme.

12. Metalogix

It can migrate content into SharePoint from just about any source system. From one SharePoint version to another (2003, 2007, 2010, WSSv2 or WSSv3), from various Enterprise Content Management systems (eRoom, Stellent, Livelink) and from file systems, exchange public folders, blogs and websites.

13. PCVITA Express Migrator

It is SharePoint comprehensive too designed for enterprise to migrate content to SharePoint as part of SharePoint migration strategy that goes above and beyond other traditional SharePoint migration software, thereby allowing to have visually architected migration. It provides an effective and simple solution for enterprise to migrate their business-critical data from different repositories (Lotus Notes, File Share, File System, Public Folder and SharePoint etc) to Microsoft SharePoint Server. The SharePoint migration product granularly migrates content while keeping all the associated metadata & permission intact.

14. Vyapin

A powerful tool for developing SharePoint application for migrating documents, NTFS permissions, data and their associated metadata properties from network file shares, file servers and local hard drives to Microsoft SharePoint 2013, Office 365 (SharePoint Online), SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2007. Here are the list of functions it provides such as migrate folders and files into SharePoint libraries from various file servers and network shares. Carry forward default file properties, including custom Office document properties to the respective documents in SharePoint. Automate entire migration process, with the ability to correct and rectify migration errors using the pre-migration validation tool. Migrate content from file shares to on-premise SharePoint servers and SharePoint Online in Office 365 (Standard) environment using a single application.

15. Tzunami

This Deployer tool offers a cost-effective solution for migrating and consolidating multiple content sources into SharePoint. It supports almost all versions of SharePoint, from SPS 2001 to SharePoint 2013. Automating the entire process of migrating unstructured content. SharePoint offers multiple benefits for enterprises big and small. It is for this reason that enterprises are stressing on this particular technology for enabling them to function optimally. It enables to increase employee productivity and enables them to remain more focused with their work. It can function as an effective content management system, document management tool and collaborative platform. Businesses have profited much more with this awesome tool and it has enabled to enhance business initiatives. To get maximum benefits of Sharepoint, you may consider hiring services of a certified SharePoint development company to assist you in your development needs.

We provide SharePoint site migration services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Why Executives Are Resisting SharePoint’s Social Tools?

The social tools of SharePoint have lately faced a lot of criticism from executives. It is a fact that these social tools are considered as a major distraction and well as productivity hindrance. Moreover, many executives might also believe that these tools can usher in the threats of loss of intellectual property, cyber-attacks as well as corporate embarrassment. From their point of view, these tools are probable disasters which should better be completely done away with.

top companies in sharepoint, sharepoint development india, sharepoint development company, hire sharepoint developer, sharepoint development companies, sharepoint development services, sharepoint 2013 mobile development, sharepoint portal development, sharepoint cms customization, offshore sharepoint developerMany of these concerns might be legitimate, but that should not be the reason to shun SP social tools totally. Globally acclaimed SharePoint expert Richard Harbridge, has worked with a number of companies helping them to cope up with this problem. According to him, once the executives’ concerns are understood and acknowledged, ways to reduce the risks can be demonstrated.

Major concerns of executives and means to alleviate them

1. Fear of negative comments: One of the things that executives worry about most is the situation wherein a dissatisfied employee might say something negative on the blog. Such corporate embarrassment can be avoided by adopting certain simple measures such as the addition of an approval feature within the blogs. Here the main issue is that executive or other supporting staff might not properly understand how these features can be used effectively. In that case, some amount of education will help.

2. Fear of wrong information usage: With SharePoint’s social tools, executives often dread the fact that information might fall in the wrong hands. In the executives’ opinion, loss of trade secrets and intellectual property is a huge risk. This can be addressed by amending or appending the existing policies pertaining to intellectual property, that are present in employee agreements or employee manuals. Any social technology including the intranet should not be exempt from respectful and ethical employee behavior as well as acceptable technology use practices.

3. Fear of wastage of time: According to many executives, once SharePoint social tools are introduced, a large number of people would be wasting time on what can be called as a ‘Corporate Facebook’. But it should be noted that the tools have some substantial business value which most executives do not know. For instance, each time a user shares, rates or tags a piece of content, the same is noted by SharePoint and its search relevancy is increased. This enables people to easily locate what they are looking for, thereby mitigating the risk of obsolete or incorrect content being used.

In case executives are still concerned about productivity loss, setting the employees’ expectation that, like their web browser or email, this is also a work technology, can do the desired job. In order to make the use of these SP tools by employees more effective, guidance, training or illustrations may be given on the means to utilize the technology within a work setting. Often, making use of stories to elaborate this can help immensely, particularly if the stories revolve around corporate culture or things like any practical use of the tool specific to the business.

4. Fear of viruses and cyber-attacks: Many are of the opinion that using SP social tools will make the systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks and viruses. These can be conveniently reduced by implementation of an enterprise ready social technology. A plethora of them have constraints imposed for preventing people from adding scripts as an instance to discussion boards, tags, status updates or embedded in any other social content.

5. Fear of employee harassment: Many feel that enhanced collaboration paves the way to increased employee harassment. It is significant to consider the matter of employee harassment, hence ensure that you append or amend the existing policies related to sexual harassment within employee agreements or manuals. Moreover, so far as ethical employee behavior or acceptable technology use is concerned, all social technologies including the intranet should not be exempt from the same.

The concern of your executives is valid, and cannot be denied. However, once these concerns are addressed through implementation of effective and simple safeguards, these types of situations can be done away with. And once accepted with open arms, SharePoint application development would help you leverage the power of social media.

We provide SharePoint webparts development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

5 Steps to Sustainable SharePoint User Adoption Success

SharePoint has become one of the most widely used web application development platforms, preferred by several enterprises all over. However, in spite of the large number of users, SP is usually considered to be more of a network share. It can be put to varying uses and can actually cater to a range of business requirements. Though often ignored, user adoption sustainability is the main point of concern when it comes to SharePoint. For this, it is essential to create a well- planned and of course sustainable user adoption program. Here is an overview of five steps in which sustainable SharePoint user adoption success can be guaranteed.

1. Awareness: Drive Enterprise Momentum

offshore sharepoint developer, sharepoint 2010 experts india, sharepoint cms india, sharepoint migration experts india, sharepoint programmers india, hire sharepoint developer india, sharepoint services india, sharepoint site branding experts, Sharepoint Migration Services, sharepoint portingCreating awareness while also inviting people over to your SP network is the first step in the process. The most popular way of doing this is by selecting the high- profile, positive as well as influential groups into SharePoint. The next step would be to generate interest in them because their inclination would automatically induce others in the organization to go for this platform. If you are thinking about the ways in which this interest can be generated, check the following tips:

  • Identify common enterprise related problems and issues that can be solved by the platform.
  • Guide the people in the desired direction by means of training as well as resource adoption to the current SP artefacts.
  • Convince the decision makers about what this platform can do for them including saving the cost.
  • Communicate the power of SharePoint while also developing self-service support to let people teach themselves.

The next step follows once the influencers have already joined the SP bandwagon.

2. Aligning the Business Needs

Identification of the people along with the possible problems should be followed by aligning them with the business requirements. This involves reviewing the existing collaboration tools as well as patterns while also automating the manual business process too. Following this, it is your turn to prioritize them accordingly.

3. Developing a Relevant Plan

The process of creating a relevant plan begins with an identification of the existing SP resources in terms of training, governance plan, user management plan, release management plan and support structure. The next step would be to establish a support model for self service, site managers and higher level support. A contextual user training module also needs to be developed separately for the site managers and the business users. The modules would include the purpose of SP, roles, responsibilities, learning and support resources along with expectations.

4. Establishing Enterprise Buy-In

After having created the SP bandwagon, it is now time to make the rest of the organization derive the benefits out of using this platform. This is where establishing an enterprise buy-in turns out to be so important, as it makes others realize not just the significance of SP but also the way of using it in the proper manner. Establishment of the Enterprise Buy-In along with deriving the benefits from the same can be done in the following ways:

  • Training the site owners as well as the business users
  • Making a comparative study between the before and after notes to determine the changes made by SP.
  • Provide enough opportunities to the people to get your message. Organizing internal awareness campaigns, hosting user group get-togethers and competitions and so on are some of these opportunities.
  • Recognize and present awards to those who help others.

This particular step is one of the most difficult to be accomplished.

5. Facilitate Engagement

The task of ensuring the success of the SharePoint user adoption does not end even after people are convinced of the importance of the platform and they start making the desired use of it. It is necessary to keep them engaged on a long-term basis. The progress needs to be evaluated and kept track of to make sure that no particular user is losing interest. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the support tools is necessary in this regard. Both positive and negative feedback has to be gathered from the business enterprises. Increased engagement paves the way for higher momentum, which in turn, implies that the users are working well.

The above- mentioned five steps are crucial for anyone aiming at enhancing the usability quotient of this SharePoint development platform.

We provide SharePoint portal development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint programmers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Improve Your SharePoint 2013 ROI with Office Web Apps Server

Office Web Apps Server offers browser-based file viewing as well as editing services with respect to Office files. It operates in combination with services or products that render support to the Web app Open Platform Interface protocol. Also called hosts, the products incorporate SharePoint 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013. Services can be provided to manifold on-premises hosts by the Office Web Apps Server farm, which can be scaled out from a single server to a number of servers as the organization grows.

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint cms customization, sharepoint developersCurrently OWA is a stand-alone product, offering convenient deployment and management. When it comes to deployment of SharePoint 2013, there is no need for the optimization of the SharePoint infrastructure for supporting Office Web Apps. Updates to the OWA server farm can also be applied separately, at a frequency different from that applicable for SharePoint.

Some other striking improvements may be expected with the current version of OWA server which will be successfully making the external and internal users happy as well as increasingly efficient, so far as creation, collaboration or editing on Office docs. in SP is concerned. A few of these improvements are enhanced feature fidelity, cross platform browser support, a user interface familiar to that applicable for Office client applications, co-authoring and integrated sharing, document previews within libraries or search results, amongst others. In addition to the enhanced features of licensing and interface, OWA catering to external users has now become more budget friendly, with respect to licensing requirements. Before discussing on the integration of OWA with SP 2013, let us consider some of the general ways to maximize SharePoint ROI.

A look at how to maximize SharePoint ROI

1. Elimination or consolidation of duplicate documents, dead websites and legacy systems: Keeping sites that are almost obsolete, content that finds no use currently or duplicate items is simply a wastage of space which calls for redundant work on the part of the SharePoint tool. Saving of disk space through identification of data redundancy as well as unused sites can lead to significant cost saving.

2. Being well-versed with the built-in functionalities of SharePoint: Besides being a store house of content, SP comes with a plethora of functionalities for collaboration, enterprise content management, business intelligence, social engagement as well as search driven application creation. It is always advisable to be competent in leveraging the key functionalities, namely Enterprise Search, Dashboards, Portals, Workflows. This will bring down the number of custom applications as well as the cost, effort or time for their development and maintenance.

3. Creation of a centralized SP “control center”: SP governance must cover everything from content management to hardware and infrastructure. Organizations must go for a centralized team that can provide support for app development or maintenance as well as infrastructure along with a training and administration team for rendering support to departments and projects.

4. Deployment of a compliance policy empowered by monitoring and auditing tools: Users should refrain from accessing or uploading documents which contain sensitive data. Hence organizations should design as well as enforce a compliance policy loaded with customizable auditing and monitoring tools to efficiently manage the system as per the regulations.

Integrating OWA with SP 2013

Given the means for maximizing SharePoint ROI, saving of cost, effort and time becomes all the more easy once OWA is integrated with SP 2013. After the establishment of an OWA farm along with the configuration of SharePoint 2013 for the consumption of its services, some major integration points will be noticed, especially within search results and libraries. When “new document” is clicked in the document library, four choices pertaining to document type will pop up, namely OneNote notebook, PowerPoint presentation, Excel workbook and Word doc. Herein the user is capable of choosing the desired category of office document for creation within the browser. Following this, the selection opens the associated Web App, namely OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel or Word.

Another integration point that helps in time saving is Document Preview that appears in Search Results. With the help of Document Preview, the user is allowed to conveniently work with complete Word Document or PowerPoint files. The preview also comes with another new feature which is the potential to download the file as well as print it to PDF or embed the file somewhere else.

Moreover, Document Previewing is available in document libraries now. This feature is sure to save the users’ time because in this case there is no need to manually open every document.

These integration aspects of SharePoint 2013 and OWA will cut down on the time users usually waste in searching for the requisite information. In addition to the capability of previewing office documents, every Office Web App comes updated and renders a subset for the Office client application feature enabling the user to create, view, edit as well as collaborate on Office docs. Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint cms customization services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Developing Your Company’s Extranet: In-House, Hybrid or Private Cloud?

Intranet is gradually turning out to be a prerequisite for organizations and this is mostly because it enables centralized and effective information sharing as well as management. However, an intranet is not sufficient when it comes to connecting the management, suppliers, customers as well as partners in the best- possible way. Creating a direct extranet SharePoint site comes up as a possible solution to this problem. While developing your company’s extranet, you have a few options to choose from. These options are In-house, Hybrid and Private Cloud. Here is a brief discussion about these three modes along with the factors you have to consider in the process of implementation of the extranet.

In-House Deployment

sharepoint application development, custom sharepoint development, sharepoint developersSharePoint, the popular web application development platform, already poses certain challenges with respect to connecting with the external users. You need to consider as to which third party solution needs to be installed for the purpose of offering the end-users with the sign-in as well as password reset capabilities. Now, the forum-based authentication is usually more preferred over the claim-based authentication.

Deploying an in-house SP extranet for your business requires you to spend substantial amount of time and money. The assistance of the infrastructure experts is extremely essential in this regard. Taking this into consideration, organizations are found going for the other options with respect to the site hosting that help in quick accomplishment of projects apart from remaining within the stipulated budget.

Public Cloud Deployment

Public Cloud Deployment or signing up for the SP hosting services on a platform called SaaS is a cost- effective option for businesses as, it is considered a low cost model. As far as the basic collaborative features are concerned, the hosted SP foundation solution offers unlimited access for users, hence, facilitating addition of multiple external users. However, licensing is a better option if you are looking for the highly advanced SP server features.

On the flip side, connecting the on-premises intranet with the extranet located in the public cloud hosting platform is not a feasible option. Even with a recognized provider by your side, data security would come across as a major point of concern.

Hybrid or Private Cloud

It is obvious for anyone to prefer the private cloud hosting solution for the extranet because it comes up with excellent flexibility along with control of on-premises deployment. Again if you are looking for low cost and scalability, a public cloud solution such as Office 365 is preferred. Private Cloud hosting is indeed the best- suited option for the small to mid-sized organizations attempting at combining the intranet and the extranet. At the same time, a hybrid deployment including the process of having two sites on one farm is also facilitated.

Now, running a hybrid solution implies keeping the intranet in-house while hosting the extranet in the cloud. The challenge lies in allowing internal users to move from intranet to extranet and also the other way round. SharePoint’s newest claims feature enables choosing the claim type characters while making the connection between farms actually more hassle- free than with SP 2010.

The good thing is that even though you start with two different environments, that is, the intranet and the extranet, connections can still be made and content published from the on-premises intranet to the extranet hosted somewhere else. In fact, it becomes simpler to move the complete intranet to a similar private cloud. Cross-site publishing enables two sites to connect easily while also making it easier to implement with least amount of involvement on part of the SP administrators.

All said and done, your company’s extranet will certainly be of substantial benefits provided you make the right choice and take the right decision. This would help you leverage the benefits of SharePoint application development.

We provide custom SarePoint development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Sharepoint or Websphere? How to decide for your business?

A crucial tool in online sharing of Office documents, SharePoint goes a long way in convenient implementation of business processes, collaboration facilitation, content management, providing access to information and so on. Again, WebSphere is a middleware and a software framework which hosts web applications based on Java. Now, when the time comes for you to decide between SharePoint and WebSphere, it is worth taking a look at the benefits offered by these two.

Benefits of SharePoint Development :

custom sharepoint development, offshore sharepoint developer, sdps provider india, sharepoint 2013 mobile development, sharepoint application development, sharepoint custom solutions development, sharepoint portal development, sharepoint site migration, sharepoint web parts development, sharepoint development1. Enhancement in team productivity: SharePoint allows users to connect business partners with the requisite information and resources. It enables you to coordinate calenders, organize documents, receive notifications or updates by means of communication features like announcements and alerts. Moreover, new templates can be used for creation of blogs and wikis.

2. Data management: SP has enhanced management capabilities making room for activation of document checkout and revisions prior to editing. Moreover, document security is also provided to do away with information breach.

3. User-friendly interface: SP comes with improved menus as well as view, which aid in simplifying navigation amongst team sites. It is also able to integrate with other available productivity tools, like Microsoft office programs which facilitate creation of workspaces, editing of documents, viewing notifications along with updating calenders.

4. Convenient implementation of services: Team workspace can be conveniently created in SharePoint. Again, organizations aiming for a customized interface for their teams can go for application templates for addressing specific business processes or tasks.

5. Creation of collaboration workplaces: With the help of SharePoint, companies can deploy tasks without putting any administrative effort, from a single-server to different enterprise configurations.

6. Information security: SP offers advanced administrative tools that ensure data security, while mitigating the cost. You can also manage memberships, establish new tasks as well as control manifold workplaces online.

7. Integration with office applications: Integration of SharePoint with common Office programs guarantees accessibility to scalable applications.

The major setback of SharePoint is certainly unghosted pages, wherein it is not possible to update or edit documents.

Benefits of WebSphere Application Server:

I. Support for Enterprise Java Open Standards: WAS renders support to open standards through the J2EE 1.3 specification. Designers, integrators and application developers making use of J2EE 1.3 obtain freedom from the limitations posed by a proprietary platform provided by a single vendor. It is possible to deploy a solution based on J2EE on any application server that is J2EE-compliant.

II. Expansion of maintenance and development capabilities: WAS version 5.0 comes up with expanded and simplified development as well as maintenance potential. Particularly, VisualAge for Java has been replaced by WebSphere Studio Application Developer version 5.1 as the tool for development of J2EE applications. WebSphere Studio, developed across the open source Eclipse platform, paves the road to scalable and open standards-based software development.

III. Streamlining deployment: By rendering support to J2EE, WAS version 5.0 enables the packaging of all application components within a single EAR, which can then be deployed on manifold WAS v5.0 instances. This enables organizations to recognize the “write once, deploy anywhere” commitment of J2EE.

IV. Improvement in productivity: WAS version 5.0 facilitates speedy development of Web services applications along with other enterprise messaging through programmable, built-in adapter technology. With this, users are equipped with the ability for deployment of web services across manifold communication protocols, like JMS, HTTP and the like.

V. Extension of the enterprise: Organizations possessing the WAS v5.0 enterprise extensions are well equipped to provide support to service-oriented architectures (SOAs). In short, SOAs empower organizations to link software components for creation of new business applications like an application for customer order processing. One of the major advantages of SOAs is that developers need not spend lots of time in composing new code for creation of new business processes. Instead, they leverage standard protocols like Web services, for connecting components in order to come up with new applications.

VI. Flexible management abilities: WAS offers a new administration model which incorporates a Web-based interface that can be managed by administrators from any Web browser, thereby providing increasingly flexible management potential. A dedicated machine or a client applet install is not required for administrative purpose.

VII. Enhancement in availability, scalability and reliability: So far as WAS is concerned, cluster as well as workload dynamics are used for providing a high level of availability, scalability and reliability. The components and configurations render support to the ability of deployment of high-performance Web environments. For elimination of a single point of failure, organizations can go for clustering through the dispatcher as well as content-based routing components, Edge Side Includes caching and multitier load balancing.

Hence, SharePoint and WebSphere have their own benefits. It is upon the organization to decide on the one to go for, based on its business needs and requirements.

We provide SharePoint application development services. If you would like to discuss with a certified SharePoint programmer from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Top 10 Content Migration Tools to SharePoint Platform

SharePoint is a web application platform developed by Microsoft in the year 2001, and since then working wonders in proving to be the best technology for handling huge data. SharePoint is very unique amongst information management systems in that it is rarely purchased with any specific purpose in mind. It is mostly bundled in with other products when an IT department negotiates an enterprise agreement with Microsoft. This technology is useful in building sites, content, applications and search.

sharepoint cms customization, sharepoint development company, sharepoint deployment planning servicesSharePoint development allows innovative tools and facility for the development of incredible website that has immense capability to manage various documents and files in an neat and appropriate manner. With the growth of companies, it has become tedious and difficult to manage various files, documents and their positions. SharePoint technology offer immense ease in the management of different files and documents and allows sharing these to main website. SharePoint from the house of software legend Microsoft is used in the creation of large information portals of businesses and companies.

Advantages of using SharePoint

  • It offers a central platform to share work from a central place.
  • It allows to develop and store content through document library.
  • It helps to control complete business processes of an organization.
  • Offers search elements, which helps to collect the information in a short span of time.
  • It allows participating individually in decision making process of a company.
  • Helps in easy development of a website as well as in the maintenance process.
  • It helps in work-flow integration, backup system, branding and consulting activities of an organization.
  • Helps in the development of various applications that are useful for various task processing in an organization.

There is so much to learn and various new features to be discovered and what certainly will be interesting is how quickly businesses transfer to the new platform. Taking those steps will gain immediate benefits in your current environment in order to ensure you are ready to quickly take advantage of the new SharePoint 2013 features.

Some of the core features of the SharePoint 2013

It brings an enhanced user interface with customizable fields and much improved functionality. Its health and appointment management, human resource integration, policy, request and claims management is great. It provides customizable reporting, cache service, expense tracking, revenue tracking and patient check-in. Multiple fee schedules with auto-schedule follow-up, data import/export HIPAA Compliance and tracking the provider’s productivity well.

Migrations are long, complex, risky and expensive projects and it’s difficult to prepare current environment properly to ensure that one is set for a successful migration now and in the future. On top of that, everything one does in the environment should be implemented with an eye on how it will impact SharePoint platform as it evolves. Migrating custom code becomes very costly and time consuming, with the high risk of data loss. Analyzing present environment to identify and address pre-migration issues and planning SharePoint migration strategy with confidence. This will deliver system efficiencies in the short term, ensure high performance and slash migration timelines and in new environment.

Top 10 SharePoint Content Migration Tools

1. Davinci Migrator: It gives the ability to identify potential problems before they occur. Migration estimates help to build realistic schedules. And Davinci reduces risk, lowers the cost and shortens the time necessary for SharePoint migration. Davinci also lets to put site and SharePoint content migration decisions into the hands of the end users responsible for the content using Microsoft Excel. Reliable migration of documents from older ECMS to SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013. From any SQL Server based ECMS (EDRMS, DMS, CMS) with files stored on a network drive or share. ECMSs like DOCs Open, Worksite, FileNet, Hummingbird DM6, etc.

  • Migrate all versions and metadata (including managed metadata)
  • Migrate to SharePoint libraries and folders
  • Apply document level security if desired
  • Currently in use on migration projects totaling about 2 million documents
  • Good for small migrations too with a cost effective pricing scheme.

2.Idera Migrator: SharePoint migration suite is the most comprehensive solution available for SharePoint content migration. It goes above and beyond traditional SharePoint migration solutions enabling you to visually architect and organize content and metadata during migration, to improve search, eDiscovery, usability and manageability. Idera SharePoint migration suite is designed to be used over and over again, with no services required, in a wide variety of scenarios including:

  • SharePoint platform upgrade – migration from or between SharePoint 2003 to 2007 to 2010
  • SharePoint site consolidation
  • SharePoint farm/site collection/site reorganization
  • Rolling out new sites and applications from development through testing and staging to production2

3. Tzunami: It is leading SharePoint Migration tools which has been developed specifically to respond to all SharePoint migration requirements. It enables advanced migration from multiple sources. Saving total-cost-of-ownership, the solution easily moves content to advanced SharePoint systems from a wide-range of sources. Such as File Shares Migration where migration is from folder structures and files from any file share (local or network drive) to SharePoint 2007 Platform. Migrating Exchange Public Folders to SharePoing 2007 List and Libraries. Migrating Livelink content into SharePoint 2007 Platform, Xerox DocuShare content into SharePoint 2007 Platform, EMC Documentum Content into SharePoint 2007 Platform, eRoom content into SharePoint 2007 products. Hummingbird Document Management content into SharePoint 2007 Platform and for migrating Hyperwave content into sharePoint 2007 Platform and lotus notes databaser and applications into SharePoint 2007 Platform.

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4. Quest: All new social features, business intelligence capabilities, and search improvements are improving with each new edition and new version of SharePoint. Quest Migration Manager for SharePoint comes into play from migration 2003 to 2007 then to 2010 and finally 2013. With each move it serves better with richer quality of the products. Whenever there is migration there is filtering and scheduling.

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5. Vital-PathPathBuilder: Enterprise Application Integration for Content Management (EAI-CM) platform that quickly and seamlessly integrates more than 40 content repositories with SharePoint. Enables users to interact with content and data from any third-party repository without leaving the SharePoint environment. Synchronizes permissions and security between native repository and SharePoint.

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6. Xavor Migrator: SharePoint sites, libraries, lists, web parts and permissions can be easily migrated or can simply be re-arranged or re-structured using this powerful migrating tool.

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7. Vyapin Migrator: It builds an intelligent document migration solutions for Microsoft SharePoint. It is a pioneer in developing document migration solutions, starting from the very beginning when SharePoint was first introduced by Microsoft. It introduced a document import kit for SharePoint 2010 which is a powerful, easy-to-use tool to migrate documents and their associated metadata from file systems & network shares into Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 / Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007), Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services v4.0 / v3.0 (WSS v4.0 / v3.0).

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8. Proventeq Migrator: It is a content nigration suite which helps in migrating web content, documents and other digital assets from a wide range of sources (structured or otherwise) to Microsoft SharePoint 2007, Records Center and SharePoint 2010. The CMiS migration process follows the Data Migration ETL (Extract Transform & Load) principles for separation of extraction and transformation from the load into SharePoint. This separation of stages means that the migration can progress in an iterative manner even though SharePoint system may still be under development or configuration.

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9. PCVITA Express Migrator: It is a comprehensive solution for enterprise to migrate content to SharePoint as part of SharePoint migration strategy that goes above and beyond other traditional SharePoint migration software, thereby allowing to have visually architected migration. This provides an effective and simple solution for enterprise to migrate their business-critical data from different repositories (File Share, Public Folder, File System, Lotus Notes, and SharePoint etc) to Microsoft SharePoint Server. The SharePoint migration product granularly migrates the content while keeping all the associated meta-data & permissions intact.

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10. MetalogixMigrator: It also can migrate content into SharePoint from just about any source system. From one SharePoint version to another (2003, 2007, 2010, WSSv2 or WSSv3), from various Enterprise Content Management systems (eRoom, Stellent, Livelink) and from file systems, Exchange public folders, blogs and websites. Migrate SharePoint Sites, Lists and Libraries between servers with full fidelity, Upgrade from SharePoint 2003 to SharePoint 2007, Plan migration to SharePoint 2010, Re-organize or re-template SharePoint content, Manage upgrade with zero downtime. Simplifies the process of migrating eRoom content to SharePoint. All interactions with eRoom and SharePoint go through supported, remote APIs. As a result, you can complete all migration operations from any client machine. Consolidate multiple corporate file shares, web-based document sources, and personal drives into a centrally managed SharePoint repository. It also enables organizations to rapidly migrate content from popular blog platforms to SharePoint 2010. This product supports Microsoft’s vision of SharePoint as both an enterprise content management platform and a social computing platform. To get maximum benefits of Sharepoint, you may consider hiring services of a certified SharePoint development company to assist your development needs.

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We provide SharePoint deployment planning services and also help you leverage the benefits of SharePoint cms customization. To speak to one of our certified developers today, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.

SharePoint tackles all the diverse concerns and issues of file mismanagement

Microsoft refers to the SharePoint server as a business collaboration platform for enterprises as well as the web. Since it is effectively integrated with MS Office, SP has become an ideal solution for a number of organizations who are well-versed with the Office products. It efficiently tackles the different issues and concerns arising out of file mismanagement. Moreover, the enhanced capabilities of SP with respect to worker collaboration coupled with its reliable security option has turned SharePoint into an advanced enterprise level platform. Let us check out the different benefits that SharePoint offers making diverse tasks easy to handle.

sharepoint cms customization, sharepoint development company, sharepoint deployment planning services1. Enhanced content management: From placing data within SharePoint to management of manifold websites showcasing many iterations of the data, enhancements have been realized in the content management services of the program. One of the striking features is the ability to take the data from any Word document, then conveniently paste it into SharePoint. After that, the Word formatting code is modified into the proper XHTML. Following this, it can be uploaded across multiple sites, the versions can be changed when the original is changed. Moreover tools are available to put your content across a range of electronic devices.

2. Consolidated functionality: It is a fact that so far as organizations are concerned, the staff is going to use much more than a single program or functionality. The BCS or Business Connectivity Service upgrade makes SharePoint capable of interacting conveniently with data that is available in other formats like Excel spreadsheet or Word document.

3. Rapid development of sites: Although every website is different, there are a number of features which are reused across a majority of the websites wherein just the content and layouts are different. The design of the SharePoint platform is able to comprehend this and offers developers predefined functions as well as assets such as the Design Manager, which streamlines the design procedure, turning it into a decision making one.

4. Enhancements in end user functionality: Even if a program is loaded with every power and functionality in the world, its bottom-line usefulness would be questionable if your staff is unable to use it for carrying out their duties more proficiently as well as quickly. Whenever a business is undergoing financial expenses for purchasing a corporate license for a program, it is evident that it is looking for a software that would provide the appropriate tools for carrying out the job and also refine them to ensure interactive intuition with the users. In this respect, it can be said that SharePoint has come up with greatly enhanced functionality with features like layout as well as drag-and-drop improvements which interact with MS Office theme for conveniently empowering every employee.

5. Improvements in data analytics: In the present age, information is everything. The new Excel BI and PerformancePoint services in SharePoint Server 2013 renders information in an understandable and accessible manner. Each important and measurable statistic is tracked and displayed in formats which are convenient to read, such as visual graphs and scorecards.

Managing Browser File Handling

Along with the above-mentioned features that help SharePoint in tackling the concerns of file mismanagement, there is also the Browser File Handling property which is available in the following locations:

  • The property is present in each web application
  • Each List comes with the Browser File Handling Property
  • The property is also available in each document library

Out of these, only the property pertaining to the web application can be managed through the web interface. The Document Library and List level properties can only be accessed through code.

Sometimes there are issues in uploading huge files to SharePoint. Usually, the maximum file size for uploading is 50 MB. Often when we try to cross the limit, error messages such as “An unknown error occurred”, “Request Timed Out”, “HTTP 404- Page Not Found” might be displayed. These problems can be tackled through increasing the web application’s maximum upload size, increasing the setting for connection time-out in Internet Information Services, and such other methods.

On the whole, SharePoint is very interactive and dynamic facilitating collaborative management of content through a browser. To get maximum benefits of Sharepoint, you may consider hiring services of a certified SharePoint development company to assist your development needs.

We provide SharePoint deployment planning services and also help you leverage the benefits of SharePoint cms customization. To speak to one of our certified developers today, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.

Sitecore vs SharePoint, Some Simple Facts

When it comes to Microsoft SharePoint platform, a lot has been already predicted by the experts about its future. In doing so, every attempt has been made to ground the possibilities in the sphere of factual and actual reality. One of such predictions implicitly involved SharePoint Sitecore and focused on the future of websites that are public facing on the Microsoft platform. In simple words, it can be said that public-facing websites that are developed on the SP platform would generate a lot of interest among the users. Therefore, it can be said that Sitecore or the specific Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) of the same stands as a powerful as well as persuasive advancing direction.

SharePoint – when it makes sense and when it does not

sharepoint development companies, sharepoint development services, top companies in sharepointWell, SP lovers might find it surprising, but the truth is that it does fail to make sense at times. Since its time of development, there has been instances that indeed saw it coming. For example, let us take into considerations the reasons that drive an enterprise to typically choose the specific platform for an internet scenario that is public-facing. The valid points in this process of decision making always includes the following pointers:

  • We feature an important existing investment in the infrastructure of SP.
  • We actually do have a deep organizational understanding of the particular platform along with the people maintaining the platform and also building over its top.
  • We already possess the licensing of SharePoint on our Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and therefore it does emerge as a cost-effective solution.

If these above-mentioned aspects end up being true for a particular enterprise then, the SharePoint platform does continue being an ideal choice for catering to the specific needs of its WEB Content Management (WCM). What should be known is that the platform does have a wonderful service set catering to the particular situation. For instance, in a specific scenario where there exists only one or two drivers or in situations where none exists, Sitecore always emerges as a better option. Alternatively, even in cases where all three end up being true and there is the presence of important business drivers pertaining to digital marketing, Sitecore very much deserves a consideration as it can do things that SP cannot.

What is Customer Engagement platform in relation to Sitecore

In simple terms, Sitecore is referred to as a platform that focuses on on-premise deployments along with the cloud that can be easily leveraged for deployments in public-facing sites. By making use of this particular framework for building a website, skilled developers not only benefits from the influential features of the web content management, but also through the functionality of digital marketing. This specific service set is proving to be extremely beneficial and popular with the CMOs or people owning the customer -facing sites empowered by Sitecore powers.

The functionality of digital marketing enables the organizations to directly interface with the users arriving at the sites, get accustomed to them through their behaviors as well as target them better with meaningful offerings based specifically on the findings. Surely, SharePoint can do WCM, but it certainly dopes not stand as a peer to Sitecore, especially when it comes to digital marketing.

However, Microsoft has realized the issue. The group that ideally focused on preaching SharePoint as a solution to WCMs was disbanded. Microsoft itself got interested in partnering with Sitecore, which will eventually turn out to be good because Sitecore is developed on the .NET platform and the SQL database servers of Microsoft.

In addition to this, Sitecore offers a wonderful plat for transporting your web infrastructure to cloud – whether be it directly through hosting of Microsoft through Azure PaaS (platform as a service) or with third-party providers of hosting solutions like Savvis and Rackspace. An interesting choice in this sphere is Sitecore’s specialized offering of Azure referred Sitecore Azure. In association with the usual benefits of Azure PaaS, you also gain a standard licensing of Azure.

The Recommendation

Now, the bottom line is pretty simple – if you are considering to develop a public website on a Microsoft platform, SharePoint continues making sense provided you cater to certain criteria. However, Sitecore offers an extremely powerful as well as influencing alternative from the enterprise perspective that provides superior tools for customer engagement. You can hire developers from top SharePoint development companies in India who can help you to build SharePoint development within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint development services and are valued as one of the top companies in Sharepoint in India. If you would like to assess our expertise with a risk-free pilot, please do get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Shredded Storage vs. RBS in SharePoint

SharePoint 2013 has come up with several essential as well as important features with regards to the way in which the file content is stored and retrieved in the database. Now, there has been quite a lot of discussion about the point as to whether a shredded storage is preferable over RBS in SharePoint. However, prior to deciding on the same, it would be better to look into the finer aspects of both Shredded Storage as well as RBS in SP.

sharepoint webparts development, sharepoint application development, top companies in sharepointThese days, the files in SP are split into several parts or shreds and stored in specific rows in the content database. The concept is gaining prominence in SharePoint 2013 more than the API or the office web applications. This is largely because the SP 2013 is incorporated with an excellent file-splitting capability that goes beyond an over-the-wire transfer capability. It exists in the SharePoint databases as a feature called Shredded Storage. With this particular system, the files are shredded into either 1MB or 64K chunks. The file types that are understood by SP and can interact directly with it will be transformed into 64K while the others will be sliced into 1MB.

Getting back to the comparison between this particular system and the RBS in SP, it is necessary to consider the ways in which the SS functionality creates an impact on the Remote Blob Storage (RBS). The RBS, which was introduced in 2010 and continues to exist even today, is extensively used to push the rather large files from the SP content databases to the actual file system. Basically, the main point of difference between the SS and the RBS is that while the former breaks the larger blobs into very small ones, the latter works best with the larger blobs.

If we carry out a few experiments using the Word files as well as Zip files and try out Shredded Storage and RBS respectively, we will come to the following probable conclusions:

  • To begin with, content that is grasped by SharePoint will be shredded automatically while the RBS threshold will determine as to whether the shreds will be pushed to RBS.
  • Content that is not directly understood or interoperated by SharePoint will certainly be shredded to the 1MB chunks and at the same time, will be pushed to the Remote Blob Storage, if it is enabled. The RBS threshold will not be significant in this case.
  • Content that SP understands, on the other hand, will not only be broken down but will also be recognized during the process of shredding. The manner in which the content is handled will depend upon the nature of the content as well as the rules of the media type.

Considering the obvious differences between the office documents and that of the non- integrated files, the conflict between the two systems can be resolved. Both the solutions are of help though their individual effectiveness depends upon the problems that they intend to address along with the goals that need to be fulfilled.

  • The SS solution facilitates default 64K when it comes to the integrated files and 1MB for the non-integrated files. It also reduces the growth of the SQL database, which is caused by the versioning of files.
  • The Remote Blob Storage, on the other hand, works more effectively with comparatively lesser volume of larger files as well as facilitates moving the files out of the database.

Keeping all these factors in mind along with having considered the subtle differences between the two solutions, the most desirable way to make the best use of them requires finding a balance between the operation of SharePoint and configuration of RBS. It is better to let the Shredded Storage perform its job in collaboration with Remote Blob Storage. This would help you leverage the benefits of SharePoint application development.

We provide SharePoint webparts development services. If you would like to hire certified developers from top companies in SharePoint, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.