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.

7 Steps to Selecting the Right SharePoint Support Partner

A consistent increase is noted in the number of companies investing in SharePoint application development. However, each organization also explores option to optimize the performance of the SharePoint application. In addition to developing and deploying the application properly, it is also important for a company to provide consistent and quality support. If you are planning to outsource the SharePoint application support, it is important to select the right partner. Along with comparing the cost of support services, you also need to consider on a number of important points to ensure that your SharePoint application gets consistent and customized support.

How to Choose the Right SharePoint Support Partner?

SharePoint bespoke development, certified sharepoint developers, SharePoint site migration1. Skills and Innovation: Similar to other tech support partners, your SharePoint support partner also needs to possess adequate knowledge, skills and platforms. At the same time, you must evaluate the nature and type of the services offered by the company to ensure that these are effective in optimizing the performance of your application. In addition to adding value to your existing team of developers, the company must be effective in providing fresh and innovative ideas to the overall IT functionality.

2. Solid Working Relationship: When you are hiring a SharePoint support partner, the company will work with your team over a longer period of time. Therefore, it is important to check the services offered by the company to ensure that a solid working relationship can be built. Along with checking the compatibility of the company with your existing team, you also need to check if the company is ready to offer customized support according to the needs and objectives of your organization.

3. Professional Accreditations: When you are outsourcing SharePoint support, it becomes essential to hire the best professionals. Along with the qualification and experience of the members of the support team, you also need to check if they are Microsoft certified. As each professional has to work hard to obtain Microsoft certification exam, the team consisting of such accredited developers can provide higher level of service by identifying your specific requirements.

4. Location of the Company: You have option to choose from several local and offshore SharePoint support service providers. Similar to other companies, you can avail high quality yet cost-effective support for your application by outsourcing the project. But the offshore company will require you to work with a distributed team. Also, there are chances that you have to implement a comprehensive strategy to overcome the constraints related to language and time zone. It is also a good idea to discuss with your in-house team about their willingness to work with an offshore company.

5. A Concrete Service Level Agreement: Once you decide to hire an offshore company, it becomes essential to ensure that it will assist your team in resolving any problem without causing any delay. At the same time, you must hire a service provider who agrees to sign a concrete service level agreement drafted according to your specific business needs. The service level agreement will make it easier for you to avail consistent and high quality SharePoint support, in addition to evaluating the service based on key performance indicators.

6. Credibility and Reputation of the Support Partner: The websites of the companies offering SharePoint support will help you in understanding the nature and type of services offered by them. However, you cannot hire a partner without checking his professional credibility and reputation. It is always a good idea to contact the existing clients of the company to gather information about the quality and promptness of the support service provided by the company. At the same time, you also need to evaluate the information gathered from various resources to ensure that the company has adequate manpower and financial strength to become a long-term support partner.

7. Cost: The hash economic conditions have made it essential for companies to avail high quality SharePoint support on a budget. So you must compare the prices charged by each shortlisted company. However, it is also important to do a cost and benefit analysis by keeping in mind the value the company will add to your existing IT system and functionality. As each service provider promises higher ROI, you can always ask the company to prove its claims. When a support partner agrees to deliver higher ROI, it will remain more committed to optimize the performance of your SharePoint application.

While selecting a SharePoint support partner, you cannot ignore the significance the feedback and recommendations of other users. It is a good idea to search the web to read the information shared by other companies related to the quality and reliability of SharePoint support provided by each of the shortlisted companies. If you are contemplating a SharePoint site migration project, you can put the points above into action to find a reliable development partner.

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

7 Critical Quality Assurance Steps to Take in SharePoint Scanning

Each edition of Microsoft SharePoint comes with loads of innovative features and functionality. In addition to being a web publishing platform, SharePoint is also used widely by enterprises to manage content and documents stored on their intranet and the web. But each company has to make and implement a comprehensive strategy to migrate to SharePoint smoothly. An organization can easily migrate to the innovative content management system, if it does not have any paper record.

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint webparts development, sharepoint developersBut the companies with loads of paper records must implement a comprehensive SharePoint scanning strategy. Along with scanning each documents, file and folder, the strategy also needs to consider how to sort and store the scanned records logically. At the same time, the strategy must consider a number of quality assurance steps to optimize SharePoint scanning.

SharePoint Scanning Best Practices

1. Automate the Scanning Process: Similar to other manual process, SharePoint scanning is also prone to several types of errors. So you must use innovative technologies to automate the collection and storing of data. You also have option to choose from a variety of tools like Database Lookups and Advanced Data Extractions to make the data collection and entry process flawless. Along with eliminating errors, the tools will further make it easier for you to store the data at a much faster pace.

2. Check the Scanning Hardware: The documents can be scanned using several types of scanning hardware available in the market. But you must check the hardware to ensure that it is designed with double feed detection feature. The feature will ensure that the each page is scanned by eliminating the chances of pages getting struck while going through the feeder. As you have option to choose from several scanners, it is important to pick the right device after evaluating the pros and cons of each system.

3. Make the Scanning Task Specific: Many professionals do not understand the requirements and significance of SharePoint scanning. So they often ignore to check the quality of the scanned images and documents. You can always improve the quality of scanning by making the entire process task specific. Instead of deploying a dedicated employee to scan all documents, you can divide the task among several employees. When the task is assigned to specific employees, they will scan the documents properly while checking the quality of both data and images.

4. Check the Quality of Image and Data: You can always optimize the SharePoint scanning by introducing a QA system. Under the QA system, each image and information will be checked by an independent person, before storing these in the database. As an alternative, you can even consider using an interface that is designed with dual view feature to see each side of a document, folder batch or image structure. At the same time, the interface will also use a spreadsheet to ensure that the all each document is scanned and sorted in an exact and logical way.

5. Use Count Validation: When you are converting existing business data stored on papers into digital format, you must remember that there are always chances that some documents, pages and folders may remain non-scanned. So you must use a validation interface to ensure that each page, document and folder is scanned and counted properly. In addition to physical to digital validation, the interface will further ensure that the prepped or poorly stacked papers are scanned without skipping any record.

6. Check the Way Documents are Stored: Along with scanning each paper record, you also need to ensure that the digitalized records are sorted and stored logically. When the information are sorted and stored in a logical order, it will be easier to access the details immediately in future. Similarly doing QA while scanning the documents, you can further consider introducing QA of the end resting place. The second level of QA will ensure that the data are stored in the right rules. Also, the data will be stored according to the right rules, and in right data fields.

7. Improve Quality through Reporting: Many enterprises use a dual stream output to optimize the scanning and storing of paper record. Along with storing the images and metadata in the repository, you must feed the data and scanning statistics into a reporting DB. The reporting DB will make it easier for you to track the entire scanning process, and ensure that all documents are digitalized. The reporting will further help you in identifying the missing documents and exceptions.

Many organizations outsource SharePoint scanning to save time, effort and money. If you are planning to outsource the project, it becomes essential to keep the above mentioned factors in mind. It is also important to hire a company that has adequate experience in scanning, classifying and storing a wide variety of business records using SharePoint. Custom SharePoint development teams with proper experience in scanning can help immensely in this.

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.

Things to Keep in Mind during Lotus to SharePoint Migration

Lotus Notes, a prominent application development platform, became popular in the 90s. Most of these platforms helped in catering to the varying demands of the departments. The rapid development of the platforms led to the production of a variety of applications that were implemented without proper governance. Eventually, this led to the necessity of migrating from Lotus to SharePoint.

Now, the switching from Lotus Notes to SharePoint can be carried out using various paths. The precise ways and the process revolving round the migration needs to be considered to allow this to be successful. Here is a list of few ways of migration from Lotus applications to Microsoft SharePoint.

Things to Keep in Mind during Lotus to SharePoint Migration
Migration of Standard Lists:
This is the first point that needs to be taken into account. SharePoint, at the time when it was designed, came with several templates designed to execute precisely the same job as the numerous Lotus Notes’ mostly used standard application templates. The templates include task lists, calendars, discussion databases, contact lists and more. The basic functionality is same in spite of slight differences between the interfaces.

Migration of Custom Lists: Very much like the standard lists, the most essential thing to be considered while migrating from custom applications to custom lists is that of mapping all the database fields of the Notes to the suitable custom list columns.

Migration of Document Libraries: When it comes to Libraries, there are many things common between Lotus Notes and SharePoint with slight variations. The documents are actually binary files with several associated data properties. Considering this, the binary files attachments should be extracted and put in the library. This needs to be done during the Notes database migration.

Conversion of Microsoft Word: There is no denying the point that Microsoft Office, which is the dominant standard for creation of documents, integrates closely and effectively with the SharePoint libraries apart from being easy to handle. Now, the integration of Lotus Notes and SharePoint enables building of powerful applications. Additionally, users have the option of opening, editing and saving documents from the libraries without any hassles whatsoever.

Conversion of PDF: For businesses that have large amounts of Notes Databases incorporated with rich ext documents, PDF is the most suited platform for switching. Searching of PDFs in SharePoint requires installation of a free add-on from Adobe. PDF conversion leads to a satisfactory user experience, which may not, however, be as good as the one offered by Microsoft and SharePoint integration.

Conversion of InfoPath: InfoPath is considered an essential tool for switching for certain reasons. The applications might include complicated data structures, disabling them from getting stored in a list. The applications, on the other hand, encompass complex form designs along with ranges of difficult features.

Use of Document Sets: Document Sets come up as an essential way of storing several related files in a single and logical document group. This is like storing the entire thing in a single folder. In a document set, one can version, approve as well as secure the files while also presenting them in a usable and versatile interface.

Web Part Pages Migration: Web Part Pages Migration is the best option for exercising extra control over the manner in which the various elements in the web page are placed.

Migration of Publishing Pages: The reason behind this is precisely the same as Web Part Pages Migration. The only difference is that publishing pages require separate visual layout and styling from the authors of the content.

Migration of Wiki Pages: Creating a new page in SharePoint from the create menu leads to the wiki page. Now, wiki is the most popular page type when it comes to migrating Notes content. It is easily doable with proper migration tools.

Keeping these issues and their solutions in mind would assist you in getting a successful sharepoint site migration done from Lotus Notes to SharePoint.

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

What are the Capabilities of SharePoint Server?

Incredulously, there are now well over 10,00,00,000 web users across the globe, around more than 500 companies using this multi-functional platform “SharePoint”. It’s one of Microsoft’s large-scale enterprises and in past 5-6 years Microsoft sold over 36 million user licenses. It is an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive enterprise search and content management, accelerating shared business processes and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight. Regardless of location and devices, we are able to log on to our collaborative, SharePoint-based environment to work with our colleagues on documents, projects or business processes.What are the Capabilities of SharePoint Server

SharePoint sites are quickly created and managed well by supporting specific content publishing, enterprise content management, records management and business intelligence needs. With Sharepoint one can conduct effective searches for people and documents, participate in forms-driven business processes. It even accesses and analyzes large business data. It offers a way for people to work together in a versatile way, working together in online and offline applications, in any location.

Capabilities of SharePoint Server

1. SharePoint sites deliver a single infrastructure to provide portal and collaboration capabilities across internet, intranet and extranet. It also brings all users together to share information and knowledge base across organizations.

2. Collaboration, Portal, Enterprise Search, Enterprise Content Management, Business Process and Forms, Business Intelligence and licensed for Internet/Extranet.

3. SharePoint search gives users the ability to find the people, content and information they need by combining an integrated, with enterprise search technology.

4. SharePoint communities empowers organization to work with people in ways that are most effective for them. Allow employees to collaborate in groups, share knowledge and ideas, connect with colleagues and find information and experts without difficulty.

5. SharePoint Insights enable users to access and act together with information across unstructured and structured data sources. It empowers users to discover the right people and expertise to make better and more accurate business decisions.

6. SharePoint Content enables users to participate in a governed, compliant content management lifecycle. SharePoint content makes it possible to skillfully balance user experience with organization policy and business process.

7. SharePoint Foundation is made for small business organizations or departments looking for a low-cost entry-level or a pilot solution for secure, Web-based portal.

8. An organization can use the SharePoint Foundation to coordinate schedules, share, organize documents and participate in discussions through team workspaces, blogs, wikis and knowledge base on the platform that is the underlying infrastructure for SharePoint Server.

9. It works perfectly with other technologies like MS Office, MS Unified Communications and MS Exchange Server. And it has centralized administration allows managers to access application management features, system settings, manage security settings, upgrade SharePoint, change general application settings etc.

10. It can customize application very easily and helps in organization branding. It also looks after the security issues, by managing permissions to sites, lists, folders, documents, web applications and more.

SharePoint Designer is a tool of choice, among developers, for rapid application development. With the help of SharePoint Designer, advanced users and developers can quickly create customized SharePoint solutions. Expert users can compose no-code solutions that encompass a variety of common scenarios, from many collaborative sites and web publishing to line-of-business data integration and business intelligence solutions.

These great solutions leverage the building blocks available in SharePoint in an easy-to-use environment. Additionally, developers can use SharePoint to get a rapid start on SharePoint application development projects. With its advanced features and tools, organizations can quickly respond to growing business needs by building ultimate effective solutions.

We provide SharePoint development services. If you would like to know more about our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.