Top 6 Benefits of MS SharePoint Services for Document Management

Despite being launched by Microsoft as a web development platform, SharePoint is widely used by enterprises to manage their records, documents and content. The latest version of SharePoint also comes with a set of innovative features that enable businesses to work with distributed teams. An organization can use these features to build websites and intranet sites to completely manage documents and share information with the members of its distribute team, along with generating a variety of reports to facilitate decision makers. If you are yet to migrate to SharePoint 2013, it is time to understand some of the significant benefits of MS SharePoint Services for document management.

6 Reasons Why Microsoft SharePoint Services for Document Management

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint application development, hire sharepoint developer1) Improved Productivity of Team: SharePoint 2013 comes with a set of simple yet effective collaborative tools to connect all members of a distributed team. These features also enable users to access required information and business resources at once. Along with organizing documents and getting important notification, the users can further use the collaborative tools to coordinate calendars and build team workspaces. The platform also comes with innovative features to create wikis and blogs. At the same time, the offline synchronization capabilities make it easier for users to access information on their mobile devices.

2) Easy to Maintain Content Integrity: While adding, updating and modifying documents professional find it a daunting task to maintain the integrity of content. The enhanced document management features of SharePoint make it simpler for users to maintain the integrity of content and documents stored on team sites. In addition to seeing revisions to documents and restoring the previous versions, a user also has option to activate relevant document checking options before editing the content. The document-level and item-level security features further contribute towards maintaining integrity of document.

3) Quick and Simple Navigation: Each user wants to access the information he needs in an instant. It is also essential for a content management system to allow users to navigate the team sites at their own pace. The Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 comes with improved menus and views. The features make it simpler for users to navigate among and within SharePoint sites. At the same time, they also have option to integrate the productivity tools in Microsoft Office system to access the document more quickly. While working within Microsoft Office system files, they can still access the SharePoint features to create sites along with adding, editing and modifying documents.

4) Customized Solutions to Boost Business Processes: Most organizations opt for content management systems that can be customized according to their business processes and specific needs. The simple and easy-to-use features of SharePoint enable enterprises to seamlessly migrate to the new platform. At the same time, an enterprise also has option to deploy custom Windows SharePoint Services by using a set of application templates. As the application templates are designed to perform specific tasks and complement particular business processes, the customized solution can be developed and deployed without requiring any extra time.

5) Easy Storage and Recovery of Documents: Microsoft has further designed Windows SharePoint Services with improved features to store and retrieve the documents and business data. The document management system is designed with features lie custom metadata, version history, check-in or check-out functionality, and customizable views. Also, it includes a completely revamped recycle bin functionality that enables users to recover the content easily, along with optimizing backup and restoration.

6) Complete Security for Business Information: While enabling its employees to access business information at their own pace, an organization must optimize the security of information resources. The administrative controls provided by Windows SharePoint Service help enterprises in securing their information without investing additional funds. The features further reduce the complexity associated with site management, provisioning and support. Along with setting permission at document or item level, an organization can use the features to manage storage limits, site lifecycle, site membership and permissions.

On the whole, many organizations migrate to SharePoint document management services to deliver user experience that is familiar, simple and consistent. The platform is also effective in simplifying how the members of a distributed team interact with documents, content and business data. Also, an organization can avail its broad capabilities to create customized websites, intranets, content management systems and similar tools that can be used to take better decisions. Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

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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.

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.

Migrating from WordPress to Sharepoint?

Owing to the user-friendly aspect, a large number of organizations are increasingly realizing the need to migrate from WordPress to Sharepoint. These companies prefer to host the content within distinct libraries or lists utilizing a metadata structure. Moreover, they want to make use of a powerful search engine that would empower users to conveniently arrive at the data they are searching for.

The WordPress to Sharepoint migration projects are very intricate, but yield effective results once the problem areas are tackled before going for the actual process. In fact, moving to SP is much more than copying the content to any SP site from the source destination of the data.

Content Analysis

sharepoint development services, sharepoint portal development, sharepoint developersA good understanding of the content as well as its usage is important. This analysis phase involves the verification of the content volume and usage along with the permission setup. It is significant to comprehend the manner of data usage and the procedure that is involved in creation and modification of content. Knowledge of this is a great help while setting out libraries and sites. Here data is organized into categories depending upon what can be moved rapidly, what is possible to be archived and what might create problems. Hence, when you are migrating from WordPress to SharePoint, this phase is crucial for planning the project as well as its successful completion.

Cleanup and Preparation

Migrating offers a great opportunity to clean archive content and directories which have become obsolete. One of the key aspects to ensure a successful migration is to solely move those items which require moving. This leads to a short migration life cycle and also enhances the content’s usability through retention of that data which is actually relevant in today’s business perspective.

Taking care of site configuration

Once you arrive at a specific amount of data that is ready for migration, the generic configuration of the site libraries as well as the site itself can be defined. You can also go for search engine configuration, defining metadata and also establishment of permission groups.

One issue that you might face is defining the metadata. The content that needs migration may be present within an environment wherein there is no metadata, for instance a file server where the content resides in a folder structure This folder structure should not be used for classification of data since content in SP always revolves around metadata. In such case, a robust metadata structure should be built within the destination library which assists the users to locate the content. Following this, content types, lists or libraries need to be created with specific focus on the source location’s security setup. It is best to split the content into a number of libraries or ascertain fresh permissions setup for business owners.

Testing

After configuration of the destination sites, you can perform certain test migrations making use of a limited set of documents to ensure that there is proper configuration of the current site structure. Involvement of key users is advisable for carrying out certain tests through addition or modification of documents.

Migration of data

This is the phase wherein the real migration from WordPress to SharePoint takes place. There are a number of migration tools which enables successful migration.

Testing during migration

Owing to a number of organizations or technical concerns, migration jobs are usually carried out in batches. So there is good opportunity to perform certain testing procedures after the completion of each batch. This makes it convenient to quickly correct any faulty migration procedures, thereby ensuring an appropriate working ambiance in the end.

Once all these steps are meticulously followed, it ensures successful migration from WordPress to SharePoint. For more effective results, you can always involve the end users. Define certain key users, let them comprehend SharePoint and then gather their feedback. This will help you collect useful information and also enhance the user adoption procedure. This would help you leverage the benefits of SharePoint portal development.

We provide SharePoint development 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.