Solid tips for improving your SharePoint team site homepage

When creating SharePoint team site, a home page is created which can be modified so that it meets the needs of the team better as well as looks great. The looking good aspect is also related to usability as a site must not compromise on user-friendly aspect when it is modified. The website can display announcements, calender items, tasks, etc or may be added with images or texts. To make any kind of changes to the site you have to be logged as a user with the necessary permissions for editing or modification of the pages. This means that the person must belong to the Members group of the site.

Some tips for better site

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint 2010 development, hire sharepoint developerWhile designing new websites the top navigation should be consistent as well as concise. The navigation which is also known as global navigation should include something around top 5 elements which will be most essential for your needs along with usage. Some good examples are links to subsites or pages. In fact, navigation inheritance should be used from parent site unless it is a private site and it must be totally isolated. The links should not exceed nine as it will appear to be too confusing as well as cluttered.

Right or left scrolling should be avoided anyhow. Consistently scrolling back and forth for viewing or reading the website’s contents can prove to be very frustrating for users. Extra wide parts can be moved into footer or header zones. While designing the website the varying screen resolutions should be kept in mind. Mostly in offices, the resolutions are set at 1280 x 1024 pixels while some laptops are wider so it should be tested in narrow windows to check if its working correctly or not.

The navigation at left could and must be changed according to your position at the website. The position is relative and top level sites can have links to calenders, discussion boards, custom lists, etc. The hyperlinks must be configured properly. You can force the links to open in new windows which will keep the main site open in background; users can easily return there simply by minimizing or closing the window.

The home page should be such that it catches attention as well as conveys meaning or purpose of the site. It is difficult but not impossible. For that you have to keep the content uncluttered and succinct. Important information should be placed “above the fold” or in the space of content which can be seen on screen before having to scroll down. Since screen resolutions of different browsers are different the placement can be tricky. Colors or effects and images should be effectively used so that attention is drawn to main content. Do not be too gaudy and use too many colors, text sizes and fonts.

How to edit

To edit or modify the home page you have to browse home page; click Page tab located in Ribbon which will display editing options. Click Edit and do all the changes that you want. Now the cursor needs to be placed anywhere inside the page body’s rectangular boxes and the content can be edited and applied. Even styles can be applied. After that save the changes by clicking “Stop Editing”.

If you want to add links, web parts, images or tables to the home page then you have to follow these instructions:

  • Click Edit button as mentioned previously to start the editing process.
  • The Ribbon has an Insert tab which should be clicked. Place the cursor where the item needs to be inserted from Ribbon. The cursor should be inside the rectangular box in the body of the page.
  • Click on the item that you want to add- whether it be table, web part, hyperlinks or image and select their variety accordingly.
  • Click Edit; choose Stop Editing and your changes will be saved.

Remember that when a visitor enters the site it should be able to answer questions like what, why, what the site has and what can it give to the user. When you do custom sharepoint development, you get exactly the right thing which you precisely need.

We provide SharePoint 2010 development services. We have expert SharePoint team with 100% certification ratio. To hire SharePoint developer from us, please reach out to 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.

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.

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.

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.

SharePoint performance sinks, swims with SQL Server throughput

When any kind of slowdown occurs within a SharePoint system, the immediate solution is to go for addition of more web servers in order to handle the load in a better fashion. However, these front-end servers are dependent upon the same back-end database server. Incidentally, it is the back end where most of the issues crop up. This is because it depends upon SQL as a file as well as a database system. The processing demands of SP brings to light the disk I/O as the most most common bottleneck. Let us discuss the steps that need to be taken for avoiding or mitigating the logjams that can hinder SQL Server throughput.

sharepoint development, sharepoint bespoke development, Sharepoint programmersIt is advisable to get the binary large objects such as the file attachments, out from the database. SQL Server as well as SharePoint render support to Microsoft’s RBS ( Remote BLOB Storage) technology. This conveniently allows putting all the Excel, Word or other documents back within the NTFS file system wherein they actually belong.

NTFS has the capability of writing and reading files rapidly. On the other hand, SQL Server needs to manage them along its database pages of 8KB, which can consume a great amount of disk space as well as server resources. To do away with this, files are kept by RBS in NTFS and pointers are also provided. This implies that the file attachments can be written to completely separate disks that the one which contains the chief database. This helps in maintaining speed by reducing disk contention.

Regular Maintenance and Premium Storage

One of the most significant performance management investments with respect to SharePoint is buying fast storage. Initially, it is good for organizations to focus on gaining momentum in planning the purchases since this constitutes one of the most costly aspects of storage. Rapid storage area networks coupled with robust drive caches are capable of rendering high quality storage performance, which is a great need of SharePoint. It is advisable to make sure that adequate amount of storage capacity is available for every data developed with respect to a SP installation.

Regular maintenance is extremely important for ensuring the efficiency of ongoing SQL server. The SP collaboration platform is able to generate considerable amount of data, especially in case of heavily used document stores wherein versioning occurs in order to track changes within documents. Moreover, manifold versions are maintained for reference purpose. Appropriate database maintenance, incorporating reorganizing or rebuilding indexes along with updating of statistics, allows SQL Server to remain clean-cut and suitable for quality performance. Moreover, database files can be defragmented as the fragmentation level starts to go beyond 7% or 8%.

Breaking it up

Owing to the inherent scalability of the web, SharePoint is able to scale without any major issues. SQL server is unable to do it in a similarly convenient manner. Because of this, managers of a number of big SharePoint environments develop manifold server farms, each having a dedicated back-end system. For instance, a company can possess a set of SharePoint servers as well as a related database for the document library across the company, for special projects, for users’ blogs and the like. This yields better results than putting everything into the same SQL Server database.

SharePoint administrators can also consider acquiring certain extra tools in addition to visiting Microsoft’s TechNet website, which presents solutions to particular performance problems and best practices to ensure speedy crawling of SharePoint environments.

Defined Performance Metrics

It is also a significant aspect to develop some measurable and reasonable performance expectations for SharePoint development. The basic formula is to try and base these upon the end-user experience. Simply speaking, acceptable performance can be defined by the maximum time a user has to wait during checking of a document accomplishing a task or accessing a blog. You can then break down these metrics into a number of prospective back-end performance metrics. This is a great means to assess the performance quality.

When user-experience metrics get defined, it is required to measure them regularly in order to identify the trends. In this way, it will be convenient to detect whenever a SharePoint system fails to live up to the organization’s expectations.

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

Extracting and Loading SharePoint Data in SQL Server Integration

Whenever it comes to the loading of SP Data in the server integration of SQL, the very first thing that developers of integration package services are bothered about is the best- possible ways in which the data can put in as well as brought out from the SharePoint list. The source of the list and the destination sample of the SharePoint offers an optimized solution with a user friendly interface. The sample also comes with an API for an efficient accomplishment of the tasks apart from the Integration Services.

Ways of Working with SP Data

sharepoint development, sharepoint bespoke development, Sharepoint programmersFollowing are some of the prominent ways in which the SharePoint data can be extracted or loaded:

  • Making use of the SharePoint APIs to add or remove items individually
  • Generating as well as submitting the XML by means of the use of the SharePoint Batch API
  • Using the Lists Web service that makes use of the same XML as the Batch API

The web services come up as great ways of transferring information to and from SharePoint without altering the platform server itself.

SharePoint Source List and Destination: Features

A discussion on the prominent features of the list source as well as destination of SharePoint is essential in this regard. Now, these actually make use of the public web services of the platform. Here is a list of features that improve their level of performance and functionality:

  • The required fields are only returned from the web application development platform
  • The somewhat large lists are divided in batches with a batch size that can be configured
  • The information of column type is utilized for the purpose of mapping to Integration services data types
  • Addition of CAML queries to the query is facilitated to separate the rows that need to be returned
  • Simple updating as well as deleting of operations from the Integration Services package
  • Integration services expressions can be used to set the essential custom properties of the source and destination
  • Supports SQL Server as well as x64 and x86 processors

Process of Using the Destination and Source

Few steps need to be taken prior to using these parts of this SharePoint development platform. The foremost thing to be done is to download the right installer package from the codeplex site. Once downloaded, the installer needs to be run. It has to be kept in mind in this regard that Complete Install needs to be selected, as this allows the installer deploy connectors for each of the version of SSIS on the targeted machine. This is followed by the final step that involves addition of the source and destination to the Toolbox.

Extracting the Information from SharePoint with List Source

The extraction is usually done through the following steps:

  • Addition of the SP connections
  • Addition of components to the SSIS data flow
  • Setting the properties of the SharePoint list source’
  • Writing data to SP by means of the SP list destination

With regards to the extraction and loading of SP information, few more factors need to be considered apart from the above. For instance, if you are looking up for a value in a SP list, the Lookup transformation in the data flow can be used to load the lookup table. Again, if you are replacing values in the data with the values found in the loop, loading the altered data back to SP can be done by including the ID from the lookup column.

There is absolutely no doubt about the point that the SP list source as well as destination sample makes getting data into and out of a SharePoint list much hassle- free. What’s more, the sample also facilitates a utility library that makes working with SP lists out of integration services simpler.

We provide SharePoint bespoke development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint programmers, 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.

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.