SharePoint offers Enterprise-Level Info Sharing Platform

sharepoint development company , sharepoint custom solutions development , hire sharepoint developer The rich platform of SharePoint helps in the construction of web applications that are ‘multi-tiered’. There are three characteristics that define this development platform- reliability which means its ability for consistent performance, extensibility which enables consolidation with other applications as well as systems and scalability which enables the proper handling of growing work amount. For web application development several frameworks, languages, tools as well as object models can be used. The person who is new to this platform may find it difficult to know what to implement and where. So a developer should first understand his choices and then select the options accordingly to meet his design and architectural goals.

Capabilities

The system of SharePoint Server is equipped with the following capabilities:

  • Communities- Collaborating through blogs, wikis, etc.
  • Sites- Websites both outside as well as inside the firewall.
  • Search- The technologies as well as products include search engines that can be customized according to your needs.
  • Content- Web content management, publishing along with enterprise content management systems.
  • Composite applications- Includes infrastructure, processes, user interface as well as data access.
  • Insights- Business intelligence.

Scalable architecture can be provided by the relevant technologies along with products making it absolutely perfect for several users like employees of a huge corporation. Flexible, scalable websites can be built by its virtue; they can be maintained with ease. When building applications you can customize several capabilities for specific vertical markets.

Role in Application development strategy

While considering the role, three basic strategies are there- enterprise portal, application and intranet along with application. Among these SharePoint viewed as application is the simplest approach. In this, deployment of SharePoint is as it is. Customizations are limited to either no-code customizations or configuring through web browser.

SharePoint may also be utilized as intranet platform as well as application. According to this model, the platform is used for building of intranet applications. This often includes remarkable customizations and partners can be included as well for initial deployment. After completing the deployment, in-house customizations can be limited to configuration through browser or no-code solutions with help of SharePoint Designer.

SharePoint can be adopted as an enterprise portal, acting as a core component of the application development strategy. This model will allow you to have an experienced as well as full-fledged software development team. You along with your development partner can also experience close relationship by virtue of this platform. Other considerations additionally associated with this approach are:

  • Maintaining the skills necessary within the development team.
  • Enforcement as well as development of coding standards specific to SharePoint for external development partners along with internal developers.
  • Robust approach needs to be established for ALM or Application Lifecycle Management like defining the standards, process as well as procedures for creation of SharePoint solutions. They can then be moved through production environments, UAT, integration as well as development.
  • In case of regional SharePoint farms engaged in global deployment, standards and efforts must be coordinated across diverse development teams.

Right applications for SharePoint

To use SharePoint for application development platform, you should try and determine when SharePoint can be used and when it cannot be used. Every problem can be solved by this platform but it may increase complexities in maintenance along with application development and cost as well. Things may become tricky in case of upgradation to SharePoint’s latest release due to heavy customizations. So some key considerations are:

  • Management of unstructured information is best suited by SharePoint.
  • There is no point in using this if things like content, search, insights, communities, composites or sites are not used.
  • It is best for creation of multiple examples of websites based on common templates.

Thus, in short this platform is not only great for enterprise level information sharing but for lots of features like file-sharing, web-publishing and collaborating, all under a single server. Business efficiency and productivity can be improved with the help of the easy to use and powerful infrastructure which boasts of capabilities for the development of websites, portals, content management systems, intranets and such other business intelligence implementations. You can hire developers from top SharePoint development company in India who can help you build mobile apps within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint custom solutions development services. If you need to hire SharePoint developer from us, we would be glad to assist you at Mindfire Solutions.

8 ways to avoid SharePoint deployment disaster

With increasing business opportunities, newer challenges surface. One of the biggest challenge faced by organizations across the globe is managing information effectively. Every large and small enterprise, an independent professional, manages information effectively which is one of the keys to successful operations and survival in tough times.

custom sharepoint development, sharepoint application development, sharepoint developersPeople are adopting to electronic data than paper work. Organizations that adopt electronic document management systems are showing greater signs of having a better grip over business processes in tough times. And with SharePoint getting regarded as the “Information Operating System” for organizations, it seems organizations of all sizes using Microsoft products will start implementing SharePoint because of the tremendous value they see in the platform. However, not all sharepoint deployments run smoothly. Here are solid 8 ways you can avoid and mitigate risks associated with the deployment process.

8 ways to mitigate risks in SharePoint deployment:

1. Loss of data content in the event of a disaster: Content or Data is King. It is very important for a company to deal with their customer data well without messing it up. Else answering customer calls and having to tell them that all their data is gone because the archive room just caught fire is like putting business to fire. The best way to protect business documents against any disaster is to implement a document management system that not only helps to manage paper based documents, but also digital files. Documents will outlive wear and tear which is caused by manual handling and adverse weather conditions. Digital files are easy to back up -and retrieve within minutes than searching from a pile of files physically.

2. Time and cost overruns: Paper archives are simply too time-taking to handle as a source of information in the long run. It is very difficult to fetch information from a physical document library that causes a whole range of tasks connected to a business process to queue up, which will lead to project delay and cost escalations. Physical labor and staff to manage all of this can be avoided thus saving. And other things being constant which might be lowering costs and translating into a neater bottom-line.

3. Communication gaps: Most business processes involve stages of conception, iteration, research, decision and execution and then a follow up review. Multiple departments are involved in the entire exercise. When the source documents are not at the fingertips of every stakeholder in this business process, it can hamper smooth communication of ideas and relevant data. This in turn leads to another serious risk.

4. Poor or wrong decisions: Communication gaps imply that employees may not be armed with complete data for them to carry out their task as expected. This is true especially when some members of the team have the requisite documents in their possession while others do not. Decision makers are faced with time bound goals that they must achieve. If a business decision is made in a hurry and with incomplete data or without the required inputs from the entire team, it could lead to a loss in terms of revenue, market share or other such performance indicators.

5. Lost opportunity to delight customers: When customer-facing staff have all the documents they need on a single application, But if the source documents have to be retrieved from a box file in another corner of the office building, don’t expect the customer to stay on hold or wait patiently for long – you have just lost an opportunity to create a “Wow!” customer experience. Electronic document management can come to rescue. Having all information the customer needs means a ‘First Contact Resolution’ and no repeat calls for the same issue – something every business wants to achieve 100 per cent of the time.

6. Losing the competitive edge: Businesses that have an EDMS in place are far better placed to succeed in today’s digital age. Lower costs, better communication, quick turnaround times (TAT), improved productivity and quality levels – all these make an organization highly competitive and give their rivals a run for their money. Not having a sound EDMS means one could lose out on these performance indicators and consequently competitive edge over a period of time.

7. Employees Are More Mobile and Loss of reputation: When a company’s document management policy lack leads to a serious strategic or tactical error, it could result in the company’s reputation being seriously damaged. This can jeopardize the organization’s position in the market in the long term and have a cascading effect on other areas of operation. In the past, SharePoint users were often perceived to be safe within a secure perimeter working inside a corporate network, protected by layers of security such as email and endpoint security.

Employees now are increasingly mobile or remote. In the past, SharePoint users were often perceived to be safe within a secure perimeter, working inside a corporate network, protected by layers of security such as email and endpoint security. Organizations realize their business is at risk as employees are often outside the corporate network, protected by only one layer of protection their endpoint security. This is unreliable since endpoint security may become outdated when the mobile user is outside of the network.

8. Failing to comply with legal requirements: Laws such as a HIPAA require the maintenance of records in an organized way so as to be secure and accessible. Managing files and documents without scanning them is undoubtedly tougher than managing documents in electronic formats like the electronic documents are easily created, managed, stored, modified, shared, maintained and transfered than paper documents. Without a EDMS, an organization will have a tough time to organize its information repository so that it complies with applicable laws.

All the above 8 points can be easily controlled and risks can be avoided by switching to electronic document management. These discussed are just some of the situations that could happen to businesses who don’t adopt EDMS: delaying implementation of an EDMS can have a ripple effect in each of these areas. As with everything else, the hardest step is the first step toward change. Organizations worldwide who have taken this step have seen their operations transformed, getting a return on investment (ROI) that is worth the resources invested by them. Custom SharePoint development teams are can help you migrate from diverse technologies to latest versions of SharePoint including 2013 version while sticking to the allocated budget and time schedules.

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

Is SharePoint 2013 assisting SharePoint Mobile Explosion?

Few years back when you were not allowed to bring in pen drives to work because it was seen as a security threat to organization data to today when you are asked to bring your own device, we have surely come a long way. This decade is seeing the new concept – BYOD (Bring your own device) to work in action. This radical concept is changing the way enterprises used to work. Mobile devices are the preferred ones as smarter approach to consume information on the go. Tablets and smart phones are setting trend and considered as the advanced computing concept working anytime anywhere. Data management is no longer a desktop problem. Security is no longer something that’s about managing desktops. The mobile revolution is changing for the better and SharePoint 2013 has made a lot of improvements in all types of business sectors for enhancing business data, its security and deploying apps in all the more customized way.

custom sharepoint development, Sharepoint 2013 development, sharepoint developersMany applications in SharePoint are being launched as enterprises struggle to balance a need for security with demand for access. Large projects involve hundreds of people and several million documents and generate a huge amount of intelligence with raw data, internal communications and processes. The new mobile innovations and web-based technology related to collaboration has prompted capture of data which can be shared with project members anywhere. Every data aspect contributes to the overall intelligence factor within the organization.

Managing explosive data volumes hence becomes essential for every enterprise. The rapidly increasing information needs to be attended to with effective tools of archiving and purging. And one can leverage the large body of intelligence from multiple sources for effective collaboration.

By enabling SharePoint mobile features one can only enhance the user experience and also support the already-existing advantages of an effective SharePoint program:

  • Improving employee responsiveness and decision-making
  • Faster internal issue problem-solving
  • Increased productivity
  • Faster customer service

With the explosion of tablets and smartphones and increasing downloads of touchscreen-based mobile apps, the importance of mobility is evident. These smart devices can be totally different from each other in many ways – from screen size to usability and functionality, making it impossible to optimize a website for a single device. Companies are looking to develop and execute on strategies that provide a first-class experience for all devices right from PC to all kinds of mobile devices.

SharePoint is proving to be a very useful tool and a powerful web content management platform which has gotten better with the latest 2013 release. It has out of the box features which provides a new HTML5 contemporary view, but even that was limited in terms of what Web Parts might be displayed. Device channels are built into the publishing template as a way to support designers with flexibility to build around smart phones or tablets, but with industry techniques around Responsive Web Design.

The SharePoint Mobile ecosystem has never been richer with nearly a dozen third party apps across all smartphone devices, with a much richer consideration for security and edge support without requirement for Office 365 subscriptions. Responsive websites in SharePoint adapt the layout by using fluid grids, flexible images and CSS3 media queries. Media queries are useful for applying different CSS styles to different screen resolutions. Microsoft provides Office support for apps on these competitive tablets, there is a preview program for home and business that asks the user what kinds of devices they own from Blackberry to the particular type of Android Tablet.

With the release of SharePoint 2013, vast improvement is visible in its mobile capabilities, as well as some cool new mobile features. Let’s take a detailed look:

  • One of the new features that have emerged from SharePoint is the SharePoint Newsfeed app which brings social to what appears to be all devices. The app provides a rich, optimized experience that enables users to view and interact with their newsfeeds on Windows Phone, Windows 8 and iOS (iPad and iPhone).
  • The new app allows users to post to all newsfeeds on SharePoint sites as well as carry out all the usual “social functions” that can from desktop — including the option to follow people, mention, share documents and follow hashtags. It can use either the SharePoint Server 2013 or SharePoint Online. This functionality requires no configuration or customization and again, like the social functionality, can be deployed using either SharePoint Server 2013, or the online version.
  • Microsoft has promised to make SharePoint 2013 as accessible as possible to all users. This new version comes with new HTML5 based browser, offering content views for specific site templates. In this case, it means a lightweight rendering layer that is easy to navigate and touch friendly, making it easy to use on preferred screen or mobile browser. The navigation has been designed to simplify moving from one part of the site to another and perform basic operations across SharePoint. This functionality requires no configuration or customization and can be easily deployed using either SharePoint Server 2013.
  • BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) strategies by offering different customizable viewing capabilities via the web development path in Design Manager. A new feature that appears in SharePoint 2013 called device channels in Design Manager will enable designers to render publishing sites in a number of different ways and comes with different designs for different devices. Content, including images, can be changed while keeping the same URL across a whole range of different devices as well as accommodating a number of different touch target screen sizes of the different gadgets.
  • FileLocker also aims to deal with that through simple integration with SharePoint. It can encrypt for all data stored inside SharePoint. Its core functionality at the moment includes not only end-to-end encryption, but also file editing in the cloud and document preview with plug-ins for AutoDesk, as well selective file sharing.
  • For enterprises, the real bonus is that it comes with native apps for not just iPhone and iPad, but also for Android and Windows Phone. Optimized mobile browser experience has a lightweight browsing experience for users to access SharePoint content, it allows three different views such as classic, contemporary and full screen user interface.
  • Push notifications developers can now create notifications that send updates to a mobile device when specific activities occur on a SharePoint site.
  • Its location supports a new geolocation field type that can be used for mobile app development.
  • Office web apps has the viewer for Microsoft Office documents provides enhanced experiences when interacting with documents and has been optimized for mobile devices navigation models and content exclusions across tablets and smartphones.

The above features have made everybody realize how important it is to move their data to SharePoint 2013. It brings some useful enhancements that have the power to transform the level of understanding to any business. Making some amazing customized mobile apps with this new powerful SharePoint new edition is picking up as a trend. Custom SharePoint development teams are can help you migrate from older versions of SharePoint to SP2013 within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint 2013 development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Comparing SharePoint 2013 with previous versions

SharePoint can be an extremely powerful tool, a well-designed solution for content, document and information management – a well-designed solution. SharePoint 2013 is an excellent improvisation which is increasingly mobile, increasingly social and all that promotes a greater collaborative atmosphere within the organization. With SP2013, it is possible to integrate social capabilities, organize, share and synchronize content properly. Now users can share their ideas and opinion with their colleagues continuously. SharePoint has been very popular technology in the web world which can be beneficial for enterprises and excellent platform for sharing content with others.

custom sharepoint development, Sharepoint 2013 development, hire sharepoint developersWith the release of SP2013, there is a wide range of new features at disposal such as stronger search features, better cloud integration and infrastructure as well as content management. The 2013 release is an important one as the 2007 edition will no longer be supported, users have been upgrading to 2010 or 2013 versions nowadays. The SharePoint Connector supports SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013. SharePoint Connector 1.8 supports all the above three versions.

Microsoft thinking beyond 2013

Microsoft is happy about SharePoint 2013 to get a better understanding of what’s new. In developing the product, it has taken care of the main obstacles for organisations deploying the 2010 version. SP2013 is specially designed keeping in mind app scalability for large business enterprises. It has been targeting all knds of business sectors with its new features and functionalities.

Comparison with SharePoint 2010:

  • No Internet Explorer 7 support.
  • With the purchase of Yammer, there is more emphasis on social media.
  • Licensing: Internet sites no longer require an expensive licence, the cheaper standard server licence means that customers can host their internet and intranet on the same platform, reducing costs and providing more flexibility.
  • Records and document management: no real change.
  • Greater adoption of internet and open standards, enabling broader device support and integration with other services.
  • Users can have SharePoint on premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both.
  • The core ‘Search’ capability, based on FAST technology, is much richer.

Striking Features of SharePoint2013 which makes it stand apart:

Support for mobile devices

Mobility adoption is increasing within organizations and it is the topmost trend. The new version of SharePoint offers a rich platform for mobile development. Contemporary view which is HTML coded view provides a quick access across various mobile platforms like iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

Improved BI Capabilities

SharePoint 2013 offers extended capabilities to generate business intelligence reports. Its ability to provide big data reports and BI solutions has been expanded with the new version. Also, the integration between SharePoint and Excel has also been improved for a smooth functioning. It offers a better Power Pivot program that makes it possible to work with plenty of rows and columns in memory, making it convenient for use. It is used to generate extensive reports that reflect the organizations growth and provides insights into the business.

Cloud reality

SharePoint 2013 is geared for the cloud, which is great, but there are still a few things to watch for. Cloud apps reduce infrastructure costs and risks. Now users can spend more time in quality management and performance improvement. With this new version, it is easy for the users to keep a track of updated technologies. Now you can deal with complex and long programs quickly.

On premise

Running SharePoint onsite means that one can add more functionality or have better integration with other line of business systems. It also means that it has more flexibility over compliance features such as Public Records Act requirements.

Private cloud

Using a private cloud means that one can have predictable bandwidth and performance, but it also means that storage and disaster recovery costs are more obvious. This means that one can have a clear separation between infrastructure and application administration.

Search

Search on SharePoint 2013 is a real highlight. It is much richer than internet or Google-type results.It also provides a facility wherein it is possible to view the outline of a document while scanning through the search results. And the fact that Search has now been integrated with the ‘Term Store’, which helps standardise company language across documents, means one can now refine search results even more. Other great features include the ability to preview content whenever its hovered, meaning that one can preview a PowerPoint presentation without opening it. The ‘bad’ is that Search requires more server resources and requires an enterprise licence for certain advanced Search features.

New content features

The ability to drag and drop files into a webpage

  • End users can “share” files with others more simply
  • Better developer support
  • New database storage reduces the overhead of versioned documents
  • With Office Web Apps one can now edit documents on iOS devices
  • Much more flexibility around images
  • Video support improvements.

Infrastructure management

You can now take a more flexible approach to infrastructure management with SharePoint 2013. This means that you can take a hybrid on-premise and cloud approach. This is great for small to medium businesses that might not have the beefy bandwidth that you would need to run SharePoint completely over the internet, but by purchasing “Apps” hosted in the cloud these “Apps” will appear to be running on your server.

There are some technical traps to be aware of however:

  • Most customers will want to virtualise the SharePoint servers but they are resource intensive so should not be run on over committed hosts
  • Beware of remote access requirements, which can cause slow access
  • There’s no need to keep scanned and read-only files in SharePoint – it’s an expensive form of storage – it’s better to have a link to these resources in SharePoint
  • Don’t underestimate the technical skills that SharePoint needs.
  • Some of the SharePoint features require that other infrastructure and client components are all on the 2013 version. Fortunately SharePoint 2013 still allows to run 2010 sites, which means that one can leverage some new features like search, while continuing to use 2010 document libraries for Office 2010 users. This ability to run both in parallel is a key feature introduced in 2013 to help reduce the upgrade pain.

The new version SharePoint 2013 customizations helps control and manage all the different aspects of the web portals in a splendid way. SharePoint webparts enables to add dynamic functionality to the site, and enables to create different layouts for the mobile platform. Microsoft has already started receiving good vibes about SharePoint 2013 because businesses have started adopting to the new version. Custom SharePoint development teams are can help you migrate from older versions of SharePoint to SP2013 within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint 2013 development services. We are glad to share that all our SharePoint developers are Microsoft certified. If you would like to talk to one of our developers before you take the decision to hire SharePoint developers from us, we would be glad to assist you at Mindfire Solutions.

15 free SharePoint tools to make IT admins smile

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

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

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

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

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

2. ManageEngine’s Free SharePoint Health Monitor Tool

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

3. IntLock’s CardioLog Analytics Free Edition

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

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

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

5. Idera’s Free SharePoint Admin Toolset

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

6. Idera’s Free SharePoint Performance Monitor

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

7. McAfee’s Network Discovery for Microsoft SharePoint

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

8. Axceler’s ViewPoint for SharePoint

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

9. Quest’s Server Administrator for SharePoint

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

10. SharePoint SUSHI

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

11. Clockwork Software

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

– Migrate to SharePoint libraries and folders

– Apply document level security if desired

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

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

12. Metalogix

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

13. PCVITA Express Migrator

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

14. Vyapin

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

15. Tzunami

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

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

Why Executives Are Resisting SharePoint’s Social Tools?

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

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

Major concerns of executives and means to alleviate them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.