Top 6 Benefits of MS SharePoint Services for Document Management

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

6 Reasons Why Microsoft SharePoint Services for Document Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We provide SharePoint application 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.

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.

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

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

In-House Deployment

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

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

Public Cloud Deployment

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

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

Hybrid or Private Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Content Migration Tools to SharePoint Platform

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

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

Advantages of using SharePoint

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

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

Some of the core features of the SharePoint 2013

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

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

Top 10 SharePoint Content Migration Tools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SharePoint tackles all the diverse concerns and issues of file mismanagement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Browser File Handling

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sitecore vs SharePoint, Some Simple Facts

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

SharePoint – when it makes sense and when it does not

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

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

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

What is Customer Engagement platform in relation to Sitecore

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

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

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

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

The Recommendation

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

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

Shredded Storage vs. RBS in SharePoint

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Steps to Selecting the Right SharePoint Support Partner

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

How to Choose the Right SharePoint Support Partner?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Critical Quality Assurance Steps to Take in SharePoint Scanning

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

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

SharePoint Scanning Best Practices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things to Keep in Mind during Lotus to SharePoint Migration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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