Here is a bullet point point version of the good and bad on the current status of Office 365 integration after speaking to a Yammer sales guy this morning. There is also an interesting article here.
- The current integration with Office 365 is a myth. While there is some basic visibility into Yammer, they are still essentially 2 different networks. So for now the free Yammer account will be fine for most people.
- In 6 weeks this will change and the Yammer feed will replace the SharePoint feed. Let’s see if that happens on time.
- This will only happen if you have an Enterprise Office 365 (E1-E4) account already and will cost $3 per user per month and no being a Microsoft Cloud partner doesn’t entitle you to free Yammer Enterprise accounts! WTF?
- This part amazed me the most. To sign up to Yammer requires a written contract that they send you and you need to sign up for 1 year. For a technology company that is pretty lame. Obviously 1.2 billion doesn’t buy customer service like it used to.
I am in the middle of doing my second email migration to Office 365. Originally I migrated our 9 accounts from Google Apps and this time I am upgrading from Office 365 P3 plan to the E3 plan. See plans here - http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans-FX102918419.aspx
With both migrations I am using MigrationWiz - https://www.migrationwiz.com
Before doing anything you should carefully read the instructions provided my Migrationwiz. In our case with an Office 365 to Office 365 migration the instructions are here - https://migrationwiz.zendesk.com/entries/20358091-How-do-I-perform-an-Office-365-to-Office-365-migration-keeping-the-same-domain-name-
Please Note: That the only reason we need to do this is because we are still on the old version (2010) of O365. In June they would have upgraded our system to 2013 versions and we wouldn't need to transfer our mail manually when going form a P3 to E3 plan.
This tool makes the migration a breeze. You simply:
- create a connector between your old mail system and the new one (You will need to be an admin on both systems)
- Specify the mailboxes to copy across and start copying
- Very easy to use
- The support is great and very responsive
- It does multiple passes of the mail so that if during transfer more mail comes in, it will be picked up on the next pass
Things to watch
- Don’t use your main email address as the connector admin account. If using O365, use the onmicrosoft accounts they provide. These email addresses are unique to each account so when you transfer the MX records across you can still keep transferring in the background.
- Large accounts can be slow to transfer. In the screen shot above you can see that we have 2 15 gig accounts that will probably take a week to transfer. If set up properly though you can start using your new account straight away as it copies newer mail first.
Next I’ll be looking at transferring content from our internal SharePoint to Office 365.
If you need any help with your Office 365 migration, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to help.
If you don’t have internet access form your SharePoint server then you may run into issues during the prerequisites phase as it tries to download files it needs. The errors are described here - http://sharepoint-sezai-moss-2007.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/error-in-sharepoint-server-2013.html and in the screenshot below
You will need to do some manual steps to get the install done.
- Make sure your Windows server installation disc is accessible
- From the add roles and server Wizard select .Net Framework 3.5 Features
- Select the option to provide an alternate path to source files
- Enter the path to server disc
- run install
Cloud based services are becoming more popular as more organisations recognise the costs savings that come from letting someone else manage your software and infrastructure. So what does it mean for companies wanting to deploy SharePoint in the cloud?
- Less expertise required to get up and running
- Guaranteed up times
- Less maintenance. Back ups and updates are done for you
- Add on services – Office 365 can provide a full suite of tools including LYNC (Communications Server), Hosted Exchange, Dynamics CRM
- Cheap if you have 10 or less users.
- There is a minimal custom SharePoint Development allowed. Forget third party add-ons or customising the look and feel too much
- It won’t be as fast as an in house system. Especially when uploading and downloading documents
- You can’t integrate it with other systems you have on premises
- You need to run Federated Active Directory services so that your users can be imported into SharePoint
If you are a small company that just needs the built in SharePoint functions and isn’t concerned about the look and feel of their site and especially if you don’t have in house IT support then Office 365 is probably a good solution.
If you are a larger organisation who’s needs may grow to require custom functionality then we wouldn’t advise at this point. Plans start at approx. $8 per user per month and go up significantly depending on your plan so it is cheap if you only have a few users.
If you would like to discuss SharePoint Design, SharePoint Customisation or SharePoint Development call Webcoda to speak to one of our SharePoint Experts!
Download the SharePoint Permissions Planning Worksheet here
I was going to write a blog about what I considered best practices around SharePoint security but Jasper Oostervald - https://www.nothingbutsharepoint.com/sites/eusp/Pages/SharePoint-Permissions-Part-1.aspx in his 2 part blog pretty much covered exactly what I wanted to say and more.
So instead of rewriting what he said I hope to add something by providing a worksheet that I have been working on. It’s really in Alpha so if anyone can improve on it and share what they have done that would be great.
In case you are unaware, Microsoft provides planning worksheets here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262451.aspx
In my opinion most of them complicate things by having columns that most of our projects don’t really use.
I am hoping my one is simpler and more useful.
This worksheet has 4 tabs and instructions and tips.
Start by looking at the “Sites” tab.
Here you add your sites and the permissions of those sites.
You may need to go to the Groups tab to add your new groups that you will need.
The “Content” tab is very similar to the “Sites” tab but is for assigning permission to the libraries and lists in your site.
If your dropdowns stop working you may need to reset them by following these instructions - http://spreadsheets.about.com/od/datamanagementinexcel/qt/20071113_drpdwn.htm.
I would love to get some feedback to see if this worksheet is of use to anyone or even better if someone with actual Excel skills can improve it, that would be great!
Although SharePoint provides the ability for users to be able to tag their own content, I find it tends to get a bit unmanageable and like to stick to the “Managed Metadata” feature with hierarchical predefined tags.
Here are my guidelines for tagging:
- Think long and hard about your top level tags. You shouldn’t need more than 10 at most and there should be as little cross over as possible. Again don’t have more than 10 items per each individual branch.
- When deciding what the tags should be, think of words that will segregate content into even chunks. Don’t create a tag that will only ever be used once. Think of the game Guess Whowhere you are trying to find the person in as few guesses as possible. You don’t start with some obscure physical feature. The first question is usually - Are you a boy (or girl) to split the content evenly.
- Try not to go more than 3 levels deep in the hierarchy at first, including the top level. You can always add further levels if drilling that far down still displays too many articles.
- Don’t use words that are going to change often such as names of clients or projects. The list will eventually get too long to be useful. In this case it may be easier to keep a list of all clients in a custom list that is referenced through a site column.
The “Site Content and Structure” reports are a great way of finding files which are pending approval or checked out but I just realised you can create your own reports.
If you have never seen these reports before:
Go to site settings –> Site Administration –> Content and structure
But you can create you own reports by going to “View all site content”
Under lists –> Content and Structure Reports
Here you can see all the reports available from C & S as well as the CAML that makes these reports.
We have a form which is used for requesting leave. We were asked to put a cancel button on it so that the requester could cancel their request if it has not been approved yet. This would need to cancel any attached workflows. The approval workflow is a standard SharePoint approval workflow.
The workflow is based around a task assigned to an approver in the workflow.
This task would be created by Start Approval Process in the workflow.
Unfortunately SharePoint does not provide a good solution for deleting this.
You could write an event handler but that’s hard to manage.
You could show users how to manually cancel workflows but that’s too complicated for some users.
You could create some whacky workflows that manage themselves but that’s too messy.
In the form create a status field. This field will have the following possible values: pending, cancelled, approved, rejected.
When a user cancels the leave request by clicking cancel in the form, we will update the status of the form to be cancelled. There will still be a task assigned to the approver that needs to be cancelled.
change the behaviour of the task
to check when the status field in the form changes to anything but pending.
Once it changes you can End Task Process to cancel the task.
After spending 3 days trying to work out why columns wouldn’t appear after being promoted from InfoPath, we finally resolved it today. This form had been previously working but the client decided they wanted more fields promoted.
The bad news is that it kind of solved itself. All I did was go back to basics and republish the form. Although I was told that we had tried this many times I just did it again on my pc. Previously it had been published from another pc. The columns appeared in the content type created by this form.
I then had to manually add the columns to the list from existing columns in that content type.
There are many people online complaining about having this issue but I can’t find anyone who can suggest a good answer. My suggestion is to try and republish your form until it works.
One way to go about "resolving" this problem is to delete the columns and then re-publish your InfoPath form.
Delete columns using PowerShell in SharePoint 2011. Get the PS script for deleting columns from this blog. After you run this script you can delete specific columns with the command: Delete-WorkflowColumn -webURL http://portal -listName "Documents" -columnName "Column Name"
function Delete-WorkflowColumn ($webURL, $listName, $columnName)
#Setup variables from the user input
$web = Get-SPWeb $webURL
$list = $web.Lists[$listName]
$column = $list.Fields[$columnName]
#Make sure the column is not hidden or read only
$column.Hidden = $false
$column.ReadOnlyField = $false
#Delete column and dispose of the web object
write-host "Deleted column"
Now re-publish your InfoPath form.
The new InfoPath columns will appear with correct settings.
There is a bit of information around about upgrading from MOSS to SharePoint 2010 and from WSS to Foundation Server but not a lot about upgrading from WSS to SharePoint 2010 Enterprise.
I just did the upgrade and I can’t believe how easy it is. The only caveat was that my WSS was pretty vanilla and only had a few lists and doc libraries. I don’t guarantee this will work for everyone.
I just followed these steps.
- Back up your content database
- Install SharePoint 2010 but don’t set up a site collection
- Restore your content DB
- Use the Mount-SPContentDatabase command using powershell. The exact instructions for this can be found here. *
- Once the upgrade is complete your site will look like the WSS but you can use the Visual Upgrade from Site Actions to give it the new SP 2010 look.
*If you have never used Powershell before see some gotchas I wrote about here.