Archive for January, 2016

How to Bake Your SharePoint Environment Without Getting GUI

My apologies to all who have been waiting for this.  I was going through my blog site and saw this post had been sitting in draft for quite some time.  I had thought I had posted it a long time ago.  Guess I hadn’t.  My apologies.

So this is a topic I have spoken on a few times.  Basically it’s all about using PowerShell to install SharePoint for you.  Now there already is a tool out there called AutoSPInstaller which is a great tool now that it has an added feature of a GUI interface to build out the xml config.  I would like to think that my scripts are much easier to work with than that.  However, in some ways AutoSPInstaller does more than my scripts in the configuration world, but my scripts do something that AutoSPInstaller won’t.  They will also build out your entire environment, pages, lists, web parts and all.

I did up this presentation not to show off my code or to give it to others (which I have no problem doing), but I actually did it to show everyone just how easy and slick it is to use scripts to complete your work for you.  It also gave me a place to come back and grab bits of code that I could use here and there.  The GUI, while I wouldn’t call clunky, is not the smoothest experience.  And waiting for pages to refresh or having to redo steps because you clicked something you shouldn’t or filled in some incorrect data is a real pain.  This is where scripting comes in.  Yes it takes you longer to build the script, but in the end you save time.  I have reused these scripts many times now.  To give you a comparison, when we deployed these environments, my script configured and built our DEV, TEST and PROD environments (pages, lists, webparts, etc too) in about 30 min for all.

Can your GUI do that for you?

Slide deck attached.

Build Views on the Fly When Gathering Data from SharePoint

So recently at my client site we had a report that was running incredibly long.  This was a while ago, so unfortunately I can’t remember the run time, but I believe it was greater than 12 hours.  The report was pretty basic, just a determination of which documents were created within the month and an output that displayed things like location, file name, created date and creator.

When reviewing the code I noticed the original solution had been coded to loop through each site in the web and then grab all the documents within a particular date range.  The line in particular that scanned the documents was as follows:


[code language=”csharp”]
var listAddedItems = listItems.Where(x => ((DateTime)x["Created"] >= reportManager.ReportStartDate && (DateTime)x["Created"] <= reportManager.ReportEndDate) || ((DateTime)x["Modified"] >= reportManager.ReportStartDate && (DateTime)x["Modified"] <= reportManager.ReportEndDate));

Pretty straight forward, but what it’s actually doing is going through and gathering all the data and throwing out what you don’t need.  Not a big deal unless you are working with a lot of data.  Right now we are sitting at around 1 million items in our SP farm.  I think I found the culprit.

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Out-Of-The-Box (OOTB) Reporting in SharePoint (Part 2): Audit Reports

This is the second part in my series on reports provided in SharePoint.  Today I am going to focus on the OOTB SharePoint audit logs that will generate reports you can run as a site collection administrator.  The data gathering for these reports is not enabled by default so I will show you how to do that.  I will also discuss what you can get from the reports and how you can configure them to search for data you need.

You can view part one of this series by clicking here.

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Out-Of-The-Box (OOTB) Reporting in SharePoint (Part 1): Web Analytic Reports

I have seen over time that new users have asked about reporting in SharePoint.  Usually it is in a forum post which isn’t always the best place to provide an answer as the answer can be quite detailed, so I decided to do a write-up and if someone asks, I can direct them here instead of re-writing in a medium that isn’t quite as nice for the requirements of the answer.  Not only that, I have seen blog posts with posts that are only about one report and not about any of the others.  I would like to discuss all the OOTB reports in one place so anyone looking can find them all.  This isn’t going to be anything new or cutting edge for the experienced SharePoint user.  It’s intended for the person that is new to SharePoint or looking for basic info on SharePoint.

To put it bluntly, SharePoint doesn’t have a lot of OOTB reporting.  You aren’t going to find a lot of user reports or detailed usage logs within SharePoint.  Microsoft provides methods to build reports, but doesn’t provide a lot within SharePoint itself.  Companies like AvePoint, Share-Gate and Metalogix have provided user teams with much needed reporting, but we are here to talk about what SharePoint gives you OOTB.

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Leading Practices for Planning and Implementing a SharePoint Environment

This month I traveled to Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary to present on the Leading Practices of Planning and Implementing a SharePoint Environment.  This was not meant as a technical discussion, but instead a discussion on implementing a SharePoint environment.  There is a bit of technical topics within it, but the focus is how to plan out your entire project to get the best SharePoint implementation you can.  I had a lot of great discussions and questions from everyone that attended and really enjoyed myself.   I promised everyone I would post my slide deck so they could reference it and use it should they choose to.

I would really like to thank the Saskatchewan SharePoint User Group,  Edmonton Microsoft User Group, and the Calgary SharePoint User Group for hosting me for these presentations.  I really enjoyed myself and hope to return soon with another presentation.  I would also like to thank Solvera Solutions for making this all possible as well.

As promised… the slide deck.

Leading Practices for Planning and Implementing SharePoint