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SPFest Chicago - Practical Tools and Techniques for the SharePoint Business Analyst and SharePoint Information Architect

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  • My dedication to you before I begin. By the end of this you will have gained 3 things. It might be new knowledge, it might be a new method but you MUST gain 3 things by the end. If you don’t my first challenge to you is to stalk me, hunt me down and make sure you get 3 things from me. Because I owe you 3 things! This is meant to help you. 
  • “When you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll
  • You take the estimated value and divide that by the estimated level of difficulty then times (*) it by 100 to get the percentage of ROI.
  • Speak to Owen Allen (creator of this map) for details on this
  • Just like in our IT projects it wasn’t really one launch due to the complexity. It was multiple launches to get us on the right trajectory towards our goal/objectives.
  • If you think dealing with Attorneys and users is a challenge imagine having to plan for hard Martian soil, extreme temperatures and storms.
  • Even after it had landed it had to ‘travel’ away from the landing site in order to start taking samples/getting a better understanding of the area.
  • Even after reaching our destination there is still the hard work of gathering the data. Then the hard work of verifying and validating the data.
  • Look at launch and the initial 3 months worth of missions compares to the number they actually had!
  • It’s critical to understand the importance of not just launch, but the mini launches that adjust our trajectory, and the travel and importance of communication, and finally the landing and it’s importance.
  • Requirements is NOT the right word to use here (but you have to because your clients and stakeholders expect it).(Sue Hanley first pointed this out to me.)
  • Because I said so, and I’m the customer.If you don’t include my requirement, I’ll shoot!One of my biggest jobs as a SharePoint BA is to manage this desire. My three rules of SharePoint: Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity
  • What if we say: We can do that for $10.Client says: Go for it!
  • What if we say: We can do that… for $1 Million.Client says: Wait a sec – maybe we can think of some alternatives(Hey! Maybe it’s no longer a ‘requirement’)
  • What would you like SharePoint to do?Well, what can it do?Tons! Let me show youWhat do I need that for?Well, it depends… what do you want it for?Well, it LOOKS cool – sure: I want it.
  • But First: DO NOT DEMO SharePoint Confuses peopleSets unreasonable expectations
  • Now, it’s ok to build a demo: Use their language, colors, logoShow ‘day in the life’ type scenario
  • What would you like SharePoint to do?Well, what can it do?Tons! Let me show youWhat do I need that for?Well, it depends… what do you want it for?Well, it LOOKS cool – sure: I want it.
  • How do you sort CD’sArtist?Title?Year?Genre?Colour?You have to decide up-front – and stick to it –because the objects are physical
  • What if the store was full of unlabeled tin cans?You would need to open every can to see if had what you wanted(Tin can example originally suggested by Serge Tremblay)
  • Now we don’t need to open each can, but they are all in a jumble and you have to pick up each can to check if has what you want.
  • Items are grouped by area (canned fruit, canned sauce, canned vegetables)Signs point you to the correct area so that you can quickly find what you need.BUT: Because the objects are physical, you need to pick a method and stick to it
  • This uses the base metaphor that we live with every day.The concept of a “file” and a “file folder” as a way of storing digital data is a metaphor taken from the world of paper managementIt has become so ingrained, that we think of it as natural, but it’s not: It was invented in 1983 by Apple (wikipedia)
  • All your files are stored in one folder and their names are completely meaninglessThis is like the unlabeled cans: You have to open each file to see what it contains
  • You have a bit of a better situationThe naming convention lets you find the file you need (but there’s no way to sort by year)Rely on users to follow the naming convention (religiously)
  • A ha!Now we’re in great shape. We’re like the supermarketStructured and LabelledBUT...
  • ... then, you hire a summer internWho doesn’t know the folder hierarchy and makes up their own
  • Findability is challengingPutability is the real problemThis is Bill English’s word for knowing where to save a documentWhat if we could make putability easier while also improving findability?This is the promise of metadata
  • So, let’s create an alternative structure that is logically equivalent, but that makes putability much easier while preserving findabilityBy the way: One way to start to figure out an organization’s metadata is to look at the folder names.You will probably not want to simply copy this, but it can be a good guide/starting point
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED]
  • Is this too many to ask for?Do we force users to answer all these questions/enter all this data?
  • Instead of confusing people with the SharePoint interface, I use a familiar tool: ExcelUsing some simple macros, I am able to illustrate the power of filters and views.There’s no free lunch however: People now have to enter metadata.We can simplify this by defaulting values like “Date” to today and “Year” to current year.We can leverage content types as well
  • Think of them as different forms with slots to fill in.Two documents may have overlapping slots (or, metadata).It may make sense to store these two types of docs in the same library (HR Requests), but use content types to drive workflow, policy and prompt users only for the metadata that applies.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED]
  • MindManager (from MindJet) is a tool that has changed the way I work. Here is a quick demo of how it works.
  • Using Mind Maps for navigational design makes this process MUCH faster and more efficient.
  • A technique to get input orfeedback from usersYou may have great ideas of how to organize you intranet, but you users may have different ideasDonna Spencer says: “Card sorting is a great, reliable, inexpensive method for finding patterns in how users would expect to find content or functionality.”
  • The analysis can be useful, but it is the process of watching people do the sorts that helps provide the real value
  • First, I do a presentation about what metadata is to a collection of groupsGive them homeworkThen, bring them back to build taxonomy: This needs to be done with just one group at a time
  • Using mind-mapping tools to build the taxonomy from the homeworkI use MindJet MindManager – and I like and highly recommend it.There are other tools that are less expensive.
  • What is wireframing?Creating page mockups that show the function and structure of the page without the fonts/colors/images, etc
  • This tool called ‘Balsamiq’ makes it extremely simple and fast to make wireframes.They look cartoonish, but that makes it easy to focus on what’s important (not color, font, etc.)
  • Even without building an automated workflow, it’s essential to understand the business process of your customers.Use BizAgi (which is free to download) or Visio 2010 to map these processes.
  • If you are lucky, you can take the results of these workshops and activities and create a roadmap for a phased, rational approach to SharePoint deployment. Push HARD to do this step.Summarize workshop resultsBuild Gap AnalysisIdentify dependenciesLay out a timeline (not a project plan at this point)
  • A lot of this can seem daunting and I know one of the hardest things is figuring out how to do some of the things I have shown today. If you are interested in further training or assistance please let me know. Based on the number of people who are interested and the areas of interest we can schedule further training sessions to help everyone better use the SharePoint portal.It's our commitment to you that we will continue to hear your feedback and identify the issues. I encourage you to give us feedback during the coming months, and we will continue to deliver more and more functionality, more and more guidance to help you be successful with your application of SharePoint.Thank You for Reading/Listening
  • The Controlled IntranetIf your goals are to create an environment that nurtures the sharing of knowledge and intellectual property (IP), there are two critical success factors that must be adhered to.We must make the addition of knowledge in the solution as simple as possible. This is accomplished by:Thoroughly understanding how our Information Workers perform their daily job duties.Craft a solution that simplifies these duties by automating operational business processes.Implement your Intranet in such a manner as to ease where this knowledge is stored.Provide a solution that makes locating information quick and simple so our Information Workers can make better, informed business decisions. We accomplish this by:Providing topical, functional and task-based site structures that aggregate knowledge in a manner making it easy to locate based on a need.Architect knowledge in such a manner as to provide “very” relevant search results.The only way for you to successfully deliver a solution that adheres to these two critical success factors is to architect your corporate knowledge (information) in a manner that lends itself to aggregation and search. And, the only way to do that is through a detailed and carefully thought-out taxonomy. Simply tossing information into lists and libraries will only result in yet another repository that is similar to a file share. For an organization to successfully implement a controlled environment that improves operational efficiencies requires governance. The term governance itself implies rules, policies and best practices for the flow of information through an organization.Collab areas:It is also in the collaboration environments that you will find the greatest number of sites. Make sure you set the appropriate expectations (communicate, communicate, and communicate):Information in these sites is less structured; which means you will typically see less relevant search results.This area can quickly grow to thousands of sites. Don’t let 5,000, 10,000 or even 30,000 sites scare you; simply make sure you have the appropriate infrastructure to support it.Govern the amount of information that can be stored on each site; configure quotas.Govern the length of time a site may remain inactive. Provide a means of archival.Do Collaboration Sites Ever Become Controlled?Absolutely! You may find that a team creates a secure collaboration environment to start a community of practice. Over time, information may become key to driving success in the organization. In such a situation, the team may ask to convert the site to a more structured environment so its content is available to everyone in the organization.There are many ways of accomplishing this task. The easiest is to leave the site intact, and move it through your internal architecture/design processes. These processes will force some level of structure, including taxonomy; which will make the information available for aggregation and search (even constrained search). You can then update your search configuration to include its content in a manner that best suits your organizational information needs. Another approach would be to provide a controlled means of moving the site and content to the Controlled Intranet Site Collection.
  • To Impose Specific Storage QuotasWith SharePoint Site Collections you can define specific storage quotas and email warnings to notify users when they are approaching a defined threshold on their site collection storage.To Impose Specific Sandbox QuotasWith a SharePoint Site Collection you can define the maximum number of points sandbox solutions can use per day. Additionally you can also configure an email warning when storage exceeds a certain number of points.
  • For Search SeparationFor Workflow Separation
  • So Your Site Collection Does Not Have The Same Active (or Inactive) Site Collection FeaturesThere are many times when this comes in handy. In SharePoint 2010 there are quite a few Site Collection level features you may not want active on specific site collections.Site collection features that are not active on other site collections (for example, the Publishing Infrastructure feature)
  • For Search SeparationFor Workflow SeparationSo Your Site Collection Does Not Have The Same Active (or Inactive) Site Collection FeaturesThere are many times when this comes in handy. In SharePoint 2010 there are quite a few Site Collection level features you may not want active on specific site collections.Site collection features that are not active on other site collections (for example, the Publishing Infrastructure feature)To Have a Separate Help Library to Store Custom Help
  • Disadvantages of Using Site CollectionsAll out-of-the-box Web Parts understand and work well within the boundaries of a Site Collection. None of them, including the significantly used Content Query Web Part, will cross Site Collection boundaries. Thus, the aggregation of information across Site Collection boundaries is not possible using out-of-the-box Web Parts.You need to consider this when determining how you will split your information across Site Collections. Any situation that requires you to aggregate and display information across Site Collection boundaries will require a custom development effort or the purchase of a 3rd party Web Part.Your branding and content publishing customization efforts will also have to be duplicated. Currently, all master pages, page layouts, and CSS files, common publishing images and reusable content is bound to a Site Collection.
  • For Security Management Benefits:Every site collection creates a security boundary between one collection of sites and another collection of sites. Each site collection has its own collection of SharePoint groups and ACL references.You cannot see a complete list of Users who have permissions to the site or ObjectUsers are members of more than one AD GroupWork backwards to figure out permissions2010 – 1000 objects in an ACL, 5000 Objects per SharePoint GroupThe more ACLs you have, the more ACLs you have to manageKnow the Software Boundaries and Capacity limits http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262787.aspxFor Privacy or Management Benefits and Different Site Collection AdministratorsEach site collection has a role of “Site Collection Administrator” and a person or more assigned to that role. There are times when either for privacy/confidentiality reasons you cannot have a specific site collection administrator with the rights to see that sites content, or where you have different people that should be assigned to manage that collection of sites. The second is an extremely common scenario in large enterprise organizations where there is a need to distribute the technical ownership of site collection administration.
  • Your group needs to see summary information about the list items or different views of the same set of items. For example, a manager may want to see the progress on all technical issues for an organization or see all the issues that were filed within the same time period. People want to browse or search for the issues in the same location on a site. You want to apply the same settings to the list items, such as tracking versions or requiring approval. The groups working on the list share similar characteristics, such as the same levels of permission. Unique permission can be applied to specific list items, but if the levels of permission vary greatly, consider multiple lists. You want to analyze information about the list or receive consolidated updates for the list. You can receive alerts when the list items are changed or see the changes to a list by using RSS technology. RSS feeds enable members of your workgroup to see a consolidated list of information that has changed.
  • You don't expect people to need summaries of the items together. The groups of people working with the information are distinct and have different permission levels. You need to apply different settings, such as versioning or approval, to multiple sets of items. You do not need to analyze the items together or receive consolidated updates about the list.
  • Your group needs to see summary information about, or different views of, the same set of files. For example, a manager may want to see all files grouped by department or by due date. People want to search for the files in the same location on a site. You want to apply the same settings to files, such as tracking versions of files or requiring approval. The groups that are working with the library share similar characteristics, such as the same levels of permission. You want to analyze information about the files in a spreadsheet, or to receive consolidated updates about the files.
  • The types of files that you want to store and manage are distinct, and you don't expect people to frequently view summaries of the files or to search the files together. The groups of people who are using the files are distinct and have distinctly different permission levels. You need to apply different settings, such as versioning or approval, to different sets of files. You do not need to analyze the files together or receive consolidated updates about the files. You want to provide different sets of options for creating new files, or you want the options on the New menu of a library to appear in a different order.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • Your group needs to see summary information about, or different views of, the same set of files. For example, a manager may want to see all files grouped by department or by due date. People want to search for the files in the same location on a site. You want to apply the same settings to files, such as tracking versions of files or requiring approval. The groups that are working with the library share similar characteristics, such as the same levels of permission. You want to analyze information about the files in a spreadsheet, or to receive consolidated updates about the files.
  • The types of files that you want to store and manage are distinct, and you don't expect people to frequently view summaries of the files or to search the files together. The groups of people who are using the files are distinct and have distinctly different permission levels. You need to apply different settings, such as versioning or approval, to different sets of files. You do not need to analyze the files together or receive consolidated updates about the files. You want to provide different sets of options for creating new files, or you want the options on the New menu of a library to appear in a different order.
  • You can set the default content type of a library – and set that content type’s default values so that any item added to that library will automatically have metadata associated with it.
  • Use if you have clear organizing requirementsDeploy a good Search Architecture  Search Based NavigationDon’t forget to turn on the Content Organizer Feature – on the Target Site too!Don’t forget to implement Content Types in the Target LibrariesTeach the users!
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • Ease of use for users: File Open/Save – reduce metadata load
  • Managed Metadata ServicesTerm StoreHierarchical collection of termsMultilingualSynonymsLimitMaximumvalueLimittypeNotesMaximum number of levels of nested terms in a term store7SupportedTerms in a term set can be represented hierarchically.  A term set can have up to seven levels of terms (a parent term, and six levels of nesting below it.)Maximum number of term sets in a term store1000SupportedYou can have up to 1000 term sets in a term store.Maximum number of terms in a term set30,000Supported30,000 is the maximum number of terms in a term set.Note:Additional labels for the same term, such as synonyms and translations, do not count as separate terms.Total number of items in a term store1,000,000SupportedAn item is either a term or a term set. The sum of the number of terms and term sets cannot exceed 1,000,000. Additional labels for the same term, such as synonyms and translations, do not count as separate terms.Note:You cannot have both the maximum number of term sets and the maximum number of terms simultaneously in a term store.
  • Webpage (instead of just a folder name and possible metadata)
  • Synchronization of metadata The ability to synchronize metadata allows users to change metadata on multiple items at once within a collection of content. Frequently users will want to do a bulk change of metadata stored within a folder. The most common way to achieve this using Folders is by utilizing the Datasheet View for document libraries, which allows users to bulk change properties quickly. However, this can be error prone and has limitations, such as the inability to change Managed Metadata fields. In contrast, Document Sets allow the ability to configure a column as a Shared Column. Shared Columns then share metadata across the entire Document Set. By changing the column value at the document set, all content contained within the Document Set will be updated with the new value without the user manually having to change each individual document. Another advantage is that all columns types are supported, so users can also easily change Managed Metadata columns for all content as well.
  • Running workflows on multiple items with SharePoint Designer Running workflows on multiple items is another commonly asked for requirement in many organizations. The ability to send multiple items through an approval process is something that commonly appears on a list of requirements when organizations are implementing SharePoint. With folders there is really no other option than to manually start an Approval process on each item. Unfortunately even though you can now select multiple items to perform actions on within Lists and Libraries, you cannot do this with workflows. If you have ten documents that you need to send through an Approval process, then it's a rather laborious process. Of course you can create custom workflows in .NET code to solve this issue and it's a good example of where the new Site Workflow type may be used. However, if we are limiting ourselves to out-of-the-box or SharePoint Designer declarative workflows then we are out of luck. With Document Sets we have new Workflow Actions available in SharePoint Designer 2010. This means that we can indeed send an entire Document Set through an Approval Process. Since a Document Set includes multiple documents, we are in effect sending multiple items through an approval process
  • Provisioning of default content The ability to create a template and have this reused when a user is creating a document is commonly used in SharePoint. The power of Content Types within the platform can be harnessed very effectively to create these templates and deploy them across multiple sites. However, often we don't require just a single document to be created, but rather a collection of documents to be provisioned. For example consider a project submission pack or a RFP Response that consists of multiple documents. In an ideal world, a user would be able to create collections of documents quickly and easily. If using the folder approach, you can only create single documents, one at a time. So if a user wanted to create a project submission pack then they would create the folder that would house these documents, and then create each individual Content Type one at a time. This is obviously a cumbersome approach. In contrast Document Sets allow us to provision default content when the Document Set is created. So if we create a RFP Response Document Set we can choose to have default content created when a user creates the Document Set:
  • Folders can have folders under them etc. Doc sets cant.
  • The first tip I will give is to never ever give a single number. As an example when asked how long it will take to make ‘report A’ let the requester know a range that you feel comfortable with. Why a range? Realistically in a quick situation like that if you don’t give a range it won’t indicate how uncertain you are about the estimate.If you were thinking about the request and felt like the task would take somewhere between 2-8 hours then communicating only a single value guess such as ’6 hours’ can be misleading as it doesn’t include any information about how confident you are.
  • So the first thing we need to agree on is that quickly estimating a ‘single number’ (without math/careful consideration) typically leads to poor results in both setting the right expectation and being accurate.
  • Now onto the difficulties of even coming up with a range of possibilities. One of the hardest parts of estimating is coming up with a range you feel really confident in.Basically when you give an estimate you should give a range that you feel 90% confident that the real value will fall within that range (90% is the suggested optimal confidence level due to the effort involved in getting more than 90%).You don’t have to be perfect but you have to feel willing to bet on it.In other words if you consider giving a range of 2-8 hours on a task as an estimate you should confirm that you are actually 90% confident that the total time will fall between that range. There is a trick (one of many) that Douglas mentions in his book that is easy to remember and use for testing whether you are actually close to 90% confident about an estimate.Imagine that you win $2000 in one of two ways:A) You will win $2000 if the true time it takes turns out to be between the upper and lower bounds you provided. If not then you win nothing.B) You draw a M&M at random from a bag of 9 red M&M’s and 1 blue M&M. If the M&M is red you win $2000. If it is blue you win nothing.Which option would you take? If you choose B) (which statistically most people do) then it means you might not be 90% confident but actually less confident (say 80%, 60% etc). If you choose A) it’s also not really what we want because it means you are probably over confident (especially if you felt strongly geared toward A). So you adjust the bounds (upper and lower) until you find a place where you feel indifferent between option A) and B) – that is ‘probably’ your 90% confidence level for this estimate.It’s not as complicated (or in some ways as effective) as many other methods you can use to calibrate how confident you are about your estimates but it works and is easy to remember and start implementing immediately.
  • Now onto the difficulties of even coming up with a range of possibilities. One of the hardest parts of estimating is coming up with a range you feel really confident in.Basically when you give an estimate you should give a range that you feel 90% confident that the real value will fall within that range (90% is the suggested optimal confidence level due to the effort involved in getting more than 90%).You don’t have to be perfect but you have to feel willing to bet on it.In other words if you consider giving a range of 2-8 hours on a task as an estimate you should confirm that you are actually 90% confident that the total time will fall between that range. There is a trick (one of many) that Douglas mentions in his book that is easy to remember and use for testing whether you are actually close to 90% confident about an estimate.Imagine that you win $2000 in one of two ways:A) You will win $2000 if the true time it takes turns out to be between the upper and lower bounds you provided. If not then you win nothing.B) You draw a M&M at random from a bag of 9 red M&M’s and 1 blue M&M. If the M&M is red you win $2000. If it is blue you win nothing.Which option would you take? If you choose B) (which statistically most people do) then it means you might not be 90% confident but actually less confident (say 80%, 60% etc). If you choose A) it’s also not really what we want because it means you are probably over confident (especially if you felt strongly geared toward A). So you adjust the bounds (upper and lower) until you find a place where you feel indifferent between option A) and B) – that is ‘probably’ your 90% confidence level for this estimate.It’s not as complicated (or in some ways as effective) as many other methods you can use to calibrate how confident you are about your estimates but it works and is easy to remember and start implementing immediately.
  • Now onto the difficulties of even coming up with a range of possibilities. One of the hardest parts of estimating is coming up with a range you feel really confident in.Basically when you give an estimate you should give a range that you feel 90% confident that the real value will fall within that range (90% is the suggested optimal confidence level due to the effort involved in getting more than 90%).You don’t have to be perfect but you have to feel willing to bet on it.In other words if you consider giving a range of 2-8 hours on a task as an estimate you should confirm that you are actually 90% confident that the total time will fall between that range. There is a trick (one of many) that Douglas mentions in his book that is easy to remember and use for testing whether you are actually close to 90% confident about an estimate.Imagine that you win $2000 in one of two ways:A) You will win $2000 if the true time it takes turns out to be between the upper and lower bounds you provided. If not then you win nothing.B) You draw a M&M at random from a bag of 9 red M&M’s and 1 blue M&M. If the M&M is red you win $2000. If it is blue you win nothing.Which option would you take? If you choose B) (which statistically most people do) then it means you might not be 90% confident but actually less confident (say 80%, 60% etc). If you choose A) it’s also not really what we want because it means you are probably over confident (especially if you felt strongly geared toward A). So you adjust the bounds (upper and lower) until you find a place where you feel indifferent between option A) and B) – that is ‘probably’ your 90% confidence level for this estimate.It’s not as complicated (or in some ways as effective) as many other methods you can use to calibrate how confident you are about your estimates but it works and is easy to remember and start implementing immediately.
  • Now onto the difficulties of even coming up with a range of possibilities. One of the hardest parts of estimating is coming up with a range you feel really confident in.Basically when you give an estimate you should give a range that you feel 90% confident that the real value will fall within that range (90% is the suggested optimal confidence level due to the effort involved in getting more than 90%).You don’t have to be perfect but you have to feel willing to bet on it.In other words if you consider giving a range of 2-8 hours on a task as an estimate you should confirm that you are actually 90% confident that the total time will fall between that range. There is a trick (one of many) that Douglas mentions in his book that is easy to remember and use for testing whether you are actually close to 90% confident about an estimate.Imagine that you win $2000 in one of two ways:A) You will win $2000 if the true time it takes turns out to be between the upper and lower bounds you provided. If not then you win nothing.B) You draw a M&M at random from a bag of 9 red M&M’s and 1 blue M&M. If the M&M is red you win $2000. If it is blue you win nothing.Which option would you take? If you choose B) (which statistically most people do) then it means you might not be 90% confident but actually less confident (say 80%, 60% etc). If you choose A) it’s also not really what we want because it means you are probably over confident (especially if you felt strongly geared toward A). So you adjust the bounds (upper and lower) until you find a place where you feel indifferent between option A) and B) – that is ‘probably’ your 90% confidence level for this estimate.It’s not as complicated (or in some ways as effective) as many other methods you can use to calibrate how confident you are about your estimates but it works and is easy to remember and start implementing immediately.
  • So the first thing we need to agree on is that quickly estimating a ‘single number’ (without math/careful consideration) typically leads to poor results in both setting the right expectation and being accurate.
  • more than 1000 security scopes (broken inheritance) leads to performance degradation. 50k scopes per list/doc lib is a limit or - more than 50k unique permissions per list is a hard limit.The Practical Limit? 2000 users/groups given access5k users/ad groups per sharepoint groupWhen you add a user or group to a unique ‘scope’ (broken permissions) it actually adds that user or group with ‘limited access’ to each scope in the hierarchy above the item…Best practice: Rely on group membership instead of indivudal user membership in the scopes. For example, if a single group can be used in place of 1,000 users, the scope will be 999 membership entries smaller for the scope and any of its parent scopes which will be updated with Limited Access rights for that single group instead of all 1,000 individual users with Limited Access rights. This additionally helps increase the speed of Limited Access rights push and ACL recalculation at the parent scope objects.Deep hierarchies also impact performance considerably. So try and avoid very deep hierarchies with unique permissions.
  • Note: We do not recommend that you use SharePoint groups to assign permissions to sites, because when a SharePoint group is used to assign permissions, a full crawl of the index occurs. Instead, we recommend Domain groups to be used.
  • We recommend that you use FGP for only those business cases for which it is required. FGP can be expensive in terms of both operational oversight and performance. If you must use fine-grained permissions, consider the following recommended practices: Ensure that you do not have too many items at the same level of hierarchy in the document libraries, because the time necessary to process items in the views increases.
  • You can avoid the use of FGP by doing the following: Break permission inheritance as infrequently as possible. Use groups based on directory membership to assign permissions.Assign permissions at the highest possible level. As part of this strategy, consider the following techniques:Use different document publish levels to control access. Before a document is published, the advanced permissions and versioning settings can be set for users who can only approve items in the document library. For non-document libraries (lists), use the ReadSecurity and WriteSecurity permission levels. When a list is created, the owners can set the Item-level permissions to either Read access or Create and Edit access.
  • Basically manage permissions by each SharePoint site uniquely (instead of at a fine grained level). So use the 3 built in groups or AD groups etc and set permissions at the web level. From another point of view, if you have a large list where you want to uniquely set permissions try having ‘more than one list’ in multiple webs to get around some of the performance impact involved (2k unique permissions per web as an example). It avoids a lot of the hierarchy performance hits we discussed.Of course even better is using multiple site collections, but for now we will keep it simple and say at a minimum an effective way would be doing it at the web level (or even list/library level before getting to the item level).
  • Use event handlers to control edit permission. You can have an event handler that registers an event using the SPEventReceiverType.ItemUpdating and SPEventReceiverType.ItemUpdated methods, and then use code to control whether the update should be allowed. This is extremely powerful, because you can make security decision based on any metadata of a list or item, without affecting the view rendering performance.Use AddToCurrentScopeOnly method to assign Limited Access membership within a SharePoint group. The key element in this principle is to redesign the architecture so that scope membership does not cause ACL recalculation at the parent document library and Web.This is mainly applicable if the cause of the excessive number of unique scopes was through an automated process such as an event handler or workflow that dynamically modified object permissions. The recommendation in this case is to make a code change to whatever process was creating the unique security scopes.
  • Do you have a site map that represents the current site structures?Does this clearly indicate recommended containment hierarchy?Do you have a site map that defines future site structures?Are you using Content Types?Are you using metadata to help make content easier to organize and find?Are you using site columns?Are you using and managing Term Sets?Do you have tagging guidelines?Are you managing keywords?Are you using and managing Site Directories?Do you have classifications based on type of use?Communications based (publishing) portal/sites/collections?Team based collaboration sites/collections?Application/services based sites/collections?Are you checking for dead links?How well is your site structured?Can people find what they are looking for?
  • What kind of SharePoint support do you currently provide?Do you provide help material such as Manuals, Course Guidebooks, Workbooks, How To, Tutorials, or Demonstrations?How do you train users on SharePoint?How do you currently provision your sites?How do you determine where each site should live?Who owns the site and who supports the site?How do you communicate new features, initiatives, or changes to SharePoint to your users?How many SharePoint support requests do you currently get?How are these categorized?How are these assigned and escalated?How many are effectively responded to?How many are closed with success?Do you leverage/contribute to an internal knowledgebase for SharePoint support?Do you have clearly defined SLAs for support and problem resolution?Do you offer face to face learning or unstructured/semi-structured environments for learning? (Lunch and learns, after hours discussions, communities etc)
  • While SharePoint internal environments support a ‘mobile’ friendly mode the same feature doesn’t work for anonymous users on public facing websites. In addition to this there is the challenge of much smaller resolutions which SharePoint has not been optimized for. Even the webpages developed within SharePoint are large and according to some experts ‘bloated’ with additional content that often is not applicable for anonymous users. There are workarounds for all of these issues (and more), but most require some level of customization or code. So while optimizing SharePoint sites for mobile and tablet devices is possible, it isn’t necessarily easy.What does Microsoft currently have to say about this? “Microsoft SharePoint 2010 supports several modern, standards based, XHTML 1.0 compliant browsers such as Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6 and Safari 4.x as detailed in the “Plan browser support (SharePoint Server 2010)” on Microsoft TechNet. It explains in detail which features work and which do not across the browsers and is the most up to date browser support information. The mobile versions of Safari browser on the Apple iPhone OS (used by the iPhone and iPad) have not been tested by Microsoft, and there may be issues using them with SharePoint 2010.”There are quite a few documented issues (almost all of which relate to the mobile browser and the fact that SharePoint 2010 has not been designed to behave with all touch based interfaces) which are a good reason for concern when many businesses are seeing considerable growth and adoption of tablets. According to the JP Morgan Analyst Group “The tablet market is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2012”. Let me assure you that a big contributor to that growth will be enterprise customers who use SharePointWhat is the mobile experience of your SharePoint site?Have you optimized the site for smaller resolutions?What mobile browsers do you support?Is your organization adopting tablet PCs (iPads)?What is the tablet experience of your SharePoint site?What support do you provide for remote workers?What are the offline and synchronization options your organization is providing?Is SharePoint available outside of the firewall for employees?When a user receives an email linking to a SharePoint document on their phone can they download that document? What is this mobile email and SharePoint experience like?
  • New Search architecture with one unified searchPersonalized search results based on search historyRich contextual previews
  • A lot of this can seem daunting and I know one of the hardest things is figuring out how to do some of the things I have shown today. If you are interested in further training or assistance please let me know. Based on the number of people who are interested and the areas of interest we can schedule further training sessions to help everyone better use the SharePoint portal.It's our commitment to you that we will continue to hear your feedback and identify the issues. I encourage you to give us feedback during the coming months, and we will continue to deliver more and more functionality, more and more guidance to help you be successful with your application of SharePoint.Thank You for Reading/Listening

SPFest Chicago - Practical Tools and Techniques for the SharePoint Business Analyst and SharePoint Information Architect SPFest Chicago - Practical Tools and Techniques for the SharePoint Business Analyst and SharePoint Information Architect Presentation Transcript