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If SharePoint had Warning Labels


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SharePoint is a powerful product and can be many things to its many customers allowing each to customize it for their own unique business needs. Over the past 9 years I've worked with SharePoint, I've learned some valuable lessons and insights into key areas of the product that should come with warning labels to handle with care.
Some choices made in SharePoint can have detrimental side effects and end up to costing organizations time, rework and money to resolve. In this talk I'll share a few common ones I've learned and you will benefit by being able to recognize some of these before they become a problem in your own environment.

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If SharePoint had Warning Labels

  1. 1. If SharePoint had Warning Labels By Joanne Klein
  2. 2. About Me - SharePoint Architect at Conexus Credit Union - Independent SharePoint/O365 Consultant - Saskatchewan SharePoint User Group - Worked with SharePoint 2007/2010/2013 and Online in O365 - Hats: End-User, Power-User, BA, Dev, Administrator, IT-Pro - Certifications: - MCITP, SharePoint 2010 Administration - MCTS, SharePoint 2010 Developer Most importantly… the school of hard knocks!!!
  3. 3. Work like a Network - SharePoint Community - Twitter: @JoanneCKlein #SPHelp - Blog: - Slide deck will be posted on
  4. 4. About You What size of organization do you work in? What version of SharePoint do you use?
  5. 5. About this talk • My "Pay it Forward" SharePoint talk • Mostly non-technical • Comes from personal experiences
  6. 6. The Promise of SharePoint • Intranet/Extranet • Collaboration • Content and Document Management • Regulatory Support Features • Business Process Automation • Business Intelligence • Leverage data outside of SharePoint • 3rd party products
  7. 7. My "Warnings" Benefit Warning Examples Remediation
  8. 8. “Installing SharePoint is easy” - Wizards make it easy - No Training? You can still get SharePoint up-and-running! - Use existing staff to install - Windows Server Administrator, SQL Administrator, .NET Developer Benefit
  9. 9. “Installing SharePoint is easy” • Farm topology? • Hardware/Software requirements • Least-privilege permission model • Database GUIDs • SQL setup • Enabled features Warning
  10. 10. “Installing SharePoint is easy” Installing SharePoint is just the beginning! • Patch Strategy • Back-ups • Performance monitoring/tuning • Dev/Test/QA environment Warning
  11. 11. “Installing SharePoint is easy” • Training • Learn PowerShell • SQL Alias (on SharePoint servers) Remediation • AutoSPInstaller: • Happy SQL = Happy SharePoint • Best Practises for SQL Server in a SharePoint Farm: • Service Accounts: 10 for SharePoint farm, 5 additional for BI
  12. 12. “You can customize SharePoint almost any way you want” Benefit …given enough time, money, and resources! • You have a business process that needs automating? • You have a business requirement you would like automated? We can build a solution for it in SharePoint...
  13. 13. “You can customize SharePoint almost any way you want” Levels of Development Level 1: SharePoint UI Level 2: SharePoint Designer, InfoPath, Workflow Level 3: Visual Studio: .NET code, javascript, HTML, CSS
  14. 14. “You can customize SharePoint almost any way you want” Comes with a "tax" the company must be willing to pay • On-premises version upgrade? • Maintenance and support • Available expertise • O365 updates Warning
  15. 15. “You can customize SharePoint almost any way you want” Microsoft quote: "Be thorough in custom web design, development and testing – We know many SharePoint sites are published portals or custom web apps and we are excited about the new features we designed for these scenarios. We encourage you to review the new features and guidance to reduce the amount of custom work you need to do."
  16. 16. “You can customize SharePoint almost any way you want” • Following recommended Microsoft guidelines • Add-in model rather than farm solutions. • New SharePoint Framework for doing client-side customizations • Office 365 Development Patterns and Practices Guidance • SPCAF – analyze your customizations! • Understand the out-of-the-box capabilities! • Twitter Poll Remediation
  17. 17. “You can make SharePoint look like it's NOT SharePoint” - You can brand SharePoint so it doesn't resemble the out- of-the-box look of native SharePoint. - Important for external-facing sites. Benefit
  18. 18. Out-of-the-Box SharePoint Site
  19. 19. SharePoint Home (New for O365)
  20. 20. Branded SharePoint Sites
  21. 21. “You can make SharePoint look like it's NOT SharePoint” Microsoft quote: “Use SharePoint as an out-of-box application whenever possible -- We designed the new SharePoint UI to be clean, simple and fast and work great out-of-box. We encourage you not to modify it which could add complexity, performance and upgradeability and to focus your energy on working with users and groups to understand how to use SharePoint to improve productivity and collaboration and identifying and promoting best practices in your organization.”
  22. 22. “You can make SharePoint look like it's NOT SharePoint” • Not branding in a supported way • Interfering with SharePoint functionality • Branding “Tax” Warning
  23. 23. “You can make SharePoint look like it's NOT SharePoint” • Engage skilled expertise to brand SharePoint. • Consider doing light-weight branding first. (fonts/colours) • Intranet versus Extranet versus Public-facing site Remediation
  24. 24. “Power Users can build their own solutions” - Self Serve - Removes IT bottleneck - IT can focus on complex deliverables 2 Benefit
  25. 25. “Power Users can build their own solutions” There are fewer controls over what is built. • No standards! • “In the wild” - SharePoint V-Next? • Who supports them? Warning
  26. 26. “Power Users can build their own solutions” • Governance to guide/monitor what’s being built. • Train Power Users! • Company standards defined. Remediation
  27. 27. “Users can control their own site” - Users can have their own space in SharePoint to collaborate with others and to use in any way they want to meet their own goals. - By delegating site ownership to the individuals who control the content of the site they become self-sufficient. Benefit
  28. 28. “Users can control their own site” Watch that users don’t shoot themselves in the foot! • Exceeding URL lengths • Treat document libraries as network shares • Threshold limits • List/library setting changes • Deleting the site • Removing their own access Warning
  29. 29. “Users can control their own site” • Governance plan • Training material and options: • Video tutorials • Documents • PowerPoint presentations • Targeted webparts • Train your site owners!!!! Remediation
  30. 30. “Granting permissions is ultra flexible” - Granular permissions: site, library, list, folder, item level. - Permissions can utilize: - Active Directory groups - SharePoint groups - Individual accounts Benefit
  31. 31. “Granting permissions is ultra flexible” Left unchecked, this can become a support nightmare. • No way to see "Employee x” all access • Breaking inheritance and performance Warning • Employee leaves • Beware of Item level permissions
  32. 32. “Granting permissions is ultra flexible” • Governance • Standardize groups (visitors – members – owners) • Invest in 3rd party product • Break permission inheritance as infrequently as possible • Assign permissions at highest-level possible • Permissions can drive layout (segment by security level) • Centralize security administration Remediation
  33. 33. “Granting permissions is ultra flexible” Active Directory Groups • Administered by IT Staff • Can Nest AD groups • SharePoint Owners can’t see who’s in an AD group • Can’t use with Person/Group column Remediation SharePoint Groups • Administered by SP Owners • Cannot nest SharePoint groups • SharePoint Owners can see who’s in a SharePoint group • Can use with Person/Group column HYBRID APPROACH!
  34. 34. “It’s a great place to store documents” - Drag-and-drop - Versioning - Check-in/Check-out/Approval/Publish - Familiar folder structure - Record declaration - Real-time co-authoring - Browser-based office documents Benefit
  35. 35. “It’s a great place to store documents” Lack of planning results in a terrible end-user experience and can leave end-users frustrated with SharePoint. • No Information Architecture • No Corporate Taxonomy • Expensive network share! Warning
  36. 36. “It’s a great place to store documents” • Define Information Architecture • Decide on IA Features Remediation Site Collections Sites & Subsites Libraries & Lists Metadata Managed Metadata Content Types Content Organizer Content Hub Information Management Policies
  37. 37. “It’s a great place to store documents” Information Architecture Corporate Portal Division Areas Project Sites Team/Committee Sites Personal Sites Structure & Governance
  38. 38. “It’s a great place to store documents” • Governance for Information Architecture above the line • Configure search – “Findability” • Train content owners - "Putability" Remediation
  39. 39. “Just use search to find what you’re looking for” - Display search results from across your organization - Customize search webparts - Show federated search results - Preview Office documents Benefit
  40. 40. Custom Search Results
  41. 41. Search Preview
  42. 42. “Just use search to find what you’re looking for” Search is only as good as Information Architecture • No metadata/No content types - search results will definitely suffer. • OOS required for Document Preview **On-Premises Warning
  43. 43. “Just use search to find what you’re looking for” • Define Information Architecture • Customize your search results • Install Office Online Server (previously Office Web Apps) in your on-premises environment Remediation
  44. 44. “Build it and they will come” - Leading-edge capabilities in O365 - Frictionless collaboration - Work from any location on any device - Both inside and outside your organization - Easy to sign-up for an O365 Tenant Benefit
  45. 45. “Build it and they will come” • Don't assume your employees will embrace the new features and know how to use it effectively. • No guidelines and governance? Confused staff • The “Wild West of collaboration” • What features are available and what to use when? (individual, group, and organizational level) Warning
  46. 46. “Build it and they will come” • First Release program – sign up! • Don't just rely on a one-time training event • Executive-level support is critical Remediation • Organizational Change Management • Engage the early adopters and innovators in your organization
  47. 47. “Build it and they will come” Remediation • "When to Use What in O365" whitepaper by Richard Harbridge and Kanwal Khipple from 2ToLead • SharePoint • OneDrive for Business • Yammer • Outlook/Exchange • Skype for Business • O365 Groups • Delve Boards • Video Portal
  48. 48. Extra: How do I Resource a SharePoint team? SharePoint Architect * Information Architect Search Architect SharePoint Back-end Developer SharePoint Front-end Developer SharePoint Administrator Business Analyst Beware of Multiple Hats! Power User Org Change Manager Business Intelligence Analyst Windows Server Administrator * SQL Administrator * Security/Identity Administrator Network Administrator
  49. 49. Extra: What’s in a SharePoint Governance Plan? • Site Creation • Permission Management • Information Architecture • Site Lifecycle and Retirement • Customization • Navigation • Search • Roles & Responsiblities
  50. 50. Even with these warnings, SharePoint is still Awesome! • Future of SharePoint event – Microsoft has stated SharePoint is a focus for them – there WILL be another version of on-premises SharePoint! • Flexible and powerful product that does many things VERY well. • "Feature Packs" - O365 capabilities will be brought down to On- Premises SharePoint!!!
  51. 51. Thank you and Happy SharePointing! Slides posted at @JoanneCKlein SK SharePoint User Group: @SKSPUG
  52. 52. Reference Links Todd Klindt’s service account recommendations Best Practises for SQL Server in a SharePoint Farm AutoSPInstaller O365 Developer Patterns and Practices SPCAF (SharePoint Code Analysis Framework) When to Use What in O365 whitepaper