Posts tagged 2010

For the last week now, Michael and I have been struggling with a very persistent workflow issue. An approval workflow that we have created, works fine when it’s started by an administrator, however when it started by a regular user, then the approval process won’t work. The workflow is activated with the permissions’ of the user that started it, not the permissions of the approver or the author. It isn’t currently an issue for the work we’re doing, but it will need to be fixed for use in a real world environment. Googling the problem didn’t seem to help, there were too many vague “fixes”, that required complicated multiple workflows that never seemed to work. There didn’t seam to be a solution to this problem anywhere on the internet. However, I then remembered that someone gave me a large SharePoint 2010 book as a “congratulations for getting the job”, so I decided to see if I could find a solution in there. The solution showed itself almost immediately.

The answer is: High-Privilege Workflows. I found this solution to be extremely easy carry out, and it solved our workflow problems 100%. A high-privilege workflow runs with the permissions’ of the person who created the workflow. While editing the workflow, you simply click in the area just below the first step, go to the “insert” section of the ribbon bar and click “Impersonation Step”. This adds a new step into the workflow that carries out the actions within it using the permissions of the workflow author.

I find it embarrassing that the solution was so simple, however I thought I might write a post about it,  incase any others users were coming across the same issues.

 

workflow

RE

Here you will find descriptions of the majority of features mentioned in the previous post, some appeared to be rather useful and beneficial for the University, others probably wouldn’t be used in this environment.

The Developer Dashboard – This is a new feature for SharePoint 2010 but is not included in Microsoft SharePoint Online, the developer dashboard provides the user with additional performance and tracing information, that can be used to debug and troubleshoot issues with page rendering time. This isn’t available on SharePoint Online as the user does not manage SharePoint, the SharePoint servers are managed by Microsoft, removing the need for Developer Dashboard.

Records Centre – The Records Centre is intended to serve as a central repository in which an organization can store and manage all of its records. SharePoint 2010 also has an extremely useful feature called In-place records management; this allows the user to declare a document as a record without moving it to a Records Centre, records and documents live alongside each other in the site that they were originally created in.

Business Intelligence Centre – The Business Intelligence Centre is a site template, that is optimized to help manage the working elements of business intelligence reporting: scorecards, dashboards, data connections, status lists, status indicators, and so on.

Business Data Web Parts – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes five default Business Data Web Parts: Business Data List, Business Data Item, Business Data Item Builder, Business Data Related List, and Business Data Actions. These Web Parts rely on the Business Data Catalogue, and offer three main benefits:

  • No required coding and reusability These Web Parts enable you to display business data on your portal site without writing any code. Also, these Web Parts are generic and reusable and can show any type of data (entity) registered in the Business Data catalogue.
  • Connectability These Web Parts support Web Part connections and make it easier to create Master-Detail applications without writing any code. For example, you can display customers and their details using the Business Data List and Business Data Item Web Parts by simply connecting them. These Web Parts can also be integrated in dashboards.
  • Customization These Web Parts support WYSIWYG editing in Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and can be customized using XSLT transformations.

Web AnalyticsThis feature helps the user to collect, report, and analyse the usage and effectiveness of your SharePoint 2010 deployment – whether it’s used as an internal or external web portal, a collaboration tool or a document and records management repository.

Word Automation Services – There are some tasks that are difficult when using the Welcome to the Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office, such as repagination, conversion to other document formats such as PDF, or updating of the table of contents, fields, and other dynamic content in documents. Word Automation Services is a new feature of SharePoint 2010 that can help in these scenarios. It is a shared service that provides unattended, server-side conversion of documents into other formats, and some other important pieces of functionality. It was designed from the outset to work on servers and can process many documents in a reliable and predictable manner.

Chart Web Parts – One of the new additions to Microsoft’s SharePoint Server 2010 platform is the Chart Web Part (CWP), which allows you to create static and dynamic charts for your site without a line a code. One of the complaints from MOSS 2007 was that users wanted to be able to drop a chart onto their site to create dashboard or display information from Excel documents, or provide metrics to other users in a graphical way.

Timer Jobs – This article describes the default timer jobs for SharePoint Server 2010. A timer job runs in a specific Windows service for SharePoint Server. Timer jobs also perform infrastructure tasks for the Timer service, such as clearing the timer job history and recycling the Timer service; and tasks for Web applications, such as sending e-mail alerts. A timer job contains a definition of the service to run and specifies how frequently the service is started. The SharePoint 2010 Timer service (SPTimerv4) runs timer jobs. Many features in SharePoint Server rely on timer jobs to run services according to a schedule.

External Data Column – Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 provides a field type called External Data that is available to all regular SharePoint lists (except External lists). The External Data field type enables users to add data from external content types registered in the Business Data Connectivity (BDC) service metadata store to SharePoint lists.

Secure Store Service – In Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, the Secure Store Service replaces the single sign-on (SSO) feature of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. The Secure Store Service is a claims-aware authorization service that includes a secure database for storing credentials.

Decomposition tree – This is a new feature for SharePoint 2010 and again is not included in SharePoint Online, for reasons unknown. The decomposition tree is a performance analytics tool; this displays how individual members in a group contribute. This appears to be a feature mainly for retailers, analysing the user’s sales abilities.

Data Connection Library – A Data Connection Library in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is a library that can contain two kinds of data connections: an Office Data Connection (ODC) file or a Universal Data Connection (UDC) file. Microsoft InfoPath 2010 uses data connections that comply with the Universal Data Connection (UDC) file schema and typically have either a *.udcx or *.xml file name extension. Data sources described by these data connections are stored on the server and can be used in standard form templates and browser-enabled form templates.

PerformancePoint Services – PerformancePoint Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is a performance management service that you can use to monitor and analyze your business. By providing flexible, easy-to-use tools for building dashboards, scorecards, reports, and key performance indicators (KPIs), PerformancePoint Services can help everyone across an organization make informed business decisions that align with companywide objectives and strategy. Scorecards, dashboards, and KPIs help drive accountability. Integrated analytics help employees move quickly from monitoring information to analyzing it and, when appropriate, sharing it throughout the organization.

Search Functions – There are many search function features that SharePoint 2010 has that SharePoint online does not, some of these features greatly improve the search functionality and even enable the search function to be tailored for certain sites. An Office 365 representative had this to say about it: “Due to the limitations of a multi-tenant hosted environment, FAST is currently not planned to be available in SharePoint Online.  (Enterprise search is really only feasible for dedicated or on-prem SharePoint environments).” So it looks like ShaerPoint Online will not be recieveing this features any time soon.

Chart Web Parts – Chart Web Parts enable you to display some data on your SharePoint page in a graphical form. It can also be integrated with Excel Services.
Business Data Connectivity Services – Business Data Connectivity (BDC) service is the new version of the Business Data Catalogue that was provided in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It is now provided in Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010. BDC is implemented as a shared service in Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and it still relies on the Metadata Store. The BDC Service enables you to declaratively model external systems so that you can expose external data in SharePoint Server 2010 (and, with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 with Enterprise Client Access License, in Microsoft Office 2010 applications also). BDC bridges the gap between SharePoint sites and your business applications, and enables you to bring in key data from various external systems to SharePoint lists (via the new external lists feature and external data columns), Web Parts, search, user profiles, and custom applications.
Excel Services and PowerPivot – Excel Services and PowerPivot for SharePoint – Excel Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is a Microsoft SharePoint Server shared service that you can use to publish Microsoft Excel 2010 workbooks on SharePoint Server. The published workbooks are available throughout your organization for knowledge workers to use. Any published workbook can be managed and secured according to your organizational needs and then shared throughout. PowerPivot for SharePoint supports Excel 2010 workbooks that contain PowerPivot data and that are published to a SharePoint site. As a result, other users who do not have the PowerPivot add-in installed can view and interact with the workbook. In addition, PowerPivot for SharePoint has unique features to extend the capabilities of Excel workbooks that contain PowerPivot data.

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Quest Software offer a SharePoint migration tool, which can migrate SharePoint 2003 to 2007 and 2007 to 2010.

Quest enables remote migration by offering a web based console that can be accessed from any web browser. It also helps you to easily manage your migration project with the use of, pre-migration assessments, migration job controls, real time progress reporting and scheduling.

Quest will migrate SharePoint sites including content and security settings directly to the new platform. It also enables you to reorganise your site structure during the migration process. Once the migration is complete you can also update any changes to the original sites on the target sites. Quest can even migrate any customisation you may have on your sites including web parts.

Quest also offer a tool that states it can migrate SharePoint 2003 to 2010 directly without the need to migrate to the interim 2007 version. This can be seen in this video “Migrating SharePoint 2003 to 2010“.

More on this can be found at: Quest.

AvePoint is a third party tool that enables the final stage of migration from SharePoint Server 2010 to SharePoint Online and Office 365.

The AvePoint tool offers the following advantages:

  • Seamlessly migrate existing enterprise content from more than 14 legacy systems to SharePoint Online with a single install.
  • Minimize business disruptions caused by the migration or the deployment of change to sites, content, configuration, and solutions by maintaining co-existance of on-premise and online SharePoint deployments.
  • Reduce risks associated with migration from various disparate repositories or managing hybrid SharePoint environments.
  • Simplify testing, course correction and rollback during migration, deployment or publishing processes.
  • Publish content from the on-premise staging farms to the cloud for global scalability and seamless hybrid management.
  • Staged approach for migrating and publishing enterprise content reduces the number of connection paths required, helping to control bandwidth utilization and ensuring all network resources stay fully optimized.

More details can be found at: http://www.avepoint.com/sharepoint-online-migration-docave/

Many people have said that to upgrade to Microsoft office 365 from Sharepoint 2003, you would have to first, upgrade from 2003 to 2007, then 2007 to 2010 and finally 2010 to 2010 online. To me, this seamed like an extremely long winded and annoying way of accomplishing this.

After some searching I found that there were several tools to help with the migration process, the most notable being MetaVis migrator, a program that claims it can migrate all content & data from Sharepoint 2003 to Microsoft Office 365. I was a little sceptical of this knowing that there would probably be many compatibility issues from doing a straight transfer. MetaVis did however offer a free trial, a transfer of 1gb worth of data for free, I decided to give this a try using a section of the office 365 site and the universities preview portal.

Connection to both sites using the MetaVis client was easy and from there I could browse the structure of both sites, I was able to views lists, documents and even links, this seemed quite promising. After browsing through both the sites using the client, I transferred a very small portion of the preview portal over to 365. This took around 4 hours to complete but after it had, I located the new site on the 365 browser to check that it had done it successfully.  Unfortunately it appeared that the transfer was incomplete, despite it saying no errors, there was not content in any of the sites and only SOME of the data had transferred, some site pages didn’t even get transferred. This put me off a little, however I do have an opportunity to speak with a technician at MetaVis to discuss the client and how best we could use it for the university, if it does work as it is suppose to.

Until I have learnt more about MetaVis I still believe that the transfer to SP07 then to SP10 is the best/safest option.

RE