Posts tagged online

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.

RE & MB

In the last few days, Michael and I have been given access to a small area of the current University Portal to work with,originally we used it to test Microsoft InfoPath (see previous InfoPath post), however, after that failed I decided to use the area to test migration for a second time. I was confident that this time it would work as our site was much smaller than the one we tried previously. We used MetaVis again to carry out the migration and did it pretty much the same way we did the previous migration.

To test migration I first populated our page with test data and nonsense, adding a few lists, document libraries and images, this would help me tell whether or not the migration was successful.

We connected to https://portal.lincoln.ac.uk/C10/C6/PortalDelevopment and  http://adp.sharepoint.com/TeamSite/office365dev/migration/, again I found that it did not have to input my username and password to connect to our portal site. I then simply simply dragged the Lincoln portal site to the 365 portal site and the migration began. I was surprised to find that the migration process still took up to about 10 minutes, which I thought was odd considering there was very little on the page.

The migration completed successfully, with only a few minor errors, which consisted of these:

Copy group “Guest” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “Reader” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “Contributor” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “Web Designer” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “Administrator” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “anon” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “Content Manager” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “Member” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “ReadOnly” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

Copy group “Role Analysis Group” – The server sent HTTP status code 401: Unauthorized

However, this was unimportant for this migration and was not needed, I also believe that this could easily be fixed when both portals are set up for migration.

Once it had completed I went to both portal pages to compare them. From what I saw, the migration was mostly successful.

 

Penguins

As you can see, everything was transferred correctly, the only two problems were the navigation (although I am not sure if this is because it isn’t the entire portal that has been transferred) and the layout of the page. I believe that this has happened because office 365 has multiple layout styles, where as SharePoint 2003 only has a few. This is easily fixed by dragging the ‘Content Editor’ web part over the the left of the screen.

penguins 2

So we finally have a successful migration using MetaVis, I will continue to test other migration methods and software and to research the migration of other areas including emails and users. for now it is just nice to directly compare Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 to SharePoint online, it’s clear which looks better.

RE

So far we have only really looked at migrating our SharePoint server to the cloud, we haven’t really looked at migrating the Exchange server at all. I have come across an article on ZDNET describing their Exchange migrating experience, this article highlights a big issue with the migration process and the limitations of Office 365.

In ZDNET’s artcile, “Outlook: Cloudy (with a chance of email)” they describe their migration into the cloud as being pretty smooth, that is up until they got to the much larger mailboxes. We already know that Office 365 does not allow users to send attachments over 25mb but what I didn’t realise is that when migrating the exchange server, office wont migrate emails that already have attachments over 25mb. This limitation can halt the migration process, which of course can cause a problem for anyone migrating to the cloud. The smaller mailboxes will continue to upload, but any mailboxes left out of migration will be considered a failure.

ZDNET also came up with a method to avoid these problems

“Possibly the easiest way to deal with the large message problem is to use Outlook’s Search Folders to build a dynamic query that will find all messages over a set size. You can sort the resulting virtual folder by size, and remove all the messages (or attachments) that are blocking the migration.”

Once these changes had been made, the migration process was simply restarted and completed. Fortunately, the good thing about migrating the exchange server is that users will still be able to use their emails while the migration is in process, so there is no interruption to service.

For the university however, this could be a very lengthy process as there are an extremely large amount of mailboxes to migrate, with thousands of staff accounts and thousands of student accounts to migrate over to the cloud.

RE