Tag: sharepoint

Document placement: File Shares or SharePoint? #document #management #systems #sharepoint


Document placement: File Shares or SharePoint?


Documents are usually stored on file servers and the latest years have introduced several improvements for storing and accessing files. Microsoft SharePoint is one of the new ways to collaborate and the document management is appealing to many organizations. But is this a total replacement for file servers? This article is about choosing the right location for your files and how SharePoint can help you secure certain information.

Overview of Windows file services

Figure 1: User accessing a file share via an application or Windows Explorer through a network drive

We all use files that are shared on the network. They are used for sharing documents and files in a central location. Security is set on file shares, folders and files and the end user has been taught how to use network drive letters for finding, opening and saving documents. This is working quite well and a lot of systems are programmed to support this typical way of storing data.

Administrators have many options to set on file shares to make them available to users and control access to these and of course making sure that the data is backed up on a regular basis. Here are some examples of Windows file services features:

  • Availability is made by file server clusters and Distributed File Systems (DFS/DFSR) with replication
  • Quota management is used to set a limit on how much space the users may use
  • Shadow copies can be activated to make older versions of files available to users
  • Access Control Lists (ACL) determines the access to file shares, folders and individual files
  • Offlineuse of files is done by automatic replication
  • Encryption is made by configuring IPSEC on the server and client

  • The files sharing system has some disadvantages though. The administrators and end users must learn how to work with the files and make sure that the files have the correct access permissions. Linking documents together, adding customized attributes and specifying the way the documents are presented for a subset of users is not easy. Searching through all file shares for documents containing specific words or created by a specific user can also be quite a slow process.

    Storing documents in SharePoint

    Figure 2:
    User accessing a document library via an application or an Internet Explorer through a website

    With SharePoint Microsoft introduced yet another place for storing files on your network and make these visible to users through a web interface. SharePoint is a great product for collaboration and companies around the world are implementing this as a part of their network and server infrastructure.

    Exactly collaboration is where SharePoint provides additional features compared to the typical Windows file share. We have the possibility to add attributes, called columns, which are unique or linked to another source and make this changeable through either the web interface or the Office 2007 client application. We can sort, filter or link these attributes together and provide a more rich experience for the users of the documents. Other features that I want to mention are listed here:

    • Workflows. such as approval procedure, help automating simple or complex tasks with or without user interference
    • Versioning adds the ability to see older versions of documents and controls which users can see the latest published version and who can edit the draft for the next published version of the file or document
    • Item visibility Users do not have the ability to see information that they do not have permission to see. This is one of my favorite features of SharePoint, the security that comes out of the box. That also includes files stored in SharePoint and even the search capabilities take advantage of this security filter. Offline use of data is made through the Microsoft Outlook application
    • Access Control Lists (ACL) determines the access to the area or item (file). This is controlled by the administrator or a team site owner through the web interface
    • Encryption is made by enabling SSL on the SharePoint websites
    • Extranet features that can benefit from policies that e. g. makes content read only if accessed from another zone such as the internet
    • Recycle bin (two-stage) for document libraries, lists and items
    • Lifecycle management that can be activated for archiving old content
    • Rights Management Services (RMS) support for advanced control of Microsoft Office documents

    The possibilities are endless and with all these features SharePoint supports the collaboration with more than a standard way of working with individual files and documents.

    SharePoint uses a Microsoft SQL Server to store all data in and this applies to the document libraries as well. Therefore it is very important that your Microsoft SQL Server is fast and has enough space for the data. Another thing to consider regarding this is that if you require high availability you must make the SharePoint servers and your SQL server redundant. Also remember that you need to license your users for the SharePoint and SQL servers.

    Choosing the place for storing files

    Some might ask themselves if they should move all their existing file shares to SharePoint to take advantage of the features. When I get that question my answer is: it depends on which kind of data you have and how you want to use or present it .

    Taking all the above information in consideration, I would recommend data to be placed like below when it has some or more of the properties mentioned.

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    Solved: Sharepoint: no connect to outlook button availab #comcast #sharepoint


    At one time, we had our entire office connecting to a Comcast-hosted sharepoint calendar and contact list using Outlook 2007. Now, we can only get one machine to connect using Outlook 2010 – because the ‘connect to Outlook’ button is simply not listed. The machine that is successful in displaying the ‘connect to outlook’ button (and can sync up) is running XP, and using IE 8. I read where the add-in, Sharepoint stssync handler needed to be loaded, which it is, but I don’t think Google Chrome loads this, and am wondering if this may be related. Opening Google Chrome v 35 and the Sharepoint calendar in the Comcast Business page results in no ‘connect to Outlook’ button availability.

    We have also tried connecting a Windows 8.1 machine running Outlook 2013 with both Explorer 12 and Google Chrome with no button and no luck. I noticed that Outlook 2013 doesn’t have this add-in as a selection, either. I also read where re-installing MS Office would correct the problem, which I did, but it did not help. I’ve placed support calls and have been elevated to level 2, but have not received any callbacks in the last two weeks.

    Once the ‘connect to Outlook’ button is available, everything connects and sync’s fine. I didn’t expect our dinosaur machine running XP and IE8 to be the success story.

    Re: Sharepoint: no ‘connect to outlook’ button available!

    As a followup – I discovered what the issue was, and was able to overcome the ‘missing connect to Outlook’ button! Even if you don’t use Internet Explorer as your browser, you need to do this, as it obviously sets something with your computer.

    This worked for us –

    1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the ‘tools’ button at the upper-right top of the screen (gear).

    2. Select ‘compatibility view settings’.

    3. Type in ‘comcast.net’ in the ‘add this to website’, and save. Both boxes at the bottom have checkmarks, too.

    You will probably see the screen ‘blink’. Once you’ve saved this website, sign into comcast’s site and go to Sharepoint. Open the calendar and select the drop-down ‘actions’ box and the ‘connect to Outlook’ (or ‘connect to client’) box should now appear (at least it did for us). Click on the box and follow the instructions. Once you open your Outlook, you should get a request to make this connection, as well.

    You can now go back to using whatever web browser you regularly use.

    Hope this helps someone!

    Re: Sharepoint: no ‘connect to outlook’ button available!

    As a followup – I discovered what the issue was, and was able to overcome the ‘missing connect to Outlook’ button! Even if you don’t use Internet Explorer as your browser, you need to do this, as it obviously sets something with your computer.

    This worked for us –

    1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the ‘tools’ button at the upper-right top of the screen (gear).

    2. Select ‘compatibility view settings’.

    3. Type in ‘comcast.net’ in the ‘add this to website’, and save. Both boxes at the bottom have checkmarks, too.

    You will probably see the screen ‘blink’. Once you’ve saved this website, sign into comcast’s site and go to Sharepoint. Open the calendar and select the drop-down ‘actions’ box and the ‘connect to Outlook’ (or ‘connect to client’) box should now appear (at least it did for us). Click on the box and follow the instructions. Once you open your Outlook, you should get a request to make this connection, as well.

    You can now go back to using whatever web browser you regularly use.

    Hope this helps someone!

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    SharePoint – s Managed Metadata service is NOT case sensitive – What Me? #sharepoint #managed #services


    SharePoint s Managed Metadata service is NOT case sensitive

    I’ve done programming in a variety of environments over the years. Case sensitivity was one of the things that was the most difficult for me to get used to when I moved from VB to C# a number of years ago. In fact if it weren’t for Intellisense I would probably still be swearing at C# on a regular basis. I’ve learned to live with, and even make use of, case sensitivity in my C# programs over the years. But it doesn’t come naturally. I still tend to think in a case insensitive fashion.

    As a result I was somewhat surprised to run into someone having an issue recently when trying to add SharePoint Managed Metadata terms to a user profile programmatically. They reported that SharePoint wasn’t consistent when adding terms to the Ask me About profile field programmatically. It turns out that the real problem was that they had duplicate fields where the only difference was the case of the first character of the abbreviation. After some investigation here’s what I discovered.

    1. SharePoint won’t let you add two metadata terms under the same parent if the only thing that differs is the case sensitivity of the term. The image below shows what happens if you try to add “ABC” as a term when “Abc” already exists under the same parent term.

  • You can add (but probably shouldn’t) a term that differs only based on case sensitivity if you also change the hierarchy that the term inherits from. The image below shows the same “ABC” term added to a different parent. This time the addition is successful.
  • When you try to add any combination that starts with abc to a managed metadata column you get both terms. You can of course choose the one you actually want, but that’s based on the hierarchy of the term, not its case sensitivity.

  • The lesson here is that unlike some things like C#, the Managed Metadata service is NOT case sensitive. You should try to avoid adding terms to the service that differ only based on case sensitivity. This is particularly true if you intend to add managed metadata to fields programmatically.

    Published by

    Paul Papanek Stork

    I am a SharePoint MVP who has specialized in Microsoft products since the mid-1990s. As a “Jack of all Trades” I have developed expertise as a network administrator, developer, and DBA. I works as a consultant/trainer where my breadth of knowledge makes me ideally suited to combine Administrative, Development, and SharePoint Designer topics. My 20+ years of experience and broad background make me a much sought after resource for SharePoint questions that cross traditional boundaries. I was a contributing author to the Developer’s Guide to Windows SharePoint Services v3 Platform and the SharePoint Server 2007 Deployment Best Practices. My most recent book, the MCTS Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Configuration Study Guide: Exam 70-631, was released in October, 2009. View all posts by Paul Papanek Stork

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    Fine-Tune SQL Server 2012 for SharePoint 2013 #configuration, #configure, #install, #installation, #setup, #sharepoint #2013, #sharepoint #farm, #sql #server #2012, #sql #server #2012 #sp1, #skype #for #business, #microsoft #sql #server


    Fine-Tune Your SQL Server 2012 Configuration for SharePoint 2013

    As I discuss in Configure SQL Server 2012 for SharePoint 2013 , if you re using SQL Server 2012 as the database server for SharePoint 2013, you must configure SQL Server specifically to host SharePoint 2013.

    In this article I will continue the discussion by explaining some optional configuration tweaks that I like to make to my SQL Server 2012 instances for optimal performance.

    Set Maximum Amount of SQL Server RAM

    One optional tweak I like to make to my SQL Server 2012 configuration for SharePoint 2013 is to set the maximum amount of RAM that the SQL Server database engine can use. SQL Server is usually pretty good at sharing RAM and managing memory in general.

    If you ve ever looked at the memory usage on a SQL Server box, you ll see that SQL Server is using almost all the memory on the box. This is really a good thing. You don t want any unused RAM lying around, not if SQL Server can use it to cache things and give better performance. SQL Server is a good neighbor, though, and if other programs want some memory, SQL Server will free up some memory for them most of the time.

    Once in a while, SQL Server doesn t release RAM as it s supposed to. This happens pretty infrequently, but when it does happen, it s a huge pain. This usually means the server is running very slowly and remote tools can t get in to fix anything. To keep this from happening, I usually set the maximum amount of RAM that SQL Server can use, as shown in Figure 1.

    There are probably better guidelines available, but on a typical server today that has 32GB or 64GB of RAM, I usually make the maximum amount of RAM around 90 percent of the system RAM. That leaves 10 percent or so, which should be enough for the operating system, backup software, and other essentials. If you have other SQL Server instances or SQL Server components (such as SQL Server Reporting Services) installed on the same server, make sure to adjust your headroom accordingly. The server in the video accompanying this article has 16GB, so I gave SQL Server roughly 12GB.

    This setting is very intuitively on the Memory page of the instance settings. The important part is that I leave enough for the OS to let me in via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) if I need to access SQL Server remotely to address the problem.

    Opt for Compressed Backups

    Compressing backups is another optional configuration setting I enable when configuring a new SQL Server instance. When you enable backup compression, your database backups will be compressed when native SQL Server backups are executed. An additional benefit is that the backups will also be compressed if you do a farm-level backup in SharePoint. Backups on your SQL Server system probably happen at times when the workload is lighter when there are CPU cycles sitting around looking for something to do. Using those spare CPU cycles to compress your backups will make them take up less space and get the backup done faster, too.

    How do you make all this magic happen? Open the properties of the SQL Server instance and navigate to the Database Settings page, shown in Figure 2.

    Select the Compress backup check box. Doing so sets the default for the instance. Note that when you back up a database, you can still manually specify whether or not the backup will be compressed. Also notice that the page shown in Figure 2 is where you set the default locations for databases, log files, and database backups. We set these defaults during the install, but if you want to change them, this is where you d do it. Changing a default setting only impacts databases that are created after you change the setting. It won t magically move your existing databases for you.

    Set the model Database s Recovery Model

    There s one final optional tweak I make before I turn SQL Server over to SharePoint, especially if it isn t a production environment. I set the model database s recovery model to Simple. This setting tells SQL Server to overwrite transactions in the transaction logs that have been committed to the database files. This keeps those sneaky .ldf files from filling up your drive and taking down SQL Server. No one has time for that.

    Just as you can set the default behavior for backup compression, you can set SQL Server s default recovery model behavior. SQL Server has a database called model that it uses if certain settings aren t defined when a database is created. The Recovery model setting is one of those settings. If a database doesn t have the Recovery model setting defined when it s created, then that database will get whatever options the model database has. Of course you can change the options for your database later if you want to. You will not want the Simple recovery model if you start using some high-availability functionality such as mirroring or AlwaysOn Availability Groups. If you decide to use any of those features later, you ll have to switch the Recovery Model setting back to Full.

    To set the recovery model, find the model database under System Databases in Object Explorer. Right-click the model database and open its properties. On the options page, shown in Figure 3, you ll find the Recovery model setting options. Select Simple from the drop-down list and click OK.

    Again, you can change this setting at any time both on individual databases and on the model database itself. Not all SharePoint s databases inherit their recovery model setting from model, so you ll need to keep a watchful eye on those .ldf files, even if you set the model database recovery model to Simple.

    Following the setup and configuration guidance I ve provided in this article series will help to ensure that your SQL Server 2012 instance works smoothly and reliably for your SharePoint 2013 farm. Check out the list at the end of this article for links to the other articles in the series, plus additional helpful resources.

    Other Articles in This Series

    Additional SQL Server-SharePoint Resources

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