Monthly Archives: December 2013

Will SharePoint Split into two different products?

Posted by Jim on December 30, 2013
SharePoint 2013 / Comments Off on Will SharePoint Split into two different products?

An interesting article from Gartner recently resounds the split of SharePoint into two different product and pretends to sound the bell of doom?

“Given how Microsoft is shifting focus to the cloud, and with differences emerging between SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server, it will become increasingly difficult to consider them the same product, especially as Microsoft integrates SharePoint Online ever more closely with Yammer, Lync Online and Exchange Online, Mann said. Organizations should not panic as it will take several years… for this presumed SharePoint product divergence to take effect, according to Mann. However, it is not too early to start planning for a post-SharePoint world,” he advised. ”

SharePoint has been evolving for 14 years. As a consultant I continue to see it as one systems with capabilities that customers need to align with based on their needs. The profound impact the cloud product has made in the last three years is a clear indicator this strategy will continue to evolve as Microsoft seek solutions for all companies. So what’s new? And what’s so scary about that? And what’s up with Gartner?

 Gartner: Microsoft’s SharePoint Plans Could Lead to Product Split (http://rcpmag.com/articles/2013/10/11/gartner-sharepoint-product-split.aspx)

SharePoint 2016 ??? Yes Or No

Posted by Jim on December 27, 2013
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Was there really a pre – pre release? I question if this really happened? ……. But if it did 2016 is on it’s way 🙂

BOSTON – April 1st, 2013 — A sneak peek into a pre-pre-release of SharePoint 2016 reveals dramatic new improvements in the venerable platform, according to independent analyst firm, The Real Story Group. (

http://www.realstorygroup.com/Who-We-Are/Press-Releases/125-ExclusiveSharePoint2016SneakPeak

)

In an exhaustive evaluation of the new platform, Real Story Group (RSG) isolated several critical enhancements.

  • State-of-the art social media integration.  SharePoint 2016 will feature with an optional Pinterest connector, available for purchase from a Microsoft partner in China.
     
  • Improved video capabilities.  SharePoint 2016 will automatically convert raw videos (up to three minutes in length) into Microsoft’s new Splash-based delivery format.  The service employs an Azure-based transformation queue, with converted videos typically available in as soon as 24 hours.  “These sorts of leading-edge multimedia capabilities make SP 2016 a total market disrupter,” concludes RSG Analyst Kashyap Kompella.
     
  • Renewed commitment to cloud.  SharePoint 2016 customers can synch documents from their on-premise installations to Office 365 instances via nightly FTP jobs.  “Agility is the name of the game now,” notes RSG Senior Analyst Irina Guseva, “and SP 2016 really raises the bar here.”
     
  • Fancy migration utility.  An automated migration script will move Office files from SP 2013 directly to SP 2016.  Microsoft cleverly leaves profile information and activity stream data behind.  Says RSG Principal Theresa Regli, “Redmond astutely recognizes that most of us want an entirely new social identity at work every three years.”
     
  • A new rich text editor.  “This one has snazzy icons,” notes SP 2016 program manager, Bitsy Optimist, “so it works just like Word.” Optimist promises that editors can publish new pages in less than nine clicks.
     
  • A new application framework. Non-developers can generate and deploy .NET objects through drag-and-drop interfaces.  “Automated code generation is definitely the future — FrontPage already proved that,” notes RSG Senior Analyst Apoorv Durga.  When other users modify an application through the WYSIWYG interface, the system helpfully creates a whole new instance of the application code running in parallel on production servers.  Redmond is expected to roll out a new advertising campaign called “Configuration Management is for Sissies,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.   

The new application framework in particular should dramatically lower costs.  At least one prospective customer is already reaping the benefits.  RSG contacted Melvin V. Prohgrimmer, a SharePoint evangelist at a 40-person manufacturing company in Omaha, Nebraska.  According to Prohgrimmer, the firm’s integrator, NeverEnding, Inc. promised a 20% reduction in the estimated $3.2m cost to redesign the company’s intranet if they could deploy the 2016 edition of SharePoint rather than SP 2013.

 

Now is this really true? I think it’s alittle early to pounce on a new SharePoint verison … afterall 2013 is still alive and just starting to catch traction ……. ?

SharePoint 2013 – Clean URLs and Managed Navigation

Posted by Jim on December 23, 2013
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SP2013SearchA very powerful new feature in MS SharePoint 2013 is the new SharePoint Managed Navigation.  Managed Navigation is a new option for global and context-sensitive navigation and replaces the non-existent feature in previous versions.  This new feature improves search engine optimization (SEO), provides cleaner URLs, and simplifies navigation management.

Enabling Managed Navigation

Step 1 It is very simple to enable Managed Navigation for publishing sites.  First, we need to select the Managed Navigation option in the Site Settings > Navigation page (shown below).

 Step 2 Next we need to define the Managed Metadata term set that will be used for navigation (shown below).  The default term set is “Site Navigation” and it is set up to allow the same navigation across all Sites in the Site Collection.

 Benefits!

Search Engine Optimization

The benefit to SEO can be seen immediately after enabling Managed Navigation.  This is because Managed Navigation allows for “clean” URLs.  These CLEAN URLs no longer contain the “Pages/” folder.  Likewise, the “.aspx” extension after the page name is no longer necessary.  And finally, the “default.aspx” page can be dropped from the URL entirely (see below).  These cleaner URLs will help with search engine ranking by removing unnecessary terms and a tremendous advancement to search.

 Final Thoughts

When building a SharePoint site, considerable attention should also be paid to the site hierarchy, content types, and search but this new feature is a great enhancement, navigation and managed metadata.

Microblogging in SharePoint 2013

Posted by Jim on December 23, 2013
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thCATWCQK9The term Microblogging was made famous by a few Social sites such as Twitter. With SharePoint 2013 comes the microblogging element to the corporate world. Using Twitter, you post a short message out to the world. You can follow other people and attract your own followers. You mention other people using the @ symbol followed by their name and can tag a topic using the # symbol (called a hashtag).

 

With the new features of  SharePoint the same functionality as Twitter, but in a controlled environment that is only accessible by other SharePoint users at your organization. In SharePoint, you post microblog updates from your Newsfeed page. To post a microblog update, follow these steps:

 

1) Navigate to your Newsfeed page by clicking the Newsfeed tab at the top of the screen. 

The Newsfeed page is displayed. If you do not see the Newsfeed tab, then My Sites has not been configured for your SharePoint environment.

 2) Click in the Start a Conversation text box, and type your message.

If you want to mention someone, type the @ symbol and choose the person from the drop-down list. If you want to provide a hashtag topic, type the # symbol followed by a topic name (without spaces).

 3) At the top of the message box, click the drop-down list to decide who you want to share the message with.

 By default, a message is shared with everyone. You can select the dropdown list and choose to share the message with a particular site.

 4) Click the Post button to publish your message.

 You can see trending hashtag topics in the lower-right corner of your Newsfeed page. A trending topic is the most popular hashtag at the time.

For example, if a bunch of people use the tag #NewProfetShareing, then the tag will show up in the trending list. You can click the tag to see the related posts for that topic. You can also choose to follow the tag so that you will be updated whenever someone makes a new post about the topic.

SharePoint 2013 Templates – Yes or No

Posted by Jim on December 18, 2013
SharePoint 2013 / Comments Off on SharePoint 2013 Templates – Yes or No

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Templates Templates ………. Now in SharePoint 2013 do we need to purchase templates anymore. Yes I think we still need the art design guys…………..! So many choices now that we can use the designer features of any WYSIWYG editor it would seem any one can design a SharePoint landing page but that’s not so. Anyone can produce a page but design is a totally different subject. In my previous article I have supported many template manufactures because of the ease and quickness these product could transform the native SharePoint landscape. Truth being said, SharePoint has always needed a lot of transformation from a UI perspective. Even now when I look at products such as WORDPRESS and other CM systems in relation to SharePoint we still need help with visual design.

 I recently used a third part design template just to get a feel of the extended capabilities in the new 2013 design feature and highly recommend the template manufacturer. PixMill does a great job with basic design and the cost is very respectable….. Check it out! Might be a good solution for small deployments.

So has Microsoft introduction of the Design feature in SharePoint 2013 helped or hindered the design feature of the tool set. I think most would agree it’s a significant improvement over the legacy systems and yes …. significant improvement. However, if you’re really not a designer than all this capability won’t translate into anything for a customer at an enterprise level. Again as in the past you will still need design and UI experts to support the vision and stay within the core features and capability structure the ribbon and other features require.

Visio Services – Overview in 2013

Posted by Jim on December 16, 2013
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At a high level, Visio Services consists of the core components shown in this illustration. The Visio Graphics Service, or VGS, is the primary component and it’s responsible for loading Visio Web Drawings as well as is responsible for refreshing external data. On the Web Front-End servers, the Visio Web Access web part, or the VWA is the SharePoint Web part responsible for creating the HTML renderings from the results returned by the VGS. The EWA makes it possible to display web drawing in a browser and allows users to interact with them. In a customization scenario, SharePoint application developers can write custom code to interact with the VGS by using the Visio JSOM Mash-up API, Web Part Connections and Custom Data Providers. We’ll discuss these APIs in further detail in the following slides.

 Picture1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also included on the web front end is an VGS proxy that handles communication between the tiers in a multi-server environment. The proxy manages load balancing in situations where you have two or more application servers running the VGS role.

 Picture2

Finally, on the back end, Visio Services uses three types of SQL Server databases: The content databases are use for storing web drawings, the service application databases for storing information about the configuration of the service apps, and then finally the farm configuration database. As with the previous version, the SharePoint Server provides the platform for hosting the VGS and storage as well as the security of the web drawings as we mentioned earlier. Continuing with the new service application infrastructure, Visio Services makes its functionality available to the farm as a Service Application which means it can be scaled out independently to many individual application servers running the VGS service.