Category Archives: SharePoint 2010

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Displaying Metadata Properties on Search Results pages (MOSS 2007)

Background
It is possible to display custom metadata beneath each item

found on the search results page. The metadata can be presented in a number of

ways. There is plenty of information on the Internet about how this can be done

using XML and XSL – see http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/matthew/archive/2008/09/01/sharepoint-image-search-part-4.aspx for example.

See also Ref.Inside the Index and Search Engines: Microsoft

Office SharePoint Server 2007 -pages 140-141 book stored in Marlow

office.

On this example we will simply add four metadata items beneath

each item search result.

Instructions

1) Edit the Search Results page and edit the Search Core Results

Web part.

2) Expand the Results Query Options section and click

on the ellipse beside the Selected Columns field. Add extra selected columns to

be used by the Search Core Results. For example you may wish to add the

following lines:

<Column Name=”Brand”/>
<Column

Name=”Market”/>
<Column Name=”Filename”/>
<Column

Name=”TypeImage”/>
<Column Name=”TypeCommunication”/>
<Column

Name=”TypeMarket”/>

if you have previously created a managed metadata property

called ‘Brand’, ‘Market’, ‘Filename’, ‘TypeImage’, ‘TypeCommunication’, and

‘TypeMarket’ (in the SSP) for particular content type columns.

3) Click the XSL Editor … button and search

for <p

class=”srch-Metadata”>

Just

above this line insert a code snippet like the one shown

below:

</xsl:choose>

</div

>

<div class=”srch-Description”>Brand:

<xsl:value-of select=”brand”

/> <br />Market:

<xsl:value-of select=”market”

/> <br />Filename:

<xsl:value-of select=”filename”

/> <br />Type:

<xsl:value-of select=”typeimage” />

<xsl:value-of select=”typecommunication”

/>

<xsl:value-of select=”typemarket” />

<xsl:value-of select=”typeplan” />

</div>

<p

class=”srch-Metadata”>

<span

class=”srch-URL”>

<a

href=”{$url}” id=”{concat(‘CSR_U_’,$id)}” title=”{$url}”

dir=”ltr”>

<xsl:choose>

On

this example we have previously defined Managed Properties in the SSP for Brand,

Market, Filename and four different documents types (Image Type, Communication

Type, Market Type, and Plan Type).

4)

Close the XSL Editor and apply the modification to the Web Part and re-publish

the page.

The

effects of this modification will display the four crawled property values

underneath each item, e.g.

Item

details (as standard)

Brand:

SuperTea

Market:

Australia

Filename:

an-image.jpg

Type:

Press Release

Note:

Each item found will only contain one of the four possible Type

values.

Removing the first Global Navigation tab in SharePoint 2010

One of the areas I find particularly fiddly when deploying SharePoint is its navigation – particularly with larger deployments that require multiple site collections.

This post relates to one particular problem I commonly experience working with a publishing site collection’s global navigation settings. How do you remove the default first global navigation tab that appears on each new site collection? This automatically appears named the same as the site collection title (with publishing activated).

On this example I have a site collection with the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature activated, so that I can take advantage of SharePoint’s drop-down sub-menus.

1. Having created the site collection I first open the site collection in SharePoint Designer, using the Site Actions > Edit in SharePoint Designer menu option.

2. Right click on the v4.master page and select ‘Copy’. (This is the SharePoint 2010 equivalent of the default.master page used in SharePoint 2007).

3. Right click and select ‘Paste’ to paste a copy of the v4.master page – it will be default be named v4_copy(1).master

4. Right click on the copied v4_copy(1).master page and select ‘Open’. You will be prompted to check it out – respond ‘Yes’.

5. Click the Find ribbon button and search for PlaceholderAddition

6. On line 28 of my v4_copy(1).master page I find the following line:

<asp:ContentPlaceHolder id=”PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead” runat=”server”/>

Insert the following line above this line:

 <link href=”/Style%20Library/customstyles.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” />

7. Right click on the v4.master page tab in SharePoint Designer and select Save. You will see warning prompt advising you changes will customize this page so that it is no longer based on the site definition. Click ‘Yes’ to continue.

8. Now click on ‘All Files’ in the Site Objects window (left) in SharePoint Designer. Open the Style Library folder. Right click and select New > CSS File.

9. Name the css file:

customstyles.css 

10. Right click and select Open to open the customstyles.css file. Paste the following (ensuring there are no blank lines before the text):

.s4-tn li.static > a {

 display: none !important;

}

.s4-tn li.static > ul a {

 display: block !important;

}

11. Right click on the customstyles.css tab in SharePoint Designer, and select Save. Click on Style Library on the breadcrumb. Right click the customstyles.css and select Check In. Select Publish a major version and click OK.

12. Click on Master Pages and right click the v4_copy(1).master file and select Check In and then sSelect Publish a major version and click OK. You will be prompted that the document requires content approval. Click Yes.

13. Click on the v4_copy(1) item’s function menu and select Approve/Reject. Click the Approved radio button and click OK.

14. Now return to the site collection and click on Site Actions > Site Settings.

15.  Click on the Master page link (under Look and Feel). CHange the Site Master Page to v4_copy(1).master. In the Alternate CSS URL section, click on the ‘Specify a CSS file…’ radio button and click the Browse button. Click on the Style Library and select the customstyless css file. Click the OK button. On the Site Master Page Settings page decide whether it is appropriate to click the ‘Reset all subsites..’ radio buttons for the Site Master Page and Alternate CSS URL. Click the OK button to complete the process.

16. The first global navigation tab will no longer be displated. Now return to Site Settings and start creating your global navigation tabs using the Navigation link under Look and Feel.

This approach is ideal in situations where you want to have a consistent navigation experience across multiple site collections. The alternative is to create your own custom global navigation panel.

Problems Saving Office 2010 documents to SharePoint 2010

I experienced the following error when attempting to save a Word 2003 document to a SharePoint 2010 document library.

saving-to-sp10-error-with-word-2010

A quick search identified the resolution to the problem:

  1. Run one of the Office 2010 application (e.g. Word 2010).
  2. Click on File menu, and select Options.
  3. In the “Options” dialog, select Trust Center in the left pane.
  4. Click on Trust Center Settings in the right pane.
  5. Select Protected View in the left pane of “Trust Center” dialog.
  6. Disable any of all of the protected view options as below by unticking the check boxes:
    • Enable Protected View for files that fail validation
    • Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet
    • Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations
    • Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments

See the full Blog Post here:

http://howtosharepoint.blogspot.com/2010/04/word-experienced-error-trying-to-open.html

Working with Document Sets

Introduction

I have recently implemented a Document Set content type in SharePoint 2010 for a large organisation. The document set content type is called “Employee File”. Within each “Employee File” document set three document content types are applied, one called “Employee File Section” which is used to categorize the sections used in the related physical file. My company, Deltascheme has managed the scanning of over 6,000 physical files to a SharePoint HR document library. The approach works well. One of the key advantages of using a document set (instead of a folder) is a document set can have custom columns (metadata) applied to it, and documents added to the document set can inherit values that match with its own document content type columns. In my case the following columns were shared between the “Employee File” document set content type and the “Employee File Section” document content type: Employee ID; Employee Surname; Employee First Names; Employee NI Number; and Employee Date of Birth. This means that when a document is uploaded to the document set the user only has to complete one mandatory column (Employee Section choice value) and the other columns (Employee ID etc.) are inherited from the parent content type.

Things to be aware of

1. Folders cannot be added to a document set. You can add document sets to folders, but this is not recommended because views won’t work very well.

2. Be careful how you use views – Do not use a filtered view as the default. I have found that if you select a different view to identify a document set, and then click into the document set, you may not see the contents of the document set because the default view will re-apply.

3. Document sets appear in WebDAV (Explorer view) as folders. Document Sets are really folders on steroids. It is important to first configure the Document Set Settings option on the content type.

Planning your Electronic Document & Records Management System in SharePoint – Starting to Build your SharePoint EDRMS

4) Starting to Build your SharePoint EDRMS

The “Planning Considerations” described in the last post can be supplemented with Project Management and Change Management considerations, including SharePoint Governance Planning, Communications Planning, Training Planning etc. These often overlooked areas are absolutely vital to a successful SharePoint deployment. I recommend you read some good books on the subject, including: “SharePoint Server 2007 Best Practices” and its equivalent 2010 book from Microsoft Press; and “Essential SharePoint 2007” and its equivalent 2010 book from Addison Wesley. Susan Hanley is also a notable speaker on the subject of Govenance and Managing Change – see her website at http://www.susanhanley.com/home.htm

After some careful planning and consultancy services your organisation will be ready to to start building their SharePoint Electronic Document & Records Management System (EDRMS). SharePoint lends itself to rapid configuration, and if properly planned will provide a functional platform on which future applications can evolve. Remember another notable SharePoint speaker – Joel Oleson, describes SharePoint like hot glue – it’s quick to mould but also rapidly sets and becomes difficult to change later on. I recommend you take a look at Joel’s excellent Blog Site at http://www.sharepointjoel.com/default.aspx

Using a SharePoint Sandbox is advisable when modelling concepts and ideas. This approach proves particularly useful as part of a consultancy workshop exercise, especially where the organisation is unfamiliar with SharePoint and/or the functional requirements are more challenging. Certainly any necessary technical development must be tried out first on a Sandbox/Development SharePoint system before being deployed on a Production SharePoint system.

The creation of site collections and content databases can quickly be administered from Central Admin. Think carefully about naming conventions, site collection quota policies and DNS naming conventions. You may also want to create your own site collection template rather than use one of the standard site definitions supplied by Microsoft. Creating your own site definition is usually best based on the Blank Site Definition but be aware that some features such as the Managed Metadata in 2010 may have to be activated using STSADM or PowerShell.

Once you have your site collection structure you can follow a similar practice creating sub-sites based on a previously created site template. A great deal of time can be saved following this practice. Similarly creating library or list templates and saving them to the ListGallery can save time and encourage the adoption of common standards.

For those of you planning to deploy SharePoint 2010 I would recommend using an Enterprise Content Type Hub (see January 2010 post) to centrally manage the content types you plan to use across the SharePoint farm(s). (Also in 2010, careful consideration needs to be given to the use of Managed Metadata columns when integrating with other systems).

Now that you have your site structure built with sub-sites and document libraries and other collaborative tools, you can start thinking about applying security permissions and fine tuning Web Parts on welcome pages.

The next potentially big configuration exercise is Search, which I will cover in separate posts.

Planning your Electronic Document & Records Management System in SharePoint – Planning Considerations

3) Planning Considerations

Designing the Information Architecture is only part of the EDRM consultancy exercise. It is also important to decide how your organisation will manage documents and records using SharePoint. Here is a sample of some of the many questions an organisation must consider:

1) Are the documents shared by different parts of the organisation – if so, who is the owner of the document and where will it be hosted?

2) Identify documents that need to formally be drafted, published and approved. Confirm if a workflow process needs to be used to manage this process.

3) Do publisshed documents need to be made accessible in a common area – perhaps on a SharePoint extranet site?

4) Will your organisation be appying terms to documents and records from a central taxonomy (standard in SharePoint 2010 and available with add-ons from e.g. Smartlogic with SharePoint 2007 and 2010)?

5) Will documents form part of a business process, such as the submission of FOI information requests, or a customer service process?

6) How will your Email System be integrated with SharePoint? Microsoft recommend emails continue to be managed and stored in Exchange/Outlook, although SharePoint information management policies can be applied to emails added to managed folders. However, third-party solutions are available to integrate Outlook with SharePoint. My company, Deltascheme Limited recommend OnePlaceMail from Scinaptic to provide a truly integrated email solution for SharePoint. There are also other options, such as declaring document library as an email address – however only the email attachments are captured.

7) Do you want to scan documents into SharePoint? There are various approaches to capturing paper documents as scanned images into SharePoint. Deltascheme recommend Kofax Capture for batch scanning paper documents. This approach is appropriate where reasonable volumes of documents need to be captured in Mail Rooms or within departments. Ad hoc scanning by users is better managed using available scanner devices, such as Multi-functional Printers (MFP’s), i.e. scanner photocopiers, or low-cost scanners. Deltascheme can provide a simple interface to manage the collection and indexing of ad hoc scanned documents. In Sharepoint 2010 content organizer rules or custom routers can be designed to manage the automatic filing of captured images. There are also add-on tools such as Adlib to manage the capture of images as PDF image+text files, i.e. OCR’d images that support full-text searching.

8) If you choose to implement Records Management capabilities you must decide when a document becomes a record. Each document’s life cycle may be different and can be managed in SharePoint by Content Type. In SharePoint 2007 the standard Records Management capability is limited – the main option is to send a copy (or through customisation) move a document from its document library to a central Records Centre site. In SharePoint 2010 things are more sophisticated – you can declare a document as a record in situ – called ‘In-Place Records Management’, or copy/move a document to one of multiple Records Centres. Declaring a document as a record will preserve it, preventing changes or its deletion until its end of life. The final stage of a record’s life – called a ‘Final Disposition’ is defined by the record’s retention schedule – configured as an information management policy on the Content Type. Common final dispositions will be the deletion or archiving of the record after a set period of time, such as 7 years after the last modified date.

There are many other considerations that a SharePoint consultant versed in EDRM technology will also wish to discuss and help guide you through.

Planning your Electronic Document & Records Management System in SharePoint – Designing The Information Architecture

2) Designing the SharePoint Information Architecture.

Once you know what types of information you will be managing in SharePoint and you propose to categorize content, you should have a pretty good idea how to arrange your site collections, sub-sites and document libraries. You will need help from SharePoint technical experts in terms of capacity planning your design for optimization and performance. “Information Architecture” in SharePoint refers to the following key elements:

a) Site Structure (including navigation)

b) Metadata Architecture (Including security permissions)

c) Page Layouts

Site Structure

Each site collection can be configured to host its own content database in SQL Server. The maximum size of the content database will be determined by your organisation’s DBA’s – who will consider backup/recovery times etc. If your organisation decides to adopt BLOB storage the size and growth of each content database will be significantly reduced because the documents will be stored outside of the database.

It is common to design a site structure based on organisational functions, such as “Finance”, “HR”, and “Legal”, as opposed to department names that are likely to change from time to time. Once site collections are created their URL address names become hard to change, although site titles can be updated if necessary. Once site collections are arranged with their respective content databases, sub-sites may need to be created within each site collection, and within each site various document libraries will be created to store electronic documents and records.

Navigating successfully around the SharePoint site structure is important to help “win” users over to the new method of working. SharePoint’s global (top-level) navigation can be designed to provide simple links to core functional site collections. SharePoint’s Current Navigation (or Quick Launch side menu links) can be used to provide access to content within the visited site. In some cases it is preferable to replace SharePoint’s global navigation with a custom navigation panel. This is possible, but would normally be managed by the SharePoint technical team when changes need to be introduced.

Metadata Architecture

Designing content types to classify different content is an important and necessary step. The Content Audit (described in the earlier post) helps explain how content types can be defined. In addition to using a content type to catagorize content and apply specific metadata to it, a content type has a number of other important purposes including: defining retention schedules, various other information management policies, defining the use of a document template, and when to invoke a specific workflow process.

The content types your organisation adopt will be specific to your needs, but common examples include: Minutes, Employee File, Specification, Contract, Invoice, Policy etc.

In SharePoint 2010, content types can be centrally managed within a site collection designated as an Enterprise Content Type Hub. In SharePoint 2007 it is necessary to manage content types within each site collection. The content types are applied to libraries and lists. Therefore each document library will have specific content types applied to it. At the document library level “Views” are used to configure how a user sees content within the library. In SharePoint 2010 it is possible to host even greater volumes of electronic files in a single document library, and manage how information is displayed using different views that apply filters, sorting etc.

Defining permissions at each appropriate level of a SharePoint site hierarchy is also an important element of the SharePoint Information Architecture. By default, elements lower down the hierarchy inherit the permission settings of their parent. For example, a sub-site will inherit the permission settings of its parent site collection. This inheritance can be broken at any particular level and specific permissions applied, right down to a folder or individual document in a library. It is however usual to define default permissions on each site collection and only break the inheritance at the sub-site or library level where corporate security policies dictate.

Page Layouts

SharePoint allows different types of content to be displayed on the same page using Web Parts. This is a powerful feature of SharePoint and provides opportunities to create corporate or personalized digital dashboards to speed up user access to pertinent information. However, it is recommended that an organisation standardise on which site templates and page layouts they adopt to help improve the user experience and provide a consistent method of working. SharePoint Governance Policies should look to control all of these Information Architecture decisions.

Planning your Electronic Document & Records Management System in SharePoint – “The Content Audit”

1) What Content Will Be Managed?

Decide what content you intend to manage in SharePoint. Do you plan to scan documents into SharePoint? Are you planning to capture emails and document attachments? Are you planning to automatically capture transactional documents, such as invoices or customer service requests? Are you planning to manage documents created and managed on user PC desktops, such as Office documents, PDF files and image files? Are their specialist documents you wish to manage, such as AutoCAD drawings? Will you be capturing multimedia files, such as voice, video and photos? Will you be migrating content from other information sources, such as network file shares and legacy document management systems?

A Content Audit is a necessary step to help an organisation investigate and define what content they will manage in SharePoint in the short and longer-term. The methodology employed to perform a Content Audit will be determined by the scale of the exercise. If an organisation decides to migrate terabytes of existing content to SharePoint a content analysis tool will prove of particular benefit. Tools such as Active Navigation help identify and remove Redundant Obsolete and Trivial (R.O.T.). It is possible for an organisation to reduce their total number of electronic files by 20 to 60 percent by simply identifying duplicate and near-duplicate files. As many of you will appreciate, email is a great proliferator of electronic files – attachments sent to many employees will often be stored on network file shares in different places. Products like Active Navigation and other electronic file analysis tools help to tidy up content sources before they are migrated into SharePoint. These types of tools also help us to define how we will categorize and apply metadata to migrated content. Defining Content Types in SharePoint is fundamentally important – and without a clear understandning of what content we are managing it is very difficult to correctly categorize information for the purpose of organising and searching. A key differentiator for products like Active Navigation is they analyse both the content and the electronic file metadata (e.g. File Name, Author, Date Modified) and recommend how the information should be categorized.

There are many considerations that I will eleborate on later, but they include the option to use Binary Large Object’s (BLOB) storage (External Blob Storage – EBS or Remote Blob Storage – RBS) – see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee748607.aspx

You may wish to consider Microsoft’s White Paper – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd163523.aspx and various related articles, e.g. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/joelo/archive/2007/01/12/file-servers-and-sharepoint-doc-libraries-tough-questions.aspx and  http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=844

Planning your Electronic Document & Records Management System in SharePoint – an Introduction

Martin Driscoll is a SharePoint Consultant at Deltascheme Limited – a Microsoft Gold Partner – see www.deltascheme.com

Introduction

It is vital that your organisation carefully plan how to deploy a SharePoint-based Electronic Document & Records Management System (EDRMS). The extent of planning will be influenced by the scale and complexity of your business objectives. For example, a simple deployment may involve the management of a department’s ongoing electronic files, whereas a more complex deployment may involve the management of a wide variety of information sources across the whole enterprise. It is more common for an organisation to focus on more complex deployments because it helps remove information silos and the resulting problems managing disparate information. It is often preferable to encourage employees to capture documents in an EDRMS such as SharePoint. This approach allows the organisation to introduce standards for indexing documents (the application of metadata), centrally maanage retention schedules (how long to keep documents and records), and provide a single source to browse and search for relevant information. 

So an organisation first needs to agree their business objectives, and set an appropriate budget and timescales to successfully achieve an EDRMS deployment and equally vital – its ongoing adoption. The following steps are provided to help organisations plan their SharePoint EDRMS deployment. More detailed articles on this broad subject will be provided in later posts: