Tag Archive for SharePoint 2013

5 Reasons to Migrate to SharePoint Online

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Over the past year, 60% of Fortune 500 companies have purchased Office365. Microsoft says it is their fastest growing commercial product ever. Businesses around the world are taking advantage of lower costs and the increased capabilities of the Cloud. As a decision maker for a business that leverages SharePoint, you’ve probably noticed the growth of SharePoint Online, which is available as part of Office 365 or as a standalone service. But with so much invested in your on-premises SharePoint environment, you may be questioning whether migration to SharePoint Online is the right decision. Below are five reasons why migrating to SharePoint Online is a good idea for your business.

1. Stop worrying about your farm’s performance. Let Microsoft handle it

It is regularly estimated that IT staff spends 80% of its time maintaining and supporting existing infrastructure and systems. This leaves only 20% towards technological innovation. An on premise SharePoint farm requires significant infrastructure and maintenance in order to ensure good performance. With SharePoint Online, Microsoft provides the infrastructure in their massive geo-redundant data centers with dedicated engineers monitoring and optimizing the performance round the clock. Who better to manage your SharePoint infrastructure than Microsoft? Migrating to the cloud cuts capital expenditures on infrastructure while also allowing IT staff to focus more on innovation. Cutting costs and increasing innovation is the best recipe for growing your business. If you aren’t doing it, you can be sure your competitors are.

2. Always the latest features

Microsoft is constantly innovating with over 120 enhancements to Office 365 in the last year. With SharePoint Online, your business can begin to leverage new features as soon as they are released. There is no need to upgrade to a new version of SharePoint. Below are some notable enhancements to SharePoint online. Some of these are available now and others will be rolling out soon:

  • Integration with Delve, the personal search and discovery tool that fetches information you need before you even go looking for it (available now).
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capability which allows you to discover sensitive data that is stored in SharePoint lists and libraries and create policies that can take appropriate actions (some features available now, others in development).
  • Document conversations which enable people to share ideas and expertise around Office documents, images and videos, directly in the context of editing or reviewing (rolling out).
  • More mobile/touch enhancements to ensure a consistent experience across all devices (in development).
  • User activity reports that will allow you to audit SharePoint and OneDrive for Business user actions such as views, edits, deletes, downloaded files, and sharing of files (in development).

To see the full roadmap for Office365, visit http://roadmap.office.com

 3. Heighten security

Yes. I said heighten. Some organizations are initially skeptical of the Cloud because it is new to them or because of concerns around privacy and security. The truth is your SharePoint environment is probably safer in Microsoft’s data centers and here are some reasons why:

  • Physical data center access is restricted to authorized personnel and multiple layers of physical security have been implemented, such as biometric readers, motion sensors, 24-hour secured access, video camera surveillance, and security breach alarms.
  • For Government customers, the Office 365 Government Community Cloud provides an isolated, US based cloud infrastructure that complies with certifications and accreditations that are required for US Public Sector customers
  • Data is encrypted both at rest and via the network as it is transmitted between a data center and a user.
  • Threat management, security monitoring, and file/data integrity prevents or detects any tampering of data.
  • Dedicated threat management teams proactively anticipate, prevent, and mitigate malicious access.
  • Office365 is verified to meet requirements specified in ISO 27001, EU model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA.
  • Your data is not mined or accessed for advertising purposes
  • If a government approaches Microsoft for access to customer data, they redirect the inquiry to you, the customer, whenever possible and have and will challenge in court any invalid legal demand that prohibits disclosure of a government request for customer data.

The measures taken by Microsoft to secure data exceed the capabilities of many businesses – particularly small to medium sized businesses. For many, the move to SharePoint Online results in a more secure SharePoint environment.

To learn more about Microsoft’s approach to security and privacy, visit the Office 365 Trust center at https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-trust-center-cloud-computing-security

4. It is not as hard as you might think

When I talk to clients that have large SharePoint implementations or significant customizations, they are often concerned about the complexity of migrating to the Cloud. In many cases, however, migration can be painless. Any migration project is simply a matter of having a plan and executing it with the right tools and the right people.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • There are great tools to help whether you are moving some file shares or a farm with 10,000 sites. For example, Metalogix offers a tool called Content Matrix which provides a zero-downtime solution for migrating your SharePoint sites.
  • Microsoft partners can help migrate your custom solutions and adapt them to the new “Add-In” model. You know – like that farm solution you are dreading to have to rewrite?
  • Hybrid is an option for what you have to keep on premise. Some IT managers face a lot of pressure from legal departments or customers to keep certain data on-site. For those situations, you can leverage the hybrid capabilities of SharePoint. Hybrid allows you to decide what goes to the Cloud and what stays. The on-site footprint only needs to be large enough to accommodate the content that stays. Microsoft’s hybrid option allows you to maintain both environments while providing a seamless experience for end users. A great example of this is the unified search coming in SharePoint 2016 (also will be available as an update to SharePoint 2013).

5. It will be the last SharePoint migration you have to worry about

Many SharePoint veterans can remember migrations between versions 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 in order to leverage the latest innovations from Microsoft. The good news is that once you migrate to SharePoint online you are done with SharePoint migrations.

Imagine you have a lease on a sports car that allows you to get the newest model whenever it is released. It always has the latest in-dash technology, gets the best gas mileage, has the most horsepower, and now it drives itself because…well… that’s the latest innovation. Once you migrate to SharePoint Online, it is like you are driving that car. Your business will always have the latest content and collaboration technology from Microsoft.

In this article, I’ve covered five reasons why migrating to SharePoint Online is a good decision for many businesses. The next step is to get to work on your migration plan. Need help? Call a Microsoft partner so they can help you plan and implement your migration with the many tools that are available.

As a manager with BlumShapiro Consulting, Joe Werner leads our Content and Collaboration Practice area. He helps businesses leverage technologies such as SharePoint and Yammer to innovate and improve business processes.

BlumShapiro Live Tiles with Count

BlumShapiro is excited to announce that our technology consulting team has created a new app that will help SharePoint users extend the functionality of Live Tiles / Promoted Links. The free app “Live Tiles with Count” allows you to create multi-colored live tiles with the option to add item counts. Instead of your live tile just pointing out the link to open issues, you can also have it show how many open issues are assigned to the logged in user!

Read the rest of this post to see all the features, some screenshots and some sample CAML queries.

Description

Live tiles are a great way to give users quick links to content contained within a site. Live Tiles with Count allows you to get an actual count of items within a specific list on your site. The item count can even be filtered based on a CAML query.

This app allows users to easily create, and personalize live tiles.

BlumShapiro Live Tiles with Count features:

  • Standard live tiles hover functionality
  • Easily create live tiles and add to a SharePoint site
  • Choose different colors for each tile
  • 19 built in background images or upload and use your own
  • Add counts of lists on current site
  • Filter list count by CAML query

Screenshots

 

 

CAML Query Examples

Assigned To field is the current user or group the current user is in.

<View><Query><Where>

<Or>

<Membership Type=’CurrentUserGroups’>

<FieldRef Name=’AssignedTo’/>

</Membership>

<Eq>

<FieldRef Name=’AssignedTo’></FieldRef>

<Value Type=’Integer’>

<UserID/>

</Value>

</Eq>

</Or>

</Where>

</Query>

</View>

 

All items where the ID is greater than or equal to 1

<View><Query><Where>

<Geq><FieldRef Name=’ID’/><Value Type=’Number’>1</Value></Geq>

</Where>

</Query>

</View>

 

 

BlumShapiro Live Tiles with Count

 

Description

Live tiles are a great way to give users quick links to content contained within a site. Live Tiles with Count allows you to get an actual count of items within a specific list on your site. The item count can even be filtered based on a CAML query.

This app allows users to easily create, and personalize live tiles.

BlumShapiro Live Tiles with Count features:

  • Standard live tiles hover functionality
  • Easily create live tiles and add to a SharePoint site
  • Choose different colors for each tile
  • 19 built in background images or upload and use your own
  • Add counts of lists on current site
  • Filter list count by CAML query

 

Screenshots

 

 

CAML Query Examples

Assigned To field is the current user or group the current user is in.

<View>

<Query>

<Where>

<Or>

<Membership Type=’CurrentUserGroups’>

<FieldRef Name=’AssignedTo’/>

</Membership>

<Eq>

<FieldRef Name=’AssignedTo’></FieldRef>

<Value Type=’Integer’>

<UserID/>

</Value>

</Eq>

</Or>

</Where>

</Query>

</View>

 

All items where the ID is greater than or equal to 1

<View>

<Query>

<Where>

<Geq><FieldRef Name=’ID’/><Value Type=’Number’>1</Value></Geq>

</Where>

</Query>

</View>

 

 

Customize Related Items field in SharePoint 2013

Related Items

SharePoint 2013 introduced a new field to the Tasks’ list called “Related Items”. This field allows you to link other SharePoint items and/or documents to a specific task. The association occurs by using a wizard to look up and relate items anywhere within SharePoint.

Figure 1: Related Items Wizard


Figure 2: Related Items field with one relation

It’s a welcome change from prior versions, where one solution might have been to create a lookup into another list or library. A solution like that was not only restrictive (to just one library), but also not restrictive enough (all items in that list). So if the item you were trying to reference was located in a very large list, trying to find that item or document becomes a hassle since you only have the title to search upon. The Related Items wizard allows you to search using the different views, filter on columns, and even add new items!

Figure 3: Lookup field

I will say that lookups do have their place, and they are very handy with their cascading/restrictive delete functionality. Related Items which are deleted, will automatically be removed as a reference.

Customizing Related Items

As SharePoint fields go, the “Related Items” field is quite shy. By default, it’s located in the “_Hidden” group, which means when creating a new column on any list, it will not appear.

Note: You have to change its group in order to use it in other lists.


Figure 4: Related Items site column

Not only that, it only shows up on the “View Properties” page, and not even on the “Edit Properties”, which makes it such an under-utilized field. One that could be overlooked entirely!

And when viewing it on the list view page, it doesn’t even want to reveal what its holding! Two related items? Which two?

Figure 5: Out of the box view of Related Items

Note: its actually stored as json: [{ItemId:'[ID]’,WebId:'[GUID]’,ListId:'[GUID]’}]

 

Customize Related Items

Now, let’s try to get “Related Items” to come out of its shell a little bit, and show what those related items are. In order to do this, you will need to override its view display, which SharePoint easily lets you do.

For this example, I’ve modified the sp.ui.relateditems.js file to do our bidding which is to list the related items, like on the edit form, removing the “Add Related Item” and “Remove” links.

To use my example, you will need to upload the sp.ui.relateditems.custom.js file into your site collection. Copy the URL. And then paste it in the “JS Link” box on the list view page.


Figure 6: List View webpart properties

Note: I uploaded mine into the Master Page gallery as a “Design File” for simplicity sake. And used the JS Link value of
~sitecollection/_catalogs/masterpage/sp.ui.relateditems.custom.js

Now, instead of the “2 related items” text, we get the actual items and what they show! No more guessing what the related items are, because they now render (asynchronously).


Figure 7: Related Items custom template

This is just the starting point. You can easily override it even more, starting with having the Related Items field appear on the edit form.

 

sp.ui.relateditems.custom.js

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