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PORTALS & COLLABORATION

Adding Dollars To Your Bottom Line


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Driving Successful User Adoption of Office SharePoint Server 2007 A RT I C L E S

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W E D NES D AY, MAY 20TH , 2009

NE UDESIC MARTIN COX, PORTALS & COLLABORATION PRACTICE LEAD

Abstract CASE CASE CASE STUDIES STUDIES STUDIES When users fully embrace SharePoint (use it to get their everyday work done) your enterprise stands to realize substantial returns on its investment. Meanwhile, firms that use SharePoint only as a last resort (when all else fails) likely see little or no return. As a Portals & Collaboration practice CASE CASE TUDIES STUDIES leadSat Neudesic, I see both ends of this spectrum, and I help customers turn their SharePoint deployments around. This paper captures the lessons I have learned around SharePoint user adoption. It focuses on the factors that have the most impact on user adoption in most companies. I’ll provide some case studies, share some insights, and describe some steps you can take right now to get the most out of your investment in this extraordinary product.

There is a world of difference between adoption, on the one hand, and compliance, on the other. Compliance is a low threshold. I’ve seen companies where users complied with the corporate mandate to keep documents in SharePoint. Thousands of documents sat in SharePoint libraries, collecting digital dust. Users did not trust what they found in SharePoint; they suspected it was not the latest version. The latest version was on the author’s computer. Anyone who really needed the latest, authoritative version asked the author to send it to them. When the document had served its purpose, and no one really needed it any more, the author would check in the “final” version to SharePoint, where it would sit, essentially unused, until it was ultimately archived.

Challenge to Achieving ROI Realizing the full benefits of your investment in SharePoint hinges on getting your users to actually use the software consistently to get their day-to-day jobs done. To fully embrace SharePoint is to use it as a tool just like Word or Excel; second only, perhaps to Outlook in getting your work done.

This paper addresses the challenge of changing user behavior. It identifies practical things you can do now to help your team achieve the success that comes only when users shift how they work, away from Email and meetings and more towards using SharePoint as the place to go to get their work done.


The consultants of the Neudesic Portals & Collaboration practice have helped many customers work though the challenges of getting users to adopt the SharePoint technology they have purchased. In this work, a number of success patterns have emerged. The Three Most Important Factors The three most important things you can do to influence successful user adoption of SharePoint are: • Run Your Business On It: This means you have built several or many key business processes on SharePoint; users’ daily work is managed using tracking lists, document management, and workflows. • Establish Good Governance: users are authorized and empowered to form ad-hoc collaborative teams as needed; users are trained and capable of configuring their team sites as they see fit; IT has control over site sprawl and other side effects of weak governance. • Deliver a Great User Experience: your portal must follow a well-thought-out Information Architecture; the system must be easy to use, reliable, available, secure, and responsive. Run Your Business On It Of the many factors that come to play in successful user adoption of SharePoint, the single most influential one is running your business on it. This means implementing

your key business processes (your work assignments, issue tracking and status reports) using SharePoint lists, libraries and workflows. Supporting factors such as good governance, user experience and trustworthy computing all play vital roles, too, and any one of these other factors, if done wrong, can torpedo your user adoption effort. But nothing beats a list of tasks that every user sees, every user updates, and every user recognizes as the authoritative list of what they are expected to do. It is important to drive users to open that thing up and use it! I have seen even the most die-hard resistor start to pay attention when they realize this web page is the place where every user must go to see what work they are supposed to do, particularly when they realize that their manager is also looking at this same list to see who has accomplished what. Tracking lists that tell users what they have to do and tell managers the status of all tasks, achieve a one-two punch that even your most obstinate SharePoint opponent will find too hard to fight. Changing how you run your business is neither easy nor simple, but it doesn’t have to be technologically complex. The humble SharePoint task list comes in the box as part of Windows SharePoint Services and can go a long ways towards achieving this goal.


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D RIVING S U CCESS F U L U SER AD OPTION OF OFFICE SH AREPOINT SERVER 2 0 0 7 c o n t i n u ed . . .

Financial Services Firm CASE STUDIES

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A financial services firm used the SharePoint Project Tracking list shown in Figure 1 to manage the process of verifying compliance with Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. I stress in this case that the firm was highly CASE CASE CASE STUDIES DIES STUDIES sophisticated fromS TaUtechnology standpoint; they had perhaps 100 developers in the IT staff and were perfectly capable of using the more advanced features of Office SharePoint Server. Yet, they chose instead to make the near-zero investment required to set up and use this simple out-of-the-box Project Task list, and found that it worked well enough for their purposes to obviate the need for a more complex approach. Simple is good, but organizations with more sophisticated SharePoint implementations can and should consider tapping into the rich and expanding set of capabilities available for integrating SharePoint with their applications and business systems. One way to think about the wide and growing set of integration capabilities in SharePoint is to look at it as a range of options, from basic to sophisticated, that your organization can tap into. Powerful and effective solutions involving personalization, process orchestration, and business

intelligence are possible using the more sophisticated capabilities. These solutions promise to deliver whole new ways of doing business, but they require a correspondingly greater investment. Best practice is to choose the solution that makes sense to your organization, given your level of SharePoint sophistication. The humble SharePoint project task list anchors the “basic” end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, Business Intelligence (BI), scorecards, and Office Business Applications (OBAs) characterize the “sophisticated” end of the spectrum.


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FIGURE 1: The Humble Project Task List

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>> Docmument Management

>> Workflows

>> OBA’s

>> Tracking Lists

>> Forms

>> BI

>> Search

>> Publishing

>> KPI’s

>> Records Management

>> Reports Dashboards

>> Blogs, Wikis, My Site

Levels of SharePoint Sophistication


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How SharePoint-Sophisticated is Your Organization? The goals you set out for your organization to achieve should be informed by where you stand on the spectrum of SharePoint sophistication. Look at how your organization uses SharePoint and orient yourself to one of the levels of sophistication: I hasten to note that there is no shame in being at the “Basic” level of sophistication. Your organization may get the best ROI from the most basic features and capabilities. As we saw with the Financial Services case study, the investment side of the ROI equation is so low for these basic features that the ROI can be huge. There is enormous power in the humble tracking list; you can perfectly well run critical business processes using basic features and functions such as search, check-in, check-out, and versioning.

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Moderately sophisticated shops can use the workflow, forms, and Records Management functions to start to automate more of their core business processes. I put Blogs, Wikis and personalization features (e.g. My Site) here in the “moderate” tier as they are really very powerful and yet not too complicated to implement. These “social computing” features don’t match with traditional models of business process automation, but they tap into the uniqueness, the power, and the creativity of your people. Blogs, Wikis and My Site elevate your intranet to the “Web 2.0” level, characterized by group synergy, collaboration, user self-expression, and individuality.

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An engineering services firm deployed Office SharePoint 2007 as part of an effort to off-load their email system by giving users a private email document library on their own My Site. The business case for deploying My Site was primarily to CASE CASE give users libraries where they could store STUD I E S private Sdocument TUDIES email and reports. The interesting aspect of this case is the company was not prepared to give users the full flexibility to configure their My Sites as they wished. By default, users have full Site Administration permission on their own personal My Site. This default setting can be in conflict with corporate policies that limit what kind of content users are allowed to upload on the corporate intranet. Instead, the firm customized the creation and provisioning of My Site such that users are not, in fact, administrators of their own My Site but rather only contributors. This achieved the objective of giving users a private, secure place where they can save email messages and reports without opening the door to the support and security concerns associated with giving users administrative access to their own My Sites.

Establish Good Governance Returning to the short list of factors that influence successful user adoption of SharePoint, good governance ranks at or near the top of the list. Good governance unlocks the power and flexibility of SharePoint while maintaining just enough control to prevent loss of data or lapse of security. Lack of governance can lead to site sprawl, duplication of data, security leaks and support burdens. Governance is a broad and very important topic worthy of significant investment and planning. My esteemed colleague Ron Rohlfs has written on this topic. I strongly recommend that you check out Ron’s article on Governance which follows this article. Many factors go into good governance, and it overlaps with both User Experience and Information Architecture. What practical steps can you take, today, to improve the governance of SharePoint in your enterprise? • Create and Document your Governance Plan: You must put your plan in writing, and your plan must spell out the business purpose or objective of your SharePoint deployment, clarify the scope and limits of your portal (what it includes, what it does not). Also, the plan must clarify that certain policies and procedures are enforced, that there is a Governance Board who is the ultimate authority on these policies and that users can get an exception to any rule by petitioning the Governance Board – that is one of the reasons the board exists.


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• Identify and build your Governance Board: The board must include representatives from all key constituencies including management, end users and IT/MIS. The board has several responsibilities, but one of the essential ones is to consider and decide on requests for exceptions to policy. I hate meetings as much as you do, but the board should meet regularly to shepherd the development, deployment and adoption of your SharePoint portal to success. • Communicate with, and train your end users: Employ multiple channels of communication to make sure users get all the information they need. This must include both SharePoint user training and specific training on what your particular SharePoint deployment is intended to do. Don’t forget to spell out that there is a governance board and a written governance plan. Make sure all users have access to (and know about) the issues & requests tracking list where they can report a problem or request an exception to a rule. Management representation is necessary on your governance board to ensure that your IT organization gets the support and resources it needs to meet your service level agreements. IT must ensure the SharePoint infrastructure delivers the system availability (the service level agreement) needed to reassure skeptical users that SharePoint will be up and available when they need it, and that their documents won’t get lost in there. Governance includes enforcing the policies that establish that SharePoint contains the latest-and-greatest

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authoritative version of any given document so that users can come to trust that they are all on the same page.

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Deliver a Great User Experience The power of a positive user experience cannot be underestimated. I will certainly catch some heat for listing User Experience third, rather than first, in my short list of factors influencing successful user adoption. My colleagues in Neudesic’s User Experience practice have rescued many projects (both SharePoint and other kinds of technology solutions) from user adoption disaster.

User Experience engineering crosses over multiple areas and disciplines, most importantly user research, information architecture and visual design. You improve your user experience by making the user interface easier to use, more appealing and more “inviting”. Giving users a more efficient and effective way to get their job done is fundamental to this effort. While this all sounds quite obvious, it can be difficult to do. Delivering a positive user experience requires that you to plan, implement, test and refine your application with all the discipline required by any software engineering endeavor. You must invest in a well thought-out information architecture, including site hierarchy design, content types, and information life cycles. Colorful graphics alone won’t cut it.


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What can you do today to improve the User Experience of your application? CASE STUDIES

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• Describe your top scenarios: Get consensus on the top ten things users come to your SharePoint site to do. Identify first who the user is (use personas as appropriate) and what their skills or knowledge are. Then say what they need to accomplish that brought them to this site. Finally, CASE CASE STUDIES STUDIES describe what they see, what they click, and how they get from opening the site to accomplishing their goal. Each such scenario may be used both in User Experience engineering and to help define your functional requirements and tests. • Make the most important lists, links, or buttons the most obvious things on the page: Identify the controls that users must click to accomplish the most frequent (and most important) tasks. Make those controls visually the most obvious things on the home page. Typically, this involves »» bringing the most important controls to the home page »» moving the key controls towards to top left »» highlighting the key controls with visual clues such as color or icons. Do not make your users hunt, dig, and search for things they have to do every day.

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Manufacturing Consulting Firm CASE STUDIES

A firm that provides consulting services to manufacturing companies retained Neudesic to assist them with the relaunch of SharePoint after a less-than-successful attempt to do it on their own. An important part of this effort was to execute a CASE STUD IES User Experience improvement effort. Building on a significant investment in Information Architecture and user scenario analysis, a few user interviews led to a re-vamped home page that displayed prominent buttons for each of the six most common and frequently-needed tasks users come to the site to perform. The screen shots in Figure 2 show the home page before and after identifying the six things most users come to the site to accomplish most often, and creating buttons frontand-center that do exactly those things. This case study is important because the sizzle factor is so very low, yet the user experience is surprisingly good. User reaction to this change was strongly positive relative to the low cost of the analysis and implementation work needed to build it. Many other improvements went into the home page and other aspects of the site, but this one improvement captures the essence of user experience engineering.


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FIGURE 2: Improve User Experience by Making the Most Frequently-Needed Links Obvious and Easy to Find

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Myanmar Cyclone Relief Portal for NGOs

In May of 2008, Neudesic helped Microsoft and the United Nations improve the User Experience of a portal designed to

coordinate the activities of NGOs in the Myanmar region working in response to the tragic cyclone that affected hundreds of thousands of people. Figure 3 below shows the before-and-after shots of the SharePoint portal home page revised for user experience improvement.

FIGURE 3: Improve User Experience by Making the Most Frequently-Needed Links Obvious and Easy to Find.

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Neudesic helped Affiliated Computer Systems, Inc. develop an automated, self-service web site to provide new customers with product information and the ability to sign-up for services, and to provide existing customers with the ability to maintain their accounts online. Notice how, in the home page pictured in Figure 4 below, the user experience is engineered to make it easy to find the link you need for the top scenarios such as making a payment or adding a vehicle.

FIGURE 4: Use Colorful Icons to Make Links More Visible. Group Related Sets of Icons Into Clear, Visual Categories to Make Them Easier to Find.

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Conclusions This paper identified the top factors that influence the successful adoption of SharePoint in most organizations. It touched on the broad and important topics of Governance and User Experience, both of which are essential to winning user’s adoption. First and foremost, however, the way to get users to use SharePoint is to run your business on it. Automate your key business processes on SharePoint and make sure your users can do their daily work easily, efficiently, and reliably. Remember that some of the most basic features of the product (the tracking lists, document management, and workflow capabilities) can provide some of the biggest returns on your SharePoint investment.

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SharePoint Governance: Successfully empowering users while keeping control A RT I C L E S

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F RIDAY, A PRIL 24TH, 2009

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The subject of SharePoint CASE C A S E Governance is very large, and can STUDIES STUDIES be somewhat intimidating to persons contemplating how best to manage a SharePoint deployment. The common, broad, definition of SharePoint Governance is that it uses “roles and responsibilities, policies, process, and technology to clarify ambiguity, manage company goals, and ensure CASE UDIES overallS Tlong-term success of your SharePoint environment” (1). However, there are a tremendous number of factors and details behind this broad definition that must be taken into account when creating an overall SharePoint Governance plan. The extensive list of governance topics is often divided into groups, and categorized (2, 3). A great resource to get started is the Governance Resource Center for SharePoint Server 2007, on Microsoft TechNet (4). This site contains links to documents, podcasts and videos that aid in planning, and implementation, of SharePoint Governance. Other great resources, including examples of Governance plans, are provided by Joel Oleson (5), and Mark Wagner (6). Neudesic identifies four areas that make up a successful governance plan. These are provisioning governance,

NE UDESIC RON ROHLFS, PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT, CUSTOM APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE

process governance, system governance, and development governance. A key component of successful governance is the formation of the Governance Board, or “Center of Excellence”. The Governance Board will be responsible for adapting to unanticipated and special requests. It is also responsible for ensuring consistency in content and availability of the environment. The overall governance plan needs to be a dynamic entity that changes and adapts to the organization. Maintenance of the governance plan is also the responsibility of the Governance Board. Provisioning Governance A SharePoint deployment is a hierarchical set of containers. The SharePoint Farm contains Web Applications, each of which is a container of Site Collections. The Site Collection is a container of Sites (sometimes called “Webs”, or “Sub-sites”), and Sites, in turn, are containers of Lists. Lists contain List Items which are the smallest units of SharePoint information. Each of these containers may be provisioned (i.e. created) in response to business needs, and a governance plan is required


at each level of the hierarchy. Provisioning governance should include a plan for the delegation of some provisioning authority. Whereas broad allocation of provisioning authority reduces bottlenecks that may arise from a stricter provisioning process (see “Process Governance”), it may also lead to over proliferation, and/or unnecessary replication, of SharePoint containers.

backup and restore strategies for the Portal content, and the “My Sites” content. Organizations that choose to deploy “My Sites” to a very large number of users may have no choice but to create one, or more, additional Web Applications since each “My Site” is an individual Site Collection, and the upper limit for number of Site Collections in a Web Application is 50,000.

The decision to create Web Applications should only be made by the Governance Board, and the provisioning operation should only be performed by Farm Administrators. Performance considerations suggest that the number of Web Applications created in a Farm be limited to four. Each Web Application uses a single content database by default. While it is possible to create a Web Application that uses multiple content databases, it is not possible for multiple Web Applications to share a common content database. Furthermore, each Web Application requires a unique URL host header. Organizations that deploy the SharePoint “My Site” feature need to decide whether, or not, to provision these Sites within the same Web Application that hosts their Portal, or to provision one, or more, additional Web Applications for the “My Sites”. Since separate Web Applications use separate content databases, provisioning of a new Web Application for “My Sites” allows for the implementation of different

It is at the Site Collection level that the first real choice exists for the delegation of provisioning authority. SharePoint has a Self-Service Site Creation feature that allows users to create their own Site Collections without administrator permissions. They only need permissions on the Web Application where Self-Service Site Creation is enabled. The user simply enters some basic information, and a new Site Collection is provisioned with the user as the owner, and Site Collection Administrator. Self-Service Site Creation is enabled by administrators, and it frees them from having to provision Site Collections on demand for the users. Users can do it themselves without having to wait for administrator intervention. However, delegation of provisioning authority at this level is also the first opportunity for a SharePoint deployment to become chaotic, and confusing. With no governing


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regulation on creation, the number of Site Collections can expand quickly. Users find it difficult to know which Site Collections they are members of, and it is nearly impossible to implement a portal navigation strategy in such an environment. Users are more likely to simply create a new Site Collection rather than find an existing Site Collection that suits their needs. This leads to unnecessary duplication of resources. If it is decided that Self-Service Site Creation is to be enabled, then strict governance control over Site Collection usage, and size, should be employed. Site Collections with no usage over a pre-defined period of time should be removed. Concerns over Site Collection over-proliferation associated with enabling the Self-Service Site Creation feature may be reduced through the use of Neudesic’s Site Provisioning Wizard. This helps end users make good decisions about how, or even if, a new Site Collection Site is to be created. It provides a consistent interface for end-users to create sites that are properly categorized and provisioned based on corporate policy. Any chaos, or confusion, that may occur as a result of users having access to dozens, or even hundreds, of Site Collections may be lessened through the use of Neudesic’s SharePoint LaunchBar which is a navigation tool patterned after the Groove Launchbar.

The other extreme must also be avoided. The Site Collection is a natural border for much of the functionality built into SharePoint. Security groups, Galleries and Features are all scoped at the Site Collection level. The built-in navigation menu functionality that automatically adjusts to the creation, and deletion, of Sub-Sites and Lists only applies within a Site Collection. Additionally, the power of the Content Query Web Part to aggregate content of similar type is limited to Sub-Sites within a single Site Collection. It is because of all this built-in, Site Collection-scoped, functionality that some organizations attempt to force all their content into a single Site Collection. Site Collections provide both a logical and physical separation of content within a SharePoint environment. Careful planning is needed to ensure appropriate governance is applied to all site collection within a SharePoint deployment. The same decisions, and issues, described above for Site Collections exist for the provisioning of Sub-Sites, and Lists, albeit on a smaller scale. However, because of the smaller scale, the problems associated with self-service creation described above are limited to the specific Site Collection. It is often sufficient for a Governance Board to make the provisioning of Sub-Sites, and Lists, the responsibility of the “local” Site Collection Administrator. Organizations that


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deploy “My Sites” should also remember that each user is the Site Collection Administrator, with full rights to create SubSites and Lists, for his, or her, Site Collection. The ability to create List Items is at the heart of the SharePoint collaboration functionality, and most governance plans extend this ability to most, if not all, end users somewhere within the enterprise. However, Web Content Management (WCM) Sites (i.e. MOSS Sites with the Publishing Features enabled) present a special case for governance intervention. Pages created within WCM Sites are treated just like documents. A user with the ability to create, or upload, a document also has the ability to create publishing web pages, and the ability to modify existing web pages. If the business need is such that some users must be granted the ability to add documents, but denied the ability to create web pages, then the governance plan must include mechanisms to enforce that policy. The roles, responsibilities, policies and processes of provisioning governance extend beyond the creation of the SharePoint containers described above. For example, provisioning governance covers the creation of Audiences. Organizations taking advantage of MOSS Enterprise functionality such as Excel Services, InfoPath Forms Service

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and the Business Data Catalog need to be aware that these features are associated with the provisioning of objects in MOSS. These include Trusted File Locations, Trusted Data Connections and Application Definitions.

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Provisioning governance also extends to the SharePoint Search functionality. This includes the creation of Search Scopes, creation of Search Keywords and the determination of the content that is to be crawled by the indexer. For example, there may be terabytes of documents stored on file shares within an organization, and it is possible for SharePoint to make it all searchable. However, the load associated with such a crawl may be unreasonable. Use of Federated Search enables the display of search results of content not crawled by the search server, and the use of Federated Search providers should also be covered within the provisioning governance plan. Process Governance Process Governance is the definition of the procedures for SharePoint operations. Process Governance answers the questions that begin with, “How do I…?” This covers the range from the mundane such as “How do I upload a document?” to the complex such as “How do we integrate a pre-existing Line-Of-Business application?”

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The governance rules around processes are relevant to the other areas of governance discussed in this whitepaper. For example, the procedure for requesting a new Site, or List, is relevant to provisioning governance. The time required to execute the process for creating a new Site Collection, Site or List will depend greatly on the level of self-service granted. The process governance around requesting custom development is relevant to development governance described below. The process around document management will include defining when document Check Out before editing is required, and when documents are subject to approval processes. Document Content Types include both a required “Name” Field, and a “Title” Field that is not required. The “Name” corresponds to the document filename, as found on a file system, and is different from the document “Title”. Process governance should dictate that the “Title” Field should not be blank, and should not be identical to the “Name” Field. Neither the “Name”, nor the “Title” should contain any document metadata such as the date or version. Process governance also covers the type of content that should, and should not be managed in SharePoint. Not all file types should be managed through SharePoint. Consider the example of distributing an executable file (.exe) to all the

members of an organization. One might consider adding such a file to a Document Library. However, files with the “.exe” file extension are prevented from being uploaded into SharePoint by default. This behavior may be overridden, but is not recommended. In extreme cases, the Governance Board may decide to allow such processes. Requests for new functionality are covered under process governance. It is very likely that users are, at some point, going to request some functionality that is not built into SharePoint, and can only be realized through customization. Customization will generally take the form of either purchasing a component through a third-party vendor, or development of custom components. Process governance should dictate that such requests are thoroughly reviewed to determine if the requested customization brings enough value to justify its purchase, or development. This includes determining the business value, and expected Return-OnInvestment. A gap analysis of existing built-in functionality, and the new functionality, will determine if the request may be accommodated by end user operational changes, or if a purchase or development effort is truly necessary. For example, it may make little sense to purchase, or develop a new component only to save the end user a few mouse clicks.


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System Governance This defines the technology and processes for ensuring consistent rules are applied for both user authentication and user authorization. It focuses on how users are provided access to the system and how management of these users is performed. Permissions are to be assigned to SharePoint Groups. In cases where authentication is against Active Directory, membership of SharePoint Groups should be managed through Active Directory groups. Individuals should not be added directly to SharePoint Groups as a general rule. This makes the processes of adding, and removing, persons from an organization easier to manage. The creation of a SharePoint Web Application is associated with the creation of a web site in IIS. This IIS web site is called the “Default Zone”. The ability exists in MOSS to extend a Web Application multiple zones, and a web site is created in IIS each time a zone is created. Zones allow different avenues of access to a common content database. Each zone has a unique URL, and may each be independently configured to use different authentication providers. It is common practice to extend a Web Application to an additional Zone for access through an intranet called the “Intranet Zone”.

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The Intranet Zone is created for general user access to the content database. However, some accounts require access through the Default Zone, and it is the Default Zone that requires the greatest amount of consideration. The index component requires access to content through at least one zone to crawl content. By default, the index component uses NTLM authentication and attempts to index content through the Default zone first. The index component cannot access content through a Zone that uses Kerberos authentication. Administrative e-mail is sent with links from the Default zone. These include e-mail to owners of Sites that are approaching quota limits. Consequently, users who receive these types of emails and alerts must be able to access links through the Default Zone. This is especially important for Site Collection Administrators. Host-named site collections are only available through the Default zone. All users who are intended to access host-named site collections must have access through the Default zone.

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System governance also covers the monitoring of the SharePoint installation. Monitoring includes performance, the overall load on the system, and the usage statistics. Decisions to increase storage and processing capacity will be based on the results of such monitoring. Some MOSS functionality such as Excel services, and Forms server, can

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place unusually large demands on a web front-end server CPU. In these cases, the high-demand functionality may be moved to a dedicated application server. Backup/Restore and disaster recovery considerations are an essential part of system governance as are the decisions about the number of content databases to use. Database backups should be performed at regular intervals. However, it is usually the case that not all information is of equal value. Loss of some information may be devastating, and loss of other information may be inconsequential. Furthermore, it is usually the case that some information is added, and modified, very frequently, while other information is relatively static. The use of multiple content databases within a Web Application allow for different schedules of backup operations. Development Governance The development and deployment of customizations to SharePoint follows patterns and practices that are similar to other traditional software development. A complete set of policies and procedures for the software development lifecycle need to be in place. SharePoint development governance plans include details such as naming conventions. Each Content Type requires a unique name, as does each List in SharePoint. Each Site in SharePoint requires a unique URL. However,

a unique Title is not required for SharePoint Sites. The use of duplicate Titles will cause confusion, and should not be allowed. A well defined and robust naming convention will insure easy transitions of new users into a portal, and help drive user adoption. For example, it is recommended that the name of a new Content Type include the name of the parent Content Type. The fictional Contoso Corporation creates a new Content Type for its documents that inherits from the WSS “Document” Content Type, and names it, “Contoso Document”. The Contoso HR department, in turn, creates a document Content Type for its use that inherits from “Contoso Document” and names it, “Contoso HR Document”. The final result of any development effort that includes custom code, or other artifact, should be a SharePoint Solution Package file (.wsp). SharePoint Solution Packages are deployable, reusable packages that can contain a set of features, site definitions, and assemblies that apply to sites, and that may be enabled or disabled individually. The solution file may be used to deploy the contents of a Web Part package, including assemblies, class resources, Web Part files, and other package components. A Solution Package may be added, and deployed, on a single web front-end server within a multi-server farm, and the automatic deployment process distributes the deployment to all the relevant servers in the farm, and all Web Application Zones.


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The portability of the packages greatly streamlines the overall development, and testing, process which should occur in multiple steps, and on multiple environments as shown in the Figure below. One, or more, software developers working on individual environments, and/or on a common development server produce a SharePoint Solution Package. The package is deployed onto an integration server. The purpose of this step is to validate that the new components do not interfere with any existing functionality. Therefore, the integration server should reflect the production environment in terms of portal structure, and web front-end server configuration, including any additional non-standard software components. The other purpose of this step is to validate that the solution package is able to go through all the steps to add, deploy, retract and remove the solution without error. If the solution package contains any Features, they should be activated,

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and deactivated as part of testing. The Quality Assurance (QA) environment shown in the Figure is recommended, but not absolutely necessary. However, if it is in place, a new development cycle may begin while the current development cycle is in QA. Deployment of custom components to the production environment should only occur after the Governance Board approves satisfactory passage of the steps shown. The tools used by developers for customization are covered by development governance. Recommended developer tools include the latest releases of Microsoft Visual Studio, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer. The development governance plan should allow for the use of Visual Studio extensions for WSS, WSPBuilder and STSDEV. Requests to employ additional development tools should go through a Governance Board review process.

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SHAR E P O I N T G OVE R NANCE : SUCCESS FULLY EMPOWERING USERS WHILE K EEPING CONTROL c o n t i n u ed . . .

The development governance plan should include provisions for ongoing source code support, and development standards. These standards should include details such as naming conventions for custom SharePoint objects, and .NET code assemblies. A general naming convention for .NET name spaces is to use the company name followed by the technology name and, optionally, the feature and design. Adding a company name, or other well-established brand, avoids the possibility of two published namespaces having the same name. Use a stable, and recognized, technology name at the second level of the name. “Contoso.SharePoint. DocumentManagement.ContentTypes” is an example that follows this naming convention. Visual Studio projects should be set to report all Warnings as Errors during development of .NET assemblies. All fields within the Assembly Information section of the Assembly Properties such as Company, Description and Copyright should be populated. All .NET code assemblies should be signed (i.e. associated with a strong name key file), and marked as Com Visible and CLS Compliant. This is despite the fact that certain base classes within the Microsoft. SharePoint namespace, such as SPFeatureReceiver, are not CLS Compliant. Any .NET classes that inherit from nonCLS Compliant base classes need to be marked with the appropriate attribute. The names of Classes should be a noun,

or noun phrase, that briefly describes what the Class is. The names of Classes that inherit from a Base Class should include the name of the Base Class. An example of a Class that inherits from SPFeatureReceiver that follows this convention is, “MyCustomDocumentLibrarySPFeatureReceiver”. Coding standards are often a very personal thing to software developers, usually stemming from the programmer’s background. Readers of this whitepaper may not agree with the coding practices described above. However, some kind of coding standard is necessary. The specific details of coding standards are not as important as establishing, and enforcing, a coding standard that is consistent within an organization. Successfully Empowering Users While Keeping Control Neudesic identifies four areas that make up a successful governance plan that are discussed here. A governance plan for SharePoint is neither something that is created, and left untouched, nor is it something that must be completed before SharePoint is rolled out to an organization. The plan evolves and grows with the organization’s business needs. A Governance Board, or “Center of Excellence”, is an essential part of a successful SharePoint deployment. The Center of Excellence should include one, or more, executive sponsors, business stakeholders, IT representatives, legal representatives


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and end user representatives. These representatives drive the governance plan’s evolution by making sure that each of these four areas is addressed. The Center of Excellence is the final arbiter in the decision making process, and prioritizes the information management concerns as they arise. The Center of Excellence is also responsible for its internal operation, and must be able to recognize when the organization is ready for governance decisions. For example, if a discussion over an issue lasts more than thirty minutes, it is quite possible that the organization is yet not ready to include that subject in its governance plan.

References: 1. Scott Jameson, “SharePoint Governance: Considerations for a Successful Deployment” http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1222425

A properly implemented SharePoint environment will provide a unified, enterprise-ready solution that boosts organizational effectiveness and efficiency. A successful governance plan, driven by Center of Excellence, will lead to a proper implementation.

4. Microsoft TechNet, “Governance Resource Center for SharePoint Server 2007” http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ sharepointserver/bb507202.aspx

Abbreviation

Definition

CPU

Central Processing Unit

MOSS

Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007

QA

Quality Assurance

URL

Uniform Resource Locator

WCM

Web Content Management

WSP

SharePoint Solution Package

WSS

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

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2. Robert Bogue, “SharePoint Governance, Part 1” http://www.intranetjournal.com/articles/200611/ ij_11_27_06a.html 3. Robert Bogue, “SharePoint Governance, Part 2” http://www.intranetjournal.com/articles/200611/ ij_11_29_06a.html

5. Joel Oleson, “SharePoint Manageability and Governance” http://blogs.msdn.com/joelo/archive/2006/08/11/ 695997.aspx 6. Mark Wagner, “SharePoint 2007 Governance” http://www.crsw.com/mark/sharepoint/Wiki%20Pages/ SharePoint%202007%20Governance.aspx

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Give Your Team the EDGE with Microsoft Search Technologies A RT I C L E S

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Abstract CASE STUDIES You already know that search is vital to your organizations’ efficiency, infrastructure, and ability to compete. You fully recognize that your competitors are using search solutions to become better, faster, and more responsive. Now you want an edge. With Federated Search, FAST ESP and third-party CASE STUDIES technologies, there are many options to tune, enhance and augment search. Which ones make the most sense in your enterprise? This white paper describes some of the options you have to improve or enhance search in your enterprise. It provides case studies of companies that implemented advanced search options, including the business justification and return on investment they realized. It gives you the factors to consider that will help you evaluate which options make the most sense for you.

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The Search Value Proposition It all boils down to time. In today’s digital world many of us spend up to a quarter of our day looking for information. This is lost productivity to your organization and has a significant impact on your responsiveness. The speed of

NE UDESIC WALT HODGSON, SENIOR CONSULTANT, PORTALS & COLLABORATION PRACTICE

internal processes and decision making is impacted as well. The opportunity cost of inefficient search is time that could be spent creating new products and services or improving the response time of business functions. The searching experience on the world-wide web has led to the expectation among most users that it should be easy and intuitive to search for information stored by the computer systems within their own organizations. The ability to quickly retrieve relevant documents, e-mail messages and other files as well as data records from line-of-business databases is often assumed as a given. This mindset may lead organizations to overlook the importance, and value, of properly tuning and optimizing search for your enterprise. To craft a highly effective search solution for your organization, you must consider the search technologies and strategies available in the context of your organization’s unique content, user needs, and business processes. You must leverage your organization’s culture, knowledge and know-how. This white paper looks at the range of powerful and extensible search technologies available with Microsoft


SharePoint products as well as third party software options, and gives you the insight you need to evaluate which ones might best augment, supplement and integrate with SharePoint.

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Search Server and Search Server Express deliver relevant search results in a familiar environment, brought to you from indexed and federated repositories, applications, and services.

Options for Enhancing and Improving SharePoint Search The options for enhancing or augmenting SharePoint search can be divided into two categories: »» Microsoft Search Server and Office SharePoint Server »» FAST ESP and Third-Party Search Offerings Subsequent sections provide the factors you need to consider when evaluating these search options. Microsoft Search Server 2008 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 Keep the following characteristics in mind when considering the “basic” Office SharePoint Server 2007 Search and the new Search Server 2008:

The compelling new features in Search Server 2008 include federated queries and tight integration with other Microsoft products. More specifically, Search Server 2008 includes: »» Federated queries and connectors : supports queries to remote indexes on other data repositories

»» Quick, Easy and Powerful »» Balance of control and simplicity

»» Ability to secure federated search relationships

Microsoft took the product known as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Search, added a few very compelling features to it, and rebranded it Microsoft® Search Server 2008 and Microsoft® Search Server 2008 Express.

»» Ability to specify unique crawl inclusion/exclusion

»» Ability to fine-tune the relevance engine »» Ability to specify unique authentication credentials for specific content sources


GIVE YO U R TEAM THE ED GE W ITH MICROSOFT SE ARCH TECHNOLOGIES c o n t i n u ed . . .

The stand-alone Search Server 2008 includes a Shared Services Provider and a Search Center with all the same capabilities as the Office SharePoint Server 2007 search. Customers who have Office SharePoint Server 2007 can use Search Server 2008 to extend it. Customers who do not have Office SharePoint Server 2007 can use Search Server 2008 stand-alone.

»» People and Expertise Searching. Enable faster connections between people, with dynamically updated personal profiles and social networking information—integrated with LDAP, Active Directory®, or any database of people information.

Both Search Server 2008 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 have the following capabilities:

»» SharePoint Productivity Infrastructure. Enhance business productivity with search integrated with collaboration, portals, content management, workflow, electronic forms, and business intelligence.

»» Indexing content on file servers, web sites, SharePoint sites, Exchange Server public folders, Lotus Notes, and a variety of 3rd-party repositories. »» Enterprise-class Security with early-binding or late-binding security trimming. »» Extensible Search Experience. Build on Microsoft’s familiar application platform to extend your search experience. You may choose to stick with the functions available in Office SharePoint Server 2007 if you don’t need the new capabilities included in Search Server 2008. Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes:

»» Business Data Catalog. Drive better decision making by enabling search across line-of-business applications (such as SAP or Siebel).

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People Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007 helps you find expertise in your organization, allowing you to sort your Search results either by relevance or by social distance.


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FAST ESP and Third Party Offerings In April, 2008, Microsoft completed the acquisition of Fast Search, a Norway-based company specializing in enterprise search. FAST ESP brings to the table high-capacity, complex, multi-repository enterprise search and linear indexing scalability up to billions of documents and thousands of queries per second. The integration between FAST ESP® and Office SharePoint Server today is little different than integration of other thirdparty search products such as Longitude from BA-Insight (www.ba-insight.net). While the integration between FAST ESP® and Office SharePoint Server is certain to grow in the next wave of Office products, third-party search tools can be your best option even in a Microsoft-centric shop. Independent software vendors such as BA-Insight provide products that enhance the Office SharePoint search environment: both at the connectivity end and at the user experience end. Longitude Connectors reach additional content sources, while Longitude Search improves relevance and the user experience browsing and navigating results.

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Unique User Experiences in FAST ESP allow people to find, visualize, and interact with information in ways that are more meaningful to them. CASE STUDIES

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When considering FAST ESP or third-party search products for your enterprise, keep the following characteristics in mind: »» Scalability (numbers of documents and volume of queries) »» Relevancy and knowledge management (taxonomy and metadata) »» Results Navigation (Help users explore and assimilate results; faceted search)


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A major healthcare consulting company with a SharePoint deployment had successfully grown their business; however their success also created some search challenges. Here is what they faced: CASE STUDIES

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1. They had a large number of office and PDF documents stored in many project sites 2. The size of the office documents tended to be quite large (10 Megabytes or larger) 3. The organization was geographically dispersed and downloading large office or PDF documents was a painful and frustrating experience for users. 4. Finding specific keywords within a document required a separate search within those documents, thus adding to the time required to successfully complete a search. 5. The culture of the company did not allow for strict enforcement of metadata entry when documents were uploaded to document libraries. This organization was more of a drag and drop operation. Having good metadata associated with documents can improve search and speed results.

Extending SharePoint Search with BA-Insight Longitude To meet the changing requirements for additional content and quicker updates, the company chose to deploy Longitude from BA-Insight. Longitude uses SharePoint search and adds an enhancement to address large office document challenges. Behind the scenes, Longitude generates small scalable vector graphic (SVG) previews of all office and PDF documents stored in SharePoint sites. These SVG files were presented in the search results with the search terms being highlighted. This enabled users to quickly browse and determine if the documents were relevant to their search terms. This drastically improved a user’s ability to pinpoint the documents they were seeking and drastically reduced the amount of time searching. The combination of solid SharePoint search results and Longitude’s user interface and use of SVG previews enabled the organization to adapt to the changing needs of its users. The result was a search experience that users embraced and improved user productivity.


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Understanding and Evaluating Your Search Options Unstructured Content Organizations generate and consume large amounts of digital information. Drawing the distinction between structured and unstructured content can help decide what enhancements or improvements will give you the best return on your investment. We consider the content found in Word documents, Wikis, Blogs, and RSS feeds to be unstructured. This content is most valuable when it is easily found and accessed. This unstructured content is continuously changing and being updated. Similarly, the mechanisms for storing and delivering this content are also continuously changing. Content file formats are generally no longer limited to the common file types generated by Microsoft Office client applications such as .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx. They now include other file types that support an increasing number of different applications such as audio/video and CAD. Furthermore, an increasing amount of information is stored in ways other than traditional files. An example is the RSS web feed format.

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Your SharePoint Governance plan should address on-going Search tuning and refinement The SharePoint Search implementation in an organization must continuously adapt to changing sources of information in order to stay effective. Sometimes the tendency exists within organizations to initially implement SharePoint Search, and then ignore it. This is probably due to the high level of capability that is built into the platform. However, Search is not a “Fire and Forget” solution. It should be regularly monitored, and modified, to meet changing business requirements like any other aspect of the SharePoint deployment. CASE STUDIES

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Structured Data Often an organization has very rich data in their Line of Business (LOB) systems. Due to the nature of LOB systems, it can be a challenge to surface this information to the users who need it. Providing direct user access to LOB systems may be costly due to user training needs, client license fees, and support overhead. Our business data is very important and having our teams struggle to see new items and changes hampers one’s productivity.

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GIVE YO U R TEAM THE ED GE W ITH MICROSOFT SE ARCH TECHNOLOGIES c o n t i n u ed . . .

Security Now that you have all your valuable content in portals, document libraries, Wikis, etc., how does one keep the mail room clerk from knowing about your company’s most valuable and confidential information? Remember, search can be very powerful for “all” employees. With many search solutions the previous model of using security by obscurity put you at risk. Providing valuable information for your team is an important goal, however, you don’t want to put your critical information at risk of being discovered by unauthorized users. Inclusion and Exclusion of Content There is a balancing act. You want your users to be able to find the documents they need to be productive. At the same time, the more documents in the search results, the greater risk of the misuse of intellectual property. While the sensitive documents might not be directly accessible to all users, the surfacing of the documents and their document summaries in your search results can be enough to put you at risk and, at a minimum, creates confusion. If I can see it in the search results why can’t I open it? Many wasted clicks here.

Metadata Many content management systems require the entering and modification of metadata for documents and other unstructured content like Wikis. Content types in SharePoint require users to enter metadata and deliver some powerful features as dividend. However, users often want to upload documents but have no clue which category to select. They are stuck dead in their tracks. They can choose to abandon the document upload, email someone for help, or as often happens, they make their best guess and they move on with their day. If their guess was not accurate, then over time the metadata becomes less valuable as errors enter the system. We call this situation GIGO : “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. To resolve this issue organizations often consider training, approval and review workflows, restricting who can post, etc. All of these add overhead to one’s organization.


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A large financial institution used a number of different commercial search technologies in different departments. With incompatible islands of information throughout the corporation, they needed a search technology that could CASE CASE CASE CASE provide capabilities to enable S T U D I E Sa platform S Tfor U D Iadvanced ES STUDIES S T U users D I E S to find the most relevant content. They also needed to deliver search results from other repositories of content in a single integrated result list. They selected the FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) because it let them extract important metadata even from unstructured content and deliver results presented with faceted navigation that lets users explore content by category. FAST ESP also allowed the company to assign responsibility for managing specific sections of their intranet to different business owners, which freed central IT resources for the business of running their infrastructure. Users: 20,000 (employees) Queries: Licensed for 10QPS (peak) Content: 2.5M documents/web pages, 50 locations worldwide

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Another company was in the business of providing a hosted application that allowed its thousands of customers to research, evaluate, and tag important content for senior principal review. They saw that they would soon have more CASE STUDIES documents than their existing search technology would support, and they needed a technology that could meet their data volume needs, index updated content with minimum latency, provide predictable scalability, and insure the best possible up time. They chose FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) because of the highly scalable architecture, and because FAST ESP was able to meet their requirements of high availability, low indexing latency, powerful entity extraction and Unicode language support. They also took advantage of the FAST ESP indexing architecture that provided the ability to add external ‘look-aside’ content to each document with minimum effort. Users: 10s of thousands Queries: Over 100 QPS (peak) Content: varies, to 100M documents”

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GIVE YO U R TEAM THE ED GE W ITH MICROSOFT SE ARCH TECHNOLOGIES c o n t i n u ed . . .

Additional Background on How Search Works This section describes some key technical details of about how search works to inform your decisions about what search improvements and enhancements to consider. The Enterprise Search capability built into Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) extends searching to content that is not stored in SharePoint. This wide variety of additional content sources, include information stored within intranet web sites, Exchange Server 2007 data stores, file shares, nonSharePoint databases, and local hard disk drives. The search functionality incorporated into MOSS includes the basic features users have come to expect from a search provider such as “Did you mean”, and relevancy ranking of results. However, the fact that this high level of search capability is built right into SharePoint, and can be made available with little configuration, further reinforces the notion that Search is something that can be overlooked, or taken for granted. Indexing and Querying Search is comprised of two things at its most basic level: Indexing, and Querying. Indexing is the process by which a content source is “crawled”, and an index is created, and stored, in a SQL server database. The indexing process creates

files (indexes) that are made up of a content index, and a properties store. The content index includes the actual text contained in files as well as an associated inverted index of words that are in the enterprise index. The property store database holds all the additional metadata properties about all the items in the store (e.g. Created By, Date Modified, Document Type etc.). The contents within files are indexed through the use of IFilter components that enable the index engine to open, and read, the contents of file types. IFilters extract the text and the metadata for each file, and then pass the stream back to the index engine. The file metadata are then stored in the properties store, and the actual text of the file is placed in the content index. The index engine removes unnecessary words, and processes the information by breaking the text into words and phrases (“wordbreaking”) and generating the inflected forms for a given word (“stemming”). The index engine uses continuous propagation, which allows the index to be built even as the crawling process moves through the content sources. The Query process executes a selection procedure against the index. The query is subjected to the “wordbreaking”, and “stemming”, processes for comparison with the index. If the query specifies property information, the content index is checked first for matches paired with file metadata


information in the property store, and then the properties in the query are checked again to ensure a match. The query engine does an additional level of filtering to remove results that the user does not have permission to access (i.e. Security Trimming). The matching results are returned in a list, ordered according to relevance. Resource Demands The system resource demands made by search can be substantial. Both the index and query processes are associated with a large amount of disk activity, and it is recommended that the Search and TempDB Databases be placed on high speed drives. Furthermore, the amount of disk space required for the indexes is estimated at 40% of the total size of the content crawled, and must be taken into account during capacity planning. Index size (GB) ≈ Average size of file (bytes) * number of files * 4 x 10-10 Content indexes are propagated from the index server to every query server in the farm. The full index is propagated to the query servers during the query server initialization phase, and incremental changes in the index are propagated on a continual basis. The merging process requires more disk space than what is required to accommodate the index itself. Thus,

it is recommended is that the total amount of disk space used for indexing and querying be estimated at 2.5 times the disk space estimated for indexing alone. Total disk space required ≈ Index size * 2.5 The indexing and querying processes also place a high demand on processor cycles, and memory. It is often a good idea to run the search service on one, or more, dedicated hardware servers with sufficient processor and memory system resources. The crawling of content can also place a high demand on the system, especially for sites with a large amount of dynamic content. The effects of this load can be reduced by dedicating a web front end server within the farm to be a target of the crawl. This web front end server essentially “crawls itself ” allowing the index to be updated while the other web front end servers handle user requests. The Shared Service Provider (SSP) Search is a “Shared Service” that is delivered through the Shared Service Provider (SSP) in SharePoint. A Shared Service can be configured a single time and in a single location, through the SSP, and shared across many different MOSS portal sites and WSS sites. Search Content Sources, and Search Scopes may be configured through the SSP Administration web browser interface.


GIVE YO U R TEAM THE ED GE W ITH MICROSOFT SE ARCH TECHNOLOGIES c o n t i n u ed . . .

A content source is a location that contains resources that are to be crawled and indexed. A content source is configured by specifying what type of content is crawled, the content location (e.g. URL or UNC path), how deep to crawl and how often to crawl. The “depth� of the crawl refers to how far down a resource path the indexing operation is to take place. For example, a content source may be configured for a file share such that only the contents of the top folder are crawled. The crawl frequency establishes a schedule for how often a full crawl is performed, and how often differential crawls are performed. These schedules should be chosen keeping in mind the cost of system resources necessary to perform the crawl balanced against overall performance. Frequent crawls will provide the most up-to-date indexes, but may detract from other uses of the site. Crawl Schedules Schedules for full, and incremental crawls may be created for each Content Source. When combined with the Content Source Type, and other crawl settings, it is possible to manage crawling and searching for different types of information stored within the portal. For example, it is possible to create Content Sources configured to crawl only a defined set of sites within a portal. Content Sources may be organized based

on subject matter, different teams within your organization, or important events. By grouping sites with similar content into Content Sources, one can ensure that the indexes for all content of that kind are synchronized. Large organizations with thousands of sites may find it difficult to even find sites in the site directory, much less to ensure that those sites are crawled regularly. The use of Content Sources will break the overall task into manageable pieces. This will also allow the flexibility to set different crawl schedules for different types of content. System resources may be more efficiently allocated by adjusting the crawling schedules of different content to match the relative business value of having the indexes for the content updated. Search Scopes may be created with rules that leverage existing Content Sources, and it is often beneficial to create Content Sources for commonly searched content. A good set of Content Sources will allow users to scope searches for their most commonly suggested content while keeping the number of Search Scopes as small as possible.


Search Scopes Whereas Content Sources define the overall breadth of information that may be queried by a user search request, Search Scopes define searches that are limited to particular subsets of a Content Source. If the Content Source is thought of as the size of the net cast to gather information, the Search Scope is a small portion of the “catch”. The MOSS Enterprise Search functionality does not, by default, provide granular search results. Instead, the default behavior is to query all possible Content Sources, thereby returning a large number of search results. However, it is possible, through the use of Scopes, to have a search query return results only from a pre-defined subset of a Content Source. This allows the entire index to be managed in small pieces. Search scopes allow users to narrow their searches based on the topics, metadata, and Content Sources of items on the portal. Content Sources both within, and outside, the portal can be grouped into certain types, and it is possible to limit a search scope to include, or exclude, particular content in the results set. For example, it is possible to create a scope that queries a specific Document Library. A search request that uses this Search Scope, and a generic query will return results only from that specific Document Library whereas the same

search request made for the entire Content Source may return a much larger, and perhaps overwhelming, results set. The subset of the Content Source is defined by the Search Scope Rules. Search Scope Rules may be defined that are based on Property Mappings in indexed items such a Content Type, or Author. The Metadata Property Mappings Page is found in the Search Settings section of the Shared Services Administration Web Application by selecting the “Metadata properties” link in the left hand navigation menu. Through the use of Managed Properties, Search Scopes may also be created based on multiple rules, such as “all Documents of Content Type ‘Contract’ created after Mar. 2009.” Search Scopes may also have : “Scope” in the sense that they may be created both within the Search Administration of the SSP, and from within a specific Site Collection. Scopes created within a specific Site Collection are available only for that Site Collection whereas Search Scopes created within the SSP may be globally available throughout the enterprise.


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Relevancy Search Query results may be sorted by relevancy. It is possible to designate web pages as “Authoritative Pages” with MOSS. Those items returned by a search query that are also part of such pages are weighted more heavily for relevance. For example, a product team could designate its intranet home page as an authoritative page, ensuring that users searching on any appropriate term (e.g., their product’s name) would see that page high up in search results. Pages may also be designated to have lower relevance rankings. You can quickly configure and improve on enterprise search at almost any time. And when you implement a governance plan for enterprise search, you can see immediate results.

Conclusions Locating the appropriate information or people in an organization can be a difficult and time-consuming process. No organization can afford to waste time and resources by not effectively utilizing the information stored in their systems and the knowledge of their people. Search is a key component in surfacing your organizations knowledge in a simple, organized and timely manner. It is important in today’s digital environment that you treat search seriously and utilize the appropriate extensions, enhancements and optimizations to your organization’s best advantage. The key items to consider are: »» Develop search systems that provide the information your team needs. »» Develop search systems your team will use. Keep it simple. »» Minimize the impact of search administration on your staff. »» Invest in search technology that will grow with you. Microsoft has addressed these key issues and provides a search platform that can be leveraged today and provides technology that will grow with you in the future.


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SharePoint Health Check To help you assess how your organization has implemented Microsoft Solutions to enable a

Get the Most Out of Your Investment The Microsoft速 Office SharePoint速 Server Health Check analyzes your SharePoint products and technologies implementation, including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft Windows速 SharePoint Services, to help ensure that your system aligns with Microsoft-recommended best practices. This engagement uses a number of tools to collect data regarding the most critical aspects of your SharePoint environment. These aspects include configuration options, hotfix or service pack installation, and Office SharePoint Server-related code. The Office SharePoint Server Health Check consists of a Windows SharePoint Services-only implementation, a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server implementation, or both. (Please note that the Office SharePoint Health Check does not address previous versions of SharePoint products and technologies, such as SharePoint Portal Server 2001 or SharePoint Team Services.)

To schedule your Health Check today please email: healthcheck@neudesic.com


people-ready business Neudesic would like to offer you a Microsoft® SharePoint® Health Check.

Customers Who Benefit from the Office SharePoint Server Health Check The Office SharePoint Server Health Check is designed for the IT staff that implements and maintains the Office SharePoint Server or Windows SharePoint Services environment, and for developers who customize the site with code or site definitions. This health check, available only to Microsoft Premier Support customers, provides assistance at many levels of your organization. Whether you are a CIO, a midlevel IT manager, or an IT administrator, you can receive support and guidance to help increase operational efficiency, maximize system uptime, and reduce costs. All of these benefits can lead to more effective use of Office SharePoint Server.

Key Features of the Office SharePoint Server Health Check The Office SharePoint Server Health Check provides your business with the tools it needs to help address the following processes in a production environment: • Deployment Configuration

• Operations

• Development/Customization Best Practices

• Performance

• Search

• Security

• Disaster Recovery

• Third-Party Software/Components


Office Office Canvas enables our consultants to create highly polished SharePoint sites and complex workflows in a fraction of the normally required time. Customers will benefit from using Office Canvas if they: • Are looking to get more capabilities out of their SharePoint investment in a shorter amount of time – which translates to a lower cost. • Want to reduce the risks associated with a custom SharePoint project by using proven and tested components. • Need to view information contained within portals and applications throughout their organization. • Have attempted to create a custom SharePoint application and have had challenges developing / deploying their solutions. • Want to reduce complexity and cost anytime workflow is involved in a SharePoint solution. SharePoint + Workflow = Canvas. Office Canvas reduces the complexity of both the development and deployment of complex workflows. •

Are looking for prebuilt solutions in: » HR – Recruiting Solution » Marketing – Publication Solution » Project Management – Project Automation, Compliance and Control Solution


Canvas BENEFITS • Reduced implementation time and costs • Drag/Drop creation of composite applications • Enterprise Reporting

For more information about Neudesic products and services Call 800.805-1805 or visit www.neudesic.com


Corporate HQ (Irvine, CA): Neudesic, LLC 8105 Irvine Center Dr. Suite 1200 Irvine, CA 92618 Toll Free: (800) 805-1805 Phone: (949) 754-4500 Fax: (949) 754-6800 info@neudesic.com Austin, TX 7000 North Mo-Pac Expressway 2nd Floor Austin, TX 78731 Phone: (512) 263-8583 Chicago, IL 377 E. Butterfield Rd. Suite 440 Lombard, IL 60148 Phone: (630) 743-5600 Dallas, TX 611 South Main St. Suite 400 Grapevine, TX 76051 Phone: (817) 410-4771

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Phone: (610) 251-0605

Phone: (703) 736-8095

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SharePoint Booklet