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Beginning SharePoint 2010 AdministrationWindows SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
By Göran Husman Christian St?hl
John Wiley & SonsCopyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIntroduction to Microsoft SharePoint 2010
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER:
* Understanding SharePoint 2010
* Planning for Requirements
* Exploring SharePoint Features
In 2008, I was hired by an organization with several thousand users who needed to get a better way of managing their documents. The challenges were several: The number of documents was more than 10 million; they had offices in a large number of locations; a large number of documents had multiple authors, some as many as 100 authors; and many documents had to be reviewed and commented by sometimes more than 50 people, in different locations and time zones. A typical scenario would look like this: Anna created a 50-page report in Microsoft Word, and she needed 25 people to review and possibly update the document, but only the sections that affected them. Anna sent the document by e-mail to each of these 25 people, and asked them to review and if needed update a specific section of the document. After about two weeks, and several reminders, she got 25 new versions back by e-mail. Now Anna had to consolidate all those versions into her original document. The easiest way to do this was to print out all 26 versions, find a really large table, put up the first page from all versions, compare them, continue with the next page, and so forth. Sometimes multiple reviewers had different opinions about the same section, so Anna had to send a new e-mail and ask these people if they could agree on a specific version of that particular section. Finalizing the document usually took several weeks using this method. With Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010, Anna can instead share the document in real-time, using the new co-authoring feature in SharePoint 2010 (see Chapter 3 for more information on co-authoring). This fantastic feature enables Anna to invite her 25 reviewers to different sections in the document. These people can read and update the document simultaneously as others work with the same document, or they can do their reviews and updates at a time that suits them best. Anna can directly see whether someone has changed the document, regardless of whether or not it is done in real-time.
Similar to the scenario described above, practically all people need a system that will help them store, share, and find information, regardless of its type, origin, and geographic location. Such a system should also allow secure access to this information using different kinds of devices and applications. SharePoint is such a system! It is designed with these objectives in mind. It is important to understand that SharePoint is a system for managing data, often created by other systems, such as Microsoft Office.
So welcome to this book! It is about how to install, configure, and especially how to use SharePoint 2010. Because it is the fourth generation of SharePoint, you likely have experience with previous versions; however, the book does not require any previous knowledge of SharePoint. I have been working with SharePoint since its first release in 2001, and in my experience a lot of planning and design is required. A successful SharePoint installation requires a lot more than simply putting the CD in a drive and installing it. Sometimes I see organizations that fail to understand their users' needs, and therefore how to take advantage of SharePoint. They simply believe that the mere fact that SharePoint is installed will by magic make things easier. This will not happen, believe me! A good implementation helps an organization do their work easier, faster, and sometimes even in a way that's more fun, whereas a bad implementation keeps an organization from working efficiently and irritates their end users. The main objective for this book is to give you the information you need to do a good implementation. This book offers lots of best practices, advice, and tips and tricks, based on a large number of SharePoint implementations, in all kinds of organizations, both small (with just a few users) and large (with many thousands of users).
A Microsoft representative once told me about how the company builds a new software application: "First we do a lot of planning, analysis, and of course, guessing what the customer wants in such a product; this results in version 1.0. Of course, we quickly realize that we missed a number of things, so we learn from that, rebuild the product, and then release version 2.0. This version will most likely also miss some important features, which our dear customers tell us in a very frank and honest way, so we sit down again, add the missing features, plus a lot more, and fix weaknesses, then we release version 3.0 - and this time we usually get it right!" This is the fourth generation of SharePoint, and it brings a lot of new and enhanced features compared to its predecessors. One of the important lessons learned from the three previous versions is that SharePoint needs to be feature rich, but at the same time flexible, so that building a SharePoint solution that will satisfy any type of need is easy.
WHAT IS SHAREPOINT?
One of the major strengths of SharePoint is that it helps you collect, manage, and work with information, regardless of what type it is. It may be Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, pictures, or any other type of file. But it may also be information that you usually store in other types of applications, such as contact lists, team calendars, product databases, project planning, and a news list. SharePoint helps you find information, even when you don't know where it is stored, based on its content or properties. It also helps you keep track of changes; for example, when a document you work with gets updated by another user. In other words, SharePoint does not invent any new information types; instead, it helps you get the right information when you need it, without spending time looking for it. Even more importantly, all this information is easily shared between users, such as project teams, departments, or even entire organizations.
Microsoft has, over the years, performed a thorough analysis of how people, in all types of organizations, use their computers. How is that possible, you ask? Do you remember the last time you installed Microsoft Office? When you completed the installation, you were asked whether you wanted to participate anonymously in the Microsoft user experience analysis. Most people accept the default, which is to say no, but several million users have actually accepted. Their computer regularly sends a log file to Microsoft, stating what type of features they use in Microsoft Office. For example, Microsoft knows that
* The average use of the Copy and Paste features is about 300 times per month, which is about 20 percent of all your clicks. * The most common command that immediately follows Paste is Undo. * The average Microsoft Word document has 16 different styles; the most common is Bold, and then Font Size, but only a few use ALL CAPS. * Sixty percent of all users print more than 60 times per month. * Insert Picture is the fourth most used command, and 95 percent of all documents have fewer than 20 pictures inside. * The typical Outlook user reads about 1,800 e-mails per month, and deletes about 1,500 of them.
Microsoft uses all of these statistics to understand how you work, and this information affects the look and feel of the user interface of Office clients. The user interface of SharePoint 2007 clearly needed a facelift, so in SharePoint 2010, you will find the same type of toolbar introduced in Office 2007, also known as the "Ribbon" or the "Office Fluent" user interface, which will make it easy for Office 2007 users to understand how to work in SharePoint 2010.
Self-Service, a new feature introduced in SharePoint 2007, was to empower end users, giving them a simple but powerful means to adjust the layout and color of their sites, and add and modify lists and document libraries, without the assistance of an administrator or software developer. This power is increased even more in SharePoint 2010. Self-service is a rather new trend in the computer business. Besides having the ability to create and design their own SharePoint sites, users can also find third-party applications that allow them to control systems outside SharePoint; for example, to reset an account password, change properties in the Active Directory (AD), and so on.
SharePoint is built around this concept of self-service; the main idea is to allow the ordinary user to create websites for projects and other activities without any support from the server administrator or Help Desk. The SharePoint user requires some training, but SharePoint is straightforward and easy to learn. However, don't underestimate this training, because it is crucial for a succesful SharePoint implementation. Your role, as the SharePoint Server administrator, is to install, maintain, and configure SharePoint. You are also the person that people will contact when they need help understanding how do things in SharePoint, such as creating sites and managing lists of information. That's why this book tells you how to do these things and gives you tips and hints to make things easier for you and your users. I am sure you will like it for your own personal use, too - SharePoint is simply a fantastic application with enormous potential, if you know how to use it correctly!
Describing what SharePoint is, in just a few words, is actually hard, but I can give it a try. Using this application, you can build a web-based environment for things like these:
* An intranet portal for the organization, and each department * A public Internet site * An extranet portal for your customers and partners * A team site, for your sales department * A project site, for the development team * A document management system that is compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and ISO-9000 * A personal site for each user, where they can store personal data, plus find links to their team sites * A digital dashboard for storing business intelligence data, such as key performance indicators * A place to search and locate any type of information, regardless of where it is stored * A record management system, for storing legal information in a secure way
NOTE SOX (a U.S. law) and ISO-9000 (an ISO standard) define a number of rules on how to manage documents and information in an organization.
Many other features in addition to those listed will be described throughout this book. Because SharePoint is such a flexible and powerful application, what you can do with it is limited almost only by your imagination. Some features may require third-party products or custom development, but the list of features that comes out of the box is amazing, especially for the SharePoint Server Enteprise edition. It is also very fun to work with, because it is so easy to build an impressive solution with it. Microsoft has most certainly created a killer application - again! Figure 1-1 shows a simple SharePoint 2010 team site, just to give you an idea of how it looks. If you don't like the design, changing it without software development tools is easy.
The History of SharePoint
To understand how to install and manage SharePoint, it helps to know this history. Knowing this not only helps you understand where SharePoint comes from, but it also helps you understand some abbreviations that are used even in SharePoint 2010.
Around 2000, Microsoft unveiled an application called a digital dashboard. This web-based application used a new concept called web parts, which are rectangular areas on a web page that display some type of information, such as a list of contacts, links, or documents. This was innovative, because the user could now arrange the web parts on the web page herself, without any help from an HTML programmer.
In 2001, Microsoft released its first two SharePoint products. One was SharePoint Team Services (STS), and the other was SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) 2001. Only a few organizations implemented these products, which was a pity, because they offered a good value. STS was a free web-based product used for creating collaboration sites. You could use it to share contacts, calendar events, and documents within teams and small departments. The information was stored in an Microsoft SQL database. It was a nice application, but it did not have any document-management features, nor was it built for creating intranet solutions.
SPS 2001 was a separate product, initially developed as an Microsoft Exchange 2000 public folder application (under the beta name Tahoe). However, during the beta phase of Tahoe, Microsoft got a loud and clear message from the customers: "Do not mess with our Exchange systems!" So Microsoft finally released the SPS 2001 using a built-in Microsoft Exchange 2000 server database hidden beneath, which made more than one SharePoint administrator wonder why on earth the SharePoint server event log contained messages from the Exchange Information Store! The SPS 2001 application had built-in document-management features, such as document versioning, checkout/check-in, and support for document workflows. It also had a good search engine that enabled the user to find information, regardless of where it was stored. One serious problem with SPS 2001 was the performance and the limited number of documents it could manage. And it did not have some of the nice collaboration features that STS had. In fact, the two products were competing with each other, to some extent, which is not a good way of convincing the customer to invest in SharePoint technology. SPS was not free like STS, but licensed per server and per user.
In October 2003, Microsoft released its second generation of SharePoint. The old STS, now renamed Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), was basically a fancier version of STS (internally, Microsoft referred to it as STS version 2). SPS kept its name, SharePoint Portal Server, but that was about all that was kept from the previous SPS version. No longer did SPS 2003 have its own Microsoft Exchange database; now it was an add-on to the WSS application, or in other words, when installing SPS 2003, you also installed WSS 2.0. So finally, Microsoft had released an integrated SharePoint solution, completely based on the Microsoft SQL Server database.
Still, some annoying things about the SharePoint 2003 editions existed; although SPS 2003 and WSS 2 now looked similar, they did not behave in a similar way. For example, the permission settings for lists in WSS were different from the same type of lists in SPS, and while SPS was security trimmed (that is, users only saw what they were allowed to see), WSS was not.
At the end of 2006, Microsoft released the third generation of SharePoint. WSS kept its name, but changed the version number to 3.0. WSS was still a free add-on for Windows 2003 Server, and as before, it used a Microsoft SQL database to store its content. Its bigger brother, SPS, was renamed to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, but contrary to the 2003 version, MOSS just put extra features on top of WSS 3.0, and was using the same Microsoft SQL database. The MOSS package was available in two editions: MOSS 2007 Standard and MOSS 2007 Enterprise. They differed only in the number of features available and the price for the client access licenses, or CAL.
Finally, in April 2010, Microsoft released its fourth generation of SharePoint. It resembles the 2007 architecture a lot, but the names for both WSS and MOSS were changed. The new name for WSS is SharePoint Foundation, and the new name for MOSS is SharePoint Server. As before, SharePoint Foundation is the base package that offers all the basic functionality, although greatly improved compared to WSS 3, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 consists of two levels of feature packages on top of SharePoint Foundation.
Excerpted from Beginning SharePoint 2010 Administration by Göran Husman Christian St?hl Copyright © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission.
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