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How To Control App Token Lifetimes in SharePoint 2013?

SharePoint has emerged to be one of the most beneficial web application development platforms these days. The newer versions of this platform have turned out to be of immense use for the business enterprises as, they assist in the successful accomplishment of several tasks and necessitate much less time and efforts. Now, developers are trying out more innovative ways of exploiting SharePoint so as to derive the maximum advantages out of this already useful platform. Controlling the app token lifetimes in SP 2013 is one area of concern that is emphasized upon to a significant extent.

SharePoint development companiesThe first question that arises in this regard is where one can control the app token lifetimes. However, when considered on a broader platform, it will be seen that the place of control is actually not so significant and that a highly advanced app like TokenHelper can be of substantial help. There are around one or two JWT tokens that are created if one goes by the IssueToken method. It is usually one when the app only token is being used and two tokens for the application and the current user. However, in both the events, the JsonWebSecurityToken is created and the parameter that is used to create the same determines as to how long it is valid.

It is for the app token that the TokenHelper makes use of a constant, which is known as TokenLifeTimeMinutes. By default, this constant has a value of 1,000,000, which leaves no scope of worrying except in cases where one wants to limit it. Now, for the user token, the constant is hard- coded by default for making use of a lifetime of 10 minutes. The values can be found as well as changed into whatever you want just with a little drilling into the IssueToken method.

With a deeper look into the code, it can be seen that the TokenHelper incorporates a delegate that is invoked in what is known as the GetClientContextWithAccessToken method. This method plays the important role in adding a bearer token to any particular request that comes into the SharePoint from the particular app of the user.

Now, if the user sets a breakpoint on that specific line of code and eventually step through the request from the app, none of the token ‘setup’ functions creating the ClientContext will be resulting in an HTTP call. At this point, the ExecuteQuery method has to be called on the ClientContext object. The request goes over the wire, the delegate fires and finally, the token is added to the request. While one can cache the access token obtained in the high trust app, there may not always be a justified reason behind doing so.

On the other hand, caching the app tokens is beneficial only at the time of using the relatively low trust apps. When such is the case, one has to save one or more trips to ACS for the purpose of accessing token at the time of caching them. In events where there are multiple users or several requests, the process helps. The only thing that one needs to be aware of in this regard is the right ways of caching the tokens for the low trust apps.

This is just a brief overview of the overall process of controlling application lifetimes in SharePoint 2013 along with a discussion about the use and benefits of the high trust as well as the low trust apps. However, it is a task that needs to be taken up by only the experts and pros in the field, who are aware of the processes and can therefore, adept in handling the same to produce faster results in less time.

You can hire developers from top SharePoint development companies in India who can help you build products within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint CMS customization services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

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Introducing MVC Support for Apps for SharePoint

SharePoint, which has already established itself as one of the most popular and preferred web application development platforms, works more effectively when incorporated with certain apps. Apps are those powerful website applications that add to the effectiveness of the platforms. These days, the ASP.NET.MVC has become a preferred mode of project application.

SharePoint portal developmentASP.NET.MVC offers web developers with several advantages. To begin with, it comes up with a really pattern- based and powerful platform that allows easy building of dynamic websites. These websites, in turn, pave the way for separating different aspects such as that of the view, model and controller of the app. At the same time, the app provides full control over markup to offer a good experience of development.

SharePoint portal development with MVC as a remote project requires one to follow a two-step process. Firstly, this particular sort of project development needs to be created and secondly, one has to engage in what can be considered as the ‘app-etizing’ of the concerned web project. This is done with the purpose of adding an application for SharePoint.

When an auto-hosted or provider- hosted app for SharePoint is created in the Preview of the Visual Studio 2013, you get the option of choosing the type of the web application project. Once the procedure is accomplished and you click on the Finish button, the Visual Studio automatically takes up the following tasks:

  • Creation of the application for the project
  • Creation of the MVC website application project
  • Addition of the SharePoint-references to the said project
  • Addition of helper classes to that of the particular project

A working app for SharePoint with this advanced sort of web app is now ready. The following steps would encompass pressing F5 to debug the app. Now, Visual Studio deploys this app for SharePoint to the site of the specified developer. This is accompanied by a starting of the Internet Information Services or IIS Express and finally, running of your MVC website application. A browser is then opened to the home page of the app, in this case, the particular app that we are talking about.

A default template is created out of the box and it comes with the About, Home and Contact pages apart from some sample code. These sample code show you the way of interacting with SharePoint. The code helps in the creation of a client context for the host web while also retrieving the current user name, which is displayed in the home page.

The MVC website application project also offers a set of APIs, which involves a series of steps for the web project to communicate to SharePoint in a rather smooth manner and that too, in a single call. The SharePoint context filter takes up the additional processing for getting standard information when redirected from SharePoint to the remote web application, for instance, Host Web URL. Additionally, it also determines as to whether the application has to be redirected to SharePoint for the user to sign in. This is particularly applicable in case of bookmarks. This filter can be applied either for the purpose of viewing or to the controller.

The context classes of SharePoint incorporate all the data and information so that one can quite easily create particular contexts for the app web as well as the host web directly and thereby communicate with the platform. The introduction of the MVC support for apps turns out to be of substantial help provided that one is aware of the right ways of engaging in the process.

We provide SharePoint development services. If you would like to hire SharePoint developer from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Which IT Services Companies Offer the Best SharePoint Support?

In addition to being a rapid web application development platform, Microsoft SharePoint is also used by enterprises to management content and documents. Also, the platform enables users to manage a variety of data on the intranet and internet. As Microsoft has designed SharePoint with a Microsoft Office-like interface, the platform can be seamlessly integrated with Office suite. So your business can avail several advantages by switching to SharePoint 2010.

SharePoint bespoke developmentWhen you decide to migrate to the latest version of the platform, it becomes essential to make and implement a detailed plan. At the same time, it is also important to choose the right IT services company to avail customized and flexible SharePoint support. A simple web search will get you information about the nature and types of support offered by a large number of companies. But you must evaluate the service providers based on some key criterions to ensure that you will get the best SharePoint support.

5 Key Criterions to Evaluate the IT Services Companies Offering SharePoint Support

1. Customized Support: The level of support offered by different IT services companies vary. Some companies even allow you to choose from several predefined SharePoint support plans. But you must opt for the companies who offer customized support according to specific needs of your business. When the support is customized, you will not be required to pay for unnecessary services. As the support services are customized according to your business model and work flow, these will contributing towards increasing productivity and revenues.

2. Specialized Support: Most IT companies offer a variety of support services. So the nature and quality of the SharePoint support will depend on the experience and expertise of the company. You must gather information about the services offered by a specific company from various sources, and compare the data to ensure that it has adequate expertise in providing support for SharePoint. An experienced service provider will further contribute towards efficient project management and communication. Also, it can work seamlessly with your internal team by creating the best environment.

3. Effective Content Management: When you are using SharePoint to manage your content, records and documents, it becomes essential to consider several factors. Along with recording the documents in digital format, it is also important to store the images of the original documents in a centralized location. At the same time, any updates or changes made to the documents must reflect across different workstations. So you must check the effectiveness of content management service provided by the IT company. It is important to hire a company who can guarantee that your employees can monitor, track and access the updated content regardless of its physical location.

4. Ready to Embrace New Technologies: The huge popularity of SharePoint application development platform has encouraged many companies to launch CRM and ERP packages with specific integration capability. So you can always migrate to the latest enterprise application software to optimize your business process and communication. Also, Microsoft regularly updates SharePoint with many extended and innovative features. That is why; there are always chances that your business has to migrate to or embrace more advanced technologies. It is always important to hire the IT company that agrees to incorporate the changes relates to technology and system without causing any slight delay.

5. Quick and Immediate Solution for Each Problem: If your business is migrating to SharePoint, your employees will take some time to understand its feature and functionality. Also, you have to train your staff about various aspects of the customized application. When your employees are being trained, the IT company has to provide prompt support to ensure that your work flow is not being affected. The service provider also needs to understand the framework in detail to answer the questions immediately. You must remember that it will take some time to streamline the process after migrating to SharePoint. So your employees will need constant support to continue the business operations.

When you are looking for the IT services companies that offer the best SharePoint support, it is important to do some initial request. You must gather information about the nature, types and quality of support provided by each company, along with it experience, expertise and professional credibility. At the same time, you must ask many questions to the service provider to ensure that the SharePoint support is customized according to the specific needs of your business.

We provide SharePoint bespoke development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint programmers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

The Power of HTML5 and CSS3 in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 has ushered in a number of changes in the manner in which developers tend to build as well as implement branding packages. The largest changes that have taken place incorporate the capabilities of CSS3, HTML5, as well as the Design Manager. With the help of these tools for development, SharePoint branding experts are able to come up with unique and dynamic designs for the environment.

SharePoint 2013 mobile development

The new features of HTML5 constitute the following:

  • The < audio > and < video > elements in the default player of the browser for media browser.
  • Support rendered to local storage (capability of reading content offline along with the potential for using web applications)
  • Fresh content-oriented elements, such as < section >, < nav >, < header >, < footer > and < article >. These tags facilitate enhanced SEO content indexing, standardization and organization with respect to all designs.

One of the significant things is that HTML5 allows developers to focus on the greatest number of devices with considerably lesser amount of effort towards development. HTML5 comes up as a universal language for every device, whether it is a SmartPhone or a wide screen desktop monitor.

Along with HTML5, a greater number of branding options are opened up in CSS3. The options in CSS3 include the following:

  • Font file references are allowed to render within a live environment with the help of @font-face property
  • The capability of making rounded corners over a number of objects including boxes is enabled by the border-radius.
  • Generation of a shadow over elements which are customizable as per the preferences of developers.
  • Proportional sizing coupled with dynamic width facilitates adjustment to manifold screen sizes. This is of immense significance as it provides developers the capability of using responsive web design. Development of a responsive website involves the utilization of a number of components. These assist the developer in creating designs which possess dynamic widths and are also capable of re-sizing proportionally depending upon the resolution of the screen or the device size.

Responsive web design is in fact a flexible grid that helps in creation of a layout which expands as the page increases in size. The design of this flexible grid takes place in terms of proportions. In this case, as the re-sizing of a window takes place, every element within the layout undergoes re-sizing of their width with respect to one another. This is done with the help of CSS3 Media Queries that involve the rendering of a web page depending upon certain conditions like screen resolution.

One of the important feature concerning a responsive website is that fixed pixel size should not be given to anything, not even images or other media.

In fact, SharePoint 2013 offers branding developers a number of options while designing the SharePoint environment. However, there are some specific factors which can be questioned so far as responsive web design is concerned.

  • Money and time: The question lies in the fact whether the required money and the time is available for building an intricate grid system with the help of HTML5 and CSS3. If the same is not available, the best option is going for something that is increasingly out of the box.
  • Browser Support: It is to be understood whether the project needs a design which will only be used on a laptop or desktop, or a design compatible with mobile phones, tablets, and other devices is required. Another point in question is whether more web browsers like Safari, Firefox or Chrome are required instead of Internet Explorer.
  • Performance: Is the project in need of a design that will be used for a long period of time, or the design would be changed by the organization every few years?
  • Content: The amount of content that the site will incorporate should be decided.
  • Web Application and Website: You need to consider whether the project requires a website for every device, or a totally distinct web application that can be used on Smart Phones and tablets with different functionality.

Getting the answers to all these questions will enable developers to efficiently determine how they can utilize the new tools offered by sharepoint 2013 mobile development platform, in short SP 2013.

We provide sharepoint portal development services. If you would like to discuss with a certified sharepoint developer from our team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Tips for Effective Migration to SharePoint 2013

In the recent times, with Microsoft launching SharePoint 2013, a large number of businesses are considering migration to this new edition to enhance their business processes. In fact, this new version of SharePoint is anticipated to revolutionize the way in which companies are building links amongst their knowledge workers, business processes as well as business-related content worldwide. This platform includes novel features such as enhanced document management capabilities with respect to sharing and contributing content, enhanced social features along with a renewed search experience. SharePoint 2013 is speedily positioning itself as one of the much sought after technology for the introduction of crucial organizational initiatives in the areas of social collaboration, enterprise content management and web content management.

SharePoint developers

The advanced features of Sharepoint make it vital for organizations to take certain points into consideration prior to adopting this latest platform. Let us discuss some of the guidelines that should be followed in order to achieve effective migration to SharePoint 2013.

1. Take care of hardware requirements: In case of SharePoint 2013 servers, minimum of 8 GB RAM and four 64-bit cores is needed for small environments while medium environments require 16 GB RAM. For every server operating in SharePoint 2013, location within a single data center is essential.

2. Operating system requisites: The ideal operating system incorporates 64-bit edition, R2 SP1 Windows Server 2008. The 2012 Windows Server operating system can also be utilized. You must consider migration to 64-bit servers before any other upgrade or migration.

3. Decide upon the destination before starting off: Doing this gives you a clear-cut idea of where you are heading to and this allows you to go for proper channelization of the resources at hand. For example, if you are using SQL 2012, use Windows 2012 along with an Office Web Application Server.

4. Divide current customizations into categories: It is advisable to categorize the customizations into three categories. The first category constitutes items such as custom authentication provider that would stop the project. You need to have solutions for this, or else the migration would not be a success. The second category comprises items that would not put a halt to the project but are required to be completed. It is good to address them once the migration is completed. Items that need to be eliminated make up the third category.

5. Realize environmental alterations: When you are deciding to go for Windows 2012, the environmental change that takes place needs to be taken into consideration. The SMTP server role has been deprecated by Windows 2012 and depending on the information, decision needs to be taken as to whether to use a more intricate configuration or go for installation of the deprecated feature.

6. Get every migration step scripted: This task involves restructuring site hierarchy, mounting content databases.

7. Conduct dry runs: While performing dry runs, you must follow a sequential guide. Through the dry runs, it is quite convenient to identify the disk space and timing requirements.

8. Go for proper space and time planning: Once the disk space and the upgrade time required are identified depending upon the dry runs, you can take necessary action. For instance, by adjusting the SQL server memory, the time for mounting as well as upgrading SharePoint can be decreased.

9. Follow dry runs with test: The only thing that separates a live run from a dry run is that the data is not updated, hence the end result should simulate the live migration. Taking this into account, through utilization of an alternate access mapping, it can be opened up to selected end users for testing, in order to validate the overall usability and the basic functionality.

10. Set up destination environment: It is advisable to configure and prepare to the maximum extent prior to migration. Once the configuration of the environment is done, the same will ensure smoother migration.

The above mentioned tips would go a long way in helping you plan your SharePoint 2013 migration. They will definitely help you enhance the overall efficiency of your SharePoint application development team.

We provide custom SharePoint development services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our expert SharePoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Integrating ColdFusion Applications with Microsoft SharePoint

While ColdFusion is recognized as a much preferred programming platform, the recent trend is that of integrating it with Microsoft SharePoint. Why? Because SharePoint bespoke development helps create most personalized web products which greatly enhance the efficiency of operations in an enterprise. The latest version of the former platform, that is ColdFusion 9, will feature this integration. However, before going into the details of how this integration can be executed or the possible benefits of the process, let us understand few basics about SharePoint.

SharePoint bespoke developmentBasically a content management system at its best, SharePoint is an application that helps in accessing data stored in the MSSQL database. The integrated search services facilitated by it help in adding team collaboration context to the management of the data files, generated by the Microsoft Office Suite. When it comes to SharePoint, the site hierarchy and the permission- based roles become important. The key permission levels allow users to read, contribute, design as well as take full control of the SharePoint sites along with data after a certain stage.

With regards to the integration, the most important requirement is to understand the precise needs of the users. ColdFusion 9 incorporates the integration feature to solve most of the problems of a majority of users and not to satisfy only a handful of them.

Single-Sign-On Support
The demand for a single-sign-on (SSO) support is the most common of all requirements. This support would allow the ColdFusion applications working under SharePoint increase the level of the platform’s authenticity as well as security by means of removing the necessity of logins and authentication of the ColdFusion applications. Now, with ColdFusion 9, the task becomes easier as a result of an inclusion of the SharePoint integration files in ColdFusion. The installation and configuration of these files paves the way for the platform to invoke applications offering SSO support.

ColdFusion Applications
The concept of the platform applications running the Microsoft SharePoint platform might appear to be a little confusing. Web Parts and ASP.Net server controls are used to build the applications. The Web Parts can actually be pre- written in the controls provided by Microsoft, 3rd party controls as well as the individual controls. With ColdFusion 9 applications and the SSO support, necessary grounds for the perfect integration are ready.

Web Parts
Users might simply want to access data in the platform and may not be looking for running application as a Web Part. There are many who use the platform with the intention of deriving benefits out of user lists, views and groups, use the platform search option or work with the stored images and document workspaces. All these activities can be done with the help of exposed web services. However, a new tag is made available for maximum control as well as higher level of performance.

The Cfsharepoint Tag
The cfsharepoint tag is a powerful one, enabling manipulation of SharePoint by virtue of its several attributes. It facilitates around 50 actions. The tag can actually make the platform do anything. All that one needs to do is pass the credentials in a structured manner or supply the values individually in the form of domain, password and username values. The credentials must be stored in the Application.cfcfile.

An integration of ColdFusion with Microsoft SharePoint encompasses SSO, platform applications, Web Parts, SharePoint services along with the cfsharepoint tag. With these, the requirements of the users are catered in an effective manner while the incorporation of ColdFusion as an important part of an enterprise is also realized. The integration increases the power and productivity of the platform to great heights. Thus, seen from all respects, the merging of the two popular and prominent web application development platforms is of immense use for the experienced developers as well as that for the enterprises.

We provide Coldfusion Sharepoint Integration services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our expert certified sharepoint developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.