Tag Archives: sharepoint deployment planning services

The Importance of SharePoint Software Development in the Marketing Technology Today

Microsoft launched SharePoint in 2001 as a rapid web application development platform. But within a decade, it is being used by enterprises for various purposes. Many companies even use SharePoint to manage their content, documents and records. A number of survey results have further highlighted that the platform is being used widely by companies across the world to build intranet. The innovative features offered by SharePoint 2013 also make it easier for businesses to constantly collaborate and communicate with both external parties and internal departments.

Custom SharePoint developmentThe quick and hassle-free sharing of documents, images and content further helps the marketing teams in boosting sales, and beating competition. At the same time, an enterprise also has option to build a customized SharePoint intranet site to enable members of its sales teams to access the latest information, images and videos on the go. If you are yet to migrate to SharePoint 2013, it is time to understand the significance of the platform in latest marketing technologies.

Why Invest in SharePoint Intranet Solution for Your Marketing Team?

Hassle-Free Communication and Collaboration
The SharePoint intranet will allow you business to store marketing brochures and similar collateral in a PDF or Microsoft Word format. The data can further be tagged and classified according to your marketing strategy. So the members of your marketing team can access the most updated and relevant data without putting any extra time and effort. You can further use the versioning feature for documents to ensure that your employees are accessing the most updated version of marketing collaboration. The quick and hassle-free collaboration will contribute towards optimizing the performance of your sales team.

Better Control over Marketing Images
Most marketing campaigns, nowadays, use images to attract and engage the prospects. But each member of the sales team must know the approved marketing images. As SharePoint allows you to store the images at a centralized location, the library can be accessed by each employee, along with acting as an archive for old marketing images. The accessibility with further help you marketing department to exercise a greater control over the images that will be used as part of the ongoing marketing campaign.

Easy to Share New Marketing Videos
Similar to images, videos are also an integral part of marketing campaigns. Some of the video clips can be used to promote products or services offered by the company, whereas others will convey important information to the employees. SharePoint allows you to add new marketing videos by using the Media Web Part feature. You can simply post the latest video on the home page of the intranet, and the video clip will be accessible to all employees in an instant. The feature can also be used to display both audio and video clips on the various pages of the site.

Find Required Information Quickly
Microsoft has further designed the latest version of SharePoint with an advanced search center. The feature enables users to find the most relevant information on a topic in a simpler and faster way. The search results will be displayed according to the relevance of words in the search term entered by the user. Further, the search center is designed with a refinement pant that allows users to restrict the search results by choosing from the links appearing in the panel. At the same time, SharePoint further enables enterprises to promote the expected results through features like Keywords and Best Bets. These features will help you in allowing sales team members to access the most relevant information according to their individual contribution and expertise.

SharePoint 2013 also comes with a set of innovative features that enable the members of a distributed sales team to stay connected with each other. The members of your marketing team can use the instant messaging and online chat option to find the members of their group who are currently online. So they can discuss various aspects of a sales deal in an instant.

Custom SharePoint development teams can help you build projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.

We provide SharePoint bespoke development 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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Gartner Calls Sharepoint an “Evolutionary Dead End” that “No One Likes Using”

As per the views of Jeffrey Mann, a Gartner analyst, Microsoft should soon do away with SharePoint and companies that are largely dependent on the platform should actually consider a more cloud-based future. The Gartner analyst also said that though a majority of the companies make use of SharePoint, they do not quite like it. SP is also less functional and less useful in many respects. Moreover, it does not facilitate smooth content migration and requires greater amount of online management.

SharePoint migration servicesWith SharePoint being customized in most organizations, it also appears to be excessively big and complex. Certain businesses are also making use of older versions of this web application development platform. With regards to the question of whether to move to cloud or move out of it, Mann says that Microsoft should essentially move SP to the cloud by means of killing its current form.

The enterprise social networking platform, on the other hand, comes up as a hope for Microsoft, as both of these compliment each other in multiple ways. SP, on becoming more cloud- based, will have a strong influence by Yammer.

However, the problems regarding the on-premise deployment of SP, slower arrival of upgrades, lower functionality will remain the same. Hence, a cloud- based solution is considered more beneficial for the large-sized organizations. In fact, Mann advises the technologists to start developing plans for post- SharePoint scenario.

Reasons behind People Disliking SharePoint

While Gartner declares SharePoint to be an evolutionary dead end, there are quite a few reasons behind people hating SP. Surveys conducted at different points of time also point out to negative sentiments. Here is an overview of some of the causes behind this dislike:

It Takes Too Long a Time to be Deployed

One major problem with SP is that the deployment process is quite elaborate and time- consuming. Presence of technical difficulties often make it rather impossible to get done with the deployment process within the allotted time. An unnecessary delay is certainly undesirable because it compels organizations to lose valuable time and resources.

SP Requires Assistance of Third-Party Tools

Enterprises realize that SharePoint cannot be used “out-of-the-box”. Augmentation of the platform for the purpose of fulfilling the specific business requirements is nearly impossible without the use of the third-party tools. Governance is perhaps the biggest technical issue when it comes to the implementation of the development platform. Managing the metadata and taxonomies is equally difficult. It is for these reasons that 50% of organizations are planning heavily on having the third-party add-on products.

SharePoint Promises to Handle Too Many Tasks

SP has always been promoted and marketed as a solution to several problems and issues. Now, whether it is document management, corporate intranet, project management, wiki or blog, SharePoint promises to handle it all. Consequently, the end result is often far from being satisfactory.

User Experience is Nothing Satisfactory

It has been revealed by certain surveys that users are not really happy using SharePoint. Individuals who find it difficult to handle this particular platform prefer going back to the original business process for smooth operations and better accomplishment of projects.

Lesser Mobile Device Access to SharePoint

SharePoint’s mobile device access is slow and ineffective. The dissatisfaction about the matter has been expressed by many users. The issue automatically prevents the users from staying updated and productive, no matter where they are.

How to Lead to Successful SP Implementation and User Experience?

In spite of the many difficulties associated with SharePoint, the platform is actually of several benefits. Here is a list of tips and strategies, following which SP can be made more acceptable.

  • A well-defined deployment process should be planned beforehand. This plan should also consider the needs of the business users apart from that of the tech savvy ones.
  • The project must focus on business solutions. For instance, it should take into account the ease with which SP can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Integrating SP into the everyday work flow of a business user is also essential.

Apart from the above-mentioned strategies, one can also go by Jeffrey Mann’s advice, that is to use the third party tools to cover up for the deficiencies of SharePoint.

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

SharePoint 2013 Development: Solutions vs. Apps

Microsoft launches each new version of SharePoint 2013 with innovative features and broader capabilities. The latest version of SharePoint comes with a set of advanced features that enable developers to build apps with additional features and functionality. Microsoft also recommends all developers to build SharePoint Apps. However, the enterprises still have option to build conventional SharePoint solutions. So it becomes important for enterprises to decide the pros and cons of both SharePoint apps and solutions. At the same time, they also need to understand some of the key differences between these two to take the right decision.

SharePoint 2013 Development: Solutions vs. Apps

SharePoint deployment planning servicesExecution of Code: The SharePoint apps run completely outside the SharePoint server. Further, the custom code is executed on a non-SharePoint server or the client browser. However, a business has options to pick from three types of apps, i.e., SharePoint-hosted, provider-hosted and auto-hosted. The SharePoint –hosted apps can run within the framework without any external dependencies. But the provider-hosted apps are designed with a single or multiple SharePoint components. Similar to the provider-hosted apps, the auto-hosted apps are also designed with external business logic and data storage. When these apps package is installed, a user can avail both website and database.

Enhanced Stability and Capability: As the apps run outside SharePoint server, these are effective in providing enhanced stability, performance and compatibility. A business can easily switch to a more advanced version of SharePoint as the apps are testing platform independent. At the same time, the apps can communicate with SharePoint through CSOM, ODATA and REST API. Microsoft has optimized these features to enable developers to build custom SharePoint apps without using the server-side API.

Easy to Deploy and Reuse: Microsoft has further made it easier and simpler for developers to install and upgrade the SharePoint apps. The simple configuration will further encourage many developers to switch to Sharepoint application development. At the same time, the apps can also be reused, packaged and marketed through a Public Marketplace or Corporate. The options make it easier for end-users to buy apps that can run on-premise and cloud environments, while complementing their specific needs.

Support for Server-Side Code: Unlike SharePoint solutions, the apps do not support server-side code. So the programmers have to build a solution to implement a new functionality by writing server-side code. Further, the code cannot be stored on the SharePoint farm as part of the app. The server-side code needs to be hosted on premises or in the cloud. On the other hand, the SharePoint app enables enterprises to promote a custom functionality by targeting relevant users. That is why; the solutions will be still used as part of robust SharePoint apps.

Custom Functionality: SharePoint allows enterprises to manage a variety of documents and content store on their intranet and on the web. The customized SharePoint solutions are used widely by businesses to manage their online and offline content. But Microsoft recommends enterprises to build apps to create a custom functionality as a sandboxed solution in SharePoint 2010. Further, the apps can also be used in SharePoint Online. On the other hand, the SharePoint solutions will be effective only in local and on-premise environments.

Adding User-Centric Functionality to SharePoint: In comparison to SharePoint solutions, the apps are more effective in adding user-centric functionality to SharePoint. The apps can also be used as a medium to implement functionalities according to the specific needs of an enterprise. These custom-functionalities further extend the internal functionality like Event Handler or Timer Job of SharePoint solutions. Also, the apps are effective in creating custom-functionality to make SharePoint more user-friendly.

As a business has option to choose from SharePoint apps and solutions, it is always important to do a cost-benefit analysis. A company can further determine its exact needs before comparing these two options. However, an enterprise can always switch to SharePoint apps to avail a number of advantages, while meeting the latest trends technology.

We provide SharePoint site migration and SharePoint deployment planning services. If you would like to speak to our 100% SharePoint certified team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Setting up a social strategy for SharePoint? Here are tips to get started

With the launch of SharePoint 2013 by Microsoft, social business became the talk of the day, with SP gradually moving towards becoming a company’s social hub. Last year, Microsoft acquired Yammer, and is planning to tie up the same with SharePoint as well as other wares of Microsoft ranging from Dynamics to SkyDrive. My Sites along with Community sites have been introduced by SharePoint 2013, and these aid in internal business collaboration by providing a social interface. These are also designed to make use of the security as well as other enterprise or business management features that SharePoint has. This implies a genuine extension of collaboration among partners and work-groups.

SharePoint site migrationAccording to R.Wang, leading social business analyst, going social might close the gap between execution and strategy, measurement and execution, as well as strategy and measurement. Organizations understand that SP might be a platform for integration of these technologies thereby bringing in innovation, provided there is a proper plan and strategy for social business.

Let us discuss briefly about three of the major social aspects of SharePoint 2013, namely My Sites, Community Sites as well as the new Newsfeed. All of these distinguish SP from its predecessors and make upgradation a forward-thinking smart decision.

Community Sites
Creating a new Community Site has become very convenient. You simply need to select Community Site from the list within SharePoint available for Collaboration site templates. As per the community’s business role, site owners can go for selection of four permission levels:

  • Private: Selected members can view or go for interaction with the community.
  • Closed: Content can be read by end users but only those members receiving approved requests would be able to contribute content.
  • Open with explicit membership: Content can be read by end users, who would also be able to automatically join the community for contributing content.
  • Open: Content can be contributed by anybody.

Like other SharePoint subsites, the Community Site template would be able to disinherit or inherit permissions from its parent site. The fundamental permissions as well as security constructs remain similar. Community Sites just build on this construct utilizing the permission levels. In spite of the presence of this architecture, it is always considered a better practice to make use of unique permissions for management of community membership. It is essential for organizations making use of communities at the site level to become well-versed with this setup. Moreover, community moderators can gain access to features such as offensive content reporting or alerts which enable them to follow discussions more effectively.

My Sites
My Sites is capable of giving users exactly what their requirement is- rapid access to their things. Presently a user is able to follow people, documents or sites. This ‘follow’ mechanism helps in the automatic creation of lists which are rendered in the user’s My Site, both on the Newsfeed page and also on the My Sites homepage.

Moreover, with the help of My Sites, a user is capable of having one click access to the sites he or she follows. It also recommends other sites the user might find interesting or useful, based on a number of criteria.

Newsfeed
Newsfeeds refer to content that is dynamically updated and generated through the activities indulged in by fellow users. These incorporate the currently omnipresent hashtags as well as ‘@ mentions’, and resemble Facebook or Twitter feeds closely. Unlike the case of external social networks, organizations are able to exercise some amount of control over the activities that would be appearing across the Newsfeed from the User Profile Service Application. On the Newsfeed Settings screen, there are provisions for a user to have considerable control over e-mail notifications, hash-tags, and so on.

It is true that in order to make use of these tools, the enterprise architecture does incur some cost such as licensing costs, software and hardware considerations, along with architecture to render support to redundancy as well as performance. But the benefits are indeed far-fetched. Leveraging the social features present in SharePoint development platform with the proper strategy can help organizations effectively manage their social business interaction while at the same time safeguarding intellectual property and content.

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

Office 365 SharePoint Online File Migration Tool – A detailed overview

SharePoint online migration is not something that can be easily achieved; rather, it engages careful planning for successful execution of the same. The reason is simple, you need to deal with a huge volume of important data and no sort of downtime is usually tolerated by an organization. Therefore, the biggest question that crops up in such situation is how to avoid the risk of losing any data ensuring an exact move of just the elements you need alongside involving minimum time possible reducing the impact upon the users along with the systems?

Top companies in SharePointWell, the solution rests with an online file migration tool. This particular tool is an online adaptation of the SharePoint server based on the new as well as latest technology of SaaS (Software As a Service). Migrating might come across as an expensive alongside a complex task, but with little software investment, you can actually get working smoothly. The tool allows you to experience a hassle free migration of Exchange to Office 365 SharePoint, Lotus Notes to Office 365 SharePoint Online, and File System to Office 365 SharePoint.

Exploring the World of Effortless Office 365 Migration
Migrating SharePoint Online is sure to come across as an effortless solution as the migrating software is not only reliable, but also fail – safe. This particular tool or software has been developed following a process of intensive testing. It has been passed fail-safe following strict rounds of analysis by expert developers and quality analysts. Therefore, there hardly stands any chance of the software going wrong during the process of executing a successful migration.

Whether the need is focused on migration of File System, Public Folder, or Lotus Notes to Office 365, you can do it all with the help of this versatile tool. After all, the task of manually copying files from multiple resources like file servers, network shares, and network drives to SharePoint Online is a challenging task. The task, especially gets difficult when there are several things to migrate as it not only gets time consuming, but also prone to errors.

A single error in the copy can interrupt as well as restrict the flow of entire switch. Additionally, you also need to keep in mind the several characters alongside the file types that SharePoint Online tends to decline at a go. A proper migrating tool helps solve all such difficulties as well as the issues that are usually faced while migrating manually. Usually, the software stands in compliance to the standards of naming a file in SharePoint Online and therefore helps save both your time as well as effort during migration.

A Look at the Features

Here is a quick look at the features that make the file migration tool stand apart from the rest alternatives as well as choices in respect to SharePoint Online:

  • Compatible with Midsize Business, Small Business, Education, and Enterprise plans
  • Allows automatic rename of files featuring characters that are usually denied
  • Flexible to all sorts of network interruptions that crop up for temporary period
  • Enables automatic zip of files featuring file extensions that are rejected
  • Helps in the identification of files featuring big file sizes and file paths that are too lengthy
  • Facilitates the copy of only changed files when the migration is resumed again
  • Keeps a track of the original date of modification of the files
  • Provides a complete and comprehensive audit trail of every migrated file
  • Handles documents check-ins and checkouts automatically for libraries requiring the same
  • Allows automatic re-authentication for migrations that are lengthy

The file migration tool is sure to help you leverage your business growth instantly. Prior to investing in the software, you can run a demo and see whether it suits your business approach perfectly. To ensure successful migration, you can invest in the complete software and experience better business.

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

We provide SharePoint 2010 development services. If you would like to talk to one of our certified SharePoint programmers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

10 Mistakes to avoid while migrating from PHP to SharePoint

In recent times, there has been a rapid rise in the use of SharePoint (SP) and a number of enterprises are considering migration from PHP to SP. While there is of course huge amount of benefits associated with staying put with Open-Source PHP, SharePoint being a Microsoft supported platform comes high on security and other benefits as well. Weighing in on the pros and cons of both, there are migrations happening both ways – while some businesses are changing from SharePoint to PHP, other are going the Microsoft way.

Custom SharePoint developmentCustom SharePoint development ensures that your enterprise’s collaboration efforts hit the roof while redundancies in processes are eliminated. And that often attracts businesses to migrate to SharePoint. The challenge lies in ensuring that SharePoint is appropriately implemented within the environment. It is true that the document management system can be conveniently installed as well as configured. However a number of organizations tend to make certain mistakes while migrating from PHP to SharePoint.

Let us have a look at 10 mistakes which should be avoided.

1. Choosing the basic installation for SharePoint: During installation of SP many organizations are into the habit of going for the basic install option. Although the basic version can be installed with simply a few clicks of the mouse, the advanced option is always better, so far as enterprises are concerned. It is advisable to choose the advanced option if you are not interested in installing everything on a single server or want to utilize complete SQL server, either existing or new.

2. Ignoring Fault tolerance: While migrating from PHP to SharePoint, a number of enterprises commit the mistake of considering that load balancing or greatly obtainable environments are meant for performance. The truth is that most of the times, fault tolerance is a greater priority and the actual reason behind leveraging load balancing, or any other highly available solution such as RAID. The configuration of an environment with high availability is not feasible with the basic installation.

3. Inappropriate utilization of permissions and service accounts: Like a lot of other server-oriented tools, SP has to interact with the server on which it is installed as well as the services surrounding it. As a result, service accounts are required, which are in fact, special identities used for communication with crawl content, SQL server, add index information across the file system, amongst various other functions. Many organizations make the mistake of going for generic server accounts, which is not at all recommended. In place of this, distinct domain accounts are required for every primary SP service.

4. Iterating by means of SPList Items: Developers have access to SPList object and are capable of using the same either from the existing SPContext or through creation of a SPList object to gain access to a list identified through its name. Although the used code is good for local environments, it leads to performance problems in case of custom SharePoint implementations.

5. Excessive data request from content database: With the help of the SPList object, data can be conveniently accessed from the Content Database. The problem is that every time this action is taken, it leads to requesting all the list items. Using SPQuery object, the data that is really needed can be queried. SPQuery facilitates putting a limitation on the number of returned items and columns as well as raising query for particular items through utilization of Collaborative Markup Language.

6. Memory leaks through SPWeb and SPSite: For those considering migration from PHP to SharePoint, it should be remembered that SharePoint makes use of COM components for certain core features. So far as COM Objects are concerned, memory management can be an issue. SharePoint installations often do not dispose SPWeb and SPSite objects and hence the ASP.NET Worker Process ends up leaking memory. So, it is advisable to monitor the memory usage to identify memory leaks.

7. Use of Index Columns for Performance Enhancement: Index Columns can offer speedy access to SharePoint Lists but there are certain limitations. With respect to every defined index, the index value is stored by SP for each list item in a distinct table. Queries utilize the first index column while additional index columns are not utilized for speeding up database access.

8. Using SP for transactional processing of great volume: It is a good thing that SharePoint does not bound you to the content database, but you should not use it for high volumes of transactional processing. A single table stores every data element. Implementation of database indices takes place through use of a second table which is then attached with the main table. Simultaneous access to different lists becomes an issue since the data belongs to the same table.

9. Inappropriate drive space allocation: The SharePoint installation procedure puts location of custom solutions, indexes, software and logs across the primary system drive, which is most of the times, the C drive. However, in a number of organizations, the C drive is partitioned into smaller components for the OS files. Consequently, space can rapidly run out.

10. Not focusing on disaster recovery situations: While engaging in migration from PHP to SharePoint, many organizations tend to disregard the disaster recovery continuity plans. SP is more intricate than other database driven portals. Hence, the architecture should be understood and accordingly plans should be made for reconstituting the environment.

These are the mistakes that are committed most often by organizations while migration from PHP to SharePoint. Avoiding these mistakes will save time and reduce the possibility of future issues.

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