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Best Practices for SharePoint security, privacy and compliance

Huge amount of content is being generated by organizations everyday and with cloud solutions, enterprise social collaboration as well as mobile access, new ways are being adopted by employees for information sharing. This is leading to continuous expansion of the ways of collaboration. Most organizations use Microsoft SharePoint as a corporate information hub with the content coming from external clients and partners as well as internal employees. This may result in risks entering the organization such as malware getting in to the enterprise, regulatory compliance issues cropping up as well as sensitive information getting exposed unintentionally. This makes it essential to secure the system properly so that you protect sensitive information from getting out. Here are some practices that help improve SharePoint security.

custom sharepoint developmentAssigning users to groups- This is a practice that should always be adopted. Through assignment to SharePoint groups, the capability of a particular user may be predicted without their security profile getting audited. While using Active Directory, hybrid should be used in conjunction and then SharePoint groups created. AD groups should then be assigned to the apt group.

Need-to-know assignments- People should only be assigned to sites where the access is mandatory. Only if somebody can demonstrate the need for accessing a site, then they must be assigned to a group which is associated with accessing the needed sites. In most scenarios, if the purpose behind a user’s presence in contributor groups cannot be justified, then they should not be allowed on the site in the first place.

Site inheritance should not be broken at object level- There can be a lot of frustration as well as confusion if permissions are broken at the object level. A user should be assigned to proper security group; then they must be left alone. If the list or library contains sensitive data then a child site must be created and accordingly group permissions assigned.

Refrain from assigning document level permissions as far as possible- Assignment of permissions at the very document level can turn out to be a maintenance nightmare. If the need arises, then additional sites or libraries must be created before breaking a list or library’s security. Permissions may be broken but it may turn out to be a fatal decision.

Monitoring content- You should monitor the content both on schedule as well as in real time by using automated processes that are rule-based, in a way that will provide protection to the information in a systematic way. The content must also be classified by the use of related metadata where metadata may be added by the authors but the controls of allowing user’s classification being overridden, is with the system.

Audits and scans- To check the level of compliance, ongoing audits must be performed as well as scheduled scans run regularly for SharePoint sites.

Risk evaluation- Risk must be evaluated according to the organization’s logic for providing multiple perspectives related to potential risk to data transport as well as delivery.

Measuring progress- Over time, progress must be measured so that priority is demonstrated, along with the triumphs of compliance initiatives; accordingly modifications should be made wherever necessary.

Prioritizing areas for improvement- Areas that need improvement must be prioritized and accordingly concerns as well as issues should be addressed. For that you should work in close association with content authors as well as stakeholders.

Linking compliance improvements- Compliance improvements must be linked to migration programs. For example, before migrating to SharePoint, scan data should be run on file shares. It should also be remembered that new initiatives need compliance.

Implementation of proper monitoring ensures that your information stays safe. However, the security problem is not simply a SharePoint-specific problem and may be said to be a universal problem for all content, no matter where it resides. But proper planning along with the correct technology may help you address this concern.

You can hire developers from top custom sharepoint development companies in India who can help you build your projects within allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide sharepoint application development services. If you would like to know more about the experience of our sharepoint 2010 development experts, please get in touch with Mindfire Solutions.

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Top 5 SharePoint Collaboration App for Android

SharePoint wildly popular as an enterprise platform for many reasons such as integrates meta data stores, document repositories and successful social enterprise deployments.

According to IT survey on enterprise collaboration, last year it was found that 73% of its respondents were using SharePoint for their business apps. And slowly it gained success as a new collaboration and knowledge sharing platform. SharePoint 2010 SharePoint 2010 lacked mobile support, hence SharePoint 2013 came to picture with new enhancements and customized features. Finally SharePoint 2013 has finally gone mobile supporting varied screen sizes with different kind of gadgets.

sharepoint development servicesSome of the new unique features makes SharePoint all the more interesting and useful for creating best business apps:

Mobile Browser Experience
SharePoint provides different browsing options depending on the usage of the mobile browsers they can be called as Contemporary View, Classic View, the and Full Screen UI. The Contemporary View is new to SharePoint 2013. This view renders beautifully in HTML5 and is made available to the newest mobile browsers such as iPhone’s Safari 4.0+, Mobile IE9.0+ and Android 4.0+. It is a clean view with the goal of providing quick access to document libraries, lists and other common SharePoint content. The Classic View gives backward compatibility for older mobile browsers. It is always meant for a specific purpose and function and it is not going to win any user design awards. The Full Screen UI deals with a full desktop view of the site shown on the mobile device.

  • Device Channels – Device Channels renders content flawlessly on different devices. SharePoint 2013 cleans up. master pages, page layouts and style sheets that can be mapped to specific mobile browsers, allowing much more control over the usability of content.
  • Push Notifications – SharePoint library fulfils the needs of every business and gets notified on mobile device when a new or changed document is posted to that list. Alert functionality was there before and even one can send an email or text. Now SharePoint 2013 takes it a step further by providing users with notifications on their mobile devices when specific activities occur on SharePoint site. This powerful tool keep users informed of key changes to SharePoint-based sites and business solutions. It can automatically push notifications to the employee who submitted the idea each time the status of that idea changes. This is a great way to keep occupied users and increase overall use of solutions.
  • Location – With the help of geolocation field type in SharePoint many numerous application can automatically log the location of a user each time they enter any information. This powerful feature of SharePoint-based applications where mobile users capture information through their smartphones is unique. Bing Maps helps to display this exact location information.

SharePoint 2013 and the Office Web Apps Server work together better than ever before to provide a higher quality experience for users who interact with documents on their phones. This covers Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and the viewer for these documents is now optimized for phones. Microsoft continues to enhance this experience, since viewing and editing documents on our mobiles devices is becoming much more common.

Top 5 SharePoint Collaboration Apps

SharePlus
It offers secure SharePoint browsing from anywhere. The app supports all Content Types and there’s native support for Office files. To ease collaboration, one can share documents via email or send a link. Collaborate with team, sharing documents and tasks lists right from the meeting room, a taxi, or when out visiting a client. Browse documents, discussions, announcements, wiki pages and custom lists.

Filamente
Filamente is a SharePoint client for iOS from Aircreek. It gives users a touchscreen optimized interface for SharePoint, the ability to upload files from a mobile device and offline access to resources.

Forms Central
Formotus offers a SharePoint client for Android, iOS and Windows Mobile called Forms Central. Like Filamente, it provides offline access to SharePoint data. It’s free to download, but requires a subscription.

DocAve
DocAve is a management platform for SharePoint created by a company called AvePoint. It consists of a suite of products to enable integration, document migration and data management. These products can be purchased as a suite, or individually. Free trials are also available to download from the official AvePoint website.

Quick Apps for SharePoint
This application is created by Dell and is available to download directly from their website. It is a great app for smaller businesses because it allows quick and easy customization of SharePoint, without the need for large IT departments. It is also quicker and faster than making custom code changes.

Huddle
This is the best cloud collaboration tools, designed with ease and efficiency kept in mind, with millions using it for content management and enterprise collaboration. Small, mid and big businesses can easily manage and exchange information or projects with others. It also allows to track milestones, project deadlines, view late projects, completed tasks, making collaboration effective and easy. In addition, unlike the on-premise SharePoint, it supports several mobile applications such as Android, iPad, BlackBerry and iPhone.

SharePoint is one of the most versatile business software applications available on the IT web market. Its popularity over the years has dramatically increased because of the systems flexibility and the abundance of professional apps that can be integrated into the platform with little time and effort required and supported almost all browsers and electronic gadgets.

You can hire developers from top custom sharepoint development companies in India who can help you build your projects within allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide sharepoint development services. If you would like to know more about our sharepoint site branding experts, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

Why hire experienced SharePoint consultants?

When it comes to getting quality service, it always depends upon hiring an experienced and competent SharePoint (SP) Consultant. However, if you are to know in what way does the hiring affect a business, you need to know what role does such a consultant play in a particular business. Hence let us first know who is a SharePoint Consultant. However, prior to that, it is perhaps necessary as well to know what is actually SharePoint.

sharepoint webparts developmentIt is a particular type of proprietary platform of web application prepared by Microsoft which can easily take care of the common web based needs of any business organization in the most cost effective and versatile way. This web application is integrated with the suit tools of MS Office and is extremely handy when it comes to offering users with interface similar to that of MS Office.

Now coming to SP Consultants, they are the ones who take care of various problems pertaining to a particular business. Naturally, it can well be stated at this juncture that when it comes to getting intricate business issues or problems solved or getting quality services, hiring a competent and experienced SP consultant makes all the difference. This article discusses in fairly great details why it is so important to hire an experienced consulting professional for enjoying quality services.

Content Management
An able consulting professional would come in handy for effective content management. SharePoint is a platform which comes with an effective Content Management System, social capabilities along with some really advanced search options. Such a professional would always help to make content management extremely easier, free of hassles and quick for the users. It will also help giving productivity along with information value, a shot in the arm with the help of some simple document, records, high end media, centralized platform, web content management.

Managing the Community
An experienced consultant would also help in getting the very best tools for collaboration – a fact that would enable one to share ideas, locate various information related to the business, locate people along with expertise that are needed to run a business rather seamlessly. Besides, it also becomes easier to personalize the experience of the user along with the multi lingual support and tools used for user tagging.

Managing Websites
The expertise of these consultants also helps the users in changing or modifying the contents of a page without any effort whatsoever. They also help in applying newer themes, designs and removing/adding various interaction.

So in a nutshell, the work of a SP Consultant covers the following areas:

  • SharePoint Collaboration, customization as well as consulting
  • Development and synchronization of various business processes, solutions and parameters
  • Providing a number of application features
  • Explaining SP Migration application features
  • Effective creation of records through integration services
  • SP Deployment Planning Services or SDPS
  • Branding of SharePoint Sites
  • Development of SharePoint Web as well as Portal
  • Management of SP Enterprise Contents
  • SP Enterprise Portals as well as Business Intelligence
  • SP Installer applications
  • Reporting service of SP SQL
  • Testing as well as providing technical support for SharePoint

Therefore, through a process of hiring experienced consultants, companies can enjoy a lot of added advantages that come in the form of recognizing those features that helps in decreasing the developmental costs, improving the efficiency or output of the business, and the likes. SharePoint solution is perhaps the best and the most economic way of sharing documents or information.

Hence, seeking the help of an experienced consultant is definitely the best decision that can be taken by a business owner. This makes these professionals extremely adorable in the business circle. These professionals are generally paid high remuneration for the services they provide.

You can hire developers from top sharepoint development companies in India who can help you build your projects within allocated budget and time schedules.

We provide sharepoint webparts development services. If you would like to know more about our custom sharepoint development team, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.

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.

The Problem with Leveraging SharePoint Records Management Services in Office365

The big question is, considering Office 365, where is Records Management fitting in? The old news is that SharePoint 2010 RM is not registering good performance within the e-discovery space. However, this is not considered a hindrance by most organizations.

SharePoint site migrationIt is a fact that IT is capable of pulling the objects which are essential to cater to the counsels’ expectations with respect to its own SOP or standard operating procedure, which generally incorporates a third party software. E-discovery has been performed by information technology more regularly and far longer than implementation of electronic retention by RM.

Automation is great
SharePoint 2010 RM services are capable of beautifully automating records declaration. They can be deployed successfully through mapping the records retention schedule across SharePoint 2010 RM.

The content types pertaining to the series can be holistically leveraged across site collections, followed by attachment of information policies. Then the indexing services to be run at particular intervals are recalculated.

The future hazards
Off-the-shelf SharePoint 2010 RM services are being trusted by corporate records programs. In an age where Records programs are entirely suspended or drastically squeezed, this is a quite inexpensive option for automated records declaration.

Since Office 365 lacks a related Records Center template, it is possible for the program to be vulnerable. The absence of automation can damage the program’s reputation. In case automated records declaration is leveraged in SharePoint also, the same might as well be in trouble.

What are the choices?
The necessities of the information architecture going beyond records policy amount to a textbook dilemma. Considering the case of information professionals, the design choice comes up with potentially long-term as well as negative connotations. In case an organization has automated records declaration through SP 2010 and its department of Information Technology is looking forward to embrace cloud services, it is a difficult choice. Deconstruction can be followed by manual records declaration implementation or the services of third party experts might be sought for devising something new.

Perhaps the best option in doing nothing in this particular case. First, something or the other will ultimately break. Secondly, this is a department that thinks forwardly and hence it cannot be visualized as restricting to one particular solution due to the lack of options. Thirdly, the employee turnover happens to be so high that the future administrator tends to lose all context pertaining to the architecture. Fourthly, retention schedules are subject to change and so unraveling of the Center for reconstruction in accordance with the new schedule is an enormous concern.

Manual records retention can also be considered as an option. However, it is an inferior one:

  • In-Place RM exists till today within Office 365, although it has been reduced to a mere status symbol. A one or a zero, which implies that either the record exists or it does not. In fact, the option for management of the same from the back-end is not available with the Administrator. The good news is that interaction with the end users is possible. On the other hand, the bad news is that until and unless the C-level stresses on and communicates its requirement, end users would definitely have to time for annual review. Destruction does not take place.
  • For devising out-of-the-box manual RM services within Office 365, the best way is the creation of a Records sub-site for each site collection. In every ways, the same folders should be used as are planned for the SP 2010 Records Center. The content types may be bypassed entirely and the same information policies may be used directly behind every folder.

Those objects which are required to be declared as records can be copied from the major site collection pages to the Records sub-site’s suitable folder. Since it is the case of a copy (wherein move is not available), the metadata changes should be noted and the peer should return to the original object for deleting it.

For initiation of a solution, the help of a third party may always be solicited. On one hand, it is being demonstrated that you need a compromise. Migration to the cloud cannot be hindered. On the other hand, you wish to make use of your cordial partnership with IT very meticulously at this point. Since Records is your project, it should not go to the backseat, being assigned with cleaning up legacy data.

On the positive side
In case you are going for RM in Office 365, the positive point is that it is convenient to edit retention periods. As discussions are held with each peer for planning of their folder structures, the maps need to be edited. It should be explained why and how folders pertaining to every site collection are a component of a bigger process-oriented schedule. Moreover, site permissions need to be unraveled for rebuilding them. After all, there is once more the opportunity to describe the mission as well as the significance of the program. As your IT department gears up for handling 2014 projects, it’s a great idea to seize the moment for RM in Office 365.

If you were to attempt a SharePoint site migration project to Office365, understanding of these choices and pros and cons would ensure a successful migration.

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.