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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.

Design Manager in SharePoint 2013 Designer – A Detailed Introduction

Understanding the Design Manager
Design Manager is primarily meant to help the users of SharePoint create custom designs and achieve the respective goals if they want SharePoint 2013 to represent the brand of the organization. It comes up as a particular feature in SP 2013, paving the way for a completely customized, pixel-perfect outcome using the familiar web designing tools. As a publishing feature, it is available in the publishing sites in both Office 365 and SP server 2013.

This extremely useful feature allows the creation of visual design for websites using the web designing tools and HTML editor. Only HTML and CSS can be used after which the design has to be uploaded into SP. Basically, it enables management of each aspect of a custom design.

So, designers using this excellent feature will have to precisely undertake the following activities:

  • Grasping and understanding the main SP design concepts
  • Creating a mock-up of the design in CSS and HTML
  • Implementing the same utilizing the Design Manager feature

SharePoint 2013 developmentImplementing a Design by Means of the Design Manager
It is essential for the SharePoint 2013 users to be aware of the usage of the feature in implementing designs. On looking at the feature, one gets to see a series of links representing the high-level tasks to be performed. Following is a step-by-step sequence in which the task of implementing a design is executed with success:

Prior to Making Use of Design Manager
Even before you start using the feature, you have to create an individual design or use a ready-made website template. While mocking up the sites in HTML and CSS, you will come across certain HTML files implementing designs for the particular way in which you want the different pages to appear. You also need to take the necessary SharePoint permissions, more particularly, you have to be at the Designer permission level to use the feature.

Management of Device Channels
Before starting right away with the task of designing your site exploiting this essential feature, you need to take into account the specific devices to be targeted and the kind of user experience on each of them. Once you have considered the specific device channels, it is time to use multiple ways in rendering a single publishing site by means of mapping varying designs to equally varying devices.

Now, the device channels, which are created as well as stored in the SP list, have ranking and therefore, the order of the same also matters. The inclusion rules are also processed accordingly.

Uploading the Designed Files
Once the designing is done, the designer can use any HTML editor of his preference and work with files locally on the specific computer. However, these files need to be uploaded to the Master Page Gallery of the SP site so as to enable the feature to convert, preview and at the same time, polish the already created design.

The best- possible way to upload as well as continue working on these files is by mapping a drive on the computer to the Master Page gallery of the SP site. This paves the way for a folder on the computer to be connected to the Master Page Gallery. The result is that one can work on files that are present on the server in SP 2013 provided that they are local files.

Editing the Master Pages
The next task is to create a fully branded master page containing all of the functionality of SharePoint that one wants. The steps through which the editing is done are:

  • Conversion of HTML file into a SP master page
  • Previewing the master page while also facilitating fixing of the possible issues
  • Addition of the SP snippets to the master page

Editing Display Templates
In the event of using the on-premises installation of the SharePoint server, one has the option of using the Content Search Web Part along with a few other search- driven web parts. This helps in the display of the results of the search queries as content on the pages. Now, the search-driven web parts make use of the display templates for two main purposes. These are firstly to map managed properties returned in the search result items to properties that are available for JavaScript. This includes any custom JavaScript that one chooses to implement. The second purpose is to make use of CSS and HTML to find out how these properties are displayed.

Editing Page Layouts
The process involving the creation of page layout in Design Manner is somewhat different from that of creating a master page. First, a page layout needs to be made using the .aspx file and HTML file. Following this, the associated HTML file has to be edited from the mapped drive in the HTML editor. The feature ensures that the page layout is created in a manner that the correct set of page fields get added to the page layout.

Apart from the above-mentioned steps, creating themes and composed looks, publishing and applying the designs and creation of the package of the same are the final steps to be taken when it comes to using Design Manager in SharePoint 2013 development projects.

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.

Getting Started Developing for SharePoint 2010?

The process of developing for SharePoint is naturally quite elaborate and encompasses several steps. In order to have a complete overview of the development on this much popular and preferred web application platform, it is good to go step-by-step and accordingly, begin with a conceptual overview of the SharePoint foundation.

Understanding SharePoint Foundation

SharePoint bespoke developmentThe application of Microsoft SP Foundation is built on top of the Microsoft ASP.NET framework and the Internet Information Services. Server Farm, which is basically a set of servers running the various components of SharePoint Foundation, also comprises more than one front-end web servers along with Microsoft SQL server database servers. Every farm has an individual configuration database consisting of information about the front-end web servers in the administrators of the farm. Each content including that of the user information, on the other hand, is stored in the content database while the server farms too have multiple content databases.

Choosing the Best-Suited SharePoint API

Microsoft SP comes with three different types of APIs and the next question that arises with regards to the development on this platform is which of the APIs to be used. Here is an overview of the three kinds along with their advantages and limitations.

  • Server-Side Object Model

To begin with, there is the server-side object model coming up with a wide range of options for extending the capabilities of SP 2010. The good part of this is that it has all APIs that are documented in the SP 2010 Class Libraries and Web Service References section of the MS SP 2010 software development kit.

  • Client Object Model

The client object model allows for integration of SharePoint 2010 capabilities into script. This can be executed in the browser or code, in a .NET framework managed application or in a Microsoft Silverlight application. The APIs in this particular model act as wrappers around a customized web service, dispatching the calls to the server- side object model.

  • SharePoint 2010 Web Services

The SP 2010 web services pave the way for an integration of the SP capabilities into a code that runs in a client- side or server-side applications remotely. This specific variety offers a limited set of REST interfaces for developers, who happen to be familiar with the particular standard.

Glide Path for ASP.NET Developers

This area concerns the use of SharePoint Foundation as an ASP.NET application. Developers must be aware of the manner in which development differs with respect to ASP.NET and SharePoint. The areas that need to be taken into account are mobile adapter development, modification of Web.config files, page development as well as user and group authorization.

SharePoint Foundation Development Tools

Several tools are implemented when it comes to developing solutions for this remarkable web application development platform. These tools can accordingly be customized to maximize the efficiency of the developer and lead to a better outcome. The setting up of the development environment for SP 2010 on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is an essential consideration. At the same time, one must also be informed about the usage of visual studio and SharePoint designer for SP development.

Important SharePoint Programming Tasks

A number of SharePoint programming tasks are taken up as a part of the process of developing for SP 2010. Following are some of these tasks:

  • Conversion of date as well as time values
  • Description of forms of URL strings
  • Addition or deleting of list items
  • Returning items from a list
  • Registering as well as Importing of Namespaces
  • Security validation and making of posts to update data

Knowing about the Best Practices

When it comes to development on the highly advanced platform of SP 2010, understanding the best practices is essential to ensure perfect execution of the task. Some of the best practices include the following:

  • Avoidance of the suspended impersonation of the calling user
  • Avoidance of unnecessary construction of SPWeb and SPSite objects
  • Disposal of objects
  • Restrictions on file naming
  • Techniques of object caching
  • Optimizing of the code performance

The above-mentioned steps offer an overview of how the development process can take place in a smooth manner. If you were to attempt a SharePoint site migration project, understanding of these best practices would ensure a successful migration.

We provide SharePoint bespoke development services. If you would like to know more about the expertise of our SharePoint programmers, 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.