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Implementing Office 365 and Establishing a “New” File Share

We will move to the “Cloud” with Office 365 for email in early December 2013. This move will allow us to use SharePoint 2013 to automate document processes, enforce document or records policies, and create a file management system that will go far beyond what our file share provided. This change will require a clear project plan for success.

One of the goals assigned to me for 2014 is “to oversee the effective implementation of Office 365 and establishing a “new” S Drive in the Microsoft cloud.” To achieve this goal I am working on a project plan that will outline the process and include documentation and training.  The following documents will be created to support this goal.

  • A Visio diagram will visually represent the sites, libraries, and lists of the new file system
  • New standards document for governance including  taxonomy, folksonomy and metadata
  • Implementation Guide
  • Training guide
  • Guide for enforcement of the new standards (governance) will be handled.
  • Migration Plan

My company has been using SharePoint as an S drive for several years now as document storage but not as a collaboration platform. The plan is to move the current S: drive which contains 54,007 files under various folders that are no longer relevant to the current business model to a “new” file system designed so that staff can quickly find what they are looking for and to minimize frustration.

Diagram of new System — A Visio diagram will be created to visualize “new” file system before we design the new site. This will allow us to look for any issues or new features.  We will keep the initial layout simple but create a template for creation of future sites in SharePoint to stay consistent.

Implementation Guide — A Guide will be created on how we will implement the new system, which will include the set up and design.

New Standards (Governance) Document — After the new diagram is approved we will create Standards (governance) that will enforce order to the files in a scalable and flexible way.

  • Metadata will be used to group files together in views
  • Folders will be used sparingly to control permissions on groups of files within a document library
  • Folder and file-naming conventions will be based on the CTAM Style guide and industry terminology

Training Guide — Once the new system is designed and the standards are created, the staff will receive training. Staff will be required to show that they understand how to access the new file share and what the new naming conventions are before they will be allowed access to the new sites. They will also be instructed on how to migrate files over to the new system.  Librarians will be assigned to sections of the new sites to make sure the standards are followed.

Migration Plan — The final step will be the actual migration of files to the new system with scheduled follow ups. The object will be to bring current files to the new system and leave old files on the S: drive. The S Drive will still be accessible for historical use but will be read only. Retraining will be required for all staff in the months following the launch to make sure they understand the new system.

This goal will take place in phases beginning with designing the new system in December.  First quarter 2014 will be spent working on the new standards for governance of the new system. As soon as the standards are developed the implementation guide will be produced. Then the training guide will be created and training classes will be setup with staff. Finally we will migrate the files to the new system. This new system will start a new way of thinking and working for the entire organization once it is adopted.

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Commoditizing IT


Wordle: Commoditizing IT

Deploying Business Intelligence to the end user with PowerPivot

Retrieve data using queries in Microsoft SQL Server®2005 and 2008, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, Microsoft FRX, SmartList Builder software & Microsoft Excel®2010 with PowerPivot software

Deploy PowerPivot in SharePoint 2010 to give staff access to data

With PowerPivot you can create browser based Business Intelligence pages in SharePoint by uploading Excel workbooks with the PowerPivot add in using SQL queries and views to pull real time data from multiple sources including SQL Databases, Excel Workbooks and Microsoft Dynamics GP, Forecaster, Encore and your Association Management System.

Background Information

§ I love collecting code and re-using it as much as possible to save time and money and leverage SharePoint.

§ I gather views by searching the internet sites like “GPUG’s Share My Code” site, SharePoint Users groups and CodePlex.

§ I belong to several users groups including GPUG, TheSUG, AUG and FEDSPUG where I get valuable information on SharePoint tips and tricks.

§ What is a PivotTable?

§ A PivotTable report is an interactive table that automatically extracts, organizes, and summarizes data.

§ PivotTables allow you to summarize and analyze large amounts of data in excel.

§ PowerPivot allows you to connect to Tables, Views or write a query to pull data into a list from multiple sources

§ What is required to install PowerPivot for Excel?

§ Microsoft Office 2010 and the add on PowerPivot for Excel

§ What is required to deploy Excel PowerPivot reports to SharePoint?

§ SharePoint 2010 SP1, Windows®2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008, Office 2010, PowerPivot and Power View software

§ Download Powerpivot from the Microsoft site

§ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/bi/powerpivot.aspx

§ It is an Add in that self installs when you open Excel.

§ Open Excel

§ Create a new Blank Workbook

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§ Row Fields are fields from the source data that are assigned to a row layout in a PivotTable.

§ Column Fields are fields from the source data that are assigned to a column layout.

§ Report Filters are fields from the source data that act as filters in a PivotTable report

§ Items are the subcategories of a row, column, or report filter.

§ Values Fields are fields from the source data that contain values to be summarized.

§ The Data Area is the range of cells in a PivotTable report that contains summarized data.

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§ Components of PowerPivot for SharePoint

Client and server components integrate with Excel and Excel Services in a SharePoint farm.

On a SharePoint farm, Analysis Services runs on an application server where it is paired with related services that handle requests for PowerPivot data.

§ PowerPivot client and server components

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PowerPivot Web service runs on a web application server.

It redirects requests from the web application to a PowerPivot System Service instance in the farm.

An Analysis Service server instance in SharePoint integrated mode completes the deployment. It loads, queries, and unloads data.

It also processes data if the workbook is configured for PowerPivot data refresh.

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New App for the Ipad or Iphone for SharePoint access from Harmon.ie

I tested a New App for the Ipad or Iphone for SharePoint access from Harmon.ie that is now available in iTunes under harmon.ie: SharePoint Mobile Client. It is for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and it is under the category: Business.

I was looking for an easy way to access files in SharePoint from the Ipad and found the SharePoint mobile client, Harmon.ie. This app works with SharePoint Windows authentication or forms based authentication so I did not have to do anything to our environment or the Ipad to use the app other than enter the URL and then choose the authentication mode.  I was able to access our intranet through Windows authentication and then our website using a test member record with forms based authentication.

Security is an important factor in a corporate environment and Harmon.ie does not store documents locally on the mobile device which is a big plus for me with the staff using more personal devices on our corporate intranet.

We have seen a rise in members using the Ipad to access our website which requires a new way of thinking on how members consume information that we are provide through SharePoint. External users (association members) can download the free lite version  to view files uploaded for them in our committee collaboration Form-based Authentication site.  This product will make it easy for any of our members that currently have iPhones and iPads to access reports and files.

I was able to access my SharePoint sites from my IPad quickly without looking at instructions or documentation.  The interface is clean and easy to understand.

The bar across the bottom allows access to the sites, files, updates, previous locations (History) and people.

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You can check-in, check-out and update documents. It also prompts user save changes to SharePoint.  You can also mark a document and library location as favorites using “breadcrumbs” and view a list of recent visited locations from the bar at the bottom.

I was able to open document types including Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Adobe documents using quick view or quick look.  I was also surprised that I was able to open documents using the SkyDrive app on my IPad  and download using SkyDrive or drop box.

I uploaded pictures and documents from my iPad to SharePoint just by clicking on forward arrow in drop box and the harmonie option came up and allowed me to save files. I saved  e-mail attachments to SharePoint from an open email without any issues.

I am going to be setting up my sites for my members so I am looking forward to the ability to view colleagues’ profiles and contact them via e-mail or phone. This will be a nice addition to our member directory by giving members and staff the ability to find people in SharePoint by entering department, skills, expertise and other keywords.

The other nice feature is that you can see profiles of the colleague who last modified a document and get updates when documents are modified so you can easily contact the person who modified the document with one click.

The Harmon.ie app allows you to scroll through all the SharePoint content on the iPad  and quickly access any documents that you have permission in the document library. The interface for the documents allows you to quickly see all the information about a file including the modification date and user,  version, size and file type. Once you click on the file you can use the send button to email a link or the document or you can just copy the link to use in another document.  You can open the document to view with the Harmon.ie quick viewers or use one of your preinstalled iPad apps that works with the different file types. The files can also be checked out if you want to prevent other users from changing the file while you are working on it.

I have been using the Harmon.ie add in for Outlook which has allowed me to add meta data quickly to multiple files from outlook so I am looking forward to using this app on the iPad for the times that I am out of the office and need to quickly get to a file on the intranet or workspace.

I would definitely recommend downloading this app and trying it out.

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What SharePoint is where I work:

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Facebook adds Skype-Powered Video calling

Facebook announced a new feature on Facebook using Skype for video calling your Facebook friends.  This feature looks like the Microsoft Lync / OCS that I use in the office to communicate with my co-workers. Maybe Facebook will let you share desktops like you can in live meeting.

One problem with the new service is that you cannot call People on Skype even if you have Skype software loaded on your computer. Facebook video calling is strictly Facebook friend to Facebook friend. And you can’t call Facebook members who are not your friends.

During the announcement, Mark Zuckerburg  talked about how people are willing to share more now and how apps are going to be important.  I wonder if people get tired of sharing so much and having other people so involved in their lives that they stop sharing everything and smaller private groups form. Maybe just on wireless phone networks?

Facebook is banking on the fact that users today do not want to configure things themselves. They prefer to have everything just happen by pushing a button. According to Facebook you won’t need a Skype account to use the new video chat  so  “this is by far the easiest way to get connected by video”.

This is similar to what Bill Gates talked about at Convergence back in 2006 where he said “there is a missing piece of software that we’re working on that takes the idea of who’s trying to get in touch with you, either calling you or sending mail to you, and it makes it very easy for you to say, OK, what group are they in, and so the idea of how you respond to that is context-based, it understands what you’re doing, what device you have, what your calendar looks like. “

We are getting closer to the point where any software component can talk to any other software component, without caring about the language it’s written in or what operating system or what hardware it’s on; as long as it’s connected to the Internet.

Windows Live with Office web apps

Microsoft Office Web Apps is a great addition to Windows Live that let’s you work with documents right on the website where the document is stored.

Here are some links to information about how to get started with opening and editing documents in your browser. No software required on your computer other than browser software. I use google chrome and IE9 to access files without any issues.

http://explore.live.com/windows-live-skydrive-about-faq

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps-help/getting-started-with-office-web-apps-HA101785172.aspx

This is a picture of how to access Windows Live Sky Drive where you can store up to 25 G of data and then open and edit documents in the browser.

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If you go to the Office link you can create files.

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Once in the document library you can create new or edit existing files.  If you have Microsoft Office installed on your computer you have the option to open the file on your desktop. This helps for more complicated work such as Mail merge with and excel file.

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For more information goto

http://explore.live.com/windows-live-hotmail-microsoft-office