SharePoint 2010 Managed Accounts

2010 August 11

Now you can reduce your administrative expenses by allowing SharePoint 2010 to take control of your accounts. How? SharePoint 2010 Managed Accounts can automatically reset passwords based on domain policies and notify administrators when passwords are expiring. By storing account information in SharePoint 2010 Managed Accounts, you can keep your information secure and reduce the overhead required to manage it yourself. In brief, a Managed Account is effectively an Active Directory user account whose credentials are managed by and contained within SharePoint. In addition to storing the credentials of the object, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 can also leverage Active Directory Domain Policies to automatically reset passwords while meeting the requirements established by policy. Moreover, Apps4Rent now offers the latest in the line of SharePoint versions, i.e., Hosted SharePoint Server 2013 with better features and collaboration benefits for its users. 

How Managed Accounts credentials are stored?

Managed Account credentials are encrypted using a farm encryption key that is specified when you run PSConfig[ui].exe at farm creation based on the passphrase. The passphrase is stored read more…

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Unique Document IDs in SharePoint Server 2010

2010 August 11

What is Document ID Service?

Whenever you try to move a document within a site collection, the broken links appear? Don’t worry now! SharePoint 2010 has come up with a new Site Collection feature called the Unique Document ID Service.

How to enable the Document ID Service?

To enable the Unique Document ID feature, you can go to the Site Settings -> Site Collection Features (under Site Collection Administration) or you can launch the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell and run the following:

PS C:\Users\blairb> Enable-SPFeature -id docid -url <site collection url>

After installing the Unique Document Service, you will see that your document has a field called Document ID. Note that for existing documents some action has to be taken on the document to cause a Document ID to be generated (like check-in/check-out.) Any new documents will have a Document ID generated read more…

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SharePoint Health Analyzer

2010 August 6

What is a SharePoint Health Analyzer?

Want to quickly find and fix potential problems across all of the servers in your farm? Then don’t forget to take a look at SharePoint Health Analyzer. SharePoint Health Analyzer is a feature in SharePoint 2010 that allows administrators to schedule regular, automatic checks for potential configuration, performance, and usage problems in the server farm. Any errors that SharePoint Health Analyzer finds are identified in status reports that are made available to farm administrators in Central Administration. Status reports that are produced by SharePoint Health Analyzer explains each issue, list the servers where the problem exists, and outline the steps that an administrator can take to treat the problem. In some cases, errors are repaired automatically as soon as they are found, and farm administrators are informed of the repairs. read more…

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SharePoint 2010 Workflow Models

2010 August 6

SharePoint 2010 offers many new improvements for workflow developers and builds on the popularity of workflow in SharePoint Server 2007. Moving further, now SharePoint 2013 Hosting has arrived in the market with far more better workflow features seen in SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. SharePoint workflow is recommended for long-running human workflows where we are often waiting for people to complete tasks.

Changes in Workflow Model Design Tools
SharePoint 2010 provides more choices in tooling to better fit the needs of those creating and maintaining workflow models. The tools for workflow development include Visual Studio 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, and Visio 2010. SharePoint 2010 requires .NET Framework 3.5. The next version of the .NET Framework 4.0 is currently in development but product timelines meant SharePoint 2010 was not dependent on it.

SharePoint Designer 2010 also has a new graphical workflow designer for designing workflows and deploying them directly to SharePoint. It can also be used as a prototyping tool before workflows are further developed in Visual Studio 2010.

Another improvement in SharePoint Designer 2010 is that it now allows you to edit the out-of-the-box workflows that come with SharePoint. It will also use InfoPath forms if InfoPath is installed or the Data Form Web Part read more…

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SharePoint 2010 Client Object Model

2010 August 5

In SharePoint 2010, there is an interesting feature called Client Object Model (Client OM) which is a unified model that uses the same or similar programming concepts as the Server Object Model (Server OM). The Client Object Model can be accessed via web services, via a client (JavaScript) API, and via REST.

Why Client Object Model?

You must be thinking now why should I have Client Object Model when millions of sites are running smoothly without the Client Object Model. So here is the answer to your question – Client object Model is the result of SharePoint customers’ request to Microsoft to introduce more and more web services to get data out of SharePoint. But introducing web services will not fix the issues, as Microsoft found, because then the request for more functionality in the web services will continue. Even if Microsoft provides a good number of web services with SharePoint, customization in web services will be required for different clients, and this will make the out-of-the-box web services unusable. Also introducing a large number of web services will be a waste as not all companies will use all the web services functionalities. Thus, in order to add more web services from users, Microsoft has taken a different approach called Client Object Model (OM). read more…

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SharePoint Business Connectivity Services

2010 August 5

You have a portal? Want to integrate some external data into your portal in a meaningful way? Nothing to worry! Here’s Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Business Data Catalog (BDC) to facilitate this exact scenario. Microsoft’s business data catalog makes it easy to surface external data inside a portal experience. For instance, you can create an XML definition file that defines the mapping between SharePoint and your external data so that it can be rendered in a Web Part, used as a column within a list, and even integrated into search.

Though BDC in MOSS 2007 enabled connectivity to external systems, it was difficult to create solutions due to lack of a designer. Moreover, though BDC made it relatively easy to create read-only solutions that display data in the Business Data List Web Part, it was not so simple to create a solution that enabled users to make changes and write that data back to the external store.

Consequently, Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010 came into picture as a savior! Business Connectivity Services is all about connecting to external data. Business Connectivity Services enhances the SharePoint platform’s capabilities with out-of-box features, services, and tools that streamline development of solutions with deep integration of external data and services. Business Connectivity Services is build upon its BDC predecessor in the key areas of presentation, connectivity, tooling and lifecycle management. In SharePoint 2010, it’s easy to create an external content type with SharePoint Designer, create an external list in SharePoint’s Web user interface, and take the list offline into Outlook as a set of contacts. Also, you can make updates to contacts in Outlook that will cause the data in the external system to update as well.

Key Components that comprises Business Connectivity Services include the following:

o BDC Metadata Store – The BDC Metadata Store provides storage for a collection of external content types, each of which describes how to connect to the external store. The Metadata Store acts as part of the services layer. External content types are a fundamental building block of business connectivity services
o BDC Server Runtime – The BDC Server Runtime understands how to reach into the back-end store and connect to data based on the external content types defined within the content type store. It’s important to note the new usage of the acronym BDC to refer to the set of services that provides connectivity that is a component of business connectivity services
o Security – Business Connectivity Services provide integration with the Secure Store Service (SSS), as well as enable your own security model
o Solution Packaging – Solutions built with Business Connectivity Services can be packaged as a Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) package to be delivered to a rich client, including SharePoint Workspace, Outlook and Word. Business connectivity services also exposes APIs to extend solution packaging to target additional clients
o Out of Box UI – Business Connectivity Services carry forward the ability to display external data through a Web Part UI and provides deeper integration through the addition of external lists.
o BDC Client Runtime – A symmetrical runtime is provided for client and server, enabling you to take solutions offline with a client-side cache and to connect and push changes back to the server in a consistent manner. Use of the BDC Client Runtime enables offline operations, interacting with the external data cache.
o Design Tools – SharePoint Designer provides a wealth of out-of-box functionality for creating business connectivity services solutions, including the ability to define external content types and external lists, and to define InfoPath forms to surface the data to create simple solutions. Visual Studio provides the ability for the professional developer to extend those capabilities to create advanced solutions while leveraging the existing framework.

These components in the Business Connectivity Services architecture enable interaction with additional capabilities in the SharePoint platform, including business intelligence, enterprise content management, collaboration and social features, and enterprise search. Additionally, the use of business connectivity services provide a compelling developer platform that enables the creation of solutions to quickly take advantage of these capabilities.

Take advantage of SharePoint Business Connectivity Services and other useful features of Hosted SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint 2010 hosting, SharePoint Foundation hosting or SharePoint Server 2010 – with shared or dedicated hosting by Apps4Rent. Also see feature by feature comparison of SharePoint Foundation vs Server 2010. We offer free SharePoint with our hosted exchange plans. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or  MOSS 2007 is also available.

 

With the best SharePoint hosting price plans in the industry, Apps4Rent provides any sized business the power to integrate the virtual collaboration technology into their business model and streamline communications at a minimal SharePoint hosting price rate of $8.95 per month.

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Word Automation in SharePoint 2010

2010 August 5

What is Word Automation Services in SharePoint Server 2010?

Ever tried to transfer .docx files into PDF? Most of us try to perform server side conversions of Open XML files (.docx) into fixed formats (PDF and XPS) using the Word desktop application. Isn’t it? Now this conversion can be done hassle-free with Word Automation Services.

As an element of SharePoint 2010, Word Automation Services allows you to perform file operations on the server that previously required automating desktop Word:

* Converting between documents formats (e.g. DOC to DOCX)

* Converting to fixed formats (e.g. PDF or XPS)

* Updating fields

* Importing “alternate format chunks” read more…

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SharePoint 2010 Service Architecture

2010 August 4

With changing times and technologies, there have been a lot of changes to both the logical and physical topologies of SharePoint 2010. Thus, it’s very important for any developers to know the architecture of the new Windows SharePoint 2010 services.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 builds on the operating system and database services to add additional features, such as team sites and collaboration features. Specifically, WSS 3.0 provides the following platform capabilities:

* Storage: Through content databases, which are literally SQL databases managed by SharePoint to accommodate the pages, data, and documents stored in the various portals, team sites, and workspaces
* Management: Administration pages with deep configuration options
* Deployment: Web farms, physical servers, and roles
* Site Model: Web application, site collection, and sites
* Extensibility: Features, Web parts, and templates

A well architected logical and physical SharePoint environment tends to revolve around Search. Search drives much of the logical and physical architectures for SharePoint 2007. SharePoint 2010 has not changed from a Tier perspective. There are Web, Application and Database tiers. What’s important is it to understand how to architect those tiers. For SharePoint 2010, the Application tier has changed significantly as it is more sophisticated read more…

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Blackberry ‘Torch’ shows the way to a new BlackBerry experience!

2010 August 4

There’s a good news for all the Blackberry fans … You didn’t hear this? As a tough competition to Apple’s iPhone4, Blackberry unveiled its new series of phone called Blackberry Torch 9800. Now you must be thinking what’s so special about this, right? Blackberry Torch 9800 is supposedly the first Smartphone with a Blackberry keyboard and full touch screen. Wow! Now isn’t that great! What else, Blackberry Torch 9800 comes with the new Blackberry 6.0 operating system, which will enable us to enjoy the universal search and auto-wrap text features. The universal search feature can search multiple applications simultaneously, including mail messages, contacts, and instant messages (and which can be extended by other applications).

The features of this new Blackberry Smartphone don’t just stop here! Blackberry Torch 9800 boasts a stunning visual design, best combined touch-qwerty experience, precision trackpad, and a new web browser that can operate quickly, beautifully, and efficiently. The biggest and most highly anticipated change is the new browser – which came as part of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion’s acquisition of Torch Mobile last year, hence the name of the device. The new browser is based on WebKit and includes tab browsing; and in playing around with it a little, it seems a huge improvement over the current BlackBerry browser, rendering most sites quite well.

Blackberry Torch also sports Social Feeds app that lets you see results of your Facebook, Twitter, and instant messaging feeds; along with a new RSS reader. Among several new multimedia features is the ability to sync your music via Wi-Fi, and to keep a list of your music library on the device (listing all the songs) and letting you select which songs will be automatically transferred to the device the next time you get home.

What’s Blackberry Torch’s best deal for Developers?

BlackBerry OS 6 now lets developers create applications using HTML 5 and JavaScript, as well as the traditional Java environment, but still be able to access device features such as running in the background, using IM services, and push notification. And along with partner AT&T developers will be able to offer applications for sale that can be charged to your phone bill.

Price Details

The Torch is due out on AT&T starting August 12, starting at $199.99 with the usual two year contract plus data plan, which makes it pretty much identical with most other high-end phones. One thing to consider is whether the compression schemes BlackBerry uses will let you fit better in with a lower-cost, lower-capacity data plan than one of its competitors.

Conclusion: Blackberry Torch will definitely make the BlackBerry much more competitive in areas like browsing, social networks, and unified search. In addition, the ease-of-use the corporate management features should be enough to keep lots of BlackBerry users happy! Isn’t it?

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Chart Web Parts in SharePoint

2010 August 3

Chart Web Part is something which can be used to generate charts in the Windows SharePoint Services environment. The Web Part supports data coming from XML files and Web Part Connections, and it generates charts as either an server-side images or as VML. This Web Part works great in complementing the Data View Web Part to provide a powerful data reporting story.

Features of Chart Web Parts include the following:•

Dynamic Chart Types – Dynamic chart types are available in the form of Bar, Bar3D, Bar Fade, Bar Glass, Line, Line Dot, Line Hollow, Area Hollow, Pie, etc.

Custom Data source – With MOSS Chart web part you can connect your chart to virtually any SharePoint list or utilize a view to sort and filter the data retrieved within the chart results.

Chart Legend – Gives us a chance to define a legend for your chart including chart X and Y titles, colors, and size.

Look and Feel Parameters – Each area within the web part has settings to define the look and feel of the web part. This includes not only the labels and text used within the web part, but also the titles, colors, alpha transparency, size, and many other custom parameters and configuration options.

From my experience, I would say Chart Web Part for SharePoint helped me make nice dashboards in my SharePoint projects and also helped me to build a demo site during client meets. Thus, for me Chart Web Part should be a definitive candidate for all SharePoint projects and implementations. What about you?

Take advantage of SharePoint Chart Web Parts and other useful features of SharePoint 2013 Hosting, SharePoint 2010 hosting, SharePoint Foundation hosting or SharePoint Server 2010 – with shared or dedicated hosting by Apps4Rent. We offer free SharePoint with our hosted exchange plans. Also see feature by feature comparison of SharePoint Foundation vs Server 2010.Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or  MOSS 2007 is also available.

With the best SharePoint hosting price plans in the industry, Apps4Rent provides any sized business the power to integrate the virtual collaboration technology into their business model and streamline communications at a minimal SharePoint hosting price rate of $8.95 per month.

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