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SharePoint Max

Musings of a Content Management Techie

PowerShell Tips for SharePoint

A very useful tool in your programming kit is the Windows Powershell.  It’s a command line based scripting language that can be used to access any .NET based application and even Linux based applications remotely.  I’ve extensively used it to automate administrative tasks on my Windows servers.

Continue reading “PowerShell Tips for SharePoint”

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Keeping up with SharePoint – My Recollections of Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago Part 2/2

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In part 1, I covered the interesting announcements made during the keynotes at Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago.  Microsoft just announced the general availability of SharePoint 2016 last week.  In part 2 of the blog post, I will cover the interesting announcements regarding SharePoint 2016 and see how many of the announced features made it to GA release.

Continue reading “Keeping up with SharePoint – My Recollections of Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago Part 2/2”

Keeping up with SharePoint – My Recollections of Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago Part 1/2

17404341082_477e825ffd_oI had the privilege of attending Microsoft’s first consolidated IT conference, Ignite in beautiful Chicago last year.  Microsoft combined all their product specific conferences into one making it easier for IT professionals to see how Microsoft’s products work together – though my focus has been SharePoint and related products like Office and SQL Server.

As we prepare for Microsoft Ignite 2016 to be held in Atlanta, I’ve highlighted some of my recollections of interesting announcements made at Ignite 2015.

Continue reading “Keeping up with SharePoint – My Recollections of Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago Part 1/2”

Off the Beaten Path – Teaching kids to code

In the SharePoint community, you will often hear the phrase “Sharing is Caring”.  I’ve been learning tips and tricks from my fellow SharePoint developers as they share their experience on blogs, forums and events.  In the same way, we need to reach out to the next generation by introducing them to coding.  Most kids are already playing games with the iPhones and iPads (and their Android and Windows  counterparts), so what better way to show them programming concepts by building games?  I started off learning to code using BASIC on the Commodore 128 back in the 1980s inspired by computer games that I played on my friends’ Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Apple IIe at school and the BBC Acorn at the British Council.  Last month, I was asked to demonstrate building games on the iPad for the “Bring Your Child to Work” day at my workplace.  Here are some tools that are available to teach basic programming concepts to kids.   Continue reading “Off the Beaten Path – Teaching kids to code”

SharePoint Ideas – Capturing paper documents to SharePoint

Paper documents, either in physical or electronic image formats like faxes, still play an important role in many companies’ business processes in spite of ever-increasing digitization.  These documents contain important information that needs to captured, secured and its contents analyzed for useful information.

Common paper documents that are still being used are invoices, certain government documents like deeds, birth certificates, court documents like pleadings etc.  Converting these documents into electronic formats allows them to be electronically searchable and easier to secure.

Continue reading “SharePoint Ideas – Capturing paper documents to SharePoint”

Documentum to SharePoint Migration (2011) – DQL Equivalents in SharePoint

One useful administrative tool in Documentum is the Documentum Query Language, a SQL like query language that you can use to pull data about Documentum objects from the command line.  Internally, it is translated into SQL and run against the underlying database.  For example, to query the documents associated with cases generated in NJ, a DQL query would be like this

SELECT r_object_id, name, owner_name, cust_eff_date FROM acme_case WHERE cust_state = ‘NJ’ AND status = ‘Active’

This is very useful since the administrator can quickly pull up counts or list of artifacts from the docbase for ad hoc requests.  There is no direct equivalent to DQL in SharePoint that queries the underlying database and returns object data.  In this article, I would like to show two options that a SharePoint administrator can use to perform similar tasks. Continue reading “Documentum to SharePoint Migration (2011) – DQL Equivalents in SharePoint”

Documentum to SharePoint Migration (2011) – Creating Linked Documents

In Documentum, the user could upload a document to one location once and then create a “link” to this document in another location.  This linking feature saves space and always shows the parent document from the linked location.

In SharePoint 2010, this feature was not available out of the box.  The user could create a “copy” by using the Send To feature but in this case, they would have to enter the URL of the target location and this would create a new document, thereby duplicating the content.

With help from our friends at Macroview Business Technology, we used a SharePoint 2007 content type called “Link to a Document” and used an event receiver to read metadata from the parent document and automatically create the “link”.

We also leveraged the “Link to a Document” content type to store files larger than 2 GB.  These large files were not stored in SharePoint but kept in  secure location on the file system but whose links were stored as a “Link to a Document” document in SharePoint.

Certain features in SharePoint need to be enhanced with some custom coding to get the complete experience and the “Link to a Document” content type is one such case.

Documentum to SharePoint Migration (2011) – Integrating with Captiva Scanning Application

Captiva or InputAccel was the preferred scanning application used to scan large number of paper documents into Documentum.  The application would scan paper documents of different kinds, using (in our case Fujitsu) scanners that could scan both front and back in one pass, clean the image of spots, straighten the image, remove punched hole images and then OCR it (that is to convert the text images to searchable text), save it in a variety of formats (mainly PDF) and finally export it to various ECM applications like Documentum or OpenText or to the simple file system.

In Documentum, the user created a Continue reading “Documentum to SharePoint Migration (2011) – Integrating with Captiva Scanning Application”

Documentum to SharePoint Migration (2011) – Storing content in database vs file system

Content Management Systems usually store the content on a file system and the metadata in a database.  Documentum uses this feature by default.  SharePoint stores the content and the metadata in a SQL Server database.  This can be an issue as this would mean expensive hard disk space would be used to store large amount of file content which may not be accessed in the near future.  Also the size of the content databases will be very large causing backups to take a longer time to complete.

Fortunately, SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2 supported RBS or Remote Blob Storage data type which allows the storage of the content files in a file system and the metadata in the database.  My colleague figured out how setup RBS with the FileStream provider so that we could leverage cheaper disks to store file content.  He set it to push files larger than 100 KB to the FileStream.  Also he set up a RBS Maintainer script to clean up the file system of orphaned RBS objects.

The RBS feature makes SharePoint 2010 as a cheaper alternative to full fledged and established Enterprise Content Management systems like Documentum.

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