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Archive for August, 2013

SharePoint 2013 – Business Intelligence Features

Posted by Paul on August 29, 2013

In this article I would like to list down the Business Intelligence Features of SharePoint 2013. These features provide us a quick solution for various business requirements like presentations, integrations & connectivity to external systems.

Following are the core document management features in SharePoint 2013:

1. Performance Point Services

2. Excel BI

3. Excel Services

4. PowerPivot

5. PowerView

6. Visio Services

7. Integration Reports

8. External Data Integration

Performance Point Services

Performance Point Services provides Dashboards to provide data visualization. The dashboards can be interactive to display Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

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Performance Point is enhanced to support Analysis Services & rendering to iPad.

Excel Services

Excel Services enables browser based Excel Sheet viewing & editing. Users can share an entire excel work book or a particular number of cells.

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We can have different views for the same work sheet like Worksheet View, Gallery View.

PowerPivot

PowerPivot provides powerful data exploration through in-memory data storing. PowerPivot allows working with millions of rows from different data sources.

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In SharePoint this feature comes under Excel Business Intelligence category.

PowerView

PowerView is a feature of SQL Server Reporting Services & it is supported in SharePoint 2013. PowerView provides interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience.

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In SharePoint this feature comes under Excel Business Intelligence category.

Visio Services

Microsoft Visio diagrams are supported in SharePoint through the Visio Services. Visio Services allows the following operations with Visio files:

1. Load

2. Preview

3. Interact

Additionally, Visio Workflow can be visualized through Visio Services.

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Integration Reports

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) based reports can be viewed within SharePoint environment. This feature is supported through SharePoint Reporting Services component.

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External Data Integration

SharePoint can be connected with external systems including:

1. SQL Server Databases

2. Oracle Databases

3. Other Databases

4. SAP ERP through Connectors

5. Custom Connectors

Additional to providing an Encapsulation, SharePoint external data integration features include External Content Type configuration, Offline support, Search, Secured Access etc.

The SharePoint server works in between of client browser & external system in providing data.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

SharePoint 2010 – Visio Visualization of Workflow

Posted by Paul on August 20, 2013

In this article, I would like to demonstrate the Visualization of Visio Workflow in SharePoint site.

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What is Workflow Visualization?

Workflow Visualization was introduced in SharePoint 2010 & Visio Services is the infrastructure required to enable this feature. Workflow Visualization helps in representing a visual clue on the activities of a workflow & the current state.

Pre-Requisites

Additional to SharePoint 2010, you require the following.

· Visio 2010 Client Application

· SharePoint 2010 Visio Service started

· SharePoint Designer 2010

· Silverlight

Scenario

In our scenario, there are 2 document libraries.

· User Docs library for submitting documents

· Approved Docs library serves as the destination for moved documents.

If a user submits DOCX file to User Docs, it will get moved to the Approved Docs library. If a user submits PDF, TXT files, he will receive an email notifying re-submission.

Create the Workflow

In this step, we are creating a workflow in Visio 2010.

Open Visio 2010 & choose the Flowchart category as shown below.

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In the next page, choose Microsoft SharePoint Workflow as shown below.

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Click the Create button. You will be getting the design screen with Shapes toolbar. The Shapes toolbar contains mainly 3 SharePoint shapes:

1. SharePoint Workflow Actions

2. SharePoint Workflow Conditions

3. SharePoint Workflow Terminators

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Actions contain action items like Start approval, Send an email, Add a comment, Set field etc. Actions performs changes to the underlying objects.

Conditions contain conditions like Compare data source, Title contains keywords, File type etc. Obviously, the condition branches to separate Yes / No areas.

Terminators contain Start and Terminate items, which are used to denote begin & end a workflow.

For starting with, drag & drop the Start item from Terminators category. Then add the following actions & condition items.

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Our idea is to create a workflow for a document library.

The first condition File is a specific type checks if document is DOCX, evaluating to Yes or No. Right click on the Yes connector and choose the option Yes. Right click on the No connector & choose the option No.

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Now the Yes/No branches are defined as shown below:

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The second & third actions Copy list item & Delete item denotes that the document will be copied to another library & will be deleted from present one. (Moving operation)

The No branch will send an email to the user requesting change in document type.

Validations: For validations, you can choose the Process menu category and click the Check Diagram button.

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If No Errors found, you will get the following message box.

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Parameters: You have noted that, still we have not specified the document type extension, email content, library names etc. These are set during the association phase within SharePoint. This dynamicity makes the workflow reusable.

Save changes for the Visio file.

Export the Workflow

Now we are ready to Export the Workflow. Exporting is required for compatibility with SharePoint Designer. Without exporting, we cannot use the workflow within SharePoint.

From the Process tab, click the Export button.

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In the appearing dialog box, enter the file name.

Create Document Libraries

Create 2 document libraries.

1. User Docs

2. Approved Docs

Import the Workflow

Now we are ready to do the import in SharePoint Designer. The exported Visio file is imported into SharePoint Designer 2010.

Open SharePoint Designer 2010 from start menu.

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Please note that if you have MS-Office 2010 32-bit installed, you require SharePoint Designer 32-bit.

Choose the Open Site option & enter URL for your SharePoint site.

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Once the site is opened, choose the Workflows group from the left pane.

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You can see the Import from Visio button on the toolbar. Click on it & locate your Exported Visio workflow file.

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Click the Next button to continue. Enter the workflow name & choose the library to work with.

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You will see the following editing screen.

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Click on each link & make the following changes.

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For the email link, you can create a customized message including current user name & current document name.

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In the workflow settings section, choose the Show workflow visualization on status page option

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Now save & publish the workflow.

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Testing the Workflow

Back in SharePoint; add a new document to the User Docs library. For time being, choose a TXT file, so that you will get a notification.

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After adding the TXT File, choose the Workflows context option as shown below.

In the appearing page, you can see our Docx Mover Workflow as shown below:

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Click on it & click the Start button. Wait for few seconds for the workflow to complete. Now back in library, you can click the workflow status.

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Now you can see the Visualization page:

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You will be getting email notification too, if you have email configured Or development email server exists.
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This concludes our article on Visio Visualization.

For configuring SMTP4Dev Tool, you can use the following link:

http://www.jeanpaulva.com/index.php/2012/10/14/configuring-email-for-development-server/

References

http://bit.ly/GWBCC8

Summary

In this article we have explored the Visualization of Visio Workflow in SharePoint site. The Visio file & Exported file is attached along with the article.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SharePoint 2013 Project Templates missing in Visual Studio 2012

Posted by Paul on August 13, 2013

When i opened Visual Studio 2012, I cannot find any SharePoint 2013 templates there..(only 2010, 2007 templates are visible)

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How to get SharePoint 2013 Templates?

You need to download & install Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012:

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/office-dev-tools-for-visual-studio

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Following is the screen shot of the Wizard.

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Before Installation, please make sure you close all the instances of Visual Studio 2012.

After Installation

Posted in SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

SharePoint 2013 – Document Management Features

Posted by Paul on August 12, 2013

In this article I would like to list down the Document Management Features of SharePoint 2013. These features provide us a quick solution with common document management tasks, thus saving cost & time.

Following are the core document management features in SharePoint 2013:

1. Document Library

2. Metadata

3. Search

4. Office Web Applications

5. Check-in, Check-out

6. Offline Working Capability

7. Workflows

8. Alerts

9. Document Id

10. Document Set

11. Co-Authoring

12. Policies

13. Mobile Support

Document Library

We can upload documents into SharePoint Lists called Document Library.

Multiple types of documents can be uploaded (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Pdf etc.) and SharePoint Administrator can impose restriction on the type of documents through Central Administration. For example, executable files (.exe, .dll) can be blocked from uploading.

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Metadata

We can associate additional metadata columns along with document libraries. For example a Resume document library can have the following columns to capture candidate information:

1. Associated Project

2. Valid Upto

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The metadata column type can be Text, Date Time, Number, Person etc.

Search

The in-built search feature supports a search box visible on all the document library pages.

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Search can be performed based on:

1. Document Name

2. Metadata Properties

3. Document Content

Office Web Applications

Office documents can be viewed within a browser. This helps the user to view MS Word, Excel files without the need for MS Office installed in the client machine.

Through Office web applications, the document content is rendered to the browser. This feature allows great convenience to the user.

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Check-in, Check-out

A document can be exclusively checked out by a user. This prevents modifications to the same document by other users. Check-in can be done after doing the modifications.

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SharePoint document libraries have in-built support for Check-in, Check-out operations. A user can view the version history of a document through the context menu command.

Offline Working Capability

A user can download a document from SharePoint, go offline, update changes & later synchronize back to SharePoint. Skydrive Pro for SharePoint 2013 enables this feature.

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Workflows

Through WWF (Windows Workflow Foundation), workflows allow quick integration of commonly required tasks like:

· Document Approval

· Document Rejection

Additionally, custom workflows can be created using tools Visual Studio & SharePoint Designer.

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Alerts

Document Library changes can be notified to users through Alerts feature. We can set different notifications like Add, Edit, Delete operations.

The user should be having an email / mobile number registered to receive notifications.

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Document Id

Document Id is the feature which provides:

1. Unique numbering to of documents

2. Easier retrieval of document by using Document Id

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Document Set

Document Set provides convenient way of working with multiple documents in one go. A Document Set can contain multiple documents sharing the same metadata properties of parent document library.

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Co-Authoring

Co-Authoring feature enables Collaboration of multiple users to work on the same document. The changes to the different parts of document are persisted & merged through the Co-Authoring feature.

This is related to the Check-in, Check-out feature.

Policies

The life cycle of document can be managed with Document Policies. We can have Archival, Retention policies for document libraries.

For example, a document can be set to Auto-Delete after 1 year of time. This option helps in clearing unwanted documents from a site, which improves better clarity in document retrieval & search.

Adding safety value, one can perform a backup & delete for retention policies.

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Mobile Support

SharePoint 2013 provides optimized viewing experience over different mobile platforms including smartphones & tablets. Additional to that, Device Channels, Push Notifications, Business Intelligence & Office Web Apps are available for the mobile device.

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Summary

In this article we have explored the core document management features of SharePoint 2013.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Document Set Feature in SharePoint 2013

Posted by Paul on August 8, 2013

In this article I would like to take you through the Document Set feature of SharePoint 2013.

What is Document Set?

Document Sets are a feature in SharePoint Server 2013 that enables an organization to manage a single deliverable, or work product, which can include multiple documents or files.

Simply, you can see it as a collection of documents packed together.

While working with Document Libraries, you can upload Document Set instead of a single Document. A Document Set can contain multiple documents having same columns as the document library.

How to enable Document Set?

For enabling & using Document Set, the steps are given below:

1. Activate Document Set feature

2. Enable Content Type

3. Add documents

Please see the steps below:

Activate Document Set feature

Open your site, then Site Settings page.

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Click on the Site collection features link, you will get the page below.

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Click on the Activate button corresponding to Document Sets feature. Wait for a while for the activation operation to complete.

Enable Content Type

Document Set is enabled for a library by Enabling Document Set content type.

Create a new library, Choose the library settings, Advanced Settings & enable the following option.

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Save changes & go back to the Library Settings. From the content types section, choose the Add option.

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In the appearing page, add the Document Set content type & save changes.

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Now you are ready with multiple content types for your document library.

Add Documents

Open the document library & choose the FILES tab, select the New Document Set context menu.

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In the appearing dialog box, enter the name of the Document Set, you can upload documents later.

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Saving changes will take you to the next screen for adding documents.

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Here you can add multiple documents for the same document set . Please note that the upload screen says Document Set as “Folder”.

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As shown below, you can see that the multiple documents exist in the same document set. Plus, the document library columns are available for the child documents as well.

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This concludes our usage with Document Set.

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Under the hood, Document Set can be considered as a Folder.

References

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff603637.aspx

Summary

In this article we have explored the Document Set feature of SharePoint 2013, Activating, Enabling & Creating a document set.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free Templates for SharePoint Projects

Posted by Paul on August 6, 2013

Please find the templates for SharePoint Projects in the order of:

1. Requirement Analysis

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Requirement Analysis is used to capture user stories through interviews, meetings & discussions.

2. Requirement Specification

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Requirement Specification is used to validate the captured information in Requirement Analysis phase.  The Requirement Specification (SRS) has to be validated & signed by key persons to proceed with the Detailed Design document.

3. Code Review Checklist

SharePoint Code, Performance, Implementation Checklist.

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4. Migration Template

Migration template for capturing existing system information, estimating man days etc.

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Document ID Service in SharePoint 2013

Posted by Paul on August 5, 2013

In this article we can explore how to use the Document ID Service in SharePoint 2013.

What is Document ID Service?

Document ID Service assigns Unique ID to documents within a site collection. Later, we can retrieve the document using this ID; without knowing the exact location.

In short, the service provides the following advantages:

1. Create Unique ID for documents, so that no two documents are same

2. Easier retrieval of documents using ID

How to enable Document ID Service feature?

Inside SharePoint 2013 site, choose Site Settings link from the top right corner.

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In the appearing page, choose the Site Collection features link.

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In the appearing feature list page, click on Activate button of Document ID Service.

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Please wait some time for the activation to be completed.

How to start using Document ID feature?

Once the feature is activated, you can see a new Document ID Settings link in the Site Settings page.

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On clicking the link, you will get the following page.

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You can enter the prefix for the document ID and click the OK button. A timer job will be scheduled in the background to assign Document ID to all the documents within site collection.

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It should take a few minutes to complete the job.

How to view the Document ID?

Now you can go back to a document library, upload a document & view the properties.

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Clicking on View Properties, you can see the Document ID as shown below:

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Please note that you have to be a Site Collection Administrator in order to activate the Document ID Service feature.

References

http://bit.ly/12VmdE3

Summary

In this article we have explored how to use the Document ID service in SharePoint 2013.

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Free Template 2 – Requirement Specification

Posted by Paul on August 4, 2013

In this article I would like to share a document template needed for Requirement Specification.

The requirement specification (SRS) is created & approved before proceeding with Detailed Design document. The SRS document is conveyed to business user & ensures the Requirement Analyses part is interpreted & recorded correctly.

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You are free to download & use it. Please feel free to contact me for queries & updates.

The associated Visio Diagram can be downloaded here.

Screen Shots

Following are the screen shots of the document.

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Please note that this document is for Requirement Specification purpose. The preceding document is Requirement Analysis & succeeding one is Detailed Design.

1. Requirement Analysis

2. Requirement Specification

3. Detailed Design

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_requirements_specification

Summary

In this post we have explored the Requirement Specification aka Software Requirement Specification (SRS) template.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tips to work with Templates

Posted by Paul on August 2, 2013

I am adding some essential windows, ms-word tips that people usually ask about the templates.

Unblock: After download, you need to Unblock the file as the source of file is internet.

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Index Table: After modifying the file contents & headings, you can update the Index Table.

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Outline View Choose the View > Outline View to change text levels.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Free Template 1 – Requirement Analysis

Posted by Paul on August 2, 2013

In this article I would like to share a document template need for SharePoint project Requirement Analysis. I believe, there are some SharePoint aspects need to be captured & hence built this template.

This document is used to capture the requirements from user perspective.  There will be interviews & meetings with customer side stake holders, department representatives to capture the information.

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You are free to download & use it. Please feel free to contact me for queries & updates.

Please read the Tips to overcome common problems with the document.

Screen Shots

Following are the screen shots of the document.

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Please note that this document is for Requirement Capture purpose.  The succeeding documents are Requirement Specification & Detailed Design.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requirement_analysis

Summary

In this post we have explored the Requirement Analysis template. I will be adding more templates.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »