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Archive for February, 2014

Sharegate – Excellent SharePoint Migration Tool

Posted by Jean Paul on February 27, 2014

In this post I would like to share my experience with Sharegate Migration Tool.

The tool seamlessly provides migration between same/different versions of SharePoint.

The primary advantage I noticed is it’s ease of use.

Ease of Use

I would emphasize on the ease of use factor as I downloaded other leading tools, but puzzled about which executable I should use? Some of them were built in such a manner that only their chief architect can use it!

Sharegate is pretty simple with dual-explorer like views where we can select the source and destination locations.

Major Features

Following are the major features of Sharegate.

  1. MOSS 2007 supported
  2. SharePoint 2010 supported
  3. SharePoint 2013 supported
  4. SharePoint 2013 Online (Office 365) supported
  5. Client Side execution supported
  6. Author, Date properties preserved during migration
  7. Not size-metered


You can download the tool from:


You can register for a trial & go ahead with the installation.

Once installed, open Sharegate from the start menu.


For time being I am testing the Copy Site Objects where an entire site content will be copied from a SharePoint 2010 site to SharePoint 2013.

Please note that the source & destination sites are pre-existing in my machine. (both are team sites)

On the first screen enter your source url & choose the authentication settings.  You can  leave for default current user windows authentication.  Click the Connect button after entering.


Once connected, choose your Source Site.


In the second step Choose the destination site.  Here I am using a SharePoint 2013 url.


You can choose the target site.


Click the Next button to continue.  In the next screen you can see the left pane to select/unselect objects like:

  1. List and Libraries
  2. Content Types
  3. Site Columns
  4. Users
  5. Groups
  6. Permission Levels
  7. Workflows
  8. Managed metadata

Click the Select All button & then the Copy button to start copy operation.


You will get the following prompt.


Select the parameters & Click Copy to start the copy operation.

You will  be prompted for Interactive or Silent mode. 


Once the operation is completed you will get the following message.



Here is my source site in SharePoint 2010.


Here is my target site in SharePoint 2013image

Here is my source library.


Here is my target library.


Why we need a Migration Tool?

Content Migration can be very complicated & time consuming if going with no-tool approach. We have to consider the time involved, consultant cost per hour, delivery delay etc.

Simple rule of thumb is Cost(no-tool-migration) > Cost (tool-migration), then go for Tool.


The full-site migration starts around $2000.


You can view the updated pricing here:


I would recommend Sharegate as a reliable & easy to use Content Migration Tool.

Sharegate also supports Office 365 Migration.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

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Posted by Jean Paul on February 26, 2014

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How to limit the number of sites in a content database?

Posted by Jean Paul on February 25, 2014

In real world implementations, we need to configure the Max Site property of content database.


This property is important that:

  1. It prevents further site creation
  2. It prevents unmanageable growth

How to perform?

Open Central Administration > Content Databases


In the appearing window click on your database.


You will get the following page.


Scroll down to see the following properties.  You can change the warning limit & maximum number.


By default the Max Limit is 5000.


The recommended content database size is 200 GB in normal scenarios.

With high IOPS systems the recommended database size is 4 TB

SharePoint Administrator/Architect need to foresee the future growth requirement & come up with the maximum site limit.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Health Analyzer Rule Definitions

Posted by Jean Paul on February 24, 2014


One of my client reported about SQL SERVER disk space issue.  Normally, SharePoint will be reporting this as a Health Issue.

We can check whether the rule is enabled or not.

Open Central Administration > Monitoring > Review Rule Definitions


You can see dozens of rules listed.


They have the following properties:

  1. Enabled/Disabled
  2. Scheduled as hourly, daily, weekly
  3. Attempt to repair automatically

Towards the end we can verify the rule is enabled or not.


We can click on the line item to edit it.


Check the Enabled property & Save changes.


Once enabled, SharePoint monitors the SQL Server disk space issues & notifies.

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

Moving Documents between Libraries

Posted by Jean Paul on February 24, 2014

Moving documents between libraries seems to be simple.

  • We can use Open with Explorer view, Cut & Paste documents
  • We can use Save as template option
  • We can map network drive to the destination folder

But following challenges exists:

  1. Moving might not retain the Created By, Modified Dates
  2. Moving might not retain the Versions

How to solve the problems?

Content and Structure

Using Content and Structure page we can perform the moving operation.

You need to have Publishing feature enable to use this.


Once it is enabled, you can open Site Actions > Site Settings page.


Using the page we can perform the move operation.

  1. Select the library
  2. Choose the documents
  3. Select Actions > Move from menu



This option does not support moving between site collections.

Further Solution

We can go for third party tools to preserve the metadata, while moving contents.

Sharegate is a good solution in this arena. link


Copy documents between Site Collections

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What is PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments.txt

Posted by Jean Paul on February 21, 2014

While installing SharePoint for a Farm, we need to install the same pre-requisites in all servers.

Using the PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments.txt file we can specify the installer files in a file share location.

This will save the download time of pre-requisites, especially in a multi-tier topology containing 5 servers.


What are the Pre-requisites for SharePoint 2013?

The pre-requisites are many:

  1. .Net Framework 4.5
  2. PowerShell
  3. Identity Extensions
  4. Chart Controls

How to create the file?

We need to create a file named PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments.txt in the same folder where prerequisiteinstaller.exe is residing.


Inside the text file specify the arguments in following format.

  • /switch : <path>


  1. /NETFX: “\serversetups.netfx45.exe”
  2. /SQLNCI: “serversetupssqlnci.exe”

We can also specify arguments against the setup files.  For more information, please see the References section.


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Hard Disk Standards

Posted by Jean Paul on February 21, 2014

SharePoint to the core is a Content Management System & Hence we need to focus on the speed/size/cost of underlying Hard Disks.

SharePoint stores contents in the databases.  The content can be divided as:

  1. Structured (list, document library columns)
  2. BLOBs (which can be configured to get stored in Remote BLOB storages)

Types of Drives

Following are the types of drives we usually encounter.

PATA, SATA (Parallel/Serial Advanced Technology Attachment)

They are magnetic spinning drives with speed around 7200 rpm (rotation per minute).  The Parallel/Serial attributes the connector mechanism.  Usually SATA drives are faster than PATA drives.


SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)

They have higher spinning speed than the PATA/SATA alternative.  SCSI spins around 15000 rpm, but requires additional Motherboard Controllers leading to extra cost.

image    image

SSD (Solid State Drive)

SSDs use semi-conductors for storage, instead of magnetic components.  They are typically double in speed than the SATA/PATA alternative.  It is priced double than the normal hard disks.  They typically connects well with a SATA cables.


SSDs are gaining popularity due to their increased speed.

Another technology of interest is Fibre Channel (FC) Storage which was initially used in super computers, but now common in SAN (Storage Area Network)

Question: What is the recommended size of content database in normal scenarios?

200 GB

Question: What is the recommended size of content database in large-storage scenarios with high iops?

4 TB

(IOPS = Input/Output operations per second)



Fibre Channel

SharePoint Boundary Limits

Storage and SQL Server capacity planning and configuration

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to change the Background Image of your SharePoint 2013 site?

Posted by Jean Paul on February 21, 2014

It is relatively easy to change the background image of your SharePoint 2013 site.

People occasionally changes their background image during Independence Day, Labor Day & Festival Days.

How to change?

Open Site Actions > Site Settings


Choose a Theme.


Choose Change from the left pane to change Background image.


Choose an Image


Click Try it out to apply changes



The background, font, color changes.


Owners Group members have permissions to change the look. link



We can also change the Font & Color.

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

Responsive Web Design vs. Device Channels

Posted by Jean Paul on February 21, 2014

Responsive Web Design aims at Optimal Viewing Experience across multiple devices rendering the same HTML content.

  • RWD uses HTML & CSS

Device Channels targets specific master pages for specific mobile devices using device user-agent.

  • DC uses user-agent & master-pages

Both of them provides dynamic viewing experience.

image image

Advantages of Responsive Web Design

  • Same HTML rendered to all devices

  • Search Engine & Indexing friendly

  • No need of JavaScript for rendering

Disadvantages of Responsive Web Design

  1. Old browsers might not work

  2. Cannot target for particular device groups (old field mobiles)

  3. Cannot minimize content for low-bandwidth devices

Advantages of Device Channels

  1. HTML Content for targeting particular set of devices

  2. Minimal Content Rendering is possible for low-bandwidth devices

Disadvantages of Device Channels

  1. Only works with Publishing pages

  2. Not friendly with Search Indexing as Same URL renders different HTML

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

How to enable Anonymous Access for existing web application?

Posted by Jean Paul on February 20, 2014

In the real world scenario, one might required to enable anonymous access to an existing web application.

How we can achieve that?

Central Administration

Open Central Administration > Manage Web Applications


Select the web application & choose Authentication Providers from the ribbon.


In the appearing dialog click on the default item.


You will get the following dialog.


Check the enable anonymous access check box & Click Ok button.

Your site is ready with Anonymous Access.  Open a new browser window & test it.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »