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Archive for June, 2014

Badges for Contributors

Posted by Jean Paul on June 29, 2014

In this article we can explore the badges feature in community sites.

What are Badges?

Badges are reputation that can be assigned to community contributors.

For example, you can create badges like following:

1. Expert

2. Professional

If you found a contributor with good answering skills, you can assign him the above badge. The badge appears with a special icon as shown below.


Create a Badge

As the first step we need to create a badge. For this open the Community site choose the Create Badges option.


You will get the following list. Choose the New link to create a badge.


Assign a Badge

After creating the badge, we can assign it to a contributor. Choose the Assign badges to members link from the home page of the community site.


In the appearing page, check the member, choose the MODERATION tab & click the Give Badge option.


Choose the badge & click the Save button.


Test the Badge

Back to the home page, choose a discussion item & you can see the badge being assigned over there.


The badge will continue to appear in all the answers or replies for the user.


Please note that SharePoint list is the underlying storage for Badge items.



In this article we have explored how to use badges in a community site.

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

Create a Community Site

Posted by Jean Paul on June 26, 2014

Community Site is the base for SharePoint 2013 OOTB Collaboration.

What is a Community Site?

Community Site is a template in SharePoint 2013 which provides forum experience and it features:

1. Discussions

2. Categories

3. Members

4. Badges

For example, we can use the site to create a forum for Development Team. They can post discussion on various topics like:

1. How to deploy a WSP solution?

2. What are the frameworks available used in Project-Y?

We can also create categories like:

1. C#

2. SharePoint 2013

3. SharePoint 2010

Members can participate in the discussions.

Moderators can manage the site through:

1. Setting rules

2. Editing/Removing unwanted entries

3. Reward badges for best replies & participants

Member Permissions will be managed through the Owners, Members, Visitors group of the site.

How to create a Community Site?

Follow the steps below to create the community site.

Step 1: Create site

Choose the Site Contents > New Sub site option to get the following page. Choose the site template as Community Site, enter the title, URL and click Create button.


Step 2: View Site

You will get the following site displayed.


Step 3: Create Category

From the right hand side choose the Create categories link.


You will get the following page.


Choose the new item and create a category named SharePoint 2013 as shown below. You can also use the image URL.


You can see the new category with image as shown below.


Step 4: Create Discussion

Click on the New Discussion item to start a discussion topic.

Enter the details in the appearing page.


On saving the content the list will look like.


Step 5: Replying a Topic

You can click on the Discussion topic to open it & answer.


More answers can be added through the Add a reply text box.


Please note that Member Permissions should be managed through the Site Permission groups.



In this article we have explored community site template & how to use it.

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Mobile View in SharePoint 2013

Posted by Jean Paul on June 23, 2014

In this post I will show how to use the Mobile View in SharePoint 2013.  Often mobile views are required for:

  1. Internet sites
  2. Intranet sites over wi-fi

Open Site Actions > Site Settings


Choose Manage site features


Enable the Mobile Browser View feature


You can try accessing the page from your mobile device.

A snap shot of my mobile device is given below.



This is a basic usage of OOTB feature for mobile view.  For advanced rendering we should use Device Channels feature of SharePoint 2013

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External Users & Zones

Posted by Jean Paul on June 20, 2014

While working with external users (customers, vendors) we might require a scenario like below:

  1. Internal users authenticate through Intranet
  2. External users authenticate through Internet


In such scenarios Zones are the right solution.

We can configure one zone for Intranet & another for Internet.


Click on the Authentication Providers button.  You can see the zones listed.


For adding new zone, choose the Extend button.


You will get the following screeen.


You can set the Host Header, Anonymous / Forms-based authentication information.


Once the new zone is configured, your web application will have 2 zones. One is accessible with Intranet – Windows Authentication & Other with Internet – Forms Authentication.

You can ask your external users (customers, vendors) to add/update content through the external link.

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Send To Operation between SharePoint and OneDrive library

Posted by Jean Paul on June 18, 2014

In this article we can explore how to use the Send To option between a SharePoint library & OneDrive library.

What is Send To?

The Send To option enables easier copying of files between different document locations.


What are the Steps involved?

Following are the major steps involved in configuring Send To locations:

1. Extract the target document library URL excluding the special characters & page names

2. Configure the URL in document library > Advanced Settings

3. Add target URL to trusted sites in your browser, if source & target are different sites


Please follow the steps below to achieve the same. I am using SharePoint 2013 Online version for the demonstration as the same should work in On-Premise too.

Step 1: Create source document

Open your source SharePoint site & create a document as shown below.


Step 2: Construct Target URL

Open your Target location. In this case it is OneDrive.


Construct the Target URL using the document library name. In my case the target raw URL is:


I modified it to following:

https://yourname/personal /Documents

Ensure the URL is working when you copy-paste it in the browser.

Step 3: Configure the URL

Come back to the source-library > library settings > advanced settings. Scroll down and you can find the Custom Send To Destination section as shown below.


Enter a Destination name & enter Target URL in the URL textbox.


Click Ok to save changes.

Step 4: Add to Trusted file location

Open your browser settings & add the Target URL to the Trusted file location:


Step 5: Perform Copy

Now you are ready to try the Send To option. Open your source library, check the file and choose File > Send To option. Choose the configured location from the drop down.


You will get the following page.


You may wish to choose the automatic update feature. For time being choose No.


Click Ok to start the copying operation. You will get a dialog, Click Ok to continue. You will get the success message as shown below.


Step 6: Verify copy

You can open the target OneDrive location to see the file is being copied there.


This confirms the Send To operation.


Please note that through Content Organization feature, more locations can be added for the copying purpose.



In this article we have explored how to configure Send To between different SharePoint library locations. Please note the trusted sites step while working with different site collections.

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

Sync feature

Posted by Jean Paul on June 15, 2014

In this article we can explore the Sync feature of SharePoint. This feature is available in SharePoint 2013 & Online edition.

Following is the screen shot of sync link. Sync command is available for document libraries. Using the Sync command on any document library, the user can take the folder to their desktop offline.



Please note that this option is not available for Lists.

What is Sync?

The Sync functionality enables Offline working on the document library. You can use the Sync option to synchronize documents to your computer. You can work on them & changes will be automatically updated back.


Clicking on the sync command a dialog will be prompted to launch Groove.exe


Click the Launch Application button.


Prompt for Sync.


You will get the dialog with synchronizing done. Click on the Show my files button to view the folder.


Clicking on the sync command a dialog will be prompted to launch Groove.exe

Folder view

Following is the folder view.


Now you can work offline to add documents, edit & delete. Later when you are connected to Internet the synchronization will take place automatically.

OneDrive Application

In the background there will be a SkyDrive Pro application running for synchronizing the document.



In the background Microsoft OneDrive will be doing the synchronizing operation. If you are using SharePoint Online, then Microsoft OneDrive Pro will be the underlying component.



In this article we have explored Sync feature of SharePoint 2013.

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Ease of Sharing with SharePoint Online

Posted by Jean Paul on June 9, 2014

SharePoint 2013 Online offers much easier way to share documents.

Please follow the steps below to share a document with an external user & emailing with the link.

Step 1 Create a file

Open your SharePoint 365 site & add a file to it.


Step 2 Choose Share option

Select the file & choose the SHARE option from the appearing dialog.image

Enter the email address of your contact.  The document will be shared with him/her.


Click the Share button to close the dialog

Step 3: Receive email

Wait for a minute & you should receive the email link for the shared file.



This is a quick post about sharing files over SharePoint Online.  The same functionality is available in SharePoint On-Premise too, but additional email configuration is necessary.

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

Power of Assets Library

Posted by Jean Paul on June 8, 2014

You might be thinking what is the specialty about Assets Library? Can we use an ordinary library to store videos & images?


What are the features of Assets Library?

Following are the features of Assets Library:

Content Types Assets Library has pre-configured content types for Image, Audio & Video. These content types offer pre-defined columns like Thumbnail, Preview, Size etc.


You can see the content types from the New menu.


Preview Assets Library provides Preview support. For example, storing an image or video file creates a thumbnail of the same & the library gets displayed in the thumbnail view.


Metadata Automatic metadata extraction is done by the Assets Library while file upload. We can get information image like dimensions, size & for video like play duration. Image files supported are BMP, GIF, ICO, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.


Podcast RSS Podcast is enabled for the Assets Library which will enable users to subscribe for new content uploads.

Search Preview Previews are provided for the Assets Library search results. This includes the thumbnail view & preview popup box.


Video Renditions User can upload different resolutions of the same video. The video renditions can have different codecs and formats, and bit rates. Then the user can choose the rendition to play.


If you just need to store picture files, then Picture Library would be the right option.



In this article we have explored the features of Assets Library.

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SharePoint 2013 – Online vs. On-Premise Comparison

Posted by Jean Paul on June 3, 2014

What all things we should keep in mind while choosing between SharePoint Online or On-Premise?


Global Reach

Online provides global access. Thus we can easily share site resources between customers, vendors, contractors.

On-Premise requires public hosting to achieve this.

Internet Connectivity

Online requires Internet connectivity to actively work.  Slow Internet Connections & Offline situations can really affect your work, unless you have a proper offline work plan.

On-Premise does not raise this problem.

Site Administrator

On-Premise comes with a necessity to hire an Administrator to make the On-Premise infrastructure smooth & running.

Online have dedicated Microsoft Support Staffs & the costs are inclusive in the subscriptions.


Online enables more availability compared with On-Premise.  Plus, we have the luxury to call Microsoft Support for emergency situations.


If you have good internet speed, the Online version should not impose any delays in site access, document uploads / edits.


On-Premise comes with limited capacity & the company needs to hire resources & infrastructure to scale up.

Online supports easy scalability by increasing subscription cost.  Cost as well as Time should be an advantage here.


Site Collection count, maximum size, user count etc. varies for Online & On-Premise systems.

On-Premise allows flexibility of increasing upload sizes through configuration changes.  Online does not allow so.


On-Premise imposes no-traffic restrictions.  Please confirm Online traffic-restrictions as per your need.


On-Premise provides easier Synchronization of your local user directory infrastructure like Active Directory.

Online requires separate user-creation & probably a managing or synchronizing infrastructure.

Backup & Restore

Backup & Restore flexibility differs in Online & On-Premise systems.

Please consider this factor while choosing.

Custom Solutions

Online exposes more restrictions to custom solutions including Apps, Server Object Model, Farm solutions etc.  Additional limitations on My Site master page, Feature Stapling etc.

On-Premise enjoy more freedom & flexibility here. 

Sandboxed Solutions

Sandboxed Solutions will have Quota Limits & It is hard to change these limits on Online, till date.

IIS Limitations

Like On-Premise the IIS items & configuration files are not accessible in Online. 

Custom Managed Paths

Custom Managed Paths are not allowed in Online.


Search Crawl Schedules & Programming against Content Sources are limited in SharePoint online.

External Application Hosting

On-Premise provides flexibility of hosting custom solutions & timer jobs within the host machine.

Online does not provide these & we need to add extra infrastructure for this.

External Systems Integration

Online imposes more restrictions on external system integrations through External content type, BCS, Content Sources etc.


On-Premise provides more freedom for Branding customizations.


On-Premise provides extensive PowerShell support.

Online imposes restrictions on the available PowerShell cmdlets.


On-Premise provides flexibility in turning the end storage as RBS or custom.

Online does not allow so.

Document Management

Records Center not available in Online.

Business Intelligence

PowerView, PowerPivot, Dashboards, KPI features vary on On-Premise & Online editions based on subscriptions.

Please ensure your use case mappings are met.

One Drive Pro

OneDrive Pro for business is supported for Online.  This handles the offline problems of SharePoint Online to an extent.

In On-Premise separate configuration & synchronization is needed.

Office Web Apps

Online supports Office Web Apps which allows viewing & editing of Office documents.

On-Premise requires separate license & configuration to allow this.  Typically, On-Premise users goes with Office desktop applications.


Online have more restrictions on Social & Collaboration features like activity feed, tagging, forums etc.


Translation services are up & running in Online.  For On-Premise we need to setup & configure.

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Video Search

Posted by Jean Paul on June 1, 2014

In this article we can explore Video capabilities & Video Search in SharePoint 2013.

Video Capabilities

SharePoint 2013 supports video playback using HTML 5 player. Video files can be stored in Assets Library where a pre-configured Video content type exists.

Search Result for videos uses the Video item template.

What is Video Search Vertical?

Enterprise Search Center page provides a Video vertical where the user can search only on Videos.


What are the pre-requisites for Video storage?

Following are the pre-requisites:

1. Enable Video and Rich Media feature at site collection level

2. Create Assets library

After performing the same, you can try uploading a Video file into the library & perform a Full crawl. Later you can search using the file name.


Let us perform a Video search.

Step 1 Activate Feature

Activate the Video and Rich Media feature from Site Collection features.


Step 2 Create Assets Library

Choose Add an App > Go to Page 2 > Asset Library


Enter a name for the Library.


Step 3 Upload Video File

Download a 1 MB video file from Internet & Upload to the library.


You can see the uploaded file shown below.


Step 4 Add File Type

Open Central Administration > Manage Service Applications > Search Service Application > File Types > Add mp4 extension.



Few video file extensions are not pre-configured & might not appear in the search results. You need to explicitly add them in the Search Configuration.

Step 5 Perform Crawl

Perform an Incremental Crawl for the content source & Wait for the completion.

Step 6 Test Search

Open the Enterprise Search Center site & search for the video using the name.


You can also see the Video preview offered by OOTB.


This concludes our article on Video Search.


In this article we have explored Video Search in SharePoint 2013.

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