Typical Intranet Portal–SharePoint

Very often we start talking about SharePoint with a customer or organization and the obvious point we discuss is about their intranet portal. Different organizations have different visualization and vision towards their intranet portal, however it becomes confusing to decide where to start and what is must? I have met customers which on the contrary were very clear about what they want their Intranet Portal to do, and I figured out typically every SharePoint portal must have following to start with

Intranet Portal

Courtesy: Made with iMindMap 7

The key in drafting such a mind map for ones intranet portal is to have a holistic view of all the requirements and requirements being clearly classified into “must have” and “Good to have”.

Happy sharing!

I Love SP

SharePoint! Elevator Pitch

I totally agree when someone says that SharePoint is not a ready-to-sale display picture it is rather a canvas, that requires an artist to put imaginations into their real forms. But, never the less we are often in a situation which requires us to start the discussion on SharePoint probably with those who either don’t know about it or knows a bit. Now, with the later case (i.e. people knowing a bit about SharePoint) there is always a case “Half knowledge is dangerous”, so beware.

My first elevator pitch

SharePoint is a portal platform. And portals are different then sites, in the way that portals allows you to contribute or update data or information on your site easily and effectively. For instance you can ask your Leave Management System to update the data on your intranet site for all the employees and individuals without your constant intervention or ask your sales management system to provide the updated sales pipeline every single day on your intranet site or ask your portfolio management system to provide portfolio information every day on your public facing site.

With SharePoint possibilities are enormous, the only limit is imagination.

I know the pitch sounds WOW! but, trust me this is not even a bit about SharePoint and its capabilities that we have talked about but you have got what you wanted Smile an invite for a detailed discussion, that is what the elevator pitch is meant to be after-all.

My second elevator pitch

SharePoint is a collaboration platform. With collaboration I mean you can build an enterprise grade collaboration where people can store, share and manage enterprise content in form of documents, media, images, thoughts, comments, reviews, etc. within the enterprise and with external people in a secured way. SharePoint supports blogs, wikis, document libraries, workspaces, record center, audit trial reports, dashboards, business intelligence reports and KPIs, Workflow based business process automations, integrations to harmonize data across various systems, public facing websites, and off-course visualize data on maps, graphs, charts, etc.

Bring business together with SharePoint.

This is based on my understanding of features being added\upgraded in SharePoint 2010, I saw that Microsoft is investing in the product but there is a long way to go.

My latest elevator pitch

If you can’t think of business without people then the way to connect them is SharePoint. SharePoint is capable of making your people connect, share ideas, views, opinions, comments; SharePoint is enterprise social. Connect your SharePoint with Yammer to bring in collective intelligence and insight to your business; Connect your SharePoint with Project Server to bring in projects insight; Connect your SharePoint with CRM to bring in customer and market insight; Connect your SharePoint to cloud and bring your people, customers and partners together.

SharePoint is Enterprise Social are you?

Trust me, with every new version of SharePoint your pitch will get better and better, what matters end of the day is how your customer’s can get benefitted out of it.

Happy sharing and selling!

SP and Gmail

SharePoint & IMAP/POP3

It’s not hard to get into a situation where you are asked as SharePoint implementer to integrate SharePoint with IMAP/POP3 based SMTP servers (and I am assuming except Exchange). The challenge is we as developer’s know its possible but how?

What is IMAP/POP3?

Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) is a standard mail protocol used to receive emails from a remote server to a local email client. POP3 allows you to download email messages on your local computer and read them even when you are offline.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is a protocol for e-mail retrieval and storage developed by Mark Crispin in 1986 at Stanford University as an alternative to POP.

Courtesy: SiteGround

Integrating SharePoint with IMAP/POP3

I am taking Gmail for instance as my IMAP/POP3 based SMTP service provider

Step wise

1. On your Windows Server machine, enable the SMTP server role

2. Open IIS, and right click on SMTP Server and Properties

3. Provide your FQDN when asked, provide appropriate values to other settings (Refer to link)

4. Once done in IIS, open your SharePoint CA (Central Administration)

5. Provide outbound SMTP server as your FQDN entry as mentioned while configuring SMTP server

6. Provide other details appropriately and WOLA!

It’s pretty straight forward and works great.

Reference Link for above Process

Courtesy: Technet

Other SMTP

Follow this link for reference

Courtesy: SPJeff

Happy sharing!


How to use psconfig for connecting to DB?

Though 2010 is old now, there are organizations still using it with all the love, and we (administrators) have to manage, maintain and many a times also configure the farm for SharePoint 2010. Here is a small article from me about using psconfig (famous command line alternative of SharePoint Configuration Wizard) to connect to existing SharePoint DB.

Courtesy: This article is on request by Shrikant (one of my old colleague)

What is psconfig?

In SharePoint 2010 Products, you can use the Psconfig command-line tool as an alternative interface to perform several operations that control how SharePoint 2010 Products are configured. You must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer to perform these operations.

Courtesy: Microsoft Technet

How to use psconfig to connect to existing SQL Server Database?

psconfig.exe -cmd configdb -create -server <Server_name> -database <Database_name>
-dbuser <DOMAIN\username> -dbpassword <password>
-user <DOMAIN\username> -password <password>
-addomain <domain_name> -adorgunit <org_unit>
-admincontentdatabase <Database_name>
psconfig.exe -cmd configdb -disconnect
psconfig.exe -cmd configdb -connect -server <Server_name> -database <Database_name>
-dbuser <DOMAIN\username> -dbpassword <password>

Courtesy: Microsoft Technet

Happy sharing!

InfoPath 2013

Now InfoPath! What’s next?

Few months back with the news of InfoPath being officially declared closed by Microsoft, there was too much panic among the enterprises and businesses, trust me many of them even didn’t used it all. But something officially declared closed is a big news.

So, lets see where are you even if you have heavily invested in InfoPath forms on SharePoint now; Even if InfoPath is officially declared closed, it’s only for stopping any new versions for InfoPath, the 2013 version would still be supported till 2023. The bigger question is what’s next?

What’s Next?

Frankly, there are no plans committed yet for what would be future of forms in SharePoint after InfoPath, but there are some informal development in this area.

  • Excel Surveys
  • List Forms (or  FOSL – Forms on SharePoint Lists)
  • Structured Documents
  • App Forms
  • Form7

Courtesy: The future of Forms with SharePoint and Office 365

Happy sharing!

SharePoint Origin | It’s Monday

If you haven’t heard about Platinum and Tahoe in SharePoint then, trust me you know nothing about SharePoint’s origin Smile. Yes, but also you are not alone there are many who know much about SharePoint but its history. SharePoint has it’s root from Site Server and Site Server Commerce Edition, way back in 1996.

For more information read this article by JoiningDots

Happy sharing!