Friday, June 27, 2014

SharePoint 2013 and/or Office 365 Upgrade Checkpoint: Does your Information Architecture Align with Your IT Roadmap?

SharePoint 2013 & Office 365 APIs: The Development Options for Accessing Data and Resources - SharePoint Community Blog

Deep-Dive of Microsoft’s Power BI for Office 365

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hybrid Search Deep-dive: SharePoint Server 2013 & Office 365 Integration

Hybrid Search Deep-dive: SharePoint Server 2013 & Office 365 Integration

One of the most common configurations that is starting to emerge into today’s IT landscape is that of a hybrid cloud architecture and is something you must plan for in your organization's long-term SharePoint and/or Office 365 roadmap.
SharePoint Server 2013 can integrate with cloud-based solutions such as Office 365 and/or SharePoint Online in a secure and federated manner that will allow a user with proper permission’s search to return results from both on-premises in SharePoint Server 2013 as well as in Office 365 in the cloud, as shown in image below.

Hybrid Cloud (Hybrid SharePoint 2013 & Office 365) Architecture Summary Overview

The following is a summary of a hybrid SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365 search integration and the related components:
This entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:



Building a Best Practices Information Architecture for SharePoint 2013 \ Office 365

Building a Best Practices Information Architecture for SharePoint 2013 \ Office 365

EPC Group approaches the architecture and design of SharePoint 2013 and/or Office 365’s Information Architecture using a the three-prong approach that provides placeholders for the requirements that must be documented but also sets expectations for the SharePoint project team to design an IA that is scalable and has organization’s long-term SharePoint roadmap in mind.
Building a Best Practices Information Architecture for SharePoint 2013 \ Office 365 Consulting Experts


This entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Understanding and Overcoming SharePoint 2013 Records Management Challenges

Understanding and Overcoming Records Management Challenges

EPC Group will share several new blog posts this week on SharePoint 2013 and Records \ Enterprise Content Management (RM\ECM) strategies. So many organizations throughout the globe have not implemented successful records management initiatives because of the inherit difficulty applying retention policies to content. Another main issue IT has faced is the difficulty in providing a balanced centralized platform that is easy for users to adopt that will store both official records as well as standard documents and other content. Other major issues have been:
The entire article can be read at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

What is a SharePoint “Private Cloud”

What is a SharePoint “Private Cloud”

To first describe and baseline a “private cloud” deployment, the following items and elements will typically be considered and implemented:
  • Hosting SharePoint as infrastructure for a specific or a combination of workloads such as:
o   Enterprise Search
o   Application Platform for Line-of-Business (LOB) application
o   Business Intelligence Implementations
o   Collaboration, community and/or project sites
o   Internet \ intranet Publishing portal
o   Personal Sites

The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:


Differences between Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Records Management (RM) in SharePoint 2013 & Office 365's SharePoint Online

Differences between Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Records Management (RM)

One area you must ensure you have a clear understanding of is around your organization’s stance on what the differences are between a standard document and an official record and what the official legal criteria is that drives these definitions.
Documents of all types are stored throughout the organization in both SharePoint document libraries as well as in areas such as file shares, laptops and devices in both structured and unstructured manners. Records tend to be considered evidence of the official activities of the organization and its governing policies. Are you confused yet? This can be a very grey area at times. I technically define records management as the practice of identifying, classifying, archiving, preserving, and destroying records according to a set of pre-defined standards.
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:


Should I Prepare for a Hybrid SharePoint Platform?

Should I Prepare for a Hybrid SharePoint Platform?
In previous posts, EPC Group has discussed the differences around SharePoint 2013 on-premises (private cloud) vs. the hosted (public cloud) as well as a hybrid SharePoint 2013 deployment which allows for a middle ground for you to tailor based on specific requirements, concerns, security requirements, as well as custom development strategies. There is an inherent tradeoff between complete control of your SharePoint environment and customization strategy vs. a managed service or “service level agreement” (SLA) that you will adhere to for your environment.
There are major considerations that must be vetted by both the business and technology sides of the company and the review of content or intellectual properly and even governing laws at a state, province, or even country level. There are also considerations around business intelligence and the organization’s requirements to connect to other line of business (LOB) systems and how the cloud or hybrid may affect or work with this “other” data and related permission strategies.
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

SharePoint 2013 BYOD Best Practices

Introduction

Remote workers and internal or onsite workers empowered with “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies can push the boundaries of IT and the typical IT-driven culture. A lot of IT organizations are playing catch-up around governance and their information management policies and have pushed back on BYOD due to the added complexity it brings and ultimately forces specific polices to be approved.
There is a tradeoff between not allowing BYOD and the work required to actually implement a BYOD strategy verses the risk of users finding shortcuts and utilizing other methods or access points to share files or obtain reports.
There are proven productivity increases that organizations with a BYOD policy have realized and ROI that comes with empowering users. The gains you may see may in some cases may be inevitably offset with some users taking advantage of the added capabilities but those “one-off” cases should not stifle the overall organization’s momentum towards technology innovations that can keep them ahead of their competitors.

The entire article can be found on EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

Security and Identity Management Considerations for Application Development "From the Trenches"

Introduction

There are a number of security, identity management and authentication considerations when developing custom applications and related features in SharePoint 2013, Office 365, SharePoint Online and Microsoft Azure.
You should always keep in mind SharePoint 2013’s “claims first” authentication architecture during your development as well as in discussions with the business about their custom requirements.
With SharePoint 2013’s user authentication based on claims, user authentication results in creation of a claims token which tracks name value pairs related to token subject. These claims tokens are stored in memory using FEDAUTH token format.

Overview of App Authentication

SharePoint 2013’s app authentication is supported in CSOM as well as in REST API endpoints but is not supported for custom web services. There are three types of app authentication utilized by SharePoint 2013 as follows:
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

Developing Workflows in SharePoint 2013, Office 365 and SharePoint Online “From the Consulting Trenches”

Workflow Development "From the Consulting Trenches"

There has been a complete update to SharePoint 2013’s workflow capabilities and overall workflow architecture, as shown in image below, with new features as well as the underlying workflow engine itself receiving a major overhaul. In this post, EPC Group's SharePoint and Office 365 hybrid development team will walk you through new best practices and strategies regarding workflow development.
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

Implementing Records Management in SharePoint 2013 & Office 365 Using a Strategic & Proven Approach

Introduction and Strategy Overview

Over the past decade, EPC Group has found that records management (RM\ECM) initiatives can be successfully accomplished by following a framework of defined guidelines and principles driven by compliance, collaboration, associated cost, and business continuity.
It is key that the initiative has executive buy-in to both promote and enforce the overall records management initiative. You should also assign specific responsibility to a records management related team (or team member) with a recognized and central discipline within the organization.
If it key to understanding your organization’s content lifecycle, as shown in the image below, in terms of when a document is created through when it is archived and even possibly destroyed.
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:


My Sites in SharePoint 2013, Office 365 and SharePoint Online

My Sites in SharePoint 2013, Office 365 and SharePoint Online

The My Site social architecture in SharePoint 2013, as shown in the figure below, has undergone several major updates and the “personal site” (My Site) as it is now being technically referenced, drives a great deal of the overall social technologies and experience in this new release.
The My Site drives the aggregation of the way users perform their everyday tasks within three difference major hubs. The personal site (My Site) drives sites, newsfeed and OneDrive for Business. The My Site is the central location that the underlying technology surfaces user profile data, search results, activity feeds and tagging capabilities for all users within your organization.
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:


BCS, External & LOB Systems Integration Strategies for SharePoint 2013 & Office 365

BCS, External & LOB Systems Integration Strategies for SharePoint 2013 & Office 365

SharePoint Business Connectivity Services (BCS) provides for the ability to integrate with data that is stored outside of SharePoint in to SharePoint 2013 as well as Office 365 and Microsoft solutions.
The BCS enables for data to be integrated into SharePoint, Office 365, SharePoint Online and other Microsoft solutions in reports or lists for BI initiatives or into SharePoint 2013’s search to be able to provide your users with search results from data across the enterprise using native elements such as the SharePoint 2013 search’s connector framework, as shown in image below.
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

Deep-Dive of Search in SharePoint 2013, Office 365 and SharePoint Online

Deep-Dive of Search in SharePoint 2013, Office 365 and SharePoint Online "From the Trenches"


In this blog post, EPC Group's Sr. Search Architects will cover the key service applications and services that powerSharePoint 2013Office 365 and SharePoint Online’s search to enable your organization’s data to easily be found on-demand as well to enable the accuracy of your search results.
SharePoint 2013’s search applications and related services are as follows:
■ SharePoint Server Search service

The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:


SharePoint 2013 Administration Considerations "From the Consulting Trenches"

SharePoint 2013 Administration Considerations Overview

SharePoint 2013 administration encompasses a wide range or tasks and topics from ensuring security related best practices and maintenance to ensure your sites are secure to reviewing the underlying performance and reviewing the backup and DR jobs to ensure the processes are functioning as expected.
There is a high-level layout of the administration tasks, as shown in the image below, which include the following:
  1. Application Management
    • Manage web applications
    • Create site collections
The entire article can be found at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:


SharePoint 2013 & Office 365 APIs & Development Options for Accessing Data

SharePoint 2013’s APIs and Development Options for Accessing Data and Resources

SharePoint 2013’s APIs allow apps, as well as other elements, to connect and integrate with SharePoint’s core features.
EPC Group's development teams use APIs, as shown in the image below, provide apps their ability to view content or integrate with a workflow or even perform searches.
For example, if you were developing an app for a business intelligence initiative, SharePoint 2013’s APIs would allow your app to connect to SharePoint’s BCS and other elements in a secure manner to access specific data.

The entire article can be viewed at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

eDiscovery Best Practices in SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365

eDiscovery Best Practices in SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365 "From the Consulting Trenches"

Not only do records stored on users devices and in SharePoint become relevant in legal and compliance related cases and incidents, but emails as well as even Lync conversations also fall into eDiscovery requests more and more every day.
The new eDiscovery features and functionality in SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365's SharePoint Onlineprovides improved methods to help protect your organization as well as its team members. Some of the new and added capabilities around eDiscovery in SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365 include:
The entire article can be viewed at EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link:

Reviewing Metadata “Content Types” in SharePoint Server 2013 & Office 365


Reviewing Metadata “Content Types” in SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365 | SharePoint Online

A content type is a reusable collection of settings and rules applied to a certain category of content in SharePoint. Content types define more granular attributes for documents, content, and library or list items. They allow you to associate information management policies to your SharePoint sites and site collections and play a key role in enforcing SharePoint governance.
The entire article can be viewed on EPC Group's Official Blog at the following link: