Technology tips: 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

We have written a lot about share point designer before but this time we thought there should be more information for share point designer written as this is becoming very import for all designers who are working with share point technology.
Microsoft initially introduced FrontPage for editing webpages earlier then discarded that product and people might have worked with expression web for creating web pages and then Microsoft introduced SharePoint designer which was corresponding tool for SharePoint for designing SharePoint sites.
And probably Microsoft has changed direction when people have seen Microsoft is launching Microsoft edge with windows 10 would be used for designing and enhancing SharePoint sites.
Microsoft is coming up with new ideas of browsing and enhancing it with Microsoft edge with windows 10 browser – you can change and enhance your web experience through thin client which
is Microsoft edge browser where you read content and write as well.
So again web designer still thinking to work with the right tool, when it’s coming to enhance and customize existing SharePoint site so everyone ending up with ms SharePoint designer 2013 because people are working with sharepoint 2013 but how they can customize site easily.
Ultimately people are using SharePoint designer 2013 but it does not have WYSIWYG editor so web designer still finding some other ways to design sites.

MS SharePoint designer 2013 with Dreamweaver:

You can use sharepoint designer and dreamweaver  for designing master pages  or if you wanted to design a header in any html editor and take them into SharePoint designer and other component and publish them in your SharePoint site.
You have choice to design your header or social bar with any html editor, it could be Dreamweaver
Ideally you can find some slider on net and download it and open it in Dreamweaver
One of the major components of sharepoint designer 2013 is design manager with the help of design manager in SharePoint 2013 you can channelize your master page specific to mobile or desktop or ipad so once configured different master pages will be used for different channel.
Ideally you can use Dreamweaver for designing header as master page and import it using design manager so the entire header layout will be converted with design manager. These headers will be treated as master page and will be converted automatically from design manager.

This means you add social bar in Dreamweaver and update it by time to time in dreamweaver and change will be reflected in SharePoint once you have uploaded all design file into associated libraries in sharepoint then this bar up and running.
If you have multilingual site so you must be having 2 default.html 1 for English and 1 for Arabic and 2 more files associated with them as .master file each and if you have header navigation so must be having header.html and header.master. But you have to edit your html in dreamweaver for any header you have designed there and changes will be synced automatically because you have uploaded all html files from design manager and SharePoint just created .master file for all those header pages.
You can design any social bar or navigation in that header and convert them into master using design manager.
So as of now you can understand how to design navigation and where to design it obviously in dreamweaver or you can design consistent look for all pages as master page that will be used as master page later. One more thing which is very important to explain you can also design navigation in SharePoint 213 for that you don’t need SharePoint designer or Dreamweaver.
But still there is a need of slider in SharePoint for your site to be ready and launch. You can do it in sharepoint 2013 using content search webpart which is in content roll up category  add that webpart into your content query web part.

And if you want to display images as slider for that SharePoint add a content search webpart, this web part never shipped in earlier version of sharepoint now you can find it in webpart gallery just add it in your page where you want to display images as slider. And select its property change query and define image library and define path there. And in display template section select slide show and select item as large picture. When you finish adding webpart on your page then you will see a slider running on your SharePoint site page. But for social navigation or header you can use dreamweaver and design that area there.




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

SharePoint has been used for document management and been very beneficial for any organization in this domain,  Let’s elaborate a scenario to understand sharepoint 2013 document management easily -where you have multiple documents or  aspx pages pointing to single document or pdf files which could be policy file. And you received updated document from other department to update the policy document where this document is being pointed as hyperlinks to other aspx pages and within content publishing sites where content requires publishing.
If you just upload the file without doing anything then SharePoint will create new instance of that file in the same document library and you won’t be able to see changes in associated documents if its properties are not same – MS SharePoint 2013 could place space character in the file and upload that same document.
Complex scenario is when you have file hello_world.docx associated with 10 different aspx pages pointing to that file for user audience and if you receive the same updated document of that file from department to upload pdf  then you have to take great care in that – otherwise you will end up with  the smoke.
If you find this error ”file already exist” while uploading then you should rename updated file and give it a new name but don’t publish it and check content deployment job run time and within limited time you have to do this activity if your content job is setup after every 15 minutes, so if you publish it then this might be more difficult  to handle and  rename existing pdf and upload it then you have the following version
Hello_world.pdf
Hello_world1.pdf you just renamed updated pdf.
Now you can easily remove the first Hello_world.pdf and rename again uploaded pdf from Hello_world1.pdf to Hello_world.pdf and now you are done.
On the other hand you can take the backup of existing document and download existing pdf, ideally you can remove that document and just upload the updated document which you recently received with the same name.
When you will upload the same document – it should be having the same name as it was having previously or you can make changes in its property like title and name of the document that is being uploaded from property ribbon or click on column … and from there select checkout and then edit properties of that pdf.
If you just upload that document then MS  SharePoint 2013 will upload the same document inside the same document library with green mark sign- and as of now you have not published the updated document so changes will not be reflected in other associated pages that are pointing to that document with link and SharePoint will show you the old document that was already published.
If you are trying to rename that document which is updated document, and  given new name like hello_world_old.docx then trying to upload the updated document then SharePoint probably point you to the old link and rest of the aspx  pages will point to that old link not the new link and all aspx pages hyperlink will change to the hello_world_old if content deployment job has moved content and published them.
You can easily move document files or other files from one document library to another one, it will retain the entire version history you can do it with file explorer anyways but this scenario is different from the existing one.
But if you want to update the SharePoint document then remove the first one and upload the new one but first remove first one because links will be pointing to this document from other aspx pages for example and if name is changed then you won’t see it’s functioning and links pointing to that document will be changed as well.
What is advantage of this entire practice:
I don’t need to change the all hyperlink a href command in all aspx pages where this file was being pointed as a download link. If you rename this updated document and publish it mistakenly then you are gone.
Using SharePoint for document management details:
Below version history is telling me this- I have upload the same document replacing the existing one, version 1.0 and 2.0 is the old file whereas version 3.0 is newly uploaded file that has been uploaded by me with the same property title. If you can’t upload the same name file then rename it give different name upload it and remove earlier version and change this document name to the old name.
sharepoint for document management ultimate details how easily you can manage your document with it
SharePoint for document management

As conclusion just reiterating- if you want to update or replace existing document in SharePoint 2013 then just upload the document with the same property like title, description and file name as it was uploaded before for example hello_world.docx then replace it with new one hello_world.docx and SharePoint will give you green mark sign with the new one and that’s it remove the old one – if you rename the old document name then SharePoint content deployment job will move the old document to production site and all links pointing to hello_world.docx will be pointing to hello_world_old.docx. And as a result you will have to update all other apsx pages where this links has been given. So to avoid rework just remove the old document and replace it with the new one.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

If you have better idea about versioning in SharePoint 2013 and you might be working with aspx pages that could be used for designing contact us page, information page or product page and any kind of aspx page using SharePoint 2013. Complex situations come where you are concurrently working with different version of those pages.
It’s simple if you are familiar with layout pages you need to create a simple aspx page and select layout and that’s it, you are ready to go. Below example of aspx page is a contact page where you have created different versions and one of them is a published version and you also make changes in the existing one and that become draft version and you check in that aspx version where your content deployment job is already setup so you can only publish this draft version and then unpublished it or somehow remove that draft or manipulate all these versions.
We come across with a problem when we were working on the same page and created different versions of aspx page, below screen shot is displaying various versions of aspx page 17.0 where by mistake or you want to you want to make changes on the production version so  new content should be displayed and save it so SharePoint has created another draft version for you- or you made small change on published version so then it becomes draft version and you would probably see the screen below for your change that you made to 17.0 version and becomes 17.1 version.
So the version that has unpublished option as described in the picture below technically is the version on production server but if you look at the version so there is 17.1 version is there because you have made some changes in it and SharePoint has created another draft for you of the production version.  

So you would see one “unpublished” option in your SharePoint 2013 version history page and you would see only “view” and “restore” option for the page which is converted into draft. And you would see “view” “restore” and “delete” option for those versions that is there with draft status.
 
SharePoint 2013 aspx version managaement
SharePoint 2013 version history
So technically our published version is 17.1 because we made small change in content so then SharePoint converted and produced a 17.1 as draft but if you check the screen 17.0 is published version.

If you click on view option then you can delete this item version from that dialog box and edit content type of that page and restore it from there. As a rule of thumb – this area is for version to delete individually, unpublished and restores any version of any type – it could be document, aspx page excel sheet etc.
SharePoint 2013 document version or aspx page version with unpublished option
SharePoint 2013 document version or aspx pages version
These screens shot captured from Microsoft own product SharePoint server 2013 illustrated here for learning purpose only.

Whereas if you want to see other version of that aspx page so you would see unpublished version too and with other version like 16.0 or 15.0 you would probably see delete option to delete that version of page and view option to view that version of page and you would probably see restore to restore that version of aspx pages.
 
SharePoint 2013 aspx page version management with delete option
SharePoint 2013 aspx page version management with delete option
On the other hand you can easily manage other version of that aspx page where you can delete and restore the same version of aspx page in SharePoint 2013.
If you want to try this out so to be on safe side – you can easily delete one version and restore it from recycle bin folder where all deleted items are kept so fear not and go and delete any draft version of aspx page  and restore it from recycle bin folder- it’s that simple.
SharePoint 2013 provides the same tendency of SharePoint2013 document versions that it provides with pages, list item, and presentation version and excel sheet version.
Now we are sure you understand how easily you can manipulate complex version scenario of aspx pages in SharePoint 2013 and your issue has been resolve.
Please leave comments if you have any other issue related to that SharePoint document version, aspx page versions.





Friday, February 12, 2016

SharePoint technology will give you different flavor of SharePoint to work with as below – there are features difference among these SharePoint 2013 versions variation offering from free to paid releases depending on versions you select.
SharePoint 2013 foundation flavor, SharePoint 2013 standard, SharePoint 2013 enterprise and SharePoint 2013 online- and there is Microsoft sql server works with SharePoint as back-end no other databases like oracle or mysql can be used as back-end but yes – for user authentication it is LDAP compliant and much more.

SharePoint 2013 server foundation flavor:
Having basic functionality and offered free by Microsoft but where you would install this foundation that requires windows server and that is not free, functionality includes core feature being used by SharePoint server itself you can design portals and feature available free can be used with SharePoint standard version. Basic search with collaboration is available in this version; wiki and blog etc. are there with this version. Foundation flavor is better for those who want to understand and have look and feel of SharePoint.

SharePoint 2013 Server Standard Flavor:
Supporting all foundation servers this server extends its functionality supporting ecm feature and web content management – used to design business solution ECM centric precisely for publishing and authoring pages and creating layout pages. It extends the workflow capabilities, user profile management service.
just reiterating what is provides, collaboration on site, customization using browser, document management, version history feature, blog wiki sites could be created as sophisticated blogging and wiki platform, custom list and other templates in this category  are available in standard, enterprise and foundation version of SharePoint.

SharePoint 2013 Server Enterprise flavor:
Enterprise version will have all standard version feature along with this you will also have forms services, excel services and business connectivity services, web forms, info path and Visio services available in this flavor also have business intelligence and other app services in this version.
Synopsis again - Record management, user profile, news articles creation, personal sites functionality are available in SharePoint standard, enterprise and online version.


Sharepoint 2013 versions ultimate details wi hep you understand how many versions are for sharepoint 2013 and some usage scenario of it.
SharePoint 2013 Versions Variation animated infographic
Above animated infographic for SharePoint 213 versions will hep you understand variations in that and its versions.

SharePoint online (few use cases or typical scenario)
If organization does not want to manage infrastructure and backup disaster recovery or patching or upgrade of SharePoint 2013 then those organizations can consider SharePoint online version.
And organizations that have already farm inside organization and hosted various solutions of SharePoint for that they can consider keeping some services online.
In the first step organization wanted to go online beside on premises SharePoint 2013 then –these organizations initially think of taking project management and team sites activities online then gradually move on and sometime there is external list for vendors who wants to bid as external third party vendors- ideally that type of list could be hosted and configure on line version of SharePoint 2013.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

There is no doubt in that people are using SharePoint 2013 for designing website especially local intranet portal and extranet facing site. As a platform it can not only be used to design extranet portal or local intranet portal but also used to achieve other goals of organization. You can design internet facing sites as well and you can find document stored in your repository, you can manage document and records, it also provides collaboration, enterprise content management, business process management, search content and much more.
Microsoft says –it’s for Share, organize, discover, build and manage.
Where you can share content and documents in your enterprise, you can organize task and projects, and off course you can discover content in your enterprise where content can be searched very fast and result would be more relevant and organize with search engine is built in SharePoint. In designing or build part you can go beyond the limit and design any custom app with SharePoint 2013, and this time you can also manage your solution on cloud – SharePoint has different flavor means you can go and install it on cloud office 365 for example some services on cloud and manage your solution easily.
What is collaboration if SharePoint 2013 is collaboration platform?
For enterprise collaboration means - you allow your colleague to work on the same document side by side while others are working and SharePoint creates different version of that document but when you check in then your changes would be visible to others.
What is SharePoint 2013 definition simplified:
If your organization wants to design website so they can use SharePoint to design it, if enterprise wants to create intranet portals then – can go ahead with SharePoint and like if someone wants to design extranet portal then SharePoint would be right choice.
Organization wants to share content or document –can use SharePoint and collaborate on it, can do enterprise content management, document management and business process management activities with this server suite of tools.


what is sharepoint 2013
What is SharePoint 2013 understanding and Concepts with animated infographic
Above animated inforgraphic will help you to understand what is SharePoint 2013

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 is being offered as different version by Microsoft:
1) SharePoint Foundation 2013
free version with limited feature but of course you need windows server to run it.
2) SharePoint 2013 Standard server 
A server for designing business solution but again some feature would still be missing.
3) SharePoint 2013 enterprise server
Designed for large enterprise to design large business solutions.
4) SharePoint 2013 online version:
if you don’t want to create SharePoint so you can go ahead with option – SharePoint as hosted service.

You can browse this site more to find out difference among these versions.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Blog can be used to publish news article - there are many news websites you can browse and few of them might be using SharePoint blog technology for publishing news on their website. And if you browse any news site like CNBC news so you would see summary of article first and roll up components etc and then if you click further then it will show you up the entire news article. 
There are many sites has been developed using such technologies - But if you look at the platform from Microsoft so there was only tool Microsoft has introduced to create blog site was SharePoint Server and from then on people has used SharePoint blogging feature and created various sites entertaining their audience.
SharePoint 2013 blog feature will give you ready component to use it in your site as blogging platform, integrated with Microsoft office like word you can also  publish post directly from there, archiving and a lot more.
And creating blog in SharePoint 2013 is super easy too if you have SharePoint skills.
You can do customization in your SharePoint 2013 blog if you want to design it according to your need.

Super Easy Steps for creating SharePoint 2013 blog:
Creating SharePoint blog in 2013 is super easy, you follow the step to create a blog in sharepoint 2013.

Key sequence to create sharepoint 2013 blog:
From menu click Site content>>Subsite>>url>>select blog template>> create blog
description:
Select site content>>  then Create Subsite, give a title to your blog, enter some description what is it all about few lines then website address in the next text box and then select template blog from there and click create button that's it, you will end up with sophisticated blog site displaying blog post and on the right side navigation you will see few links for creating new post, manage post, category, archive etc.

If you click on manage post then it will take to to the list area where article are being created and displayed.
And if you browse it from ribbon and go into list setting then you can add any site column in this article that you want. You will find various default columns like title, body, comments of article and created date , category, rating, likes how many likes there are,  first you need to understand what is the purpose of these columns.
These column are being used to store information about article in this example , and few column you might not find them in your article like thumbnail image and summary text so you can create that column and - can be used to store thumbnail image and summary text in your article and you create these column straight from the list setting and then create column.
So this is become super easy for anyone to create a blog in sharepoint 2013 and entertain their audience.

















Thursday, February 4, 2016

When you are working in a SharePoint world and there is team with you working on any site like developer tester and designer then – there is no chance for anyone to work directly on production server.
When you have installed SharePoint there – you will have to setup UAT server, development server, production server and probably you can install staging server in order to streamline entire life cycle of SharePoint activities, if you are working on SharePoint production server and editing site or designing some SharePoint site directly from production so you will end up with the smoke if any error occurs then your site which is hosted on SharePoint will go down. So how anyone can be safe from this disaster.
So there is concept of content deployment has been introduced in earlier version of SharePoint and now people have clear visibility about as to why they should setup all other server in SharePoint farm if really want to take advantage of content deployment job with SharePoint 2013.

There are different ways to configure content deployment job in SharePoint 2013– from CA SharePoint you can browse content deployment path option do tweak there. You can check from there how many objects has been exported and imported.  Actually you setup SharePoint 2013 content deployment job by 
specifying from where content will move – so in ideal scenario it would be from one site collection on UAT server to another site collection in production server.
If you are ok with scripts then you can write scripts for exporting object to production site collection.

SharePoint 2013 content deployment job failed:
If you have this status all the time with your job – and you don’t know the reason so you need to browse the log area of content deployment job – just click on that log file and open it.

sharepoint content deployment job concepts and best practices
SharePoint Content Deployment job best practices and concepts
Reaching SharePoint 2013 Content deployment Failed Job status:
If you want to check the status of content deployment fail job and see status and log area so follow the key sequence below mentioned as >>

Key Sequence for content deployment failed status log:
SharePoint Central Admin>> General Application Settings>> Configure Content Deployment Job>> check your job name there and click Failed >> and then browse the path mentioned for log there.