SharePoint Video Training Course Offered

September 18, 2014

For most SharePoint administrators and users, a good deal of training is needed to navigate the massive and sometimes tricky platform. One-off webinars are plentiful, but sometimes a more in-depth training option is needed. Virtual Strategy Magazine highlights a new video training course in their article, “CBT Nuggets Announces Microsoft SharePoint Training Course.”

The article begins:

“CBT Nuggets announces the release of a new video training course, ‘Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Collaboration Expert.’ In this 13-video course, CBT Nuggets trainer Brian Alderman covers key operations that can be performed by users with editing permissions in SharePoint. Topics covered include list configuration settings, working with workflows, SharePoint social options, and more.”

Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of following and reporting on all things search on his Web site ArnoldIT.com. His SharePoint work is highlighted on his SharePoint feed. For all levels of users, his tips and tricks can provide helpful assistance in navigating the difficulties of SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, September 18, 2014

BA Insight New Hire Likes His Job

September 17, 2014

Navigate to “My BA Insight Enterprise Search Adventure Begins.” The enthusiasm, confidence, and Super Bowl winning attitude rips off my screen. With new executive and venture funding, BA Insight seems to be a go to solution. But is the company too closely allied with Microsoft and the aging SharePoint product? Will the forthcoming Delve (a variation on the vision for Fast Search & Transfer revealed during a talk at CERN in 2007) put pressure on the SharePoint centric outfits? I just don’t know.

Here’s the passage I find interesting. I did not have one of the goslings “fix up” the capitalization errors or add links.

As I’ve been ramping up I’ve been learning a lot about their products and solutions.  BA Insight use to be known as the connector company.  The BA Insight Longitude Connectors can connect Microsoft SharePoint to more than 30 enterprise systems for information access and cross-platform search.  They have so many connectors that allow SharePoint 2013, 2010, FAST and previous versions of SharePoint connect to a huge variety of backend systems.  Here are a few examples:  Documentum, eRooms, Websphere, Hummingbird, LiveLink, SAP, Siebel, Notes, Autonomy, FileNet, Connections, Opentext, SalesForce, Netdocs, SQL,  Docushare, and a bunch of different legal systems… I heard they recently setup a connector for Jive and are open to building a connector for companies that need one to other systems not listed.  Even with all of that, I find they don’t want to be known as simply a connector company since they really have a platform for enterprise search.  The autoclassify stuff is brilliant.  It helps set properties on your content based on your managed metadata and with a set of rules for both content already in SharePoint and for the content that will stay in these other systems.  You really need to have good metadata so you can drill down and filter your search results quickly and easily and that’s where their rich search UI comes in providing search parts that give you the ability to drill in without needing to know boolean search.   At that point it’s the smart previews that save you time.  On top of the Office Web Apps in SharePoint 2013, you get previews for PDF, ZIP, and a huge variety of other formats including the old office formats that you’d otherwise miss including to all of those systems I mentioned.  There’s even more, but I think this is a good start for understanding a few of the top products.  As an example they’ve been doing some really innovative work on hybrid search and real federation where the results are in one stream.

My question is, “Why would anyone use SharePoint when BA Insight can fill the bill as “enterprise search experts”? I think Fast Search had a good sense of what it had to do to address the limitations of its technology. The question is, “Will Microsoft want partners to siphon off revenue from the mother ship?”

Stephen E Arnold, September 17, 2014

SharePoint Simplifies Cloud Use with Better Updates

September 16, 2014

The next major update to SharePoint functionality will not occur until sometime in 2015, but for now users can get the most function out of their current implementation by taking advantage of Service Pack 1. Especially important for customers who intend to integrate Cloud components, SP1 focuses on reliability, security, and performance. Read more in the Enterprise Apps Today article, “SharePoint Updates Ease Move to Cloud.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 has been out for quite some time and received a Service Pack update earlier in the year. While SP1 included the usual mix of performance, reliability and security fixes, it also provided a number of new and updated features with an eye toward the cloud. Another update makes it easier to use Yammer as the social network of choice over the outdated Newsfeed.”

For more tips and tricks regarding getting the most out of your SharePoint installation, head on over to ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of all things search, and gives a good bit of attention to the enterprise. His SharePoint feed helps users and administrators navigate the often complicated and potentially frustrating ins and outs of SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, September 16, 2014

BA Insight Delves into Connectors

September 12, 2014

I read “BA Insight Adds 10 New Indexing Connectors to Surface Information.” The article reports that it offers connectors for:

  • SharePoint Online
  • Confluence
  • Salesforce.com
  • Microsoft Dynamics Online
  • CuadraSTAR
  • Alfresco
  • Scopus
  • PharmaCircle
  • Jive
  • Box

Outside In (now Oracle) and Entropy Soft (now Salesforce) proved that connectors could be more important than the software to which folks want to connect in terms of buy out magnetism.

Is BA Insight embracing connectors as a way to accelerate its attractiveness to a potential acquirer? Will BA Insight’s play provide Microsoft Delve (when it becomes a carrier class product in a couple of years) with an easy way to support more than a handful of content types? Will Microsoft buy BA Insight? (Both companies share a vision that keyword search is not about search but about related information.)

What the move suggests to me is that BA Insight is filling in some gaps in the Delve product offering. I address the Microsoft Delve collection of functions in my forthcoming Information Today column. Connectors may be the least of Delve’s challenges. I think it would be helpful if Delve could process email attachments, a feature I understand is not supported. The packing of components around Yammer is not a revolution in search. The approach reminds me of Microsoft’s creation of SharePoint from acquired and home grown code. Do you remember

My hunch is that other Microsoft dependent services firms will “delve” into this gap as well. Me too is a time honored practice in the pond choked with search fish.

Some folks are nosing around ElasticSearch as a low cost, relatively easy solution to content aggregation. What happens if ElasticSearch community developers focus on SharePoint? Interesting question.

Stephen E Arnold, September 12, 2014

Limit Results to a Specific Library in SharePoint

September 12, 2014

This honk goes out to SharePoint users in the crowd. In a post titled “SharePoint Search *Quirks: Query Variables,” the MSDN SharePoint Strategy blog addresses a common question: How can one limit results to a specific library in a specific site collection? The write-up points us to the MS resource page, “Query Variables in SharePoint Server.” We think the examples really underscore the user-friendliness of
SharePoint search. Here’s the first example:

“To scope to this site collection: {searchTerms} SPSiteURL:{SiteCollection.Url}

*By using the {SiteCollection.Url} variable, you could define, say a [result source, query rule, result type or whatever] at an SSA level and it would be applicable to the Site Collection from which the query is made.

*In other words, say I have two site collections http://foo/sites/abc and http://foo/sites/xyz, and wanted to create a rule (or whatever) at the SSA level. For this example, hard coding the URL path would mean I have to create two rules (or whatever) …one for each site collection, which clearly doesn’t scale for large environments.

*Instead, I can create just one rule and use the variable instead that would be correct and in the proper context for all site collections.”

See the write-up for a little more, or click through to the “Query Variables” page it points out. We are advised that there are probably other ways to do this, but this is how this blogger and MS employee (writing as “bspender”) has uncovered. It is nice to know there are multiple options for approaching this task. Simplicity may be overrated.

Cynthia Murrell, September 12, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Incorporates SharePoint Server Component for the Cloud

September 11, 2014

Microsoft is slowly learning that combining components of SharePoint Online and the SharePoint on-site versions tends to serve the user better. The latest combination involves SharePoint server and you can read all the details in the eWeek article, “Microsoft Borrows From SharePoint Server for Cloud-Based Intranets.”

The article begins:

“The company ports two SharePoint Server 2013 features to its cloud-based counterpart to provide a better search-driven navigation experience. Microsoft has issued an update that brings search-based navigation capabilities from the on-premises version of SharePoint to intranets based on SharePoint Online, the company’s cloud-based business collaboration platform.“

Stephen E. Arnold is an expert in search and devotes a good bit of his attention to SharePoint. His research can be found on ArnoldIT.com, and those interested in SharePoint might want to bookmark the SharePoint feed. He focuses on the tips and tricks that can make SharePoint not only tolerable, but much more functional, for both the administrator and the user.

Emily Rae Aldridge, September 11, 2014

Microsoft Extends DLP to SharePoint

September 9, 2014

Microsoft is unveiling data loss prevention for the Office 365 suite. Administrators will be able to search for information across SharePoint Online and OneDrive. Read more in the PCWorld article, “Microsoft Rolls Out DLP to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft has extended the data loss prevention features in Office 365 so that they are available not only for its email tools but also for data in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Office 365 already had DLP capabilities for Exchange Online and Outlook, so that compliance officers could monitor email communications and enforce corporate and regulatory rules regarding the use of sensitive corporate data, such as confidential intellectual property details and customers’ financial information.”

Microsoft continues to improve the Office 365, spending special attention on streamlining and improving the user experience for SharePoint. For users who are interested in keeping up with the latest updates, keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com and particularly the SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of all things search, and his expertise shines through as he offers the latest tips and tricks for SharePoint users.

Emily Rae Aldridge, September 09, 2014

Microsoft Clarifies SharePoint Patch Process

September 4, 2014

Microsoft has not had good luck with their service pack updates and patch processes this year. Riddled with complications, Microsoft has had to overcome some bad press, and this week had to offer some clarification for regarding its recently released August Cumulative Update. Read all the details in the article, “Microsoft Clarifies SharePoint 2013 Patch Process and New ‘Uber Packages’.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft offered clarification about its patch process for SharePoint Server 2013 this week. The occasion for confusion, prompting Microsoft’s clarification, was the release of the August Cumulative Update (CU) for SharePoint 2013. The August CU came with a caveat about having to install the July CU first. That led SharePoint experts, such Microsoft MVP Todd Klindt, to say that the August CU really wasn’t a cumulative update after all.”

This constant back and forth from Microsoft forces administrators into persistent vigilance regarding the latest news and changes to the SharePoint platform. Stephen E. Arnold has devoted his life to search and his Web site ArnoldIT.com is a good repository for helpful information. His SharePoint feed is a good one to bookmark to stay on top of the latest changes, and offers advice on how your organization can overcome the latest SharePoint struggle.

Emily Rae Aldridge, September 04, 2014

Microsoft Shakes Up SharePoint Online to Increase Storage

September 2, 2014

In response to an ever-increasing need for storage, Microsoft has announced changes to the way SharePoint Online manages storage blocks. Read about the latest announcement in the PC World article, “Microsoft Tweaks SharePoint Online to Free Up Site Storage.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft has tweaked the controls in SharePoint Online to let administrators make better use of storage resources allocated to SharePoint websites. The changes seek to make processes more automated, and to add some flexibility in how storage for SharePoint Online is managed within the Office 365 suite. Until now, SharePoint site collections, which are groups of related SharePoint websites, had to be assigned a set amount of storage, and that storage space couldn’t be used for anything else even if some of it went unused.”

Users and administrators will benefit from the increased flexibility. It also shows some effort on the part of Microsoft to improve the SharePoint user experience by taking care of some “no-brainer” flaws in the system. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and continues to keep an eye on the latest news in his SharePoint feed on ArnoldIT.com. Staying on top of these announcements is a great way for organizations to keep increasingly their SharePoint efficiency.

Emily Rae Aldridge, September 02, 2014

Using SharePoint as a Video Platform

August 28, 2014

Video and other forms of dynamic media are an increasingly large share of the information market. This type of media has historically been a bit harder to index and make sense of in the business realm, but that is beginning to change. Read more in the TechRadar article, “Why You Should Use SharePoint as a Video Platform.”

The article begins:

“In the modern age, video is emerging as a content medium of choice, especially for the next generation worker who has grown up with video content playing a key role in their daily lives. The SharePoint platform, while not built with video in mind, can be enhanced to become a powerful and effective video content platform, catering for both live video events and on-demand video content.”

The article then goes on to explain how you can work with video content by enhancing your existing SharePoint setup. These non-traditional functions of SharePoint can really help an organization get the most bang for their buck when it comes to SharePoint. However, it can take a good bit of time and customization, and to help ease that burden, Web sites like ArnoldIT.com can be helpful. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of all things search and devotes a good bit of time to the best tips and tricks regarding SharePoint. Keep an eye on his SharePoint feed for more ways to help your organizations squeeze all the good out of SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 28, 2014

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