Tips

Compost Bin

How to Manage SharePoint Recycle Bins

Deleting Items in SharePoint

Have you ever wondered what happens when you delete material from your SharePoint? Well, it’s simple! Once deleted, documents or list items go to the Recycle Bin. That is exactly what would happen if you delete a file on your desktop.

Unlike Windows OS, deleted SharePoint documents go through two stages of deletion: the Site level and the Site Collectio. Each of these stages has their own Recycle Bins, and they have different impact on your storage usage.

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Site Recycle Bin & Site Collection Recycle Bin

When you delete a document, it first goes to the Site Recycle Bin. Deleted documents from a particular site will stay in the Site Recycle Bin for a predetermined period before being purged from the server. All the documents stored in the Recycle Bin counts against your site collection’s storage quota. This means, Be careful about keeping too many documents in the Recycle bin.

You can conveniently set the duration which you want to retain a document in the Recycle Bin. You can do this in the Central Administration Recycle Bin settings. Default duration is 30 days. Within that period, the user can choose to restore the item, or permanently delete it.

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When you permanently delete an item from the Site Recycle Bin, it’s sent to the Site Collection Recycle Bin until purged after a set period. The amount of time an item will stay depends on how much time it spent in the Site Recycle Bin.

How Retention and Data Quota Are Managed

If the Recycle Bin retention is set to the default 30 days, and an item has spent 20 days in the Site Recycle Bin, then the item will stay in the Site Collection Recycle Bin for 10 days before being purged from the server permanently.

It is also worth noting that the data stored in your Site Collection Recycle Bin does not count against your site collection storage quota; instead, SharePoint allocates additional space for the Recycle Bin. By default, the additional space is 50% of the site-collection storage quota. Therefore, if your site collection has a storage quota of 100 GB, then, SharePoint will allocate 50 GB of storage to the Recycle Bin, for a total of 150 GB required in your content database.

Now you know it! Keep this in mind when you are planning for storage servers for SharePoint. If you want to know more about SharePoint data storage, just ask us!

Resources

SharePoint Tips: Managing Multiple Files with Windows Explorer

Target Audience: End Users

Let’s talk about SharePoint adoption for a minute. What is the number one reason that slows down the deployment of a company-wide SharePoint system? File migration! We have a couple of neat document management tricks to help address this very issue.

As noted in our Uploading Multiple Files with Drag and Drop tip you can upload multiple files even blind-folded, but what about downloading them?

You have probably stumbled upon the Download a Copy from the context menu. Who has time to download files one at time though?!  How about using the Windows Explorer user interface that we are all familiar with?

You need to be using Internet Explorer for this to work.

  1. Go to a document library in your SharePoint site, click Library > Open with Explorer.
  2. An instance of  Window Explorer will open, displaying the files in the document library.
  3. Drag-and-drop until you drop! All the normal commands like Copy, Paste, Rename, and Delete work here.
  4. Optionally, you can map this folder as a network drive. See the Mapping Drives to Document Libraries tip for detailed instructions.

Office 365 Open With Explorer

These SharePoint tips work pretty consistently across the different versions, from Office 365 to SharePoint 2013/2010/2007. Hopefully, this will expedite your company’s SharePoint adoption. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to holler back. Cheers!

Metalogix Technical Architecture

How to Optimize SharePoint Performance

SharePoint Performance Tuning

As your users continue to make use of SharePoint, you may notice slowdown in SharePoint performance. This slowdown is most likely the result of users storing many large files in your SharePoint server. Microsoft SQL server databases are not optimized to handle large amount of binary files. Fortunately, there are ways to keep SharePoint performance up even while the size of the files grows.

Offloading BLOG Files

The best way to increase SharePoint performance is to move the files into another storage location with higher performance. The use of external storage allows SharePoint’s SQL server to focus only on the task of keeping track (i.e. metadata) of files and not the files themselves. The files can be offloaded to flash storage that offers much higher performance than traditional hard drives.

Cost Savings by Data Access Priority

High performance storage can be expensive, so it may not be viable to place all your files on the fastest storage system or server possible. However, you don’t actually need to store everything on the fastest servers. Older or archived documents that are rarely accessed can be stored on slower, less expensive storage medium, reducing the load on your high performance servers. You can monitor server processing time to find out where the bottlenecks are located and try to move those processes to faster servers.

Metalogix StroagePoint

If you don’t want to spend too much time doing server optimization, you can use third-party tool such as Metalogix’s StoragePoint. This software helps you fluidly move files into tiered storage systems. The most actively files are stored in high performance storage, while the least used files can be archived in slower, less expensive storage.

Metalogix

With the help of these tools you should be able to keep SharePoint performance high! Cheers!

 

SharePoint Best Practices Primer: Deploying SharePoint Service Packs and Cumulative Updates

Target Audience: Site Administrators

Microsoft periodically releases cumulative updates and service packs for SharePoint. Just few weeks ago, SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 was publicly released. Bookmark this TechNet page, http://klo.pm/1cuCOjN, if you have not already!

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Naturally, the next question is: What are your upgrade and patching strategies? This best practices primer that will help you make the update process as smooth as possible:

Cumulative updates are patches that fix known issues. As implied by their names, they are cumulative in nature and typically incorporate, to a large extent, the previous updates. However, always read the fine print!

  • Since Cumulative Updates are cumulative, you don’t need to install all of them immediately. Instead, you should just install updates that addresses the specific issues at hand.
  • You can reduce server downtime by setting content databases to read-only while installing the binaries right before applying the patches. Doing so lets your users access the SharePoint servers through the beginning of the update process and only experience downtime towards the end of the process.

Service Packs add new features to SharePoint. These are significant and high-impact upgrades and must be handled with extra caution.

  • You should always test each Service Pack first in a test environment extensively. In addition, it is imperative that you create a complete backup of your content and configuration databases.
  • If you are using virtualization, take some snapshots of your Web Front End and Application servers(s).
  • After installing the binaries of the Service Pack, run the Psconfig command on every server:

psconfig –cmd upgrade –inplace b2b –wait

These best practices should make your life a lot easier! Give us a call to learn more about updating SharePoint! Cheers!

Office 365 Tips – Sharing with External Users

How to Share Site Office 365 and SharePoint Content with External Users

The needs to quickly share Office 365 or SharePoint files with external users arise frequently. For example, an investor may ask to look at what you do on a regular basis before committing to your project. For temporary access, the quickest way to the built-in Share feature within Office 365 and SharePoint.

How to Start Sharing

This external user simply needs a paid Office 365 subscription or an Outlook account (free).

  1. Go to SharePoint admin center under site collections, click Sharing, and make sure that you selected the Allow external users option
  2. Go the SharePoint site you want to share, click the Share button
  3. Input the email address of the person you want to share with.
  4. That person will now receive an email with a link that lets them sign in with their Outlook or Office 365 account

How to Stop Sharing

  1. Click the gear icon, go to Site Settings>Users and Permissions>People and Groups>Groups and click on the group the person belongs to (for new users they should in their own group)
  2. Click the Actions>Remove Users from Group
Tom Hanks in Cast Away

SharePoint Tips: Accessing Content Offline

How to Access SharePoint Content Offline

The most common way of interacting with SharePoint content is to access SharePoint from a browser. But what happens when you don’t have internet access? Let’s say you are on a plane without WiFi and you want to keep being productive, then SharePoint Workspace is a good bet. Below is quick walkthrough.

SharePoint Workspace

  1. Once you have SharePoint installed on your computer, go to the SharePoint site you want to access offline, click Site Actions > Sync to SharePoint Workspace.
  2. SharePoint will now download a copy of its content and open it in SharePoint Workspace. You can now work with the downloaded libraries, lists and calendars in much the same way you would work with SharePoint.
  3. Once you regain internet access, simply click on the Sync tab in the ribbon and then the Sync button. All the changed content will auto-magically sync up both ways.

Workspace

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SharePoint Tips: Creating Alerts for Tasks & Project Tasks

Target Audience: End Users

In the good old days (or even present days without SharePoint), your boss assigned you tasks via email, and then you would update your superiors via more email messages. That was a great hassle, wasn’t it? Email is unstructured data and extracting any meaningful metrics is simply next to impossible.

With the help of a SharePoint Tasks or Project Tasks list, you can simply manage all the tasks within a single place, and then have email alerts automatically sent based on event triggers (task assigned, modified, or completed). With this simple change of paradigm , the entire team easily manage to-do’s but also retain the good old email reminders for those die-hard email fans!

This process is really simple:

  1. From the Tasks list on your SharePoint site, click List > Alert me > Set Alerts to this list
  2. Input a name to this alert so you can identify it later
  3. Input the email addresses of the people that needs to be alerted, or their user names if they have access to the SharePoint site
  4. Chose the types of changes that you want to be alerted
  5. Chose what changes you want alerts for
  6. Set the frequency of alerts. You may chose to be alerted immediately or be given regular summaries of changes
  7. Click OK and you are done!

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From now on you will not miss any progress in To Do list at work. Contact us if you want to learn more about keeping up to speed with SharePoint. Cheers!

OneDrive for Business vs OneDrive

OneDrive vs OneDrive for Business: Sibling Rivalry?

Subtle Differences Between OneDrive and OneDrive for Business

OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud consumer-oriented storage service, comes pre-installed in most modern Windows systems. As a SharePoint user, you may also notice a button named “OneDrive” in  System Tray. Are there any differences between OneDrive and OneDrive for Business?

OneDrive for Business

It comes with Office 365 subscriptions or SharePoint Server 2013 or later. In many ways, OneDrive for Business is an extension of SharePoint. This business-class feature allows other users to read and edit your documents just like how SharePoint document libraries would. It also allows the network administrator to set file alerts and policies on document versioning.

OneDrive Use Cases

Given that these two services are different, how would you decide which platform is right? The answer largely depends on the size of the business. A small business with only a handful of employees may opt for OneDrive, since OneDrive provides some measure of cloud storage at no cost. Cost is often a concern for small businesses.

However, medium and large enterprises should consider investing in an Office 365 subscription or SharePoint licenses to get advanced features and additional capacity offered by OneDrive for Business. 

Resources

PowerPoint 2013 Tips: Starting an Online PowerPoint Presentation within Seconds

Target Audience: End Users

You are about to hold an impromptu meeting and have a PowerPoint presentation to share with your external partners. What is the simplest, no-fuss way to get this party started? The Present Online feature in PowerPoint 2013 is your best friend! The service is free, does not require any special software setup, and can be stared within seconds.

  1. Open the designated presentation in PowerPoint 2013.
  2. Click File > Share > Present Online.
  3. Select Office Presentation Service from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, use Microsoft Lync if your counterparts already have it installed.
  4. Optionally allow your viewers to download the PowerPoint file by selecting Enable remote viewers to download the presentation.
  5. Click Present Online.
  6. Simply copy the URL and distribute it to your customers via email or Instant Messaging.
  7. During the presentation, viewers can see the current slide. Other applications are not visible.

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Delivery a presentation itself is already a good bit of work. Do yourself a favor by making the logistics easier. Cheers!

SharePoint 2013 Tips: Uploading Multiple Files with Drag-and-Drop

Target Audience: End Users

The SharePoint 2010 version of this tip pertains to SharePoint 2010. In SharePoint 2013, we are blessed with much enhanced cross-platform and cross-browser capabilities. The Multiple File Upload functionality is a prime example.

As documented in the previous version of this tip, drag-and-drop is only feasible in Internet Explorer. We no longer will have that limitation thanks to Redmond! In order to illustrate the cross-platform independence and keep things interesting, we will be looking at screen shots taken on a Mac and Safari.

  1. Navigate to the designated Document Library in a web browser
  2. Locate the files to be uploaded in Finder (Mac) or Windows Explorer (PC)
  3. Drag one or more files into the browser near the words “+new documents or drag files here”
  4. SharePoint will gently display a warning before allowing us to overwrite any existing files

Screen Shot: SharePoint 2013 Upload Multiple Files

When cranking away with 50+ applications open, this little trick will save us some serious time! If you have any other questions about how best to use SharePoint efficiently, feel free to give us a call! Cheers!

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