SharePoint Tips: New Site Collection & New Content Database

Target Audience: Site Administrators

It is a good practice to employ a dedicated content database for each site collection. When you create a new site collection in SharePoint 2010, there is however no easy way to indicate which content database to use. There are at least two approaches: Central Administration and the almighty Powershell. Let’s focus on the Central Administration route in this article. Although this method involves more steps and mouse clicks, it is fairly easy to perform, even while zipping your fresh mocha.

  1. Open Central Administration.
  2. Under Application Management , click on Manage content databases.
  3. Click on each existing content database. Change the Database status to Offline.
  4. Click Add a content database and complete the wizard.
  5. Go back to Central Administration.
  6. Under Application Management , click on Create site collections.
  7. Complete the wizard.
  8. If all goes right, this new site collection now uses the content database you just created few seconds ago.
  9. Verify by checking Application Management > View all site collections.
  10. Once satisfied, do make sure to switch all the content databases back to Ready status.

For additional information on SharePoint 2010 Site Planning, please visit Microsoft TechNet.

SharePoint Tips: Mapping Drives to Document Libraries

Target Audience: Site Administrators & End Users

Certain applications, including Microsoft Visual Studio, require the files to be saved to a disk drive. How delighted would you be if I revealed how to use SharePoint document libraries as mapped drives? Let’s find out!

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Right-click on My Computer
  3. Click on Map network drive
  4. Pick a drive letter
  5. In the Folder field,  fill in the URL of your document library
  6. You are done and free to grab some gourmet coffee

This tip is also posted on Secrets of SharePoint. Thank you so much for the Idera’s support!

SharePoint Tips: Managing Project Tasks from Outlook

Target Audience: Project Managers & End Users

It is time to bust out my PMP (Project Management Professional) hat. Many people have a love-hate relationship with MS Project. This great product indeed packs many neat features. However, this long list of options may also intimidate some end-users who merely need to make simple updates.

We all know SharePoint is awesome, and it of course has a solution for us! You can easily create a Project Task List, which is essentially a souped-up Task List with a built-in Gnatt Chart view. The Predecessor and Assigned To fields are especially helpful in building inter-dependent tasks and keeping tracking of accountability.

Once you connect this list to Outlook (please refer to SharePoint Tips: Directly Email Files Stored in Document Libraries), you can then seamlessly manage these project tasks without ever leaving your PIM (Personal Information Manager)!

Project managers that need richer functionality from MS Project, we will have another tip that covers how to synchronize MS Project and SharePoint 2010. This is a new feature in Office 10 and SharePoint 2010. Stay tuned!

This tip is also posted on Secrets of SharePoint. Thank you so much for the Idera’s support!

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

Target Audience: End Users

A nice enhancement in SharePoint 2010 is the multiple document upload functionality. Now you may drag and drop files directly into a newer Internet Explorer browser (IE 8+) and have these files uploaded to your SharePoint list. When you are cranking away with 50 applications open, this little trick will save you some time!

This tip is also posted on Secrets of SharePoint. Thank you so much for the Idera’s support!

How to Use Metadata and Folders

Target Audience: Site Administrators & End Users

Have you ever misplaced a document in a file structure that is 10-folder deep? Are you tired of deciding which particular folder a document belongs to? Go folder-less!

A more user-friendly approach is to employ no (or fewer) folders, and use views to manage our files instead. You are allowed to have up to two levels of groupings and a wide variety of sorts and filters to refine the views.

In order to build a more customized view, you will need a bit more knowledge on metadata, site columns, and content types, which we will cover in the next upcoming tips. Stay tuned!

This tip is also posted on Secrets of SharePoint. Thank you so much for the Idera’s support!

How to Email Files from SharePoint Document Libraries

Directly Send Attachments Stored in SharePoint

The single best way to share documents with your peers is using the “E-mail a Link” function that is built right in the Ribbon. Occasionally, your recipients do not have access to your SharePoint environment, and you need to resort to the old-fashioned way by emailing these files as attachments.

Below is a two-step process that lets you send documents that are stored in SharePoint directly via Microsoft Outlook. That is right; this will spare you from the need to first download these files to your hard disk!

  1. Navigate to the designated Document Library. Click on Library > Connect to Outlook.
  2. After a series of prompts, the documents will be added to the “SharePoint Lists” in Outlook.
  3. You can now preview and forward these documents as attachments without downloading them.