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SharePoint – not so simple…

In this new article from ZDNet – that goes through the history of SharePoint – Microsoft Corp Vice President Jeff Teper tells that Microsoft might have oversold SharePoint a bit, in terms of complexity to implement. This is a very important issue to realize and it is of great importance that Microsoft’s “number one SharePoint guy” is ready to communicate this type of message.

Companies that have implemented SharePoint – especially in larger environments – have felt the consequences of a platform that was not nessasarily oversold in terms of functionality, but showed to be a bigger challenge to implement and maintain that expected. A lot bigger in some cases…

Once again this call for a more controlled and structured governance practice around sharePoint. As Jeff Teper also mentions in this article, Microsoft have made growing investments in this area, but most of these investments have been around managing the platform from an IT perspective – blue governance as I call it – but the business side of things – green governance – is still missing in most SharePoint implementation, disabling business to drive maximum value from an otherwise well functioning technical platform.



Governance with SharePoint Server 2010

Now that SharePoint 2010 is finally announced and we expect the Beta to be available for everyone on november 16th, its time to get ahead of the game on governance.

Even though SharePoint 2010 is going to include some new hooks to manage your platform and overcome some of the issues that we earlier only could do through governance, maintenance and planning, governance is just as much – I would argue that it is even more – needed with the comming version of SharePoint.

SharePoint 2010 is a major thing. It’s a masssive platform to release in your company and it will have an impact on your culture. With the new functionality around taxonomy, datasets, folders, tagging among other things, the need to think about what functionality will really benifit the organization is not only important, but essential for having succes with SharePoint.

But – you wont get SharePoint 2010 before sometime next year – at the earliest and most likely later – so do you really need to think about this now. Well, yes you do..

An upgrade is an excellent opportunity to get governance right. If you have SharePoint Server 2007 running, we now can tell the impact of upgrading on your existing implementation and the culture around it. This is something you should de better early than late. So start investigating this today and make plans and decisions that makes your upgrade project much more simple and effective. Diving into this now, will enable you to make changes to how things are done today – on your current platform – so that you will get the benefit from day one on 2010.

For that same reason, we have decided to build SharePoint 2010 governance planning into our Governance Master classes. Go to the website – – to get more details on these classes; how and where to take them – and also keep an eye out for a soon to be announced SharePoint 2010 business value briefing – a free event by Netmedia.


Cross side scripting safeguard mechanism in SharePoint 2010 – start preparation today…

Since the Beta of SharePoint 2010 is NOT going to be made available to the delegates at the SharePoint Conference in Vegas this week, it will be a few weeks before people will actually (besides the few that have already gotten an early build / virtual machine) get a chance to play around with SharePoint 2010.

So just so that you dont forget, here’s a little reminder on a new protection mechanism in 2010 that may break some of the webparts that you would expect to move right over to the next version.

Moving forward, webparts developers will have to design webparts in a way that do not have the need for users with Contributor priveledges to set custom webparts properties. The system simple does not allow controbutors to sedit these properties anymore. To edit custom webpart properties you need to have at least Designer rights. This may be a hard thing to remember, as the comtributor role normally have rights to set properties on webparts, but as from now on… not the custom ones…

The reason is naturally all about security. If a person enters javascript code of some malicious kind to a custom webpart property, this will be saved with the part and will be executed by any users loading the part, when entering the page. So even if the person does not have the right to execute this code, it will be executed the next time someone who has those rights- an administrator for example… Cross side scripting… 😦

The catch with this is, that this new cross side scripting safeguard will work on ALL webparts in your site. This also counts for the webparts that you have already built. So already today, you can – and you should – start to prepare for 2010 by running through all your webparts to identify where this will break your webparts.

I am planning to post more info on this later.


SharePoint 2010 at the SharePoint Conference

So 7300 SharePoint pleople are in Vegas right now, trying to get ready for the uocomming release of SharePoint 2010 – the next generation of SharePoint technologies from Microsoft.

The keynotes by Steve Balmer and SharePoint’s “grand old man” Jeff Teper (This guy has now only worked on SharePoint since is birth, but also on Site Server and even MCIS, which I – even though Jeff will probably argue that – consider consider early technology that broke open the market for SharePoint – a long time ago) was good session and gave the crowd a good feeling aboutthe great jump forward SharePoint is going to take with 2010.

Since the conference is going on as “we speak” I cannot go through over all the news, but let me assure you that I will post commetns here and on twitter through out the conference and after.

Top 5 – New SharePoint 2o10 features

  1. Dynamic flipping of language files on the fly
  2. External list (Business Connectivity Services)
  3. Sharing Content Types across site collections and even farms
  4. Wiki links in all types of pages
  5.  Visual Studio development environment – including support for visual development of webparts

The top 5 may change as the conference progresses. So send your comments and have you share of impact.



SmartWorker initiative drives SharePoint Meeting workspaces adoption

I have just finished a report for a company in Copenhagen, regarding their meeting process and the utilization of information technology relevant to that. The results seem to be a bit surprising to most people, as this company of 700 employees registered a cost of about 800.000 danish kroner (about 157.000 USD) per day on meeting activities.

This is a lot of money, even for companies that are knowledge driven, and our research also showed that a large part of meetings – especially internal meetings – did not follow any type of standard for preperation, initiation og execution. So the potential for improving productivity is great. Try to think about your own company – this is something you can expect to find in lot of companies.

So – what are we doing about it?

One of the solutions that we came up with is a set of custom made “meeting workspace templates” in SharePoint. This will enable employees to have a standard set of tool supporting all meetings for setting meeting goals, building agenda and schedules, communication preperation plans and collecting feedback. The goal is to introduce a new culture around meetings, where a small time investment by the meeting initiator will result in more effective and qualitative meetings across the board.

To make this grow even morte, we are planning to implement “rating” per meeting. Each participant will be able to give a rating of the meeting, based on the meeting best practice that we have introduced. This rating will be collected at all manager levels, so each people manager will have a goal on effective meetings for himself and his team.

We are very exited about this approach, and expect this plan to shave a good bit of the cost of meetings in this particular shop. Within 6-9 months we will know if we are succesful.

SharePoint Meeting workspaces are actually quite powerful from a conceptual angle. To be able to release the full potential you will have to implement policies – not only for running the technology – but -just as important – for the businbess processes the technology supports.