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Posts from the ‘SharePoint’ Category


Automated installation of Microsoft SharePoint 2016

Most SharePoint professionals today understand the importance of an automated installation and configuration of SharePoint servers and farms. The need to ensure consistency not only across server in a farm, but across multiple farms in larger environments and even across environments (development, build, test, pre-production an production) is evident and growing with the onboarding of business critical applications, and the implementation of SharePoint as a service platform in the enterprise.

Now with Microsoft SharePoint 2016 coming out  soon (beta 2 release just last week) several companies I work with are evaluating SharePoint 2016 for future upgrades, especially with the ability to control the complexity of a platform that eventually will span on-premise and cloud services – governance of a true hybrid platform.

For those who are in that position, I want to point to what is almost the de facto standard for automating SharePoint installation these days. The Auto SP Installer tool, developed by

In the websites (found at you can find the latest updates on how SharePoint 2016 is supported and I have learned that Brian have now joined the Microsoft team, and therefore (if he wants it or not) the expectations for his tool-set os even higher. Brian tells us that he have been able to build the scripts to support the latest bits and that’s a good thing in this evaluation phase.

Even if you feel that AutoSPInstaller is not covering everything in every detail you need, you will learn – using it – that you can customize it with what you need and save time and money installing and configuring SharePoint, and when it gets to aligning environments across the service, you will just not be able to stop smiling. (Given that you have the right procedures in place)

In one of my projects we are looking at integrating ASPI or a similar licensed tool with Octopus (an enterprise deployment platform for .NET). I will let you know how it turns out when we get more into this early in 2016.

Kudo’s to Brian and the team for ASPI! Get it at




SharePoint Saturday Oslo 2015: Making SharePoint governance work for Business, IT and users

Another great SharePoint Saturday Event has ended – this time in of of my personal favorite cities; the Norwegian capital, Oslo! Thanks for the team to set up such a great event. I have posted my slides from the governance IT Pro talk over at Slideshare. If you have any questions or comments, dont hesitate to ping me through comments or @sharepointpeople.


Case story – Enterprise Search with SharePoint Server 2013

It’s not a completely new presentation, this one. But since it was one of the largest search implementations I have been involved in (as Lead Platform Architect and Technical PM) on SharePoint 2013, it might be relevant.

The presentation is made by my good friend, Petter Skodvin-Hvammen, who was driving Search Architecture in the project and is one of the most skilled Search experts I know.


Prepare for JIT / collaborative knowledge…

As always companies rely on knowledge to be competitive and innovative. This image has only gotten sharper and nothing indicated that this will change – ever. Having (Owning) knowledge has become a powertool in many ways. We have invented the Knowledge Worker years ago; employees whose main capital in the workplace is their knowledge. This has driven higher education and given the individual employee in a special position, in terms of negotiating individual deals, practicing loyalty to the employee etc.

But all this is changing and it is changing fast! My inspiration to writing this comment, is an article on CMS Wire, where BOX’s Whitney Bouck explains how she sees knowledge not being “power” anymore, compared to the ability to share information and knowledge. This is an exact way of pointing put that companies in the knowledge-centric business will have to change their way of thinking about knowledge.

The essence of this change is that we are getting used to a mode of operation where we can get to the knowledge when we need it, instead of having knowledge “in stock”. I call it “JIT Knowledge” (Just In Time). When identifying an issue or challenge, today we have experience and knowledge available through social platforms and the internet, enabling us to solve more complex tasks with less resources. A lot of people are doing this every day and looking at a younger generation entering the workplace, this becomes the default behaviour.

The future of knowledge work is driven by a culture of sharing information and experience and as a company you need to support these workers by nurturing this culture and enabling employees to be succesful by providing the right tools to share knowledge and consume shared knowledge.

And the availability of new tools is obviously the reason why this change is happening in the first place. We have talked about the impact of social on business for years and still quite a lot of businesses – and even organization I have worked with in higher education (where the entire business is built on the concept of sharing knowledge) – have not entirely embraced the opportunities in social platforms yet. Where – in recent years – the social revolution was driven by companies wishing to be more agile and innovative, in the future it will simply be necessary to survive. Market conditions are changing rapidly and no business can survive without continiously maintaining the access to new knowledge and information. But enabling enterprise social capabilities in just a part of the solution.

Recently very sophisticated search technologies have become broadly available to companies.  I am thinking about technologies like “Delve” in Microsoft Office 365, where signals – based on individual users interactions, combined with enterprise search, proactively deliver a personalized corpus of information to future knowledge workers. Now I have technology that intelligently will help me maintain the required scope knowledge – and help me identify where I need to focus to stay in sync with my peers, my organization and my market. My contribution is sharing my knowledge and my thoughts on any specific topic. And from there on new social and search technology is taking over.

When working in the Knowledge Worker and Knowledge Management space, we need to realize that “collaborative knowledge” is becoming so much more valuable than individual subject matter experts. Not that SME’s are not welcome anymore – by all means. But the first thing we need to learn our SME’s is to share what they know, and management need to drive Sharing as the new power, where Knowledge used to be…


New in SharePoint 2016: Sensitive Information Types

It’s exiting days, these… Microsoft have just released the public preview of SharePoint Server 2016 and the SharePoint community are already all over it.

One of the areas that got a huge boost with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, was Search. With the integration of the Fast Search technology into the core server product, companies got a lot more search capabilities at their hands, and most of the companies I have worked with in the recent years have Search as one of the most prominent drivers for new SharePoint investments.

Being an advisor for governance and compliance, I have worked with these companies to understand how exactly to realize the value from these capabilities in a way that does not expose them to new and unknown risk. Implementing new search capabilities very often surfaces serious information challenges, most of which used to be nicely hidden in the lack of strong information management practices. Getting better at using and managing information in your company actually also works for those who want to misuse information.

So with the introduction of very strong Enterprise Search tool and machine learning driven tools like Delve, companies need to get sharper focus on how to identify and managed sensitive information across the board.

The “old-fashioned” method is to classify SharePoint as a collaborative platform that should not contain any sensitive information. This works very well “on paper”. But many companies are realizing that collaboration – to most end users – mean working with fewer constraints to accomplish individual or team goals. With the lack of tool to make sensitive information governance policy (meaning finding and removing sensitive information from where it should not be stored) operational, it is very hard to stay in control of these kind of things.

Now – with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 we get what is called “Sensitive Information Types”. This is brand new technology – a part of the Data Loss Prevention investments Microsoft made, and it looks like it closes exactly the gap that most companies will be facing (many are already struggling with this) when maturing their enterprise search capabilities.

Is short, Sensitive Information Types are defined in Enterprise Search, using Regular Expression and patterns to recognize certain types of data; like social security numbers etc. When the search engine finds a document it indexes the content and identifies instances of a Sensitive Information Type in the document if present. This makes the document surface in SharePoint’s eDiscovery portal, from where you can take any action needed.

This technology is still in Preview and I have not seen it in production use so far. But Data Loss Prevention has been a huge investment area for Microsoft for some time now, so my expectations are high and the need for this functionality is obvious.

Microsoft’s Bill Bear have posted this article in TechNet explaining more details on Sensitive Information Types in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2014 Preview :





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