Archive for the ‘MOSS’ Category

Sharepoint 2010! What’s new In a nutshell

Sharepoint Licensing cost – demystified !!

SharePoint has unquestionably garnered a lot of attention from CIOs worldwide and has been called “nothing short of a phenomenon” by Toby Bell, Gartner Inc.’s research vice president. Now with advent of its new version Sharepoint 2010, the business collaboration platform, interest in Sharepoint has increased manifold.

However, most of the organizations are still struggling to calculate the TCO and ROI for the sharepoint.

Total cost of ownership can be calculated by including various costs like Software licenses, Server and SQL Server Licenses, Hardware and Infrastructure, IT staff for Planning, designing, Development, testing and Support, user training ,  Antivirus, 3rd party products and last but not the least indirect costs like having other MS products like Office, AD, Exchange, Live meeting, OCS, Groove, Performance point as part of your IT stack.

Calculating Software Licensing costs for Sharepoint itself is quite a tricky business. Only if your Solution Architect and stakeholders can answer the following questions with confidence, you can be comfortable calculating the license model:

  1. Do you understand the difference between the feature set of WSS, MOSS 2007 Standard and Enterprise Version and Internet version?
  2. How many users are going to use MOSS 2007 Standard/ Enterprise version? How many users will be using after 2-5 years?
  3. Do you want Sharepoint to act as ECM/ Collaboration tool for your public facing/ internet site?
  4. What is the existing content size in your organization? What is the content size expected in 2-5 years?
  5. Do you want to automate your business process? If yes, answer following sub questions: What is the complexity level of your business processes? Do you want to use Inforpath forms? Do you want to use 3rd party Workflow tool?
  6. What are the search requirements? Do you want to index more than 5,00,000 items?
  7. Which shared services do you want to use? Have you identified them?
  8. What are your integration points?
  9. Do you want to use Loadbalancing for your WFEs? Do you want clustering for the DBs?
  10. Do you want to manage Indexing in a separate server apart from Application server?

If you cant answer to one or more questions, I would suggest that you do your homework first and come up with the Logical and Physical Architecture. Calculating a ballpark figure for licenses would then be a cakewalk.

Next step would be to go the Bamboo solutions site and use the calculator. For your quick reference I am posting the following table for 3 scenarios

Option 1:100 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server

Option 2:500 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server

Option 3: 1000 users, 2 WFE, 2 SQL, 1 App Server, 1 Index Server

Sharepoint Licensing Ballpark estimate

Sharepoint Licensing Ballpark estimate

 The scenarios assumes that you would need to search more than 5,00,000 documents, all users would need Enterprise CALs, you need  minimum of 2 WFEs and 2 DBs and you don’t want to have a public facing site.

Not to mention, if you are good at negotiating and if you are already into Microsoft infrastructure, you can get yourself a good bargain.

I will be talking about calculating ROI for Sharepoint in next post.

Till then have fun exploring the new features of Sharepoint 2010 and my new post on Sharepoint 2010 licensing

Sharepoint 2010 sneakpeek from Arpan Shah

Building Solutions on SharePoint

What to expect in Sharepoint 2010?

 

What to expect from Sharepoint 2010– when the expactations are sky high? This can be fairly attributed to the immense success of its predecessor sharepoint 2007 . Well there hasn’t been any official communication yet from Redmond but following list has been compiled partially based on my wishes and whims and rest to rumors floating around which are keeping the sharepoint buzz alive.

Enterprise Content Management features

  • Document imaging and reports management
  • Records Management and better Archiving Policies – Sharepoint desperately needs them to maintain leadership in the ECM marketplace.
  • Better taxonomy management – We desperately need this !!!
  • Email management – User/ Project can create a repository for managing important emails.
  • Better offline support – I guess MS Groove or Workspace will be more effectively used for all its worth.
  • Better support for Internet facing sites – WCM capabilities has a good scope of improvement
  • Should support more content storage options – storage architecture can be composed of SAN, NAS, RAID, tape, etc. Currently it supports only SQL server.

Web 2.0 Features

  • Enhanced collaboration tools – Wikis, Blogs, Discussion forums, Surveys etc. Community Toolkit on Codeplex can be handy here. 

Security features

  • More OOTB permissions type and better flexibility to create custom roles and permissions to implement Role based access control
  • Support for other LDAP and Identity management solutions
  • Wizards for configuring SSO and Kerberos
  • Claims based Authentication to use any other Authentication mechanism

Integration features

  •  Integration with other CMS product – Documentum, Imaging solution
  • Webparts to integrate CRM products other than MS Dynamics
  • Seamless integration with Silverlight. I am expecting a collection of silverlight web parts.

Business Intelligence and Reporting features

 There are reports and some official communication that few features (read analystics and scorecarding) of Performance Point server will be part of next version of Sharepoint.

You should also expect a Dashboard designer and more webparts dedicated for reporting and analytics. There should also be easy interfaces to effectively utilize SSAS and SSRS.

Development ease

  • Easy support of Silverlight and other RIA technologies
  • More ready to use templates and OOTB web parts
  • Easier Content deployment

Search

  • FAST Search Integration – This is more or less confirmed news.
  • Faceted Search
  • iFilters for ODF and PDF files and native support for other non MS doc formats.

Business Process Management

  • Powerful Infopath form capabilities
  • More OOTB workflow types
  • A workflow modeller for State machine workflows

Admin Capabilities

  • Snapshot backup and recovery
  • Recovery at finer item level
  • Painless Migration from SPS 2003, Sharepoint 2007, Lotus Notes

 Usability Features

  • Native support of browsers other than IE
  • Better Rich text control
  • Better support for Mobile devices – That holds an important key for future mobile apps that will run across major smartphone browsers. Check the link out Mobile Entrée
  • Auto save features
  • XHTML compliant
  • Compliance to Accessibilty standards 
  • Ribbon Interface

Few items that have been confirmed or heard on grapevine

  • The SharePoint 2010 will be shipped only as x64 installation
  • Sharepoint lists will be more powerful and will allow operations like SQL tables.
  • Fast Search Integration
  • CMIS support to facilitate integration with EMC documentum

Performance

  • Master Data Management for maintaining master data at one place to reduce redundancy of data. This data store will also support views, business rules, hierarchichal relationships

What not to expect?

  • Sharepoint to be OS agnostic. Forget it :(. Atleast its not going to happen in next release
  • Much action happening on Digital Asset Management and Rights Management.
  • MOSS  – Sharepoint is no more associated to Office Family. “Office” moniker is out.
  • Support for IE 6.0, SQL Server 2000, 32 bit SQL Server 2005

Sharepoint Service Pack 2

Its out and loud !!!

There is an issue with installing SP2, which causes your SharePoint environment to fall back to “Evaluation” licence. So if you’ve got SP2 recently installed, have a look at your license type to make sure it’s still valid and hasn’t changed to “Evaluation”. If it says “Evalutation” – you need to simply insert the original key again.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP2 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server SP2 include fixes and enhancements designed to improve performance, availability, and stability in your server farms.

Sharepoint Environment Assessment Questionnaire

 Sharepoint Environment Assessment Questionnaire

The questionnaire is designed to assess the existing Sharepoint environment for Support transition and to collect key Information to propose the right support model for the transition

1.    Business

  • What is the primary business objective of the Sharepoint environment? (What needs of your business are met by the existing system – Communication, Collaboration, Knowledge Management, Enterprise Content Management, Document Management, Dashboards, Complete Intranet Solution, Extranet for suppliers, customers etc?)
  • Please share the status of all ongoing and planned activities for Sharepoint (Development, migration and upgrade)?
  • Please enlist the sites that are most critical to business?

 

2.    Sharepoint

  • What is the level of custom development on current Sharepoint environment? Please provide documentation.
  • Is there any custom development done by any other 3rd Party vendor? Do you have the source code, business requirements, design document, installation guidelines, and test cases for the changes?

 

  • Please provide us with the following statistics
    1. Total users for each Sharepoint Site on Production (Top level)
    2. Number of Top level sites
    3. What is the size of Content DB?
    4. What is the peak site usage in last one month?
  • Please share the Backup and Recovery Process?

3.    Infrastructure

 

  • Please provide details or preferably Physical and Logical Architecture Diagrams for Production, Staging and Development Environment

(Farm Topology, deployment diagrams, Virtual environment, Sharepoint version details, Directory Services)

  • Please enlist all Integration points (Interfaces) with LOB and other applications/ Software (Ex: imaging solution)
  • Please give a brief about all Web Applications and SSPs in scope.
  • Please provide the list of all 3rd party software (BPM, Search, Analytics, and BI – integrated to Sharepoint) installed?
  • Is any sort of load balancing done for the intranet?
  • Is there any mirroring done on Sharepoint DBs?

 

4.    Portals

  • Please share the brief about the most critical sites (in scope) on existing environment?
  • Please share the Site map.

 

5.            Content management

  • Please enlist the main kind of content (Text content, Documents, Images, flash, Audios, Videos, other formats)
  • Is there any other Content Management or Document management tool in place along with Sharepoint?

 

 

6.    Security

  • Are there any secured sites? (Using SSL, encryption)
  • What is the current Authentication mechanism? (Windows Authentication, Forms based Authentication or Kerberos, AD, LDAP )

 

7.    Team

  • Who is supporting the existing environment? Please provide existing SLA and priorities for incident management.
  • Please give a brief about team structure for Support (OS, Hardware, SQL server, Security, Exchange server, Sharepoint)
  • Do you have a distributed development team across multiple locations/geographies? Please provide details.
  • Do you have a distributed team of site owners?

 

8.    Support

  • What is the Support Type (L1, L2 or L3) expected?
  • Please provide the call flow process. Find below a sample process flow.

 

Call Flow Process / Diagram

 

Call flow

Call flow

 

 

  • Who is expected to make calls to Microsoft for support?
  • Is it expected to interact with end users for Support?
  • What are the support hours (time zones) and SLAs expected? What support coverage are you looking? (24*7, 16*5, or 8*5 ..)

 

Service Hours 

The below calendar defines the times that the SLA clock starts and stops (excluding P  0): –

 

Day Start  hours(EST) End hours(EST)
Monday    
Tuesday    
Wednesday    
Thursday    
Friday    

 

 

  • Do you have any system in place for Incident Management that is expected to use? If yes, please give details.
  • Please explain the Incident classification criteria. Find below the sample classification

 

 

     
  Definition Response Time from time of Incident Log Fix Time from time of Incident Log
P0 Impact on All Users /Risk to Business Continuity 10 mins Stay with it
P1 Impact on All Users /Secondary system down    
P2 Impact on Site or Dept / Significant problem preventing satisfactory operation    
P3 Impact on single User    
P4 Service Request/Advice required    
R5 Service Request/Planning    
R10 New starters/requisitions/supplies/bookings    

  

  • What is the mode of communication for Support (Email only, Incident management, Phone, Pager)?

 

  • What is the scope of proposed SLA? Please select one of the following.
    1. Large enhancement including custom development (20 person days or more)
    2. small enhancement in existing code ( Less than 20 person days)
    3. Trouble shooting existing development
    4. Admin support

 

  • Please share the SLAs/ OLAs with existing vendors for 3rd party software, Infrastructure, Exchange Server, Security, SQL Server, OS and hardware.
  • It is assumed that content and configuration DB of all Sharepoint sites are in scope for support. Please confirm?
  • Please confirm if following is out of scope for Sharepoint Support
  1. OS level support like Server Performance Management, Memory Management, Disk Space and SQL Server Uptime.
  2. Installation, Implementation, Deployment of any Software
  3. Design, Development, Implementation or any issue on Development and Test servers.
  4. Evaluation of any Software, Tool and Processes and Results
  5. Design, Development and Implementation of Proof of Concepts
  6. Development and Enhancements of 3rd Party Products
  7. Environment Management / Infrastructure Support
  8. Platform Troubleshooting
  9. Application Migration & Upgrades
  10. Optimizing search for website or any other design changes to website

 

 

  • Are there any development or migration projects that are currently in progress? What support is given to these projects by existing (Portal, or Sharepoint) support teams?
  • Is there any repository for knowledge documents, Incident Logs, RCA (Root cause Analysis)?

 

  • Please provide us with the following Support statistics (priority wise)
    1. Total calls logged for Sharepoint in last 1 month, 3 month and 6 months.
    2. How many Priority 1 calls were logged in last 1 month, 3 month and 6 months?
    3. Details about past SLA adherence,
    4. Summary of support tickets with case open age

 

  • Are there any alerting/ reporting requirements?

            (Daily Checklist, weekly report, performance monitoring report etc)

 

  • What are the Configuration management process/ guidelines?

 

Configuration management is a critical process responsible for identifying, controlling, and tracking all versions of hardware, software, documentation, processes and procedures of the information technology (IT) organization.

 

  1. Hardware
  2. Software
  3. Licensing
  4. Processes and Documentation

 

 

  • What is Change Management process?

 

Change Management is responsible for ensuring logging and control of all changes to managed components and, where appropriate, rejecting changes which do not meet standards at verification and changes that are deemed impractical following assessment.

 

Companies generally have a change management window when they allow the change requests to be deployed during a “Change Window” ensuring least impact on end users.

 

 

  • Are there user training requirements for educating the users about the sites. Need for webinars, training material, FAQs etc to facilitate the rollout and ongoing changes to the sites

Are you using your Sharepoint fully?

Are you using your Sharepoint platform fully?

No.. I guess. Thats why you are here reading this post. Don’t worry you are not alone. You are now a part of million strong family struggling with this question and that includes me also. I may not be able to answer your question but would try my best to give you some pointers for the way ahead.

In my last 5 years of experience with Sharepoint, I have seen customers coming back to me with the same expression and same question… “I think we are underutilizing our Sharepoint Environment. We know we can achieve more than that..but we don’t how to do it. Please help in creating a roadmap and provide us training of what Sharepoint is capable of?”

Well..before I answer that question, I would like you to tell me what you have been using Sharepoint for? Following are the most common Sharepoint groups you’ll find.

1. A department wide Intranet site for file sharing and collaboration and basic search

2. You have implemented it as Enterprise level Intranet and Knowledge Management system. Custom Home Page, limited Portal features, Knowledge Repository, collaboration tools (task management, project management ), My Site functionality

3. You have implemented Enterprise search, Outlook Integration, are using basic Reporting and Dashboards (KPIs and Report template), and Business forms using Infopath, Web 2.0 features like RSS, Blogs etc

Now if you can relate to user group 1, you can jump onto level 2 and 3 with some dedicated and organized efforts. One suggestion I always give to my customers is “Stick to what Sharepoint has given OOTB”. 80-20 rule is here to stay i.e. keep your custom development to a bare minimum. The more you explore you would find that you can do a lot with web parts like content query and Business data webparts.

If you belong to user group 3 category, you deserve kudos for atleast touching the most publicized features of MOSS ( darn!! I should start using Sharepoint again).  Having implemented it all, I am sorry to say that you have seen just the tip of the iceberg. Your implementation is still few miles away from what you can call an “Integrated workplace”. What else you can explore

  • RIA features – Give your implemetation a magic touch with Silverlight
  • Records Management
  • Extranet Implementation
  • Forms based Authentication
  • CRM Integration
  • Integration with other LOB systems
  • Groove Integration
  • Live Communicator for Chat
  • Dashboards and Reporting using SSAS and SSRS
  • SaAS – Sharepoint as a service 

Apart from technical front, there are many things on a ‘softer’ side that you can get a lion’s share in your plan

  • A better Governance Model
  • Revisit existing Information Architecture
  • Usability engineering
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
  • User Training

 One thing to remember is that ease of using Sharepoint is also its nemesis. So before you take any action do a lot of planning and Impact analysis.