EndUserSharePoint.com: Requests for the free, Quote of the Day Web Part

Ginzu Knife SetI’ve been getting hammered with hundreds of personal requests for the Quote of the Day web part. It was included as part of the Tricks and Traps Newsletter a couple weeks ago. There have been so many requests,  I’ve added it to the newsletter confirmation process.

But that’s not all!  Yep… just like the Ginsu Knife commercial that comes on at 2:00am, when you sign up, you will also get access to the book installments I have made to my subscribers. If you missed signing up in time for the first installment, you will get a pointer to that one too.

Here’s how to get your web part and book installments:

1) Sign up for the newsletter in the top left corner of the page (See all that blue text? The sign up box is right underneath it)
2) When you sign up, you will be sent a confirmation email. Click the link in the email to confirm your subscription
3) Once you have confirmed, you will receive a Welcome email that will show you where to download the web part

So here’s what you get just for signing up

  • Quote of the Day Web Part
  • Access to previous installments of SharePoint 1o1: Tricks and Traps
  • Weekly Newsletter from EndUserSharePoint.com that includes other cool stuff
  • The good feeling that you are part of the SharePoint Community who really cares about End Users

What does all this cost you ask? Your email address. That’s it. You get the stuff, I get my life back and we are all happy. Sound like a deal? I thought so… now get to it.


EndUserSharePoint.com: Permissions nightmare - 70 groups for 7 pages

The question of the day comes from Linda:

I’m having an ‘urban sprawl’ problem with my permission groups. As it stands now, I have 70 (yeah 70) groups in ADUC for 7 pages of Sharepoint content. Oy vey. My security guys have me using ADUC, but you need to use Domain Local groups in Sharepoint, and Global groups in the Domain local groups, so I’m looking at 6 groups per ‘page’  - admins, users, and viewers. Is that normal I wonder?

Paul GrenierResponse from Paul Grenier

I think you may be in one of those Traps Mark warns us of.  SharePoint allows users to take control of their Intranet environment through a system of permission inheritance.  By closely coupling ADUC (Active Directory Users and Computers) groups to SharePoint groups, your IT team has started a tug of war over permissions with you in the middle.

 Active Directory works well as a tool for grouping resources in a way that resembles the organizational hierarchy.  But we know the knowledge needs to flow through an organization and rarely follows the organizational chart.  IT usually creates broad groups in AD and uses individual permissions to authorize access based on user needs, roles, and experience.  IT needs to understand that the users of SharePoint, like any other application, will have all levels of access-sometimes in the same AD group.  But unlike other single-purpose systems, SharePoint could represent thousands of disparate business functions and millions of information nodes.

For instance, let’s say I work for a software company where the database server holds all customer databases.  We have a database server for design and production.  As a consultant, I need the ability to log into my customers’ databases.  IT wants to limit access on an as-needed basis to ensure the best level of security for all customers.  The DBA (DataBase Administrator) sets up three levels of access for each customer database (10 customers x 3 levels x 2 environments = 60 groups).  And, since the DBA is a busy guy, IT sets up 60 AD groups to mirror those security levels and offers to manage the profiles in each group.  Since the number of databases stays small and user roles rarely change, the solution works great.

Now apply the same security model to the phone book.  Each phone number represents a household where the members of the household and their immediate family can edit the entry.  They can identify anyone else in the phone book to add to their "readers" group-people who will know the current phone number.  Now you have to administer the phone book.  Try to keep up with the minute-by-minute changes to the phone records and access groups whether someone uses their access or not.

SharePoint allows item-level security with 33 different permissions.  If you try to manage AD groups for each site, list, library, and document, you will overload yourself.  And if you can not respond to new requests quickly enough, your users will not use the system.  Users must be able to do their jobs better and faster with SharePoint or the implementation will fail.

I suggest training content and process owners to manage small islands of permissions through the use of SharePoint groups.  These "mini-admins" will have the ability to manage the Readers and Contributors groups for their island but not allow them to make true administrative changes to the site or site security settings.  This will ensure permissions are granted appropriately but remain agile enough to keep up with the pace of your business and the growth of your SharePoint site collection. — Paul

EndUserSharePoint.com: Measuring the Growth of SharePoint

Paul Grenier and I were exchanging messages about the growth of SharePoint a couple days ago. We were laughing about the comparison between the search results of Lotus Notes vs SharePoint. He sent me an email with some links that make interesting viewing. There is a definite paradigm shift going on. Check these results:

SharePoint vs Lotus Notes Search Results
Trends (web)http://www.google.com/trends?q=sharepoint%2C+lotus+notes&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

blogsphere http://blogsearch.google.com/

Results 1 - 10 of about 2,589,395 for sharepoint.

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,354,237 for lotus notes.

Google Groups http://groups.google.com/groups/search?q=sharepoint

Results 1 - 10 of about 2,600,000 for sharepoint

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,360,000 for lotus notes

Web search

Results 1 - 10 of about 17,100,000 for sharepoint. (0.05 seconds) 

Results 1 - 10 of about 8,560,000 for lotus notes. (0.05 seconds)

EndUserSharePoint.com: Feedback on Tricks and Traps with Wikis and Blogs

The first installment of the free SharePoint 101: Tricks and Traps ebook was sent in the weekly newsletter this morning. For those of you who have received it, please scroll to the bottom of this page to leave your comments, feedback, suggestions, rants, raves, etc.

Below is the outline of what was covered in this installment. If it looks of interest to you, sign-up for your free copy. You will automatically receive this week’s installment.

Tricks and Traps with Wikis and Blogs

  1. Trick: When to Use a Wiki - When to Use a Blog
    My team is having difficulty choosing when to use a blog and when to use a wiki. Are there any guidelines we can use to help select the most appropriate one for our project?
  2. Trick: Blog Categories
    When End Users come to my Project Management Blog, I would like them to be able to quickly filter for specific items of interest. Can I create a list of topics people can click on that will automatically filter for specific posts without the End User having to do a search?
  3. Trap: Creating a Blog
    I want to create a blog to use for project tracking. When I go to the creation screen for creating libraries, it is not there. What’s going on?
  4. Trick: Creating a Private Blog
    My manager likes the idea of keeping a private journal of notes only she can see. I have created a blog but I’m not sure how to make it private.
  5. Trap: Visibility of a Private Blog
    I have created a blog for my manager and set permissions so that only she can see it. I have even locked myself out. If this stuff got out, I’d really be in trouble. How can I assure my manager that the journal is really secure?
  6. Trap: Blog Content Approval
    I have created a blog and posted a few items, but no one can see them except me. What is going on?
  7. Trick: Easy Blog Post Creation
    I am responsible for keeping the Project Management Blog updated. Is there a simple way to update the blog without having to go to log in to SharePoint?
  8. Trick: Communicating Scope Changes in a Project
    We have been using email and "sneaker net" to communicate scope changes in our project. There has to be a better way. Do you have any suggestions?
  9. Trick: Wiki Home Page
    I am using a wiki to build an FAQ for my users. How do I create a link to move back to the home page?
  10. Trick: Searching a Wiki Library
    I am using a wiki library to create an FAQ. How do I include metadata with each page so that the page is more visible during search?
  11. Trick: Permissions on Individual Wiki Pages
    We are using a wiki to build a Knowledge Base for documenting the processes of our department. Most pages are open for team members to add content, but there are specific pages that are coming from the legal department and should be able to be viewed by everyone but not edited. Can we lock those pages down without stopping the contribution of content to the other pages in the wiki?
  12. Trick: Page Names in a Wiki
    When I create a link in a wiki, I have been told to put double square brackets around the phrase I want to use as a link. Sometimes this phrase is extremely long or the content has been created already under another page name. Is there a way to point to an existing page and still bracket the phrase I want to use for the link?
  13. Trick: Determining Uses of a Wiki Library
    Are there other uses of a wiki other than as an FAQ or Knowledge base? We like the idea but aren’t really clear on how else it can be used.
  14. Trick: Wiki Page Layout
    Are there other uses of a wiki other than as an FAQ or Knowledge base? We like the idea but aren’t really clear on how else it can be used.

EndUserSharePoint.com: Desperately seeking use cases for Content Types

The question of the day is short and simple from Pamela:

I’m desperately seeking examples of how content types can be used . . .

Pamela - Here’s a quick one that will give you a running start. Setup a Finance Library that will hold four different types of content: Budgets, Expense Reports, POs and Contracts. Each one of those documents should have different properties (non-geekspeak for "Metadata").

Content Type Drop DownA content type will allow you to attach different properties to each type of document. An Expense Report really wouldn’t need a column (field) called Contractor, right?  Associating multiple content types to a library will allow the End User to select from the drop down list of those types when creating or uploading documents to the library.

An added benefit is the ability to attach document templates to each content type. If you have a standard format for company Expense Reports, you can attach that as a template to the content type.

That’s a quick one. I’m sure there are tons of other examples. Let’s see how everyone else is using them.

EndUserSharePoint.com: SharePoint 101 - Tricks and Traps E-book

As you might have guessed, after last week’s announcement  that I was giving away my new book to anyone who asks, I was inundated with subscriptions for the weekly email newsletter. I will be sending out the first installment of SharePoint 101 - Tricks and Traps on Wednesday morning. Signup for the newsletter and check your email box first thing, Wednesday!

Project Management CategoriesThe initial section is on Tricks and Traps with Wikis and Blogs. I wanted to give people something fun to get started. If you are implementing a wiki as an FAQ or Knowledge Base, I might just have some new things for you.

For the past three years, I have used a blog for tracking virtually every project I have been in charge of. Not only does this give the team better visibility into my thought processes, it also acts as a historical reference for the project.

Wednesday morning. Mark the date and spread the word. Thanks for the help.

EndUserSharePoint.com: Putting headshots in the Quote of the Day web part

The question of the day comes from Gwen:

The Quote of the Day is very cool.  We would like to do something similar but aren’t sure how to do it.  For our Kick Off Meeting, I created a PowerPoint slide show that has a slide for each of our employees.  Each slide has two pictures of the employee and some info about them.  We would love to be able to put a different person on the site each week or every couple days.  Can you tell me how I would do that.

Gwen - Setup a picture library. Instead of using a quote in the web part, replace the quotes with a direct link to the image in the library. Here’s an example…

Bad Hair Day

The current set of quotes looks like this:
msg[1] = "Here is a quote for the first day of the month";
msg[2] = "Here is a quote for the second day of the month";

Replace it with something like this:
msg[1] = "<img src=’/site/imagelibrary/emp-01.jpg’ />Gwen - good hair day";
msg[2] = "<img src=’/site/imagelibrary/emp-02.jpg’ />Gwen - bad hair day";

And while you are at it… do something about that hair, would you?

Mark, The Stylist

Quote of the Day Web Part

EndUserSharePoint.com: Book Review - The SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users

The SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users - Robert L. BogueThe SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users
Robert L. Bogue
Availtek Press, 2008
377 pages

I do not know Robert L. Bogue, but I admire what he has done. It takes a lot to write a book; time, mental energy, knowledge transfer. One of the most difficult types of books to write is for beginners because the author usually has so much experience, it is hard to mentally move into the space of conscious incompetency after years of working with the subject.

Along that line, Rob has provided a valuable service to the SharePoint End User community with the self publication of his book "The SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users".

You will be hard pressed to find a more thorough coverage of every aspect of the functionality that is available Out-of-the-Box in SharePoint. With hundreds of screenshots, step-by-step procedures and easy to understand language, this is a must-have resource for information workers and End Users trying to graze in the plethora of pastures called SharePoint.

Mark Miller, EndUserSharePoint.com