SharePoint: I didn’t know you could do that with CSS!

You may also be interested in: Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint


Editor’s note: Contributor Benjamin Niaulin is a SharePoint Specialist at Sharegate. Follow him @bniaulin

Not long ago, I started a branding series to get closer to how I could change the look and feel of my SharePoint site without dealing with tons of complicated code stuff. So I looked at the basic elements of a SharePoint site, mainly the navigation, and with CSS I discovered a whole world of possibilities. In time, I even pushed on to realize jQuery did not have to be a scary word only developer’s use. You can find links to my series here.

I decided to start a series that will show you some cool little tricks you can do with CSS. If you are not sure how to apply CSS, go back to the first articles of my series above where it is described in details. In short, you can use the Content Editor Web Part to a CSS that will apply to a single page. The one with the CEWP on it.

Hide the Quicklaunch

We all love the quicklaunch, navigation menu on the left.


But there are times when you would rather maximize the page content and leave the quicklaunch out of it.


The solution is but a few lines of CSS:

#s4-leftpanel {
    display: none
.s4-ca {
    margin-left: 0px

The code above hides the “left panel” (quicklaunch) and gives the “Content Area” (.s4-ca) full width by starting from 0px on the left.

Hiding the “Recently Modified” of wikis


Probably the most popular demand I get during sessions or at conferences.

This will do the trick:


SharePoint uses a class called s4-recentchanges to show it

Hiding “I Like it and Tags and Notes”

I do get this request from time to time. Although I don’t always agree as it adds a great value to the end user on SharePoint and My Profile.


.ms-socialNotif-Container {

And it’s gone

Change the look of hyperlinks with specific words in the link

Let’s say you want to add an icon for every link to “My Sites” in your SharePoint. Or simply change the font and color of links to the company web site.


In this example, I want to change the color of the link to the Sharegate site to orange and make it bold. But I don’t want to do this only to this hyperlink, that would be easy. I want CSS to always find the links wherever they are and change it automatically

A[href*='share-gate'] {
    COLOR: #e36c09; 
        FONT-WEIGHT: bold


Stay in touch via twitter @bniaulin

Play “Hide and Seek” in SharePoint

You may also be interested in: SharePoint Conference.ORG 2013


Editor’s note: Contributor Ellen van Aken is an experienced intranet adoption manager. Follow her @EllenvanAken

2013-04-28-HideSeekSharePoint-01.jpgAfter my earlier rant about people who want to secure their content for no good reason, I thought I would give some suggestions for alternative ways to hide content when it makes sense.

First let me stress that I recognize that some content is sensitive and really needs to be secured. But there is also a lot of content which is not confidential, but which you still may want to hide, to avoid information overload in general. Specific reasons may be:

  • The content is only relevant to a certain audience
  • You do not want people to influence each other
  • You want to allow people to focus on their own content, e.g. in projects or tasks lists

Next to giving permissions there are two other ways to hide content that I know of, but I will be happy to learn new ways!

1. Targeting.

In SharePoint it is relatively easy to target web parts to an audience. You can specify one or more audiences, SharePoint groups or individuals and only they will see the web part.
We have used this especially to target links on the Homepage – in the main navigation, every employee had a link to the Employee Information of his/her country.

2. Configuration.

a. Item-level permissions.
For surveys and lists, you can let people read only the items that have been created by themselves. (Advanced settings). This is nice if you do not want people to influence each other, but not very useful when you want to show the collected information to your audience. I usually apply it only in survey-type occasions.

Item-level permissions in the advanced settings

b. Created by = [Me].
When not using the item-level permissions, I like to use this filter for the default public view. That way people see their own items first and are not influenced by others, and they can not easily edit other people’s content. You can have additional public views showing all contributor’s items, or the process owner can create personal views and use web parts to display content from all contributors.

c. Impossible filters that show an empty default view.
We have used “Created < 01-01-2000” as the only public view to create an empty looking document library, accessible to all employees. The documents were distributed to other (secured) sites via Content Query web parts. Of course, the owners of the documents created personal views to see all documents. The advantage for the content owners was that the owners of the secured sites could manage access for their site.

d. Hidden columns.
In older versions (e.g. SP2007) you can create views without the Edit button, and without the “Name” column instead of “Name (linked to item/linked to document with edit menu)”. This way, your readers will be unable to click on any items to see the complete item. Of course this is useless for Document Libraries, unless you only want to show that the documents are there. (Perhaps this can also be done in SP2010, but since I am the only one in my environment, I have too many rights to test this)

e. Removing web parts in the list or library.
You can remove the system web part of the list or library to avoid anyone seeing the content, including the site owner. I would recommend this only for very specific occasions, since it is very annoying to have to add the web part back every time.

f. Sending people to a non-default page after submitting data.
I often send people to a Thank You page after completing a survey or other data collection, by customizing the link. It is a nice gesture, it confirms that submission has been succesful and it allows you to give more information about next steps. It also hides other people’s responses from view.

I have also sent people from a topsite to a request form in a subsite, and after completion sent them back to the original page in the topsite. They did not have to see other people’s requests, and this way they could continue to do what they were doing in the topsite. Well, you will get the idea; you can use this with all pages within your environment.

How to do it? Your links will normally have this format:

The part before “newform.aspx?” is the “data entry” part of the list, the part from “Source=” the location where people will go after clicking “OK” or “Finish”. You can replace the part after “Source=” with a link of your own choice. Please note this only works when you send a link in an email, use a Links list, or create a button. If you click “New Item” from the list, the link will always use the system format.

Simple Thank You-page


  • Targeted or hidden content will normally still turn up in Search. People can also see it when they have the link to the information. This is not confidential information, so it is not a problem, but it helps to be aware of it. Do not be afraid that people will go and look for this info – they do not know it is there and they probably would not care if they knew.
  • Many people do not understand the difference between targeting (visibility) and security (access/permissions), especially not that you target a web part, but secure a library or list. Be prepared for questions.
  • If you are the site owner, but you are not in the targeted audience, you will not see the content, so it will be difficult to maintain the web part. This is especially the case with Content Editor and Summary Links web parts, because they are not represented in the “back-end” of your site, i.e. the page showing all site content. This may occur when you are managing global content distributed over various “country” web parts.
  • If you target something and you are in the audience, you may forget that the content is not visible for everyone. Mention it in the web part title as a reminder.
  • Remember to discuss any targeting and personal views when handing over responsibilities for a site!

What other ways have you used to hide content without security?

SharePoint: Beware of Governance snake-oil


Editor’s note: Contributor Ant Clay is the Founder, CEO & Tummeler of Soulsailor Consulting. Follow him @soulsailor

Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing excerpts from Ant’s new book “The SharePoint Governance Manifesto Grab your ebook discount code here:

Why does SharePoint Governance deserve my focus for this manifesto?

It is because I think that SharePoint Governance is completely screwed!

Maybe that’s a little strong, but basically everyone has an opinion about what Governance means and how you should apply it, including:

  • Your IT department
  • Microsoft
  • Tool vendors
  • SharePoint MVP’s
  • Your boss
  • Microsoft Partners
  • Consultants
  • Business stakeholders
  • And of course you!

Yes, when it comes down to it, anyone that has anything to do with SharePoint is probably selling some kind of Governance snake-oil (opinion, tools, frameworks etc.) to yourself, your team or worse to the business stakeholders in your organisation, looking for answers.

The challenge is that I honestly think you and the rest of them are all just a little bit wrong…

Yes that is very bold statement, but there is very little convergent thinking around Governance at the moment and most of what I see and hear in organisations has some serious flaws.

Perhaps I am being too harsh, but that’s just the way I see it based on my experiences.

The challenge is that:

  • Microsoft is selling their technology
  • Microsoft Partners are selling their consulting
  • Tool vendors are selling their tools
  • And so on.

All these groups of people have valid insights into Governance, but they are also falling foul of their company’s world-views and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), which are always grounded on selling more of their stuff.

I truly believe that individuals across the SharePoint community and wider collaboration, knowledge management and sensemaking spaces have a huge amount to offer in terms of governance thinking and frameworks, but we need to more explicitly anchor these thoughts with business Governance ideals.

If my thinking and bold statements don’t sit well with you, then let me know why. SharePoint will never be confined to just one person, it’s a team sport, its community supported and dare I say it, collaborative. It’s my hope that we can be on the same page and together change SharePoint Governance forever in a positive way!

How do we achieve this?

Well a starting point will be for us all to share our Governance experiences with the community. Both the wider SharePoint community and the community that I hope will form around this book.

If you experience change (hopefully positive) and value from approaching SharePoint Governance differently, based on the ideals and approaches articulated within this book, then please share.

All feedback is welcomed, embraced and will quite probably be the basis for future Governance work and publications!

Let us not forget that SharePoint Governance needs to be collaborative!

This book is not Governance snake-oil, this is a new way of Governance thinking…

Yes, the SharePoint navigation really can work for your needs

You may also be interested in: O’Reilly - SharePoint 2010 at Work


Editor’s note: Follow contributors Heather Solomon and Dustin Miller @spexperience

A commonly misunderstood component of SharePoint is the navigation. We are frequently asked in class about how to make changes to the navigation and when we cover it, people are really surprised and honestly, it is pretty anti-climatic! Here are a few things everyone should know about manipulating SharePoint navigation.

Your best friend is Site Settings

Site Settings is the first thing to get to know for SharePoint navigation. It can also be a little confusing at first because based on the type of site you are using, different options will appear. Check out the screenshot below.


If you are working with a publishing site (for example a site created from the Publishing or Enterprise Wiki template) then when you go to Site Actions > Site Settings in your SharePoint 2010 site, you will see Navigation as an option under the Look and Feel column. If you working with a team site, you will see Quick Launch and Top link bar. But if you are working with a team site that is a child of a publishing site, well then you see Navigation.

Publishing gives you more options

One of the benefits of using the SharePoint publishing features is a more robust and centralized navigation system. The key thing to remember with publishing sites is that where you would traditionally create a folder for a type of content in your web site directory, such as a folder for About Us or Press Releases, in SharePoint you create a sub site. We want our end users to see a nice, unified site and not bother them with the finer details that your SharePoint site is actually a collection of nested sub sites under a parent site. The global navigation, also known as the Top Link Bar, is going to help provide that central navigation.

Team sites are meant for focused content and uses. The goal is not to string together a bunch of team sites to create a larger web site. Publishing handles this need instead. That is why the options differ between publishing sites and any team sites that are children versus team sites that stand alone.

Options for stand alone team sites

If publishing isn’t a part of your site hierarchy, then you can do the following with your team site navigation through Site Settings:

  • Add new links
  • Control the order of the links
  • Nest the links under a heading style structure (Quick Launch only)

Options for publishing sites and their children

Here is a list of things you can accomplish using Site Settings for publishing sites and their children sites, whether that child site is a publishing site or not:

  • Inherit the navigation system(s) used from the parent site
  • Automatically show newly added web pages and/or sub sites
  • Control the number of items to display
  • Sort items automatically or manually
  • Add headers, links and control the order
  • Selectively hide sites/pages/links

Looking at the options for publishing sites and their children

Here is a screenshot of the settings you will see when you click into Navigation from the Look and Feel section of Site Settings. Handy stuff has been highlighted in red. And yes, there is a lot of handy stuff here. :)


Realistic examples of using the navigation settings

A lot of people turn to third party navigation solutions. Often it is because of a lack of understanding on how to use and apply what SharePoint navigation can do out of the box. Here are some application examples for several of the navigation settings:

  1. Display the same navigation items from the parent site - share a central navigation system across all your sub sites, thus creating the unified user experience and linking all your sites together under one navigation umbrella.
  2. Display the navigation items below the current site - break free of the shared navigation system for a one off site or to reset the navigation for a large network of sites. For example if the Human Resources section of your large Intranet needs it’s own navigation system, it can have a link back to Home but have it’s own HR navigation going across the top that is then shared for all the HR sites and pages.
  3. Option to Show Pages - every time a new product page, biography page, client information page, press release, etc. is added to the site the page will automatically be added to the navigation (likely in a drop down menu based on your structure). It is security trimmed so only users with access to the page will see the navigation item.
  4. Option to Show Sites - every time a new client management, project management, department (or the like) site is created it will automatically be added to the nav, and is security trimmed as well.
  5. Set the maximum number of dynamic items to show - stop run away navigation systems with too many options in the top level.
  6. Add a link - include a link to another web site, company resource or common tool. The formatting of this added link will match the rest of the SharePoint navigation system.
  7. Add a Heading - create your own drop downs in the navigation or nested structure in the Quick Launch. Many organizations have a smorgasbord of links they need to include to various affiliates, company tools or shared resources.
  8. Hide an item - Only 14 out of 15 client sites should be displayed to employees. Hide one off items based on need while not affecting how other content is auto added to SharePoint.

Creating drop down menus

Hands down the number one thing I get asked in regards to navigation is "can I have drop down menus?". Yes, you can have drop down navigation in your SharePoint site and it is easy to do. You will have to have ability to edit your master page.

  1. Open your master page using SharePoint Designer or a tool of your choice.
  2. Switch to Code view.
  3. Open up the Find dialog (Ctrl + F or the Find menu) and search for <SharePoint:AspMenu. Go ahead and include the less than sign that way you only get the start of the navigation code tag in your search results. This should get you two results:

<SharePoint:AspMenu ID="TopNavigationMenuV4" Runat="server" EnableViewState="false" DataSourceID="topSiteMap" AccessKey="<%$Resources:wss,navigation_accesskey%>" UseSimpleRendering="true" UseSeparateCss="false" Orientation="Horizontal" StaticDisplayLevels="2" MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels="1" SkipLinkText="" CssClass="s4-tn" />

<SharePoint:AspMenu id="QuickLaunchMenu" runat="server" DataSourceId="QuickLaunchSiteMap" Orientation="Vertical" StaticDisplayLevels="2" ItemWrap="true" MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels="0" StaticSubMenuIndent="0" SkipLinkText="" CssClass="s4-die">

  1. Go to the first search result (double click the result to quickly jump there).
  2. If in SharePoint Designer, open up the Tag Properties pane (View > Task Panes > Tag Properties). There are all sorts of goodies here that you can play with and use to modify the navigation. I want you to focus on MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels. In addition to seeing it in the Tag Properties, it will show up in the code view as well.
  3. The value for MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels controls the number of drop down menus the navigation system displays. If the value is 0, no drop downs. If the value is 1, then one drop down menu. If you have 2 for the value then you get a drop down menu that in turn has a second level. Or another way to look at it, two fly out menus.
  4. Adjust this number to control how many drop down menus you have. Just don’t forget, you have to have content to show content! If you adjust this value and don’t get the expected drop down or fly out menus, they make sure there are pages and sites in place at those levels.

Still need more?

If these settings don’t meet your needs for SharePoint navigation, there are other options. I suggest you start with our Mega Menu series and use a custom list to control your SharePoint navigation.

SharePoint: Getting “This collection already contains an address with scheme http” Error When Creating a Custom WCF Service

You may also be interested in: Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint


Editor’s note: Contributor Alex Choroshin is a Sharepoint Team Leader at Bank Leumi. Follow him @choroshin


The problem is caused by the fact that IIS supports specifying multiple IIS bindings per site (which results in multiple base addresses per scheme, in our case HTTP), but a WCF service hosted under a site allows binding to only one base address per scheme.

Multiple addresses example (in our case two):



Create a custom service factory to intercept and remove the additional unwanted base addresses that IIS was providing.

A) Add the custom service factory to your Custom.svc file

<%@ServiceHost language=c# Debug="true" Service="MySolution.Services.CustomService, $SharePoint.Project.AssemblyFullName$"
Factory="MySolution.Core.CustomHostFactory", $SharePoint.Project.AssemblyFullName$ %>

* Don’t forget to add the assembly full name: $SharePoint.Project.AssemblyFullName$ or you’ll get “The CLR Type ‘typeName’ could not be loaded during service compilation” error.

B) Create a custom factory by inheriting from ServiceHostFactory and overriding the CreateServiceHost method.

By using the current request host name you can check which base address to use, and if no host name found, use the first one.

public class CustomServiceHostFactory : ServiceHostFactory
        protected override ServiceHost CreateServiceHost(Type serviceType, Uri[] baseAddresses)
            string hostName = HttpContext.Current.Request.Url.Host;
            foreach (Uri uri in baseAddresses)
                if (uri.Host == hostName)
                    return new ServiceHost(serviceType, uri);
            return new ServiceHost(serviceType, baseAddresses[0]);
    public class CustomHost : ServiceHost
        public CustomHost(Type serviceType, params Uri[] baseAddresses)
            : base(serviceType, baseAddresses)
        { }
        protected override void ApplyConfiguration()

Hope you’ll find this post helpful.

Create a State Machine Workflow in WSS 3.0 without Using Visual Studio

You may also be interested in: ViewPoint for SharePoint


Editor’s note: Contributor Jeremy Woods is a Solutions-oriented Microsoft SharePoint Specialist, Founder and President of the Northern Colorado SharePoint User Group and Member of the Leadership team for the Colorado SharePoint User Group. Follow him @knighteagle

While at a clients I was asked to create a set of workflow’s that would only “fire” when a specific column changed. I knew that SharePoint Workflow cannot fire on specific status changes, so I figured out a different way to make the Workflow work.

Goal: Create a workflow that updates another list based on the selection of a single column within the item.

Restrictions: No Visual Studio Code allowed in the environment, WSS 3.0

Software Used: WSS 3.0, SharePoint Designer 2007

Here is what I did:

Thinking about how I could target a specific column was probably the hardest part of the whole process, until I looked at SharePoint Designer’s Workflow Wizard. Within this wizard, you can actually do a compare of 1 column to another. I started thinking about how I can use this comparing option to see when a user supplied column changes.

  1. Create the list and target a specific column for the comparison
    I created a simple 2 column custom list. It includes Title and Status. The status column is a choice field with Open Resolved and Closed as the options.


  2. Create the column that will be used to compare values
    Add columns that are Single Lines of Text that the workflow will compare the original against. In this example, I created the column WF – Status



  3. Open SharePoint Designer and create a Workflow
    In the workflow designer, create a step that compares the original column to the new column. There will be multiple If Else statements to work through each of the options. Here is a sampling of the Steps:


    Step: Issue Status Open

    Conditions: If Status Equals Open
    AND WF – Status IS EMPTY
    Actions: Set WF – Status to Status
    Then Log New Issue Opened
    Conditions: Else If Status Equals Open
    AND WF – Status not equals Status
    Actions: Set WF – Status to Status
    THEN Log Issue Reopened

    Issue Status

    Conditions: If WF – Status not equals Status
    Actions: Set WF – Status to Status
    THEN Log Issue Status Changed

  4. Run a test – When you change the Status, the WF – Status will change to reflect the current Status. In the actions, you would then add what ever action you want to do when the status changed (send an email, change another

How to organize your meetings in SharePoint with OneNote

You may also be interested in: Sharegate No-Brainer Migration Tools


Editor’s note: Contributor Gene Vangampelaere is a SharePoint architect at Howest, University College West Flanders. Follow him @vangampelaere

In our organization we use a lot of meeting workspaces. Now, Microsoft has announced that the meeting workspace template will no longer be supported in the future. In SharePoint 2013 you can no longer select the meeting workspace template when you create a new site. The old (migrated) sites will still work.

How can you organize your meetings now? Well, you can use OneNote and a combination of a few lists. Let’s start.

First you create a new empty site (site actions > new site).

In this site you create a new custom list with the name “Meetings”. This list only has to contain one column: Title. In this list we will keep track of all the meetings on this subject.


Next, we create a document library where we will store the OneNote notebook. To create a new notebook you launch OneNote and create a new notebook.


When you create a new notebook make sure you save it to the newly created document library on your SharePoint site.

Now it’s up to you to organize the notebook but I prefer this approach:

  • create a new section for each meeting instance
  • create a new page in a section for each meeting agenda item
    • you can create additional pages and use the subpage option to arrange the page under the meeting agenda item page.


In the SharePoint site I also create a list “Agenda” where everyone (depends on the permissions, of course) can add agenda items.

This is how we organize our meetings nowadays.


10 Reasons your SharePoint Migration Failed


Editor’s note: Contributor Benjamin Niaulin is a SharePoint Specialist at Sharegate. Follow him @bniaulin

I have written a few articles on SharePoint migration in the past few months. I also consider myself lucky to have participated in a few SharePoint 2013 migrations already. I know, only a SharePoint Geek could find that to be a good thing. What I realized is that many make the same mistakes when starting a new project or migrating to a new version.

That’s why I decided to create a “fun” presentation on Slideshare that can be consumed by everyone (not just geeks) to show what can cause your project to fail. Of course this does not go into detail, though for those that are looking for it I have provided some hyperlinks towards the end of the presentation.


Enjoy this story2013-04-22-SharePointMigrationFailed-02.png

SharePoint: The Key and the Team Site

You may also be interested in: Free SharePoint Plugin for Outlook


Editor’s note: Contributor Ellen van Aken is an experienced intranet adoption manager. Follow her @EllenvanAken

2013-04-12-KeyTeamSite-01.jpgIn my job (helping business users to use their SharePoint environment as well as possible), I am always looking for good metaphors to explain functionality. This is the first example “from the household” to explain SharePoint to end users.

List/library permissions.

As described earlier, people really like limiting accessibility to their content. However, they often do not understand the implications. Site Owners generally understand the “Owner-Full Control”, “Member-Contribute” and “Visitor-Read” sets of roles and permissions. But when it comes to a list or library within their site that needs different access, things get complicated. Common issues are:

  • They forget to remove groups, so everyone can still read everything.
  • A new owner does not know the list/library has different permissions and does not understand why the audience can not see a certain list/library. Or worse, they see something that (s)he does not!
  • They forget that permissions are no longer inherited, so adding a group to the site no longer means that group automatically has access to the secured containers. You have to give them access to those containers as well.
  • A new group is being created with access to only one library or list. This new group gets an “access denied” message when they try to enter the site.

Which key(s) do you give your team site users?

Giving access to a team site is like giving a key to your house. You give your groups the key to your front door. Once they are in your house, they can access most rooms freely. Everybody will understand that one or two rooms will be locked, where only the Owners can go.

Do you ask people to enter the room via the window?

But it is a little strange when all doors are locked and you can not go any further than the hallway and one room, or when you are asked to enter a room via the window.

In other words, giving people access to just one list/library on your site is not the best idea:

  • If you want people to only see one list or library, it means you have to lock down all other lists and libraries. Do you really want to maintain all that?
  • Alternatively, you can ask them to enter via the direct link to the list or library. But that is like asking someone to enter via the window. Not very easy, always suspect and not exactly welcoming.
  • And of course those users will never learn the context of your site.

My suggestion for these situations

  1. Think how much of a problem it really is, to keep your site read-only for those people who need access to one library/list only. Chances are, they do not really care to go to the rest of your site, anyway.
  2. Restrict permissions for a list or library only if it is for one or two lists/libraries and for a smaller audience than your site, e.g. the Owners.
  3. Always mention any special permissions in the description for those lists/libraries to remind you this list/library is different.
  4. In all other cases, rethink. Perhaps a different site or a subsite are easier to understand and maintain.

What do you think, would this be a good way to explain about issues with list and library permissions?

My inspiration for metaphores have been:

If you know any other good examples, please share!

A Quick Tour of Social Computing Features in SharePoint Server 2013

You may also be interested in: SharePoint Conference.ORG 2013


Editor’s note: Contributor Adam Gorge is a technical content writer who writes articles on SharePoint Server Recovery Software Follow him @adamgorge

2013-04-18-SharePoint2013SocialComputing-01.jpgThere have been dozens of enhancements to the social computing and collaboration features in SharePoint Server 2013. The new features empower enterprise users to share information easily with others in the organization. You can now interact and collaborate with experts in specific subject areas using a new feature called ‘Community Sites’. You will find a completely optimized way to manage personal profiles, store data of your choice, and keep yourself updated with specific activities of interest using My Sites.


SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 allowed you to add a Discussion list to sites for enabling discussions within the members of the site. SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Foundation 2013 provide you with the same feature in addition to two new site templates: Community Site and Community Portal.

Community Sites introduces the concept of forums in SharePoint. With this feature, you can collaborate with a wide range of users across your organization and become a part of discussions that focus on specific areas of interest. Discussions are a channel which you can share information or seek knowledge about specific subjects.

Community Sites allow for categorizing these open discussions. If you want to contribute to a specific discussion, you should be a member of that discussion. This is controlled by the site moderators by setting various rules. Some of their primary roles include reviewing all posts, marking useful posts as featured content, and the like. As a moderator, you can choose to assign special badges to members to indicate their levels of contribution to the Community Site.

You can use the following two methods for deploying Community Sites:

Deploying a stand-alone community:

You can first create a stand-alone community and then the Community Site either at a site collection level or at a site level. You can manage your discussions by creating community categories.

Activating community features:

You may choose to activate community features on a site. With these features, you can have core Community Site pages within your existing site. You may also facilitate moderation and membership without having the need to create a separate Community Site.

Further, if you have multiple Community Sites in your SharePoint farm, you can deploy the Community Portal. Users can browse the Community Portal and search for their favorite communities that they need to join. If you are a user, you should have at least read permissions to view these Community Sites.

My Sites

In SharePoint Server 2010, My Sites provided users with the flexibility to store all personal information, manage personal profiles, communicate with others, share information, and tag content. The people search feature allowed users in an organization to interact with one another and share their expertise and knowledge.

My Sites in SharePoint Server 2013 provide a similar set of features with a completely redesigned workflow for the users. The new, optimized interface simplifies the tasks further and takes user experience to the next level. A major improvement to My Sites is the unified navigation experience that allows you to smoothly browse your own and others’ My Sites. Another key change is the introduction of Microblog and Newsfeeds features. Using these features, you can indulge in short conversations and keep yourself updated on various actions from different people in the organization.

My Site document libraries

If you have worked with My Sites in SharePoint Server 2010, you should be familiar with two types of document libraries: personal and shared. All content in the personal library can be accessed only by the My Site owner whereas the data stored in the shared library is shared with everyone. My Sites in SharePoint 2013 have improved the process of saving, synchronizing, and sharing content.

Saving and Synchronizing Content

SharePoint Server 2013 features a discovery service that makes the user’s My Site document library as the default location for saving files of Office 2013 client applications. This makes My Site document library the central place to store all content, which indeed simplifies content management and minimizes the amount of data stored in other systems. You can synchronize all data in your document library with any local drive for allowing offline access.

Sharing Content

SharePoint Server 2013 facilitates content sharing for all document libraries. The mechanism of sharing employs the permissions infrastructure that was used in SQL Server 2010. But, the new model features an improved user experience that allows for easy collaboration with other users on content. You may define permissions for individual documents that you need to share with other users or groups.

Microblogging and feeds

You can perform microblogging using the Newsfeed page in SharePoint Server 2013. The feed enables you to perform the following set of actions:

  • Become a part of conversation by adding your own replies and comments.
  • Post appropriate links and pictures.
  • Tag a user in conversations.
  • Define keywords that will be searched by users.
  • Like a particular comment or reply.
  • Follow people, tags, and sites.

The new social computing features in SharePoint Server 2013 provide a good platform for facilitating collaboration on content, identifying shared interests, and creating networks of users. Administrators can also protect user’s privacy by implementing the desired set of policies to provide a better sharing and collaboration experience.