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  • Timlin Enterprises presented a “Stump The Experts” panel at SPTechCon Boston, awarding an XBox to Patrick Doran of North Carolina for his query that both entertained and stopped the experts.

    Ryan Thomas, Timlin Enterprises president, hosted the standing-room-only event which saw SharePoint developers and users pose questions and problems in hopes of walking away with an XBox.

  • Continuing on the theme of SharePoint being a mere tool to solve business problems, not some magic software that will do that voodoo on its own: Matt Wade at icansharepoint weighs in with the thought that it’s a lack of knowledge of what SharePoint can and can’t do that stymies users.

  • Lots of third-party tools were on display at Microsoft’s Ignite conference held in Chicago last week, and while we turned the spotlight on a number of them in last week’s newsletter, today we’ll offer up our thoughts on a few more.

  • Responsive Web Design techniques, strategies and tools continue to expand in the general Web design world. If you do a search for “Responsive Design,” the ever popular “Top X Tools for...” pops up in the search results, and one of my more recent favorites is “12 Essential Responsive Design Tools” by Richa Jain. I am often asked what tools I consider essential when I implement a responsive site in SharePoint, so I compiled a list of my go-to tools for every project I work on.

    1. Twitter Bootstrap
    You will always want to start each project with the right foundation, and with a responsive site, that starts with your grid. Although there are too many responsive grids to actually count, I would say a few of the most popular are Zurb Foundation, Skeleton, Less, and most importantly in my eyes, Twitter Bootstrap (also commonly referred to as simply Bootstrap).

  • Are you attending SPTechCon Boston? Or are you thinking about attending? Well, we have 5 reasons why you should stop by the Exhibit Hall!

  • Ever wonder if, and how, consulting companies use their own products, methodologies and services? When working with other software companies, we often see that even though they work with a product, sometimes they don't use it within their own company.

  • Many years ago, I came to the conclusion that thoroughly training end users on SharePoint is a waste of time for employees and trainers. I don't mean to say that SharePoint trainers are bad people or that all training programs are useless. It's just that comprehensive SharePoint training, crammed into a 1/2 day or five days is by and large wasteful. This might sound controversial, but this is the conclusion I have come to after many years of unsuccessful attempts by myself and other Microsoft MVP trainers like me.

  • Germany-based Rencore this week announced SPTransformator, a tool for cloud migration of customizations such as sandbox and forms solutions, at SPTechCon San Francisco.

  • George Bernard Shaw wrote, “Progress is impossible without change.” If you know Microsoft and heard the messages from the recent Ignite conference, you know this is Microsoft’s mantra (sometimes to our discontent).

  • Change is the only constant. You must embrace change if you want to stay sane in the SharePoint space. Since Web design strategies continue to evolve with the latest devices, design trends and UI concepts, so too must the underlying frameworks we use day in, day out.

  • In speaking with SharePoint users, content management remains at or near the top of the reasons they use the software. Recently, two content-management solution providers—Harvest Technology Group and EZONES—popped up on my radar, and depending upon how you define content management, each comes at it from a different direction.

  • If there's one thing all SharePointers have to keep in mind, it's the limits of the tool you're using.

  • UnlimitedViz, makers of the tyGraph business analytics software, showed off its tyGraph for Groups solution at SPTechCon this week.

  • In a just-posted blog, Microsoft’s CMO Chris Capossela clarified what will happen with the Ignite conference: It’s not being killed, only moved out of Chicago to a time later in the year.

  • A while ago I wrote two articles about how you can automate the publishing process of your SharePoint Framework scripts and solution package via custom gulp tasks.

  • Okay, maybe that title is a bit of a stretch, but I wanted to make sure I got your attention. So many people skip over how important PowerShell is to their success, and I didn't want that to be you. Keep reading, and I will give you some concrete examples of how you can benefit from PowerShell and all of the resources you need to learn more.

  • This applies to SharePoint or actually more than SharePoint where perhaps you are building a big site with Angular, where multiple teams are dropping functionality are URLs, except, they don't know WHAT URL ahead of time

  • Varonis Systems, Inc., the leading provider of software solutions for unstructured, human-generated enterprise data, today announced the release of several updates to the Varonis Metadata Framework - its core platform for delivering innovation through a wide range of products. Important enhancements have been made to Varonis DatAdvantage, Varonis DataPrivilege and the company's core "commit engine."

    The release of version 6.1.30 of the industry-leading Varonis Metadata Framework platform continues to raise the bar in enabling organizations of all sizes to analyze, protect, manage and share their rapidly growing volumes of unstructured data. On the heels of the May 20, 2015, announcement of beta availability of new cloud compatibility with Microsoft Office 365, Varonis solutions bring organizations peace of mind on their most valuable and sensitive data, wherever they chose to store it: on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment.

    The new features are as follows:
    —DataPrivilege for SharePoint: Users will now be able to manage their SharePoint data alongside their file share data without IT's involvement, putting identity management in the hands of data owners and their business unit leaders.
    — DatAdvantage for Directory Services: With improved detection capabilities, users will be able to not only detect group policy changes in Active Directory, but also show IT staff exactly which policy settings were changed. More log-on information will be captured and analyzed to help security better spot possible intrusions and misuse, along with real time alerts when critical settings are modified. These enhancements will help IT better control the security and stability of a critical infrastructure component.
    — Commit Management Platform: Advanced logic and functionality have been added to Varonis' commit engine, the underlying mechanism that allows the software to affect customers' environments through changing access control lists, folder structures, and group memberships. The new logic will  make sure that all changes will satisfy logical dependencies; new functionality will help administrators easily program changes in bulk, add more flexibility to schedule and monitor their execution, and add flexibility to more easily roll back changes later. With these enhancements, users will be able to get their environments under control more quickly than ever before.

    Yaki Faitelson, Varonis Co-Founder and CEO, said, "We are witnessing a growing demand for organizations and by organizations to secure, manage and take advantage of the massive volumes of emails, word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, audio, and video files that are created and shared by their employees every day. We call this human-generated data. Rarely does a week pass without news of a data breach impacting hundreds or thousands of consumers, and a huge percentage of these breaches seem to stem from poorly managed file environments. This is why we continue to work hard to refine and expand our software solutions to help our customers take every proactive step necessary to feel confident in the security of their data files, whether they live on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. We look forward to helping more companies prevent serious damage from future data breaches, and feel confident in the security of their data."

    For more information on Varonis' solution portfolio, please visit www.varonis.com and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

  • Whether SharePoint blends into Office 365, or companies stay with on-premises SharePoint Servers (Microsoft quietly has said there will be two more releases of the on-premises servers), Microsoft always leaves room for improvement. So, rest assured, the third-party add-ins and plug-ins that make your SharePoint more secure, more performant or just plain more robust will be around for a while.

  • Incentive, a leading provider of a complete, socially powered enterprise collaboration platform for mid-market organizations and enterprise teams, today announced it has added seamless integration with Microsoft SharePoint, a leading enterprise web application. The public beta integration enables SharePoint users to search, visualize and collaborate on files natively within Incentive. All SharePoint files and folders are indexed and searchable within Incentive, eliminating the need to import or copy files.
  • Managing your SharePoint farms and keeping them in tip top shape is an everlasting fight. You constantly need to check the progress to ensure minimum compliance issues and fix migration backfires. This takes a considerable amount of your time, which could be spent actually improving your SharePoint environment's health.

  • Persistent Systems, an India-based software services provider, today announced it has acquired the services business of SharePoint platform provider Akumina. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • BA Insight posed several questions to IDC Research Director David Schubmehl regarding InfoApps and how they can make content more accessible to users through the provisioning of portals connected to other systems. This white paper will answer questions such as:

  • SharePoint deployments tend to be complex projects. You have to get a budget for the project, plan the farm architecture, secure hardware, complete the installation, and configure the farm. After all of that, many people consider the process complete because SharePoint is “deployed.”

    There is just one thing missing: users. Despite the fact that the demos make everything look easy, and everything is available inside the firewall, outside the firewall and across the globe, users just don’t seem to be flocking to the new software. If this sounds familiar, perhaps these few tips will help speed up your user adoption. ... READ MORE

  • One of my favorite SharePoint related conferences of the year is easily the SPTechCon show that's held twice a year. They have a show in San Francisco, CA in the first part of the year and another in Boston in the latter part of the year. This year's San Francisco, CA show is held April 22-25, 2014 and I've been honored to ask to present as well as be one of the two keynote speakers at the show!

  • Fpweb.net, a global SharePoint hosting provider, has added a new service to its arsenal. Keeping with their mission to add value to their customers’ SharePoint, Fpweb.net takes a big step with their latest SharePoint solution that makes their five star customer-rated support and expertise available regardless if it is hosted in Fpweb.net’s private cloud, left in an on-premises data center, or placed in a hybrid environment.

    Fpweb.net’s “SharePoint Anywhere” showcase is headlined by a managed SharePoint on-premises solution for businesses. This service caters to organizations that currently struggle with maintaining and upgrading their environment or lack a team dedicated to the complicated platform and need a cost-effective solution for their in-house deployment. Fpweb.net’s managed services place a full team of specialists at your disposal 24/7 to handle backups, patching, monitoring, site design and functionality, upgrades, support and more.

  • H3 Solutions, Inc. announced today the availability of free developer licenses for their mobile SharePoint solution, Mobile Entrée. This accompanies the announcement of new subscription licensing for Mobile Entrée, as the industry moves away from perpetual licenses. The founders of H3 Solutions have deep roots in the SharePoint development community, and want to offer their framework, free of charge, to the over 3.4 million developers worldwide who already recognize the extensibility of SharePoint.

    Mobility in SharePoint has always been a wild card with many different approaches to solve the issue. From commercial or custom phone apps to responsive design, there hasn’t been a definitive answer to the question “How do I make my SharePoint solution mobile friendly”. Mobile Entrée answers this question with the most robust and tightly integrated framework for building mobile web apps around all types of SharePoint solutions. With these new, free licenses, SharePoint developers can build, test and market their mobile solutions without having to spend a dime.

  • Security is a critical issue today. Yet for all the talk of dark ops, shadow ops and more, most data leaks occur because of poor access and sharing controls.

  • Get ahead of SharePoint 2016

    David Rubinstein

    The good news is that the SharePoint 2016 release candidate is here. The bad news, for those interested in giving it a whirl, is that you have to first install the beta before installing the RC.

  • The biggest challenge with the adoption of new technologies is that adoption requires change. And change is hard-even if it's a good change. If you want to make change (and thus adoption) a little easier, here are some ideas that can help:

  • Getting LinkedIn

    David Rubinstein

    Reactions to Microsoft’s Monday announcement about its acquisition of LinkedIn have been met with excitement in the SharePoint and Office 365 community, yet tempered by recent acquisitions (Yammer, Nokia) that did not turn out well.

  • One of the best features of Office 365 is the ability to easily collaborate with external users. By giving external users access to your SharePoint Online sites, you can share documents, lists, calendars, tasks, issues and dashboards; set up alerts; and even use these users in your workflows. What’s even better, there are no extra license fees for these external users and Microsoft manages various account utilities (like changing passwords) making external sharing an extremely cost effective and simple feature in Office 365. For many organizations, the ability to quickly set up an extranet in SharePoint online with no additional licensing fees is a no-brainer. I would argue this feature alone is worth investing some time into looking at Office 365 for most SMBs.

    But how do you get started? How do you enable external sharing? How do you effectively structure your sites? How do you invite external users to your site? How do you prevent external users from seeing information you don’t want them to see? How can you tell if a user accepted your invite? All these questions are answered in various posts around the interwebs, but I didn’t see a single post that summed it all up.

  • Hopefully by now you have fully embraced PowerShell as part of your SharePoint life. Why? Because it is magical no matter what your role is:

  • Microsoft recently announced the general availability of the SharePoint Framework, a new development model for the creation of custom solutions within Office 365. The SharePoint Framework, also known as "SPFx?, provides customers with a way to extend the platform for Intranet and collaboration scenarios with a "pages and parts? model that is lightweight and easily configurable. As with any new model, developers will need to learn a new way of doing things, but SPFx has some specific requirements that may prove challenging for those who have been working with SharePoint for any length of time as well as those who are new to the platform. Before getting started, it is important to learn what skills are necessary, which tools are required, and how to configure an environment to begin creating SPFx solutions.

  • Groups, meet Team Sites

    David Rubinstein

    The final touches are being put on SharePoint 2016, and it should be released "in relatively short order,? as told during the Microsoft keynote at SPTechCon Austin yesterday.

  • GSX Solutions, the global leader in proactive, consolidated monitoring and reporting of Unified Communication environments, including Microsoft, IBM, BlackBerry, Cisco ESA, and SQL Server applications, today announced that GSX 365 Usage to optimize cloud management for SharePoint will be showcased at SPTechCon Boston 2016. As a full-usage analysis tool, GSX 365 Usage delivers simple yet powerful reports that help organizations understand how their employees use Office 365. For a demo at SPTechCon, please visit booth #502.

  • Have a plan for video

    Brian Prigge

    SPTechCon Boston was another great week of sessions, panels, and exhibit hall attractions. One major change to the conference this year was the addition of video. From Office Video Portal demos in the Microsoft keynote, to the streaming of all main stage sessions, it was clear that video has arrived in the SharePoint space.

  • Help going hybrid

    David Rubinstein

    For months now, Microsoft has acknowledged that a hybrid approach to SharePoint—running those apps that make sense in the cloud while retaining sensitive information on-premises—informs the future of the software.

  • Ideas are the lifeblood of any organization. Companies that can't imagine new products, or new ways to work, will find it hard to compete in today's rapidly changing marketplaces.

  • Hiring for SharePoint

    Brian Prigge

    Hiring SharePoint resources always seems to pose a bit of a challenge. With the enormous uptake that SharePoint has had in major companies, it seems that there is always a shortage of talent. Like any technology talent shortage, many folks are starting to dabble in SharePoint. This leaves hiring managers with a dilemma: How do you separate the SharePoint veterans from those just starting out? Here are a few indicators.

  • Companies continue to leverage SharePoint for internal and external collaboration. As a result, site administrators face many challenges including how to control content access, foster user adoption, manage large lists and build non-employee portals. To address this challenge, HiSoftware Inc., a leading provider of compliance and security solutions and now a Cryptzone company, today announced the release of HiSoftware Site Sheriff v. 2.0. The latest version provides new features including claims based permissions, identity management based on any user attribute database, geolocation and/or device properties, and integration with HiSoftware Security Sheriff to securely view and edit encrypted documents.
  • Whether you are an internal resource, a consultant, or working for a product company, you are likely shipping a product to your end users on a regular basis. The size and shape of that shipment may change. From large software packages to simple workflow updates, we are all shipping some sort of product, but do we know how that product is performing in the wild? Do we know the pain points that end users are experiencing?

  • People implementing SharePoint concern themselves with business value, and governance, and adoption. But performance seems to be one area that too often is either overlooked, or put off until major problems arise.

  • I’m a SharePoint front-end developer and designer by trade, which means that I don’t get that involved with the back-end side of things very often. Over the past couple of weeks, though, I have had the opportunity to attend SharePoint development training. Over three weeks, I learned about .NET development, coding with C#, and finally bringing the two together to develop for SharePoint. READ MORE
  • Kubisys prides themselves on listening to their clients, and they’re planning to listen even more intently as a first-time sponsor at this year’s SPTechCon. According to the VP of Business Development at Kubisys, Soumen Chowdhury, the team is looking forward to in-person interaction with the growing community of SharePoint users at the conference, since they specialize in helping end users learn more about adopting and adapting SharePoint to their specific needs.

    During a recent interview, Chowdhury cited an interesting statistic: around 70 percent of Kubisys customers desire an enterprise deployment of SharePoint, but Chowdhury doesn’t believe these companies are quite ready for such a broad deployment. For now, SharePoint deployments are very much departmentally based. Because of that, Chowdhury has seen many customers who want to take their departmental SharePoint solutions company-wide.
  • Having worked with different collaboration technologies since the late 1990's, I've been able to work with many of the leading solutions available on the market - from traditional intranets and social collaboration tools, into the more complex (and expensive) product life-cycle management (PLM), product data management (PDM), and supply chain collaboration platforms. What attracted me to the SharePoint space back in 2004 was its potential for extensibility, which led me to working for Microsoft and then some of the leading ISVs within the SharePoint community. Throughout all of this, one of the major issues has remained end user adoption of the technology. Even the most advanced, feature-rich solution that seem to check off all of your corporate requirements can still have adoption issues.

  • Now that we've talked about metadata, we can get into the next step, which is one of the best features SharePoint has to offer: views.

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