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So You’re Building an Intranet

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1 So You’re Building an Intranet
Becky Bertram Independent SharePoint Consultant, SharePoint Server MVP With contributions from Mike Henthorn Covenant Technology Partners, St. Louis

2 Project Planning

3 Evaluating Scope and Granularity

4 Stakeholders vs. End Users
Stakeholder = person footing the bill Important to prove business value and ROI This person is sometimes more concerned with dollars and cents than usability. Usability must translate into cost savings. End-user = person using the system once it’s build This person doesn’t care how much the system cost. They care if it helps them do their job better. May not have an eye on the big picture. May wish they could post pictures of their pets on their My Site more than whether the site saves the company money. Without strong leadership the project will fail.

5 Steering Committee Important to get input from both stakeholders and end-users (but not necessarily at the same time). Stakeholders have final say in what gets built, but they must understand needs of their users. Find representatives throughout your organization who know their business processes for their particular area/department. Find tech-savvy “champions” who are excited about technology and are not afraid of change.

6 The Curse of the Past Users either love or hate what they currently have, but it will serve as their frame of reference. It’s important to get people to dream, whether that means giving them hope that something better is out there, or opening their eyes that there might be a better way of doing things than they have done things for the last decade. A key to getting them to dream is to show what’s possible. Demoing gives people more understanding than talking about SharePoint’s features.

7 The Curse of the Past, Continued
When working with stakeholders, they might continually whine or lament that the new system lacks what either their current system does, or some system they worked with at another job. Set the expectation that SharePoint is not WebSphere, Documentum, Fill-in-the-blank… Sell SharePoint, but don’t oversell it. It won’t do their laundry or buy their groceries. It’s a tool, and it can be customized for their needs.

8 Requirements Gathering
Import for everyone to feel heard. Take a note of everything they wish to see. Begin a process of group prioritization. If this is done as a group, everyone gets a vote. If the loudest person insists on a priority, but it becomes apparent it’s only important to them when it comes to the voting process because it only gets their one vote, it’s hard for them not to understand if it doesn’t get implemented. Primarily stakeholder(s) get a greater vote than everyone else. Dems da berries.

9 Prioritization Create a matrix of: costly, important, cheaper, unimportant. Prioritize the requirements along this continuum. Costly and important Costly and less important Less costly but more important Less costly and less important

10 First Things First A house needs a foundation before you can hang the curtains. When calculating “important” things, think about things that cannot be easily changed once you start your implementation. How users authenticate Number of site collections Retention policies Base content types Server location (hosted or on-premises)

11 Starting Small Easier to start with limited functionality and add it later. Too much functionality too early: Increases the chances that users are overwhelmed and quickly disregard the whole system Increases the chances that users don’t know how to use the system properly and make mistakes, causing frustration and limited usage of system. Because of increased complexity, causes increased maintenance for site and farm administrators, who are new to this system as well. Better to start with limited functionality with a strategy for expanding functionality later.

12 Encouraging Adoption People hate change, by and large
To get people excited about using the new system, work to get their “buy-in” earlier than later. Do it while you’re building the system. Don’t present them with a shiny new system and than be disappointed when they don’t care about your pet project. Ways to get buy-in: Periodic updates on project’s status. Perhaps this is in an , a newsletter, etc. Prepare people for this new change that will happen. Periodic demonstrations of new functionality Solicit feedback during the process

13 If You Build It… …they will not necessarily come.
A SharePoint site must present users with a better way of doing their job than they do it now. No Outlook = no s at work. No SharePoint = business as usual (i.e. ing documents, discussion threads, etc.) People will NOT voluntarily add meaningful content to the site if they are not assigned it as a part of their meaningful job tasks. Make sure people understand this is a priority and not just “one more thing” they have to do. (Wikis, blogs, discussion boards seem like a great idea until no one uses them. )

14 Planning your Site

15 Number of Users This has an effect on a number of things: Technical:
Server load Maintenance Logistical: How many people need training? How many people will need to be administering the content on the site? How will you find your “champions”?

16 Scope and Frequency How many logical sites will be built? The smaller the granularity, the greater the number. You might need one public facing site You might need one intranet portal homepage You might need 5 departmental sites You might need 100 team sites You might need 300 My Sites

17 Number of Site Collections
Object model, navigation, browser tools, only work within one site collection. Better user experience when one site collection is used. Monster big site collection = monster big database = bad disaster recovery scenario Reasons for splitting site into site collections: Smaller DB sizes, i.e. faster backup and restore scenario per DB. Quotas Expiration and deletion

18 When do multiple site collections make sense?
My Sites (Quota, permissions, OOTB) Project or team sites (Quota, expiration) Ad hoc sites (Quota, expiration) Document-heavy sites (Database size)

19 Multi-lingual Sites Will your site need to support more than one language? Will the infrastructure team need to install language packs? Will you be using site variations? How will the translation process work?

20 Spectrum of Control Ad Hoc Publishing
Ad Hoc: Nearly anyone can create a site, create lists, add or remove content, etc. Controlled content creation: SharePoint Administrators, Site Administrators put in place to limit who gets to create or modify content. Publishing sites: Greatest level of control; usually only Content Owners are given permission to create content; page templates are pre-defined.

21 Publishing or No Publishing, that is the question
Advantage of enabling Publishing in your site: branded look and feel, more pleasant Web experience. Disadvantage of Publishing: meant for public facing Web sites, primarily. Can be inconsistent user experience if Publishing pages used for news stories while list views are used for lists, etc. Blended approaches: Publishing and collaboration are layered in the same site Publishing in one site collection, collaboration split off in another area of the site

22 Delegation Benefit of SharePoint is that it allows for distributed use and maintenance. For it to be effective, responsibility must be delegated. How much centralized control do you want to cede in order to encourage distributed ownership? Depends on job responsibility or initiatives of end users Maybe means making a distinction between “official” and “unofficial” content. (Workflows, or publishing vs. non-publishing sites.)

23 Site Organization Think task over org chart
People come to a page or a site because they are trying to accomplish something Logical structure is also tied to security Key to effective content management is creating multiple ways to retrieve the same data Metadata, metadata, metadata: Sorting, grouping, filtering on lists Relevant search terms for data retrieval Content queries

24 Content Types and Metadata
Columns: At the global level, emphasize search-ability and retrieve-ability. At the list level, emphasize sorting, filtering, grouping, etc. Content Types: Can be used for workflows and policies, as well as a collection of columns or document templates. Global vs. local Fewer the better Take advantage of content type inheritance Base content type at the top Inherited content type at the list level

25 Search Custom Search Scopes and/or Search Tabs
Customized Advanced Search page Customized Results Customized Refinement Panel Canned Searches

26 Workflows Approval workflows
Sequential or parallel Who’s in the workflow groups? Are you using a Records Center? Are you archiving content? Do you need to set up routing rules? Are you implementing expiration policies on your content?

27 Social Media Social media components can be implemented independently of one another. Use Personal Features Contains Memberships, such as SharePoint sites and distribution lists; Colleagues, such as the My Colleagues list and colleagues recommendations; My Links; My Personalization links, such as personalization site pinning; and User profile properties. Create Personal Site Creates a My Site Web site, which includes a personal, private My Home page and a public My Profile page. Use Social Features Includes social tags, Note Board, and ratings. (From

28 My Sites Each user’s My Site is a new site collection. Possible to make changes to a site collection before it’s created. Doubles the effort or more to make changes to existing site collections after the fact, as well as provide for changes in new sites to be created in the future. How does management feel about My Sites? Do they see it as “wasting time”? How will you monitor the content that people publish? Are there policies in place if someone misuses their My Site? Storage space estimate and quotas should be in place before enabling.

29 Content Migration How will you get content from your existing site (if you have one) into your new site? What’s the process of scrubbing data before bringing it over? Migration options: Manual Programmatic Third-party tool

30 Audience Targeting Audience targeting is not the same as security
Do you want to target content to specific audiences? Can make users more interested in the site because they only see relevant content Can also anger people if they want to see content and feel like they were excluded in any way What are the rules for setting up those audiences? Will content owners take the time to actually target content?

31 Planning your Infrastructure

32 Hosting On premises Hosting Company BPOS

33 Server Architecture How many servers of which type? (Web front end, application server, database server) Do you have a development environment? Staging? Is your hardware virtualized or not? Will you be extending the site’s availability outside the firewall? Alternate access mappings VPN access Will you be applying security certificates to the site?

34 Plan Ahead If you’re hosting in-house, do you need to order more hardware? Do you have the appropriate software licenses? What will the URL(s) for your site be?

35 Authentication Supported authentication methods: Authentication Types:
SharePoint Server 2010 supports authentication methods that were included in previous versions and also introduces token-based authentication that is based on Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) as an option. Supported authentication methods: Windows Forms-based authentication SAML token-based authentication Authentication Types: Classic-mode Claims-based Windows - At this time, Windows certificate authentication is not supported. NTLM Kerberos Anonymous Basic Digest Forms-based authentication Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) SQL database or other database Custom or third-party membership and role providers SAML token-based authentication – (Supported only with SAML 1.1 that uses the WS-Federation Passive profile) Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 Third-party identity provider SharePoint Server 2010 introduces claims-based authentication, which is built on Windows Identity Foundation (WIF). You can use any of the supported authentication methods with claims-based authentication. You can use classic-mode authentication, which supports Windows authentication.

36 Authentication cont. What is right for me? Classic mode Claims-based
This is the same as used in 2007 Kerberos is still used No support for Forms or SAMAL Token-based authentication Claims-based What am I doing Who is my customer A SharePoint Server 2010 farm can include a mix of Web applications that use both modes. Services do not differentiate between user accounts that are traditional Windows accounts and Windows claims accounts. Consequently, a user who belongs to sites that are configured to use a mix of authentication modes will receive search results that include results from all the sites that the user has access to, regardless of the mode that is configured for Web applications. The user is not interpreted as two different user accounts. This is because services and service applications use claims identities for inter-farm communication regardless of the mode that is selected for Web applications and users.

37 Authentication cont. What is supported under each Authentication Mode
Classic-mode or Claims-mode Windows NTLM Kerberos Anonymous Basic Digest Claims Only Forms-based authentication (using) LDAP SQL database or other database Custom or third-party membership and role provider SAML token-based authentication (using) AD FS 2.0 Windows Live ID Third-party identity provider Classic-mode – No support for Forms or SAMAL Token-based authentication

38 Authentication cont. Best Practice Guidance Claims-mode Classic
Only if you have a need for one of the following Forms-based authentication SAML token-based authentication Classic Use it if you don’t have a need for the above Important: Classic-mode web application’s can be converted to Claims with PowerShell but, Claims-based cannot go back to Classic-mode. Important: Classic-mode web application’s can be converted to Claims with PowerShell but, Claims-based cannot go back to Classic. So know why you need it before you use Claims.

39 Security Authentication = Are you who you say you are
Authorization = What do you have permission to see and do? Who has permission to do what in your site? Does everyone get to edit everyone’s content, or do people get to only edit content within their own department? Does everyone have permission to view everyone else’s content?

40 User Management If users are being stored in Active Directory, which system will be used as the user identity management location? SharePoint 2010 now allows for SharePoint to read or to update AD info. Will users update their own personal profile info? Who will maintain the user groups? Adding people to SharePoint groups directly is not very scalable but works for smaller environments (of several hundred users). Benefit: SharePoint administrators don’t need to contact IT people every time a change is made Simply adding an AD group to a SharePoint group means users are managed within AD. This is helpful if you already have a system for managing users in AD. It’s also more scalable, and ultimately, allows AD to be used for what it’s intended: user management.

41 External Systems and Applications
Are there external systems you want to connect to? How will you authenticate with them? Will you use the BCS? Are you using additional applications like SQL Server Reporting Services, or Microsoft Project? Does this affect your authentication requirements? Are you wanted to install any third party SharePoint products, such as imaging/scanning plug-ins, server management tools, etc.?

42 Site Creation Ad hoc site creation Delegated site creation
Centralized site creation Sites defined by a feature, site template or definition Request form for new sites

43 Disaster Recovery What is the disaster recovery SLA?
Built-in products or third party products? Where are the backups being stored? Physical Media? Cloud Storage?

44 Planning Customization and Development

45 Development What skillset do you have to build and maintain your solution in-house? Are you planning on building your solution in-house, or outsourcing the development to someone else? If so, how will you maintain the application after it has been built?

46 SharePoint Development
PROS: Code can be stored in a code-repository, providing better disaster recovery Repeatability; code can be tested in one environment, propagated to next Does not customize content CONS: Requires SharePoint developers Requires investment in development tools (Visual Studio) and development hardware. Bottom line: Good approach for enterprise solutions.

47 SharePoint Designer PROS:
Easy to use. Don’t have to be super-technical to use it. Little development effort. Cheap way to create a nice-looking site. CONS: Making changes directly to content database Must make changes directly to production database Cannot test changes in lower environment. Changes must be made again in production, all over again Customizes content Bottom line: Good for small sites with limited technical expertise on staff, provided a good disaster recovery plan is in place.

48 Investing in People

49 Training “Train the Trainer”
“Champion” or site administrator trains others in department; delegated training Online or contextual training Lunch-n-learns, etc.

50 Administration Needs What type of team do you have to support the environment? What type of SharePoint administration training needs to take place before taking over the day to day management of the system?

51 Ongoing Support Who is responsible for the ongoing support of the site, once the initial training has been completed? Are you going to use an existing Help Desk/ticketing system? Are current Help Desk folks prepared to support SharePoint? Is there an SLA in place for resolving issues?

52 Wrap Up

53 Where’s the Party? How are you going to celebrate the launch of a FANTASTIC intranet site that knocks everyone’s socks off?

54 Helpful Resources SharePoint Server 2007 Best Practices Bill English Microsoft Press Association for Information and Image Management

55 Questions and Answers This is a time to ask questions, or to share with others in the room about your own experiences of building an intranet. What worked? What didn’t?


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