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European SharePoint Conference Day 2

Day 2 started as planned with keynotes from Mirjam van Olst and Spencer Harbar. their presentation on experiences from the field on SharePoint migrations was a pretty straight forward story. The session was split into work-related fields like management, development and ITPRO. Although most information was known information, it was a good ‘freshen up’ and eye opener on things which are usually forgotten in the process. After a good opening we went for the session on Project and SharePoint. By using Project Server 2010 it becomes possible to view your project timelines and keep track of costs directly in Sharepoint. SharePoint has the functionality to create an overview for all projects. All project have their own project page where project related information is shown. It is presented as a dashboard. By use of SharePoint a graphical view is presented about the timeline and information on the project. Right after the break we went for a session on SharePoint upgrade by Joel Oleson. The main decisions were discussed, like migrating, in-place upgrade, pre-upgrade considerations and experiences in the field. After lunch I went to a BCS session by Andre Vala and Raul Ribeiro. They gave a nice demo on external list with read and write functionality. And not just to a single source but by using a SQL database and information stored in Azure at the same time. Tom Zitter went to Bob Kreha’ Bridging the Gulf. Implementations of SharePoint are usually viewed and planned from a technical perspective and sight is lost on the ultimate goal; collaboration throughout the organization. Before a collaboration platform can but used to the fullest it is necessary to have everybody on the same page. It is important that everyone knows what is coming and everybody can accept errors and mistakes. At the start all users should be able to post their content on the ECM. Even non-work related blogs or news items should be accepted at start and filtering should not be a bottleneck to a employee to make a post. All of this should be taken in to account and be documented in a considered governance design. Then it was up to John Baldwin from EMC to update our knowledge on storage optimization and he did! When SharePoint lacks performance storage is the problem in most cases. So making sure that your storage is in optimal shape when you start using SharePoint is key. Make sure you think about how to configure your storage before you start installing SharePoint and SQL, don’t just drop your installation on the disks, but think about where to put your content databases and how many should share a disk, LUN or volume. Especially the provisioning of diskspace, the minimal amount of IOPS per GB in a farm viewed from the user perspective and the planning on IOPS and GB kept me thinking. Just like Mirjam van Olst mentioned in the morning presentation John Baldwin mentioned it again, don’t use RBS just because you want to or you think it’s ‘cool’. Make sure you have the right reasons! After the storage session it was but a small step to Steffen Krause’s session on SQL Best Practices. With the new gained knowledge we jumped into SQL’s need for storage allocation and performance. Making the wrong choices or not choosing it at all could lead up to a 30% to 50% loss of performance! Just like John Baldwin best practices on usage for RAID and NTFS block sizes were given and multiple tools and settings like SQLIO.exe, quick formats, MAXDOP and autogrowth passed the review. Day 2 was even better then day 1, let’s hope that day 3 is even better! See you all tomorrow and remember “Never shrink your database!”. On a personal note we went and explored some more of Berlin and literally tasted some culture!

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Metadata Library View in SharePoint 2010

Posted by andre | Posted in Managed Metadata, Nintex Workflow, SharePoint 2010 | Posted on 28-02-2012


With SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata was introduced as a new feature, but with all new features they have their limitations. One of the major limitations of using metadata in a library is that a metadata column filter cannot be applied to a term group but only to a single term. This is because a filter on the metadata column cannot use the “Begins With” or “Contains” operators.

Today I was working on a project for a customer who wants 12 different views on a single library to sort the related documents. The document types in this library has to be grouped in the 12 categories and a view has to be made for each category.

With the limitations at hand I looked at copying the metadata text from the column to a hidden plain text column. The column filter could then be applied to the “Single line of text” column. I made a Nintex workflow to copy the term to text, which all seemed to go okay.

After a few user tests I seemed that issues occurred when a document was checked in, cause then no changes could be made to the file. So I adjusted the workflow to first check-out the document, but to those who already checked out the document received an error and after adding a “Condition” the workflow locked the file when it was waiting for the check-out status to change.

So after a few errors and conditions the workflow turned from a simple ‘text-copy-workflow’ to a full-grown state machine.

What the Nintex Workflow does is check if the file is checked out, if not then the term is directly copied to text. If the document is checked out the State Machine will start and it will pause for 1 minute. After every pause the document check repeats and it either waits again or changes to the 2nd State and copies the term to text.

This way a document is never locked by the Nintex Workflow, the user or the system.



Thanks for reading.

Special thanks to Jim van Leeuwen.

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