Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


SharePoinTony >
The Practical side of SharePoint
November 07
#SPSSD SharePoint Saturday San Diego 2014

The #SPSSD 2014 event is shaping up to be something special, from start to finish and everything in between.

Why is this so special?

Well, let's look at some of the stats to get the story started.

  • We have over 127 different companies represented in attendee registrations.
  • We have roughly 300 people registered to attend.
  • We have 14 fabulous sponsors who are making the event possible – and Free to attendees!
  • We have @ 23 speakers volunteering their time and weekend to present at the event.
  • Among those speakers are SharePoint MVP's, widely recognized authors and trainers as well as coveted expert speakers – all nationally or internationally recognized.
  • Additionally, we have many great speakers who may not be as well-known but are full of experience and are experts in their own right.
  • We have 6 tracks and nearly 30 sessions covering topics for Business, End User, IT Pro, Developer, Office 365 and Sponsor Solutions - the day is jam packed with SharePoint gems.
  • UCSD Extension is our venue – and it is perfect for a SharePoint Saturday, with fully-equipped professional classrooms and facilities that are comfortable for both attendees and our sponsors, we couldn't be more lucky.

Now let's add the pre and post events to the mix

Speakers will be treated to a beach party luau complete with ukulele serenades and hula dancers around a beach bon-fire.

Attendees will be treated to lunch during the event and have the opportunity to mingle with the speakers, sponsors and each other at the SharePINT post-event gathering. Saturday wraps up San Diego Beer Week, and so it is fitting for us to host the SharePINT gathering at the La Jolla Brewing Company (LBC).

Due to our sponsors' willingness to make this an awesome event, and K2 for providing extra funding to help host the SharePINT, we will have the Tasting Room at LBC reserved for our private party. How much better can it get – SharePINT, Beer Week, and a private room at a brewing company? How about a free drink or two! La Jolla Brewing Company offers a full bar, appetizers and a great dinner menu that should accommodate everyone's tastes. What a great way to wrap up a full day of SharePoint sessions.

For the "cherry on top", we also have some great prizes for the raffle….so I encourage you to stay for the day, pick up a prize during the raffle and then join us at the SharePINT.

We have so many people in the community coming together to make this happen, that is what makes this special. This whole package is my definition of a special event. I hope to see you there.  [Registration & Info]

January 22
Why Enable Access to a Service Application?

There are companies of all sizes, who have very limited resources dedicated to SharePoint, struggling to manage the environment.  These environments often are in need of some “TLC” and/or are an area of frustration for some of those tasked with overseeing them.  Yet, most of them do not take advantage of the tools SharePoint provides for the purpose of “spreading the wealth”; i.e. allowing for the distribution of duties. 

If you have limited resources & they cannot keep up with or even start to manage more features for your SharePoint environment, then enabling access to a service application may be an ideal solution. 

What? Why?

By enabling, and limiting, access to Service Applications you can allow specific people to manage specific services rather than piling all the tasks on one “SharePoint Administrator”.  Typically, the reason for this workload is that IT management doesn’t want to many fingers in the system and company policy often limits access to servers.  Accountability and stability is normally the driving force behind those policies, and rightly so.  The point here is not to abandon those principles but to update them to include expanding responsibilities and accountability for staff that may not traditionally have had access to systems and servers.  Or for IT staff that haven’t been accountable because everyone is logging in and “sharing” the management of SharePoint. 

Why not establish specific roles for portions of SharePoint administration?

Example: Search is a valuable tool in your environment, yet often overlooked when it comes to ‘administration’. 

  • How often do you evaluate and update your search service application? 
  • Do you need improved search results? 
  • Will narrowed results help speed work or increase the use of search? 
  • Would scoped searches on specific content help your team? 
  • Have you wanted to search that share drive from your department collaboration site? 

If you answered yes to any of the above and you don’t have someone managing your Search Service then perhaps you can see the value in splitting out the administrative tasks.  A critical part of managing search, for example, is the business knowledge of the data that users are trying to find.  Your server admins don’t have that knowledge.  Someone else in IT might have that knowledge.  Someone in the business might have the knowledge and be capable of learning the administration tasks of SharePoint search. 

By defining the role and providing access only to the search service application you can authorize an individual to manage the search service for the farm, and nothing else.   Accountability maintained, policies adhered to, and additional functionality provided.

You win, your users win, your company wins.

This principle applies to many services within SharePoint administration, it is worth a little time to evaluate which service applications would benefit by having an administrator in your environment.

Read the TechNet article “Restrict or enable access to a service application” for your version of SharePoint ( ) to get started.

Additional reference:

Assign or remove administrators to a service application

Delegate administration of User Profile service applications in SharePoint Server 2013

October 04
Reusing a Reusable Workflow

I have had a flurry of workflows to create lately, and interestingly enough a common request emerged.  Although SharePoint 2010 has an out-of-the-box (OOTB) ability to enable approvals and an approval workflow, many organizations want a little more than you can do with OOTB functionality.  Additionally, the OOTB capability of “Reusable” workflows in SharePoint Designer (SPD) only allows you to reuse within the site collection and not across site collections.

The requests I received had variations to the theme, and slightly different details, however the basic behavior followed the same process:

  1. A user creates a new item in a list
  2. The item state or status column is set to a value (i.e. request, pending, proposed, etc)
  3. A group of approvers are notified via email
  4. Upon approval or rejection another notification goes out to appropriate people

Creating this is possible with OOTB tools, however it requires Content Approval enabled in the Versioning settings of the list.  The devil is in the details, because each organization had specific requirements that couldn’t be accomplished with the OOTB tools, regardless of the Content Approval functionality. 

The bottom line is that I had multiple requests for workflows, from different organizations, that were similar enough to make me want to ‘reuse’ components of a workflow.  If you are using SharePoint Designer, you know you can’t just “copy” portions of your workflow and paste them into another workflow. (does that sound like a feature request?). 

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could copy Conditions and Actions and paste them into either your existing workflow or another workflow?  I would love it! 

Enough story-telling.

Create the (first) workflow, test it & verify everything works as expected.  While in the Workflow Settings page, within SPD, notice that the Ribbon has a button entitled “Save as Template”.  Selecting this option causes SPD to save the Reusable workflow to the Site Assets library.  If you go to Site Assets and download the file you will discover that it is saved as a wsp.  That solution package can be uploaded into another Site Collection’s Solution Gallery.  After you have an Activated the solution in the Gallery, it will become available to each site in the Site Collection as a Feature

Navigate to Manage Site Features, scroll to the bottom & you will see your workflow waiting to be Activated.  When you click Activate the workflow will become visible in the selection list available to you in the Add a Workflow page (List Settings > Workflow Settings > Add a workflow link).  Scroll through the “Select a workflow template:" list until you find your workflow, Name it, provide the appropriate details for the Task list, History list and Start Options then Save your new workflow.

We aren’t done yet.  Yes you now have a shiny new workflow on a list in another site collection.  Who says it works?  Obviously, if the workflow uses columns you have added to a list, you will need to add them to the same list in the site of the ‘new’ site collection.  I suggest doing that prior to moving the workflow over and adding it to your list…but it will be ok either way as long as the list columns used are identical to those used in the original site list. 

Now you can go into SPD and open this other site collection/site and edit your workflow.  You want the columns to exist in the list when you open the workflow otherwise it will be looking for those columns, not find them, and break the Actions or Conditions where they are used.

Modify/adjust the workflow to accommodate the needs of this other organization, then Save and Publish it.  I like to verify that each column is recognized in the workflow and none are ‘broken’.  You will notice if they are broken because the Condition or Action will not display the column correctly if the column doesn’t exist in the list.  (Hit refresh in SPD to pull in columns and then try connecting your Action to the column again if necessary)

I suggest a little clean up prior to any celebration.  Go back to your Site Features and Deactivate the workflow feature, you don’t need it any longer.  Once you have a Reusable workflow in your site, saved and working on a list, you can add it to any list in the site without the feature (same steps as above).  You have the option of also deleting the solution out of the Solutions Gallery, that is what I do.  It just seems tidy, you don’t have a solution or feature that you no longer need hanging around the site collection. 

Now you can celebrate! 

One last tip, I found that it is easier & faster to remove detail from your ‘template workflow’ in the new site collection than it is to add Conditions and Actions manually…so don’t make your ‘template workflow’ a bare-bones workflow.

August 16
What’s New: SharePoint 2013 Reference

SharePoint 2013 This is intended to be a summary article highlighting some of available information on the new SP2013 Preview Release.  This post is entitled “Reference” for a reason.

Let’s start with Recently Published content for SP2013 – Microsoft updates this all the time, so it is a great place to start:

SharePoint 2013 hardware and software requirements – You will need to know Tags:
or refer to this:

Updated Ref Links (Dec 2015)

Discontinued Features


Service Accounts for SP2013








SharePoint Designer 2013:


Configure SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups for SharePoint 2013




Configure SQL Server 2012 for SharePoint 2013




Architecting SharePoint: Building a Solid Foundation for SharePoint Farms
What to do before you design a SharePoint environment





SharePoint 2013 working with Office 2010




Configure People Picker in SharePoint 2013




Preview Downloads

SP2013 Preview

SP2013 Foundation Preview

SharePoint Designer 2013



Tools for IT Pros

Tools for developing w/2013

Corey Roth has a great article: Search is Everywhere! What you need to know about Search in SharePoint 2013 Preview


There you have it, plenty to get you started learning about SharePoint 2013!

July 05
Activity since last post

I know, I know, this blog has gotten stale.  Well, no excuses today, just a brief update of my activities since my last post.


The past several months included activities that had a need for PowerShell scripts, and that gave me an opportunity to learn more & make use of what I already knew.  That said, I found a few resources that were very handy & they are:

  1. get-help - everyone says it, I concur that this is the best tool while you are working with PS.  ​
  2. The TechNet Script Center:
  3. PowerShell Magazine:

SharePoint Saturdays

SharePoint Saturday Silicon Valley

I was privileged to present at SPSSV in Palo Alto, CA.  This was another example of the wonderful SharePoint community sharing knowledge and expertise via the excellent "SharePoint Saturday" format.  If you didn't make it out to this event and you live in the Silicon Valley, you should plan ahead for the next SPSSV.  You won't regret giving up your Saturday.  The venue was excellent and I bet the Volunteer Organizers responsible for this event will be using it again next year.  

My presentation was focused on Creating Permission Levels.  The session was very interactive, with discussions around the topic touching on the practical application of permissions and permission levels in SharePoint 2010.  More information about this event is available on the SPS site:

I was also honored to record a "One Thing" video during this event.  Christian Buckley of Axceler Corp. produces this series of short videos highlighting things you should know about SharePoint.   He does a great job with these and the "Digital Sack Lunch" series with SharePoint experts from around the globe.  Christian is also involved in helping many SharePoint Saturday events come into existence, I thank him for his involvement in the community. 

SharePoint Saturday San Diego

As an active board memeber of the San Diego SharePoint Users Group (sanspug), I was also active in organizing SPSSAN here in San Diego.  This was our 2nd year hosting a SharePoint Saturday and the workload did not get smaller!  Although there is a lot of work involved in organizing this type of event, it is rewarding and the effort is fulfilling.  I encourage anyone engaged with SharePoint as a profession to consider volunteering your time to help with one of these events in your city.  You will get to meet some fantastic MVP's and authors as well as your own local speakers.  I have to thank my co-organizers Chris Givens, Randy Williams, Tom Castiglia, and Galen Keene.  These guys are great to work with and I enjoy their company.

In addition to organizing activity I had the opportunity to present a session at this event also.  My presentation was a variation on the previous session at SPSSV, with the focus on Best Practices for Managing Permission Levels in SharePoint 2010.  This variation doesn't look significant in the slideset, but the interaction and discussions were certainly different.  This session demonstrated that "how-to" do something is usually only a portion of the knowledge needed in SharePoint.  Stable and Secure environments are built using Best Practices and that is the "why" behind the steps to accomplish the task.  

My presentations from both of these SharePoint Saturday events are posted on slideshare:

More practical SharePoint posts to come, sometimes life takes you on a path that doesn't include blogging as regularly as we like.

April 15
SPSLA Summary
This post is coming to you from the SPSLA event, composed on my iPad, after being inspired by the speakers of this event.  I have been inundated with fantastic SharePoint information across a wide variety of topics presented by top-notch speakers.  

Mark "the lorax" Miller kicked the day off with a keynote address that only he could present.   Mark is engaging and brings a wealth of knowledge and information to his presentations.  Plus,the pictures of Antartica were great.

The event Tracks included "SharePoint 101", "Business User", "Business User (Exec)", "Developer", "IT Pro", "IT Pro (Admin)", and "Mixed" ...which included topics that covered a variety of areas of interest.

I found the most difficulty in choosing a session at this event.  There were always multiple tempting sessions running at the same time, making it difficult to decide what to miss.  The SPSLA organizing team did a great job with not only the speaker & topic selections, but also the venue.  I went to mostly IT Pro sessions, but attended Business User sessions also.  This is a summary so I won't go into details on each session, suffice it to say that I enjoyed the entire event and learned some new things.  On top of that I got to see my friends in the SharePoint Community and go to the famous Roscoe's for the first time.  

I learned something in each session, which in my case were:
  • Kenneth Lo's mobile device session mentioned in my earlier post from my iPhone.
  • Rick Taylor's PowerShell for the SharePoint Administrator
  • Henry Ong's Playing Tag: Managed Metadata & Taxonomies in SharePoint 2010
  • Michael Doyle's Customizing MySites 
  • Ask the Experts Panel - Christian Buckley, Chris Givens, Alex Windel, Randy Williams, Rick Taylor 
There were breaks in-between sessions that allowed for discussions, rest or investigating solutions from the awesome sponsors of the event.  

 else can you go to interact with consultants, vendors, your peers, and MVP's?  Paid conferences.  Where can you do this for free?  SharePoint Saturday !

I want to thank the sponsors, without them there wouldn't have been this great event, the great sessions, or the opportunity to meet and speak with the presenters and other attendees.  

​AvePoint ​rackspace hosting ​Axceler
​K2 ​Perficient ​citrius
​Knowledgelake ​Hershey Technologies ​webtrends
​Quest Software ​idera ​Kodak
​New Horizons ​Kofax ​Slalom Consulting

This was another great SharePoint Saturday event!  I am looking forward to upcoming SPS events - I will be speaking at SPSSV​ (June 2nd) and most likely SPSSAN (June 30th).  I hope to attend or speak at more later this year as well & I hope more of you learn to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.  Check the link above to find the SharePoint Saturday near you & the schedule of upcoming event locations.

April 14
SPSLA mobile post
I am attending Kenneth Lo's session "Sharepoint Street Smart - Delivering Content to Mobile Devices & Tablets" and posting this live using my iPhone. 

Kenneth demonstrated several 3rd party tools that reside in this category, including SharePlus and Mobile Entree'.

Short post, just to make the point & I don't want to miss anything during the session!
March 29
SharePoint Survey's

​SharePoint 2010 has several great tools to help you quickly and easily capture feedback from your team.  The one I am going to talk about today is the Survey.  The SharePoint Survey is often overlooked, but it can be a powerful tool for you if you take a little time to learn what it can do.

There are many scenarios where a survey could be used, but I am going to focus on a simple one for the sake of keeping this introduction to the SharePoint survey short. 
Let's say you have a new project team working on a very important project for your organization.  You want to motivate this team and you want to make sure they get engaged, and stay engaged with the project.  Management has given you the authority to reward team members for exemplary effort during the project.  You decide to ask the team what kind of rewards they would like.  You could send out an email or ask for a show of hands during a meeting, but you also want to get them used to going to the project site.
Using the above scenario, we will quickly build a survey, and I will show you what to expect after people start responding to the survey.
Let's get started.
  1. Go to your project site, click on Site Actions and select View All Site Content
  2. Click on the Create link in the upper left corner of the All Site Content screen
  3. Create Survey

  4. Under the Filter By section on the left side of the Create dialog, select List (the icons in the main portion of the dialog will filter to show only List type items)
  5. Select the Survey icon,  and type a Name for your survey in the text field on the right
  6. Click on the More Options button and the Create screen will display the survey options
  7. more options 
  8. I want the survey to display in the navigation on my project site, so I accept the default  Navigation radio button selection of Yes to "Display this survey on the Quick Launch?"
  9. In this case I want the survey to be anonymous, so I changed the Survey Options "Show user names in survey results?" to No
  10. I don't want team members to "vote" multiple times so I leave the "Allow multiple responses?" default at No
  11. Click the Create button (if it is not active, it will become active after you type in the survey name)
  12. Create your first question.  You may notice that the options are similar to creating columns in a list.  I am going with the default Choice field for my question.  Notice that I entered each answer option for the choice on a separate line and keep all of the other default settings
  13. Questions

  14.  Click Next Question and continue.  For now, just ignore the Branching options (they won't work until you finish the survey anyway)
  15. Branching Logic

  16. In this example I do want to show you how to use branching, so I created 6 questions.  If you are following along, please create at least 4 questions.  My other questions are:
    1. How many reward levels should we have?
    2. Which item should be in reward level 1?
    3. What would you like to see at reward level 2?
    4. What is appropriate for reward level 3?
    5. How do you rate the project so far? (for this question I used the default Rating Scale rather than a Choice for the question type)
    Some explanation may be needed here.  I plan to 'branch' my survey so that if the team member answers "1" to the question "How many reward levels should we have?" they will be taken to question [d] above.  If they answer "2" then they go to question [c], "3" takes them to question [b].  Each of those questions do not branch, so the responder will only be asked about the number of reward levels they chose in question [a].  Obviously this is for example only, but hopefully the concept of branching will come thru and you will have much better ideas on how to use this powerful option in your survey's.
  17. Don't worry if you need to change anything you will be able to modify your survey later.  When you have all of your questions entered, click Finish.  
  18. The survey Overview displays.  Here you can take the survey...but we want to add the branching described above so click on Settings and select Survey Settings
  19. Look for the Questions section on the Survey Settings page, and click on the "How many reward levels should we have?" question (or whatever your question is)
  20. Now scroll down the Edit Question page to the Branching Logic section, mine looks like this after I selected the Jump To options:
  21. Jump To
    The Jump To selections will contain the questions you entered back in step 12.  In my case I want the reward level number question to coincide with the Possible Choices that indicate how many questions the user should be asked.  If the choice is 1 then I want to ask them the last of the reward level questions, which is level 3.  These questions were worded to highlight this branching logic, so forgive the awkward questions when taking the survey.
  22. Once you selected the branching logic Jump To questions click the OK button to save the changes to your survey
  23. Now you are ready to take the survey!  Once you are back at the Overview, notice that you have the choice to Respond to this Survey, or down below there are a couple of links that allow you to see the responses (note that everyone who takes the survey can see the responses)
  24. View All Responses
  25. The 'graphical summary' will display bar charts for every question.  It will display bar charts that show the number of responses to each choice (for Choice type questions) and different bar charts for Ratings, etc.  Try the different question types out to see how they display.
  26. The 'Show all responses' option will first list every response as a link on the page and then allow you to see how each question was answered by that one person (response).
That is it, you are now able to create survey's and can become a "survey monster"!  Make them interesting so your team members will enjoy responding and you will easily collect the feedback you need.
Remember: Survey's can be used throughout the duration of the project to capture feedback or help you gage the success of specific activities.  End-users and Team Members can all be included in your survey's.


January 29
Retention Policy Fails to Delete Records
Retention settings in SharePoint 2010 are pretty straight-forward.  There are Stages, which allow you to define actions taken on the document/item in a sequence.  You create a retention stage by creating an Information Management Policy, select your retention actions and voila you have established a simple retention.  SharePoint 2010 allows for multi-stage retention, the ability to trigger custom workflows, and apply your policy to folders. The other day I was Declaring Records and setting Retention, specifically setting a deletion date for records based on a Content Type .  My first stage declared all documents (based on a content type) as a record 1 day after a date from a specific date column of the specified content type. Dandy.  I defined the stage under the "Non-Records" section.  I went on to create a 2nd retention stage which Permanently Deleted the document 2 days after the date in that same column.  I also was careful to select the "Use the same retention policy as non-records" option in the Records section.  Now all I had to do was upload some documents, apply the appropriate metadata and sit back & wait.
[Note that the # of days used was specifically to allow me to test the retention behavior.  Once I verified the behavior in various scenarios I planned to update the policy to actual time periods that were appropriate for this content type.  I recommend you always test your Information Management Policies and Retention stages, especially for company Records!]
Several days later I discovered that although documents were now "Records", none had been deleted.   I checked for errors, checked both the Information Management Policy and Expiration Policy Timer Jobs, but found nothing to indicate a problem.   After searching online and finding nothing that would expose the problem, I decided to change my policy.  I deleted the 2nd stage under Non-Records and created a new single stage under Records.  The stage contained the same retention information as the original...with the exception that I set deletion to 1 day after the date rather than 2 days.  I wanted to speed things up.  I really wanted to speed things up so I went to the Timer Job Definition for the Expiration Policy and selected Run Now to force the timer job to run rather than waiting another day.  The documents that had been declared records previously, with the appropriate date that would indicate deletion, WERE deleted by the policy.  I honestly don't know if this is "expected" behavior or not, but it was what I experienced on two different SharePoint 2010 farms. It appears to me that if you are using a Retention Policy to Declare a Record, and you want to take some other action later such as Move to Recycle Bin or Permanently Delete you must place that stage in the Records section.  Don't trust the radio button that declares "Use the same retention policy as non-records" without testing the stages you created. 
January 12
Moving OneNote between SharePoint environments
If you who have discovered the benefits of using OneNote shared notebooks AND have sync'd the notebook in a SharePoint library...this post is for you. We started using OneNote 2010 with our MOSS 2007 farm, and because of the kind of shop we are - we setup a new SharePoint 2010 environment to run beside our MOSS farm.  Fast forward to January 2012 and our SP2010 environment is our 'production' intranet now.  Our MOSS environment is still chugging along and we are going to keep her for a while, but how we use that farm has changed significantly over time. Now that our SP2010 farm is heavily used, we don't like that we still have a shared OneNote notebook lingering out there in the old MOSS environment.   We do have other OneNote notebooks out there, but they are old, smelly notebooks that we don't really use.  We keep them because they are now an archive of specific notes. There is one notebook however that is still alive with activity, so we just want it 'where we are'.  We have a better home for that notebook.  One that we visit daily and where we have other related content.  So it was an easy decision to move the notebook from the MOSS library to the shiny SharePoint 2010 library where it belongs.

OK enough of the back-story.  Down to the nitty gritty...

To move your OneNote 2010 notebook
  1. Open the SP2007 library in Explorer
  2. Open the SP2010 library in Explorer View
  3. Guess the next step….yep drag the OneNote folder from one to the other
    • yes, you can copy and paste -or- cut and paste if you prefer that to being a bully by using 'drag' method
Whew! That was tough.  WAIT, there is more! Notify the people sharing that notebook of the new location, they will have to 'change location' to sync to the notebook.  Here are the arduous steps:
  1. Right-click the NoteBook
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click the Change Location button
  4. Click the address bar and type or paste in the URL to the new document library
  5. Click the Select button
I chose to send folks these steps as part of the message that the notebook was now in it's new home. We now return you to your regularly scheduled SharePoint blog browsing.   Happy Notes.
1 - 10Next

Twitter_32.png LinkedIn_32.png rss_32.png sharepoinTony Daily

​​​Old Wordpress Blog


 About this blog

About this blog
Welcome to my blog! The photo above displays my reason for starting a blog as I began working with SharePoint.  This blog follows me through the process of learning about and studying for SharePoint Certification.  I reference it for my own benefit and I hope it helps you to follow the path up the SharePoint Mountain.