By Chris Knotts, PMP – ASPE Creative Director
Over the recent months, a couple of our White Paper Wednesdays have focused on SharePoint and other enterprise Microsoft tools. Both were pretty popular, and since both topics are specialties of ours, we’re glad to announce that today’s White Paper Wednesday will once again focus on Microsoft resources. We include two new SharePoint pieces: Customization Best Practices and how to use Workflows (we show you setup procedure step-by-step).
We also have two additional Microsoft white papers on SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server “Sysinternals” tools. For system admins, the Sysinternals white paper is particularly interesting, with great tips on freeware for administrating your Windows environment.
We hope you find this information useful, and as always: thanks for joining us for White Paper Wednesday.
These four white papers are brought to you in conjunction with Global Knowledge.
White Paper #1 – SharePoint Customization Best Practices
SharePoint is the premier document management technology currently available. From the standpoint of IT professionals, it’s a set of products that work together to provide solutions to numerous business requirements. In this paper, we are going to tackle a subject that has raised many questions and an equally large number of answers. How do we customize our SharePoint environment, and what is the best solution?
SharePoint consists of different products that can be used in different combinations to satisfy a variety of business needs. Microsoft recognizes that not all businesses require the same application solutions and that sometimes there is a need for simplicity in design. In addition, SharePoint leverages the functionality provided by other products in the Microsoft lineup in order to provide a complete business solution. We will cover the functionality offered by these other products and outline the ways they can be leveraged by a SharePoint solution. We then proceed to define various types of customization available in SharePoint and discuss how each of these customization elements can be implemented.
White Paper #2 – How to Use Workflows in SharePoint
Recent studies confirm that while many organizations have found a place for SharePoint in their networks, they are not utilizing it fully. Most people are familiar with the sharing and collaboration capabilities in SharePoint, but few take advantage of features that can simplify and enforce business rules. These capabilities are normally implemented through the use of workflows and, while they can be complex, most workflow solutions are quite simple. Even when customized workflow features are needed, the skills of developers might not be necessary because of the simplified tools and wizards available in SharePoint Designer.
In this white paper, we will discuss how SharePoint workflows work and how you can implement them to improve existing business processes. We will look at the existing predefined workflows that come with SharePoint and you will see how to create your own using the SharePoint Designer. No programming or developer experience is necessary. You must have Site Administrator or Site Owner privileges on a test server. Although we will be using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 for our examples, those using MOSS 2010 will also be able to use this information with a few modifications.
White Paper #3 – Microsoft SQL Server 2012: What to Expect
Codenamed “Denali” during development at Microsoft, SQL 2012 is the latest version of Microsoft’s mainstream relational database solution. In this white paper, we focus on the three underlying themes categorizing the SQL Server 2012 release:
- Mission Critical Confidence
- Breakthrough Insight
- Cloud On Your Terms
In this white paper, we will explore just some of the new features under each theme to give a feel for the capabilities the new release. Other features, while too numerous to describe here, are documented on the Microsoft website. You can also download a pre-release version of the software or Community Technology Preview (CTP) from the same location. In the meantime, this 7-page overview will cover the most important points you should be aware of when looking at SQL Server 2012.
White Paper #4 – Sysinternals: Free Windows Server 2008 Utilities You Should Know About
For years, Mark Russinovitch and Bryce Cogswell have been writing cool tools for Windows and making them available (many for free) at their “Sysinternals” and “Winternals” websites. Many network admins and PC support techs have thanked Mark and Bryce under their breath after using their storied ERD Commander toolset to get out of a jam.
Several years ago, Microsoft bought Sysinternals and, well, “internalized” it. The good news is that many of the old tools are still available, and Mark and Bryce (recently retired) have updated some of them and added others. The bad news is that you can’t even buy the old ERD Commander tools; they’ve morphed into part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack or MDOP, which is only available to Software Assurance customers. (Although, if you’re a TechNet or MSDN subscriber, you can download the MDOP – which contains the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, or DART, that incorporates much of the old ERD Commander functionality – for testing and evaluation purposes.)
In this paper, for those of you who don’t already know about Sysinternals, I will introduce you to a few of the utilities that have proved popular with server and Active Directory administrators. These are:
- AD Explorer