It’s Not the Stats that Count

Guest Author: Derek E. Weeks
Global 360 Inc.

886 people recently took our survey to answer how businesses are using SharePoint today. When the survey report was released earlier this week, it received lots of interest across the SharePoint community. People were quick to pull out statistics from the survey and apply their own spin to them. For example:

  • When we told people that 8% of companies had already deployed SharePoint 2010, some were quick to sound the alarm that SharePoint 2010 had low adoption rates (even though 2010 was released just four months ago).
  • When people learned that 78% of survey participants agreed that SharePoint’s out-of-the-box user experience is not completely adequate and could use improvements, some claimed that SharePoint should be considered a development platform.
  • When 54% of survey respondents stated they are currently using or planning to use SharePoint for enterprise content management, a number of people claimed the number was too low compared to their own personal experiences.

I would like to offer a different perspective on the report. It’s not the stats that count. It’s what you do next. Let me explain…

With all surveys, we feel the real value is offered when people can view the results offered by hundreds of other people and compare them with their own experiences and organizations. SharePoint surveys like those published recently by Global 360, AIIM, and Colligo provide the SharePoint community benchmarks to compare their own progress, challenges, and use of the platform.

Mark Miller, of EndUserSharePoint.com, and I recently presented a paper on the survey at SharePoint Saturday in Boston. The results led to a great interactive discussion with our audience and gave people a chance to think about and compare their own SharePoint experiences. We invited the audience to take the survey, compare their own answers to those provided by the survey respondents, and consider what the answers meant to them personally. Would the answers evoke a new action, change a behavior, or lead to a new perspective?

Let me offer a challenge to you

If you see a statistic that shows 21% of people find the most challenging issue with SharePoint implementations to be the lack of intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces for business users – consider first how your own interfaces compare. Do your interfaces look like the standard blue SharePoint interfaces out-of-the-box or do they look like some of the best in class examples shown at WSS Demo? Ask yourself if it is about time to consider improving the SharePoint interfaces for your business users.

If you read the AIIM SharePoint survey which points out that 60% of businesses are planning to use SharePoint for workflow and BPM in the next 18 months, don’t argue with the statistic. Ask your organization if they are taking advantage of SharePoint as well as others are? What third-party applications should we be considering that other organizations find useful? How are other organizations driving value through their SharePoint investments to ensure that it will be around for the next 10+ years?

Clearly, the SharePoint surveys all revealed that the platform has shed its historical image of just being a content repository and portal. Today, we invite you to share your own experiences with others, trade best practices, and discover new ways to bring value to your SharePoint implementations – please comment below. Then in early 2011, we will run a new survey to provide a new update on today’s results. Let us know what questions you might want to see in the survey, and we’ll be sure to include the most popular ones from your comments below.

 

SharePoint: Integrate ASP.net controls with Forms – Part 1: Use a SP Datasource to push values to a drop-down menu control

Note from Mark Miller: When I first saw this article from Matt I said "Slow down there, cowboy. We don’t do .NET development here, remember?" Then I looked it over and realized what he is doing is within Sharepoint Designer. Don’t let the title scare you off. Give it a try and tell him what you think. — Mark

Guest Author: Matt Bramer

I’d like to start this post of with giving credit where credit is due: ASP.NET Controls Filter the Data View. Finding this post was key to the end solution. Within this post, I�d like to elaborate on some of the things you should know, and make it a bit more end-user friendly. Also, over the next few articles, I’m going to show you how to make an interactive Edit Form for a Document Library using this ASP.net control.

I’m interested, where do I start?

Glad you asked. Typically, what I do is crack open SPD (SharePoint Designer) and create a blank .aspx page. It’ll look similar to this:

The next step is to add a table to the page. This will be the base for all of the content and will allow us to have a place to add controls and Web Part Zones. I’ll talk more about in a later post.

To add this click on Table from the menu bar and then click: Insert Table. The next dialog box allows you to control how many columns and rows your table has. For this example, I’m only going to have 2 of each. All of the other options, I am using the default settings.

Now that we have a place for our ASP.net control, we’ll need to add it to the page. You can do that by clicking on Insert from the menu bar, select ASP.net controls, then choose Dropdown List. Here’s a screenshot of what that will look like:

It’s a good time to note, that you cannot add this control to a Web Part Zone. Try with all of your might, it doesn’t work.

This looks cool but what do I do with it?

We have to populate this Dropdown list with data. For this example, were going to create a DataSource from my Shared Documents Library. To do this, we have to click on Task Panes, DataSource Library. From this pane, we can click on the Shared Documents menu and select Insert Data Source Control.

Once we have the DataSource inserted to the page, we need to configure our Dropdown List (I personally like to change the tag properties of this control, but you don’t have to.). To do that, click on the control. A tiny chevron appears and when we click on that, a fly out menu appears. Add a checkmark to: Enable AutoPostBack and then select the option to Choose Data Source.

We want to wire this control up to our Shared Documents library. Select LinkFileName for the display field and select ID for the value field.


This will populate the Dropdown List with all of the names of your documents that are in the Shared Documents library. Selecting the ID for the data field will tell the page what value the selection should be set to. Using ID, we’ll be able to get accurate results later on.

It still doesn’t look like much?!?

Now we’ll add the master page to this custom page we have built so far. Click on Format, Master Page, Attach Master Page.

I’ve chosen my default master page. If you have custom master pages, now is the time you would want to use that instead. All we have to do now is save this page. I already have an Apps Document Library setup, so that’s where I’ll be storing my page. Here’s the end result:

The next article, I’m going to walk through adding a Web Part Zone and then a DVWP (Data View Web Part) as an Edit Form. If you want me to add some things along the way, feel free to post a comment!

 

The SharePoint50: Top SharePoint Solution Providers

The SharePoint50 ProjectThis week we continue rolling out The SharePoint50 Project by announcing the names of the top SharePoint Solution Providers when people are considering purchasing SharePoint.

If you haven’t been following the series up to this point, Global 360 and KnowledgeLake commissioned a study to see who the top 50 influencers are when it comes to making a purchasing decision regarding SharePoint. Last week we rollout out the System Integrators and Consultants. Your can read an overview of the project and listen to "Why We Did It" on the SharePoint Pod Show.

We are setting up more recorded broadcasts with Rob Foster from SharePoint Pod Show and keeping a special list for the SharePoint50 on the SharePoint Community Calendar so you can hear a little bit more about the influencers.

So take a look at the top Solution Providers that influence the SharePoint Community. Did we miss anyone? Agree? Disagree? Always open for discussion. Resources

Explaining SharePoint Security Through An Analogy

Guest Author: Chris Poteet
www.siolon.com

While explaining certain SharePoint concepts to clients there are few as perplexing to a client as the SharePoint security model. The idea of role and group based security is foreign to someone who doesn’t think about it most of the day. This forced me to come up with some kind of analogy to make it easier to grasp and implement.

 

I started thinking and realized that SharePoint security is analogous to a shipping box. If you think about a shipping box it has no real purpose by itself. The box is simply a hollow shelle. However, the minute we put contents inside the box and apply a shipping label all of the sudden this box generates interest to different people.

SharePoint security works much in the same way. There are essentially three components of SharePoint security: a group, a role and member(s). When we use each of these elements compared to the elements of a package to be shipped: a box, its shipping label and contents it becomes easier to see how SharePoint security works.

The box, much like a SharePoint group, has no real meaning by itself. A security group is simply a logical container with a title. The group, also like the box, just serves to holds its contents. While the contents of a shipping box may vary the contents of a SharePoint group are always individual users or other groups.

The role for a SharePoint group is really what gives direction to a SharePoint group. In that same sense a shipping label gives the box direction on its purpose and where it’s going. When you add all three of those components together you get a complete shipping box and a complete security designator.

As consultants we also know it’s always a better practice to keep roles assigned to groups instead of individual users to prevent maintenance nightmares. It’s always easier to move content around in a box (imagine how hard it would be to move contents each item at a time instead of putting it in boxes), and it’s always easier to maintain SharePoint security when groups are used.

(This analogy can also work when describing how metadata, content type and documents/items are related. The content type is the box, the metadata is the shipping label and the document/list are the contents.)

Guest Author: Chris Poteet
www.siolon.com

Chris Poteet is a Senior Consultant for Portal Solutions. He specializes in information architecture and business analysis as well as molding the SharePoint user experience. He can be found on Twitter @chrispoteetpro and his blog is at www.siolon.com

[tweet]

Does your executive team need to get a better handle on SharePoint?

Dux Raymond SyAs we continue to add more and more SharePoint Events and SharePoint User Groups to the SharePoint Community Calendar, sometimes I see things that are interesting enough to pass on. This is one of them.

Most of you know Dux Raymond Sy from his work with SharePoint Saturday DC where he was able to draw 1000+ people. Now he’s trying something new. He’s sponsoring an executive level breakfast in Washington to show how three DC companies utilized SharePoint and Microsoft Project to help their organization deliver successful work management solutions.

No sales pitches, just a thoughtful presentation for a select group of executives that focuses on the business value that SharePoint, Microsoft Project and related technologies provide to typical work management challenges.

I know the speakers at this event… Dux, Bill English, Arpan Shah… and can say that it is something your top level management might want to attend if you company is trying to get a handle on how to use SharePoint in the real world.

You can find out more about the October 8 event at Executive Insights.

Walk Across America… one day at a time

I hitchhiked from Boston to Anchorage in the summer of 1976. I bicycled across the United States from Everett, Washington to Washington, DC in the summer of 1996 and kept a daily journal. Open Road in Wyoming It’s now time to walk across.

This idea is the brainchild of Hutch DeLoach. I saw his mention on twitter about motivating yourself to get out and run each day. His trick is to log the miles you run, on a map!

 

​"Run a virtual race and track your progress on a state or US map. (I ran from the East coast to the West coast and read on the internet about some of the small towns I was running through.)" — Hutch DeLoach

 

That is brilliant! I actually think about it each morning as I go out the door at 6:00am to do my four miles… "Where would I be now if I was tracking this?" Let’s get this straight from the beginning. I’m a walker, not a runner. I walk from 6:00am to 7:30am every morning, so this isn’t a speed contest. On Sundays I do six miles.

 
So that’s my new project. I’m going to start logging my morning jaunts and make the stats available on my SharePoint site. That’s where you, dear reader, come in.
 
As you probably know by now, I’m not a geek. I love gadgets, robots, technology and stuff, but when it comes to doing the down and dirty, you’ve probably got me hands down. I’d like to have people create routes for me on Bing or Google maps to show where I’d be at the end of each day.
 
There are thoughts of me even going to some of the places as we track my progress along the way. Can you imagine when I hit a specific city on the map, I’ll fly in and give a presentation and actually get to do four miles from there. There’s so much possibility here!
 
I’ll make the data available so that you can access it and feed your app. If I can figure out a way, I’ll make it available through SharePoint web services so you can consume the data automatically. I’ll also create links to any projects that would like to use the data.
 

 

What columns would you like to see in order to track this? A typical log will have this as fields as a minimum:

 

  • Date
  • Time of Day
  • Distance
  • Time
 
What else would you want to see in a log that will be interesting.

I’m very excited about this. It really does get me out the door in the morning. Thank you, Hutch DeLoach. I wouldn’t have thought of it without you.

View Larger Map

And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling #SharePoint kids!

Author: Michael Hinckley

Today I got to sit through yet another boring efficiency consultant project milestone meeting, but SharePoint was on the agenda and I had to be there. Rumor had it that not only were they looking for efficiencies, they were also looking to push a Knowledge Management and Project tracking system.


http://frederatorblogs.com/channel_frederator/files/2008/08/scooby-doo.jpg

Based on this intel, I was expecting to have to justify SharePoint’s use and cost so I pulled up the executive summary of the governance plan, site usage numbers, training plans, the internal Power User program and all those "Good Stuff emails".

In the meeting, once it got around to SharePoint, I was waiting for the bell: hands wrapped, gloves on, mouth piece in. Float like a butterfly sing like a bee, rumble SharePoint rumble.

Then the moderator announced that SharePoint was a non item and moved on the next bullet point. NON ITEM? When the meeting wrapped up I went straight to my manager and gave her a "what gives"?

I’ve worked hard, we as a department have worked hard, we have documented savings and successes and they cut us in favor of their solution? At least give me chance to go out on my shield.

Well fight and SharePoint fans my manager let me get it out of my system and then told me SharePoint was a non issue before it was even an issue.

HUH?

Apparently the consultants had previously asked for all things SharePoint for the department and since there was early buy in by the business, because it became a strategic goal, all those reports, plans and presentations were present and part of department vocabulary. They could not capitalize on the common SharePoint weakness; bad moral and lack of usage because of no planning, buy in and documentation.

They of course tried to push their solution but when you have paid for licenses already in house (I work for a global corporation) why purchase something new? Case closed, end of story, next?

Author: Michael Hinckley

After ten plus years of developing and managing e learning projects I have found myself in the unique position to drive the innovation at an enterprise level.

My current title is Instructor at Citibank, although training delivery is one aspect of what I do, most of my job and interests included knowledge and content management and how it can be effectively distributed. This path has led me to SharePoint technologies as the medium to deliver customized "just in time training" and knowledge solutions.

When I am not tinkering under my MOSS sites hoods and bothering the IT department regarding admin level permissions you’ll find me either at home relaxing with my wonderful wife and three children or at my boxing gym trying to improve my "sweet science" despite the science of gravity and advancing years.

[tweet]

The SharePoint50 Project: Top System Integrators and Consultants

The SharePoint50 ProjectToday Global 360, KnowledgeLake and EndUserSharePoint.com release the names of the first set of influencers in The SharePoint50 Project.

Here’s the way it works. Global 360 and KnowledgeLake hired a third party research firm to find the main influencers when people are looking at purchasing SharePoint in the United States.

 

2010-12-02-Error.png
 

You can read more about the process in a previous article. We contacted each of the influencers, told them about The SharePoint50 Project, requested a bio, a headshot, their social media contacts and any speaking engagements or presentations they have scheduled. If they have books coming out or articles being published, we include those in the write up. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to follow and engage with the influencers as you are making decisions on how to best utilize SharePoint in your company. The main content for the project is available on the Global 360 site. Bookmark that location. Each week for the next five weeks we will announce another segment of The SharePoint50 Project. Later today, a new tab will be added to the SharePoint Community Calendar where you can follow the activities of the SharePoint50 and meet them in person when they come to your area. Then there’s the interviews. Rob Foster from SharePoint Pod Show is setting up a series of interviews to talk with the SharePoint50. These will be rolled out periodically, based upon the schedules of the influencers. That should get you started. Take a look at the SharePoint50 System Integrators and Consultants. Setup your tracking lists on your RSS reader and your twitter search. Follow them on LinkedIn and Facebook. I anticipate some VERY lively discussion in the comments below. That’s part of the process. Your input will not only be helpful, but critical, in helping drive discussion around who deserves recognition for what they do in the SharePoint Community. Regards, Mark Miller Founder and Editor, EndUserSharePoint.com Chief Community Officer and SharePoint Evangelist, Global 360 The SharePoint50 Project

My Top 10 SharePoint Influencers

Mark MillerTomorrow is the big day! We announce the first inductees into the SharePoint50 Project "Hall of Fame". If you haven’t gotten your guess in yet, play the game and choose 10 people you think will be on the list. If you are the most accurate, I’ve got a surprise or two waiting for you.

I’m going to play the game a little differently for myself since I happen to know who ALL fifty people are. Instead, I want to tell you the 10 most influential people in my SharePoint career. These are the people that helped me, and continue to help me as I try to get a handle on this SharePoint beast. As always, there’s no particular order.

Chris and Dessie were the first people who really took me seriously as I started EndUserSharePoint.com. As Derek Sivers said, they are the people who turned me from being a "lone nut" into a leader. Without their support and contributions at the beginning, I’m not sure if I would have stayed the course.
Paul and I met during one of Bob Mixon’s sessions in New York City. We kept in touch and he eventually started writing for me. But mainly Paul’s contribution was starting the first series on jQuery on the site. As his experiments grew, so did the SharePoint audience for jQuery. Sadly, Paul’s not working on it anymore, but he was my main influence when moving the site forward to include presentation layer enhancements.
Even though Christophe is in Shanghai, he is a major voice in following up on the work that Paul started. Christophe’s solutions are elegant and extremely useful. We’ve taught over a dozen workshops together, and each time I came away with a new idea of what can be done with the presentation layer.
My first response to seeing a Michael Gannotti video was "Who is this mad man?" What really drew me in was an hour long screencast of him doing something very basic in SharePoint 2007. It was my first realization that there really was a need for what I was trying to do and how to enhance the existing blogs. There was a long period after that where we put hundreds of screencasts on the site and I attribute that vision to Mike.
I laugh when I tell the story of how I ‘discovered’ Laura. I was paging through Stump the Panel one day and saw a string of answers by "Laura Rogers" aka "WonderLaura". Next day, same thing. "Who the hell is this woman?" I just had to find out. I gave her a call and the rest is history. Laura is now the Queen of the Data View Web Part and has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about DVWPs.
What can I say about Eric? Stump the Panel has become his virtual playground. If you’ve participated at all you’ve seen Eric’s name all over the place. I finally gave up and said, "Here, it’s yours!" Without Eric, there would be no Stump the Panel. Enough said.
SharePoint Saturday has to be one of the most inspiring things that have come out of the SharePoint Community and I attribute that to Michael. I consider myself one of the very lucky people who started participating in the very first SharePoint Saturday in Virginia Beach, hosted by Susan Lennon. I can say definitively that EUSP would not be as large a community as it is without SharePoint Saturdays. Michael runs a tight ship and keeps things sailing for anyone who wants to become part of the SharePoint speaker community.
These aren’t SharePoint specific people, mind you, but if you’ve seen any of my presentations in the past few years, I give Cliff and Nancy credit for the simplicity and clarity of the message. Cliff’s "Beyond Bullet Points" and Nancy’s "Slid:ology" sit next to me every time I create or update a presentation. As a matter of fact, Nancy’s new book "Resonate" just arrived this morning and I’m trying not to open it before finishing this article. I credit them with helping me develop a style of presentation that flows, stays simple and stays on message.
The SharePoint Community, as a whole
I don’t say this lightly. The SharePoint Community is what makes EndUserSharePoint.com what it is. If you look through the articles, you’ll see many authors who step up and contribute content in ways that I can’t even fathom. I look at myself now adays as nothing more than a conduit, making it possible for the community to offer up content and get the exposure it deserves.
Thank you personally to each of you who have influenced me, and EndUserSharePoint.com, to be what we are. As we start to rollout the names of the SharePoint50 Project tomorrow, I hope you’ll think of the people who have influenced you and your work and you’ll find time to acknowledge them in your own way. Best regards.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Mark Miller
Founder and Editor, EndUserSharePoint.com
Chief Community Officer and SharePoint Evangelist, Global 360