Analytics suck in SharePoint 2013. It’s been gutted. I know this happened because analytics moved into search, which was the right move, but don’t get me wrong… it’s bad the built in web analytics you’d get through the UI are more basic than you’d get in a simple Wordpress blog. Pretty useless other than to say, it’s being used and by how many something it calls users (browsers, machines. IP addresses, it’s unknown). In fact it’s a huge step backward, and that’s what you’re going to see as I lay out the details. Let’s just admit that usage is not done in SharePoint. It’s been ripped out of the UI. Look for usage reports in site settings… good luck!
First go to your site settings as Site Collection Admin and look in Site Collection Administration section for Popularity and Search Reports, then the next best bet is to look across your audit reports (it will only display what has been configured to capture), and your finally storage reports to put together the simple story of Unique Users (daily only even in the rolloup), hits (page views? who uses the term “hits?” that’s so 1995), and then your storage against your quota in classic storman.aspx which is back. If you’re not site collection admin, you can get the basic usage report in site settings under site administration titled “Popularity Trends” (What sounds like usability got all over that one??) It’s still just Hits and Unique Users, despite the line “This report shows historical usage information about the site, such as the number of views and unique users. Use this report to identify usage trends and to determine times of high and low activity.” No detail on hourly usage in the report, and since it uses “hits” which classically means all get/post and various verb HTTP responses I think what you’re actually seeing is page hits or page views. This must have been an intern. Historically means “Daily” and “Monthly.” No way to break it down by hour. Good luck identifying any usage trends other than day of the week since you can’t see any detail about who the users are, what the browser or agent string, or really anything about the user. They don’t even define “hit” or “user.” Every one of these reports is in Excel, but the data behind the scenes is not rich at all.
Right out of Excel – All of the Reports are now based in Excel and download to the client. No web based reporting.
Sad they don’t open up directly in Office Web Apps.
In the Audit Reporting
As a huge advocate of SharePoint, I am one of the first to stand up and say how great this next version is. In fact I think people shouldn’t wait to upgrade because of the huge benefits in search and in mobile and cross browser support. The latest version is a real game changer from a platform perspective, but still has a few gaping holes… Compliance, Management, Storage, Reliable Backup/Restore and Recoverability, Replication, Workflow, Mobile, Social*, Web Analytics Reporting and More have created a rich ecosystem that the partners love to solve for SharePoint. Would be interesting some time to really categorize these holes and list the partners all attempting to solve the same problem that Microsoft exposes.
Should you be ear marking money for additional software for a new deployment… YES!
Rant: Also don’t believe anyone in MS Sales if they tell you that SharePoint is an easy or trivial deployment. It clearly is on the high end of what most web architects will ever see in terms of complexity (not in the install (which is still tricky), but in getting it deployed correctly). It really takes knowledge of best practices and serious coordination with the business to get the most out of your new or existing deployment.
*Social was a big 2013 investment, but overshadowed by the acquisition, and is called out because you should get on board with Yammer or one of the other third parties that pull together the story.
Figure: FrontPage 2000 Usage Reports (Available for SharePoint Team Services)
Yesterday, I presented in a SharePoint 2013 Actionable Metrics webcast sponsored by Intlock Cardiolog. In the webcast I presented a list of common, but actionable categories for designing your solution around.
Download the “SharePoint 2013: Making Metrics Actionable”
What’s amazing to me is how Microsoft in their tradeoffs of moving usage analytics to search ended up gutting usage and not providing much in the way of traditional usage reporting. I venture to say that SharePoint Team Services the V1 product had better traditional usage (traffic) analytics than 2013 does.
Figure 2: Site Usage Report – WSS 2.0
Please refer to these ancient screenshots and a simple chart I put together and know while it use to be bad, it is now worse. Yes, the report on the right refers to IE 5 as the popular browser and Win 98 as top OS in 2001. Amazing how this list of usage metrics was cycled over and over in each successive version. It is great someone decided that usage had to change, and putting it in search is and was brilliant, but we still need basic metrics with extensibility for rich metrics to make key decisions about what’s going on. It’s strange that browser support is really one of the biggest reasons to upgrade to SharePoint 2013, but if you were using 2013, you wouldn’t be able to get the report to provide the justification.
Side by Side Comparison of Built in Usage Reporting in SharePoint over Time
* Note SharePoint Team Services required Server Health and WSS 2.0 required usage processing to be enabled. SharePoint Portal 2001 is left out as it did not have usage reporting built in, it required scripts such as IIS log parser. Site Server 3.0 had awesome analytics for it’s day, but let’s stop there. Since 2007 – SharePoint Foundation has provided the usage and web analytics and available in standard and enterprise, so editions are left out on purpose.
|Traffic Analysis ||SharePoint 2013 ||SharePoint 2010 ||SharePoint 2007 ||SharePoint 2003 |
|SharePoint Team Services |
|Daily Visits ||X ||X ||X ||X ||X|
|Users ||Requires dev or tool ||X ||X ||X ||X|
|Browsers ||Requires dev or tool ||X ||X ||X ||X|
|Operating System ||Requires dev or tool ||X ||X ||X ||X|
|Referrals ||Requires dev or tool ||X ||X ||X ||X|
|Users ||Requires dev or tool ||X ||X ||X ||X in FrontPage|
|Bytes ||Requires dev or tool ||Requires dev or Tool (logs) ||Requires dev or Tool (logs) ||X in FrontPage ||X in FrontPage|
|Item Stats ||X (still is limited but better) ||Only Top ||Only Top ||Limited ||Limited|
|Search ||X+ |
(Tons of excel reports)
|X (More w/ FAST) || || || |
What does all this tell you? Microsoft has checked out of the Usage Reporting business. If I get into the brains of the product team, they are thinking. We have partners who do this for our customers. There are plenty of tools out there that provide web analytics. Customers will use the same tools they are already using on their other web platforms for a consistent experience. I could easily list a dozen tools that do it better, but that have most have yet to to answer the key SharePoint Adoption Questions of what features are people in my company using. SharePoint team has focused on search, and auditing which are much more challenging for a third party to get at. Same with the ULS logs and working with the data in that space.
Did focus on Cloud kill Usage Metrics in SharePoint?
Rather than rail on Microsoft which would be very easy to do in this particular space. I’m instead going to say. Hey there’s a HUGE hole, and you shouldn’t plan to only leverage SharePoint in the Usage space. There’s a big problem of Office 365 having even more limited usage reporting. I expect much of this will result in bots and reliance on third party solutions and analysis and number crunching happening from outside of the environment. (Maybe it all comes down to CPU cycles and MS wants to get rid of it as unnecessary that many will never even look at?)
Figure 3: FrontPage 2003 – Available for WSS 2.0 or SharePoint 2003
Microsoft I would like to give you a little wish list of what I would consider basic usage that any web platform should provide out of the box. I do see it as unfortunate that many site admins will turn to Google analytics to gather these basic statistics. If Microsoft wants someone to create an app to provide these they need to do a great job of exposing the right metrics that don’t give away the farm, but provide the right kind of logging data that makes it possible to do in a hosted state.
Basic Analytics - Things I would expect built in
Audience (help me understand my users)
- Desktop, Tablet, OS and Browsers, plus screen resolution
- Mobile OS and Devices (In SharePoint it would be great to know which mode they are viewing the site in, and 2013 it would have been nice to .)
- Top New vs. Returning Users
- *Real* count on monthly Authenticated (Intranet) or Unique Users (Anonymous), Session length and # Repeat Visits
Activity + Traffic Source
- Pages – Total Page views over time, pages per visit
- Engagement – Like, rated, shared
- Language and Location
- Referrals (referring domain and full URL)
- Search Traffic sources and keywords an Queries (I know this is already in 2013)
- Direct Traffic Landing Pages
- Document storage file type metrics
Your key take away in all of this is you will need to spend some time thinking about how serious you are about metrics. Will you evaluate and purchase a tool or create an FAQ or rely on apps to fill the hole. Maybe it’s time for us to not blame Microsoft on this one… nah, that’s way too easy. While there are always trade offs with any new product update, this one seems to really have been overlooked and as a result you’ll need to spend time on deciding what you’re going to do to fill the gap. Anyone serious about Usage Analytics wasn’t using out the box metrics anyway.
Product analysis by Joel Oleson for SharePointJoel.com and paid for by Metalogix.
From the beginning, replication is one of the first requests from customers who have multiple branch offices and look to provide fast local access and a high availability solution. It's not unusual for a SharePoint deployment to need to serve multiple cities, and with concerns over performance, organizations quickly come to the agreement that a solution of replication is needed. While replication isn't the only answer, it is common for the analysis to include replication as an option. The history of Metalogix Replicator spans multiple development lifecycles. The product is supported with SharePoint 2007, 2010, and 2013 and has been designed around the needs of customers.
Metalogix Replicator spans multiple development lifecycles. The product is supported with SharePoint 2007, 2010, and 2013 and has been designed around the needs of customers.
When installing and configuring Metalogix Replicator for SharePoint, a replication network is created, which replicates SharePoint content between web applications in the SharePoint environment. Content can also be replicated between farms or within the same farm.
Live network bandwidth is often at a premium, and networks compensate for this by creating local copies of information on remote web applications. Managing content in this manner allows users local access to regularly updated copies of documents without taxing available bandwidth or network resources. Many replication applications allow users to view read-only copies of documents without permitting updates from remote sites. When they do permit this, the process requires complex caching servers to be established and maintained. However, Metalogix Replicator does not have this limitation.
Organizations turn to SharePoint for its ability to organize, manage and govern content as opposed to having it stored in a variety of places, such as emails or file shares. However, companies with distant or remote users who experience poor performance and reliability when accessing SharePoint put this investment at risk. Metalogix Replicator fills this gap and ensures that companies are maximizing their SharePoint investment. Replicator provides the ability to overcome distance, poor networks or weak bandwidth by synchronizing content in real-time across multiple farms and versions; bringing updated content closer to users, regardless of location.
Figure 1: Replication Concepts supported by Metalogix Replicator for SharePoint
Understanding Challenges Today
SharePoint by default is designed to be a single farm in a single data center. If you need more performance you add another server. If you need faster access you have to upgrade your link. When the servers are on the other side of the world, there's only so much you can do out of the box to increase the performance of the pages and increase the performance of the network, server, and client. Ultimately, determining the cost for the best solution is a huge factor.
When looking at performance issues with global access, there are a lot of considerations in why performance is poor. Customers are often purchasing twice as much hardware to address availability issues.
Businesses often have to extend to meet the needs and elect to purchase a third-party solution, such as replication, WAN acceleration, faster hardware or other solutions to increase performance. People look at replication because these issues push them over the edge in their ROI justification, and it just makes sense to them to meet their performance, availability and reliability goals.
Why would you need a replication product like Metalogix Replicator for SharePoint?
Performance – When the servers are closer to you, the performance is better because the pages can be served faster. Replication provides the ability to put the servers where you decide they should be. The logic of which sites or web apps to replicate is up to the business needs to meet your performance goals.
Reliability – When you've got replicas you can switch between farms, since you've got more than one copy of the data.
Availability – With more than one instance you're going to get better availability as well. You can decide how you implement either a split-brain DNS or simply have different URLs for different locations. Have F5? You can manage the intelligence in the hardware load balancer to guarantee the logic with sensing technology so the users are only sent to the farm that's responding.
Examples of items that can be replicated are document libraries, picture libraries, slide libraries, announcements, links, contacts, tasks, issues, custom lists, surveys, Wiki page libraries, project tasks, discussion boards and permissions. Replicator also replicates many SharePoint events, including the addition or modification of web sites and site collections, templates, users, and groups.
Figure 2: Power in the Rules and Can Be Configured to Provide Granularity
So, how does Replicator do its work? Is there differencing going on across the wire? Yes, Replicator Packages are transferred using the Microsoft Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). This technology is one that Microsoft designed and uses in DFS. In contrast to DFS, Replicator communicates solely using the HTTP or HTTPS protocols making it easy to configure port rules across firewalls or other network equipment, if necessary. Replicator can also be set to run in offline mode, which replicates Packages directly to a system drive so it can later be transferred when connected again. In this case, only local disk access is used and it is an administrator's responsibility to transfer these packages to the target web application.
How It's Installed
Replicator installs as a SharePoint server solution. The entire user interface is directly incorporated into SharePoint's Central Administration page, making it easy to access and administer.
Figure 4: Metalogix Replicator - Administrative User Interface in Application Management in Central Administration
Reality Check and My Thoughts on Metalogix Replicator
Over time, one of the biggest requests I've seen from IT Pros is replication. It's definitely a well-understood limitation of SharePoint that many have tried to work around. Most architects will try to convince their customers that they don't need it. The reality is that many global customers will compromise their requirements for performance or they will end up with third-party solutions to address web site acceleration, WAN acceleration, or software-based solutions like replication. Clusters and mirroring do much to address availability, but while duplicating hardware in many areas, it does not add much to the multi-master requests of having good performance in a multi-office and global scenario. I've had customers get visibly upset when I'd tell them the second farm was simply for failover. They didn't like that answer, but SharePoint itself does read only at best with mirroring, and that's with some serious architecting.
Metalogix Replicator is priced based on the number of servers running the SharePoint web application service. While for availability it can be installed across the front-end web servers, it is often installed only on an index server to optimize resources. Licensing, as well, is divided across basic, standard and enterprise solutions, based on workflow replication needs and frequency and API access. Metalogix would be happy to better understand your needs and guide you to the right solution.
The biggest wake-up call is in the customizations. What are you doing in what you need to replicate? Lists and even check-in and check-out are the easy part. For what might be considered the simplest scenarios, one would still need to look at the web parts that are being used and what custom web parts might be introduced and what customizations would be expected to be configured multiple times or be replicated. Test, test, test… I've been surprised on both sides of things that did replicate and others I would have expected to. There's a list of what is able to replicate in Metalogix product guide.
Synchronizing SharePoint farms in remote offices or offshore locations can be tricky. Spotty network bandwidth and slow connections pose huge hurdles. Replicator overcomes these hurdles by automatically adapting to changing network conditions and rerouting content where it needs to go. Replicator identifies and uses the most efficient route so your SharePoint farms remain available and in sync. To minimize bandwidth demands, Replicator compresses your content and syncs just the relevant changes on both ends.
So, What Are the Challenges?
Now, getting down to it… Replication is not the answer to all problems. Replicator provides content replication, and even then, you need to dig into your deployment. Not all webparts are replicated. While workflows are replicated, it's important to do some rigorous testing on anything custom. Any additional third-party solutions or server solutions that are added to the farm will need to be validated with your Replicator set-up and configuration. Settings in IIS are not replicated, end of story.
SharePoint has a mixed story around distributed farms that will take some redesign to address, other than user profiles, for which there is a Microsoft tool you can download and use. For some SharePoint components, there is no global story at all.
For the most part, Microsoft has been planning its own answers to service apps over time and has decent answers for search, profiles, and some answers for managed metadata. Others will simply need to be addressed in each farm, having separate instances to support the services.
I do believe that Metalogix has been working very close with Microsoft for years to get to the bottom of what is possible and continues to try to improve the product with each release. Replicator has made it through many releases and with many very high-profile clients and deployments and, ultimately, in some of the largest SharePoint farms and deployments on the planet. That being said, it is also true that disconnected deployments are another key scenario for off-line replication. These aren't without their challenges. Each of the configurations you'll hear are ones the customers have asked Metalogix to support and each one has its limitations.
Replication isn't perfect. If it was it would be in the product. Microsoft has found it to be challenging enough they likely couldn't solve it in a single release. Metalogix Replicator has been trying to address the needs around replication while trying to be honest about what does and does not replicate. Ultimately, Replicator will reveal your SharePoint sins. If you don't set up something on one farm that you do on another, it will quickly be revealed to the users.
Replicator will only replicate SharePoint data. It will not replicate most third-party solutions or even MS solutions like Project Server, SQL Reporting Services, or many of your customizations built on top of SharePoint. You need to handle the copying or replication of the solutions and understand how it may impact your configuration.
Figure 3: Metalogix Replicator Configured in a One Way Through the Firewall to the Extranet Configuration
Replication has been on the top of the top 10 list of requests from customers for SharePoint needs since the first version of the product. Metalogix Replicator for SharePoint was designed to address this need and tops the market as the best content replication product on the market. It can deliver content replication bi-directional, multi-master, and at that be configured down to the events as to what should be replicated. Simply administered in Central Administration, the rules and understanding of replication may be easy to set up, but customization and third party customizations need to be tested and validated. Most server solutions will need to be manually installed on both or all farms as the case may be.
Performance, reliability, and availability are why people find that the end justifies the means. While many SharePoint architects simply avoid recommending replication as a solution, the mirroring and clusters they build may be costing you nearly as much as you'd need to implement your replication solution. Knowing this be sure to ask the questions. Replication with Metalogix Replicator for SharePoint should be part of any on premise distributed performance and global high availability considerations based on my most recent analysis. Those who have looked at it in the past should look again, the work done with workflows and document management capabilities really does make it worth a second look.
This product review is an unbiased review and service by Joel Oleson
Sponsored and paid for by CipherPoint.
New Software Expands Addressable Market and Helps Organizations Identify Security and Compliance Risks
CipherPoint™ announces Version 1.9 of the company's CipherPointSP software, bringing the company's transparent encryption technology to users of SharePoint 2013 and to file server environments. In addition, the company released the CipherPointCS content scanner.
The new CipherPoint software capabilities include:
File Server Encryption: A new agent, CipherPointFS™, is available providing transparent encryption for unstructured content in file servers. This new capability builds on CipherPoint's unique offerings for encryption and key management, bringing this functionality to users of file servers.
Support for SharePoint 2013: CipherPointSP Enterprise now includes support for SharePoint 2013 environments, in addition to the previously supported SharePoint 2007/2010.
CipherPointCS™ content scanner: CipherPoint has released an improved version of our content scanner, CipherPointCS. The new release provides improved accuracy with respect to false positives. CipherPointCS allows SharePoint and IT security administrators to easily scan SharePoint repositories, and find sensitive and compliance regulated information such as Social Security Numbers and Credit Card data.
This collection of new capabilities greatly expands the coverage that CipherPoint provides for protecting unstructured data. CipherPoint can now encrypt and control access to data in SharePoint 2007, 2010, and 2013 sites, and in file servers. CipherPoint can also scan and find sensitive and compliance-regulated data in these environments.
All of these products are available now. Contact CipherPoint for pricing.
"Broadening support for unstructured data encryption to include file servers and SharePoint 2013 makes a lot of sense for Logicalis and our customers" said Patrick Simmons, Consulting Director at Logicalis. "Having a best of breed transparent encryption capability for these new platforms, plus having a content scanning product, will help us to find and secure sensitive and regulated data in customer environments."
"CipherPoint's customers have asked us to extend our platform coverage to include SharePoint 2013 and file servers" said Mike Fleck, CipherPoint CEO. "In addition, we've improved our content scanner technology to include the feedback we received during the public Beta program. The combination of releases expands the ability of our customers to quickly and easily identify sensitive and regulated content in file sharing and collaboration environments like SharePoint and file servers."
For more information on CipherPoint's transparent encryption solutions, please visit: https://www.cipherpoint.com/data-security/
About CipherPoint Software, Inc.
CipherPoint secures sensitive and regulated content in web-based application environments including premise-based collaboration platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint, cloud, and other web-based applications. CipherPoint's transparent data encryption technology secures content and data from the web tier, affording the highest level of threat protection to sensitive and regulated content. CipherPoint's products are easy to deploy and manage, secure, and scalable to meet the needs of large enterprises.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, CipherPoint was founded by IT security experts with deep experience in building successful security technology companies. Customers in healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, government, and other industries, in Europe, North America, and Asia rely on CipherPoint to protect access to sensitive or regulated information in file sharing and collaboration environments like SharePoint and file servers."
CipherPoint Software, Inc., 1730 Blake St., Suite 400, Denver, CO 80202
Sponsored and paid for by CipherPoint.
I’m going to be on the Blog Talk Radio Collaboration Tech Talk on June 6 visit the show to get the times, and call in detail.
“Our guest will be Joel Oleson, a social media strategist, Intranets guru and SharePoint evangelist. He is also Managing Director at Salient6, and authors a blog as SharePoint Joel. In this interview, Joel will talk about the recent release of SharePoint 2013, and what developers, end users and managers can expect. Topics will address most interesting SharePoint 2013 features, including new developer tools, and exciting social media and mobile functionality. We will also explore prospects for public and private sector adoption of this latest version of SharePoint.
Joining us for Q&A will be Mack Sigman, SharePoint Architect and Practice Leader atCSC, and President of the Federal SharePoint Users Group (FEDSPUG) in Washington D.C.
Gary Vaughan, Senior IT and Knowledge Management Advisor with Glotech at the State Department, will be the show host. Gary also provides independent SharePoint consulting in program and project management, user adoption and requirements in the D.C. area. Notes and links discussed during this program will later be published on Gary’s blog, “Collaboration Times.””
I’m running a Free workshop with Bill Pitts in Utah on May 30, and have a few seats available. I’d like to give others the opportunity to attend.
Thursday, May 30, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (MDT) Includes light breakfast & lunch
Microsoft Offices in Lehi Utah
3400 N. Ashton Blvd., Suite 300
Lehi, UT 84043
Maximize your existing SharePoint Investments or in your SharePoint 2013 Upgrade or Deployment We’ll surface real- world examples from your industry that demonstrate the real business value your company can receive by maximizing the investment...
We’ll surface real-world examples from your industry that demonstrate the real business value your company can receive by maximizing the investment you’ve ALREADY made in your SharePoint platform.
This session is BUSINESS-focused, NOT technology-focused, for business stakeholders who are responsible for defining and/or executing strategies for their division, department or organization
We hope you can make it!
Hold a seat to attend the Event
If you’re disappointed you won’t be able to make this, I’m working with the MS teams to put one of these together in Seattle/Bellevue in a couple of months… I’m also co-presenting with Bill at a few User Groups in So Cal and can present this on site for some customers potentially while in the area…
Browser + Mobile enhancements are one of the Top 3 Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2013
One of the big reasons I’m happiest when working on SharePoint 2013 has a lot to do with the huge improvements in browser support for basic things like multi file upload and working with data in a grid style view. Replacing so much that previously was done in ActiveX with HTML5 compliant client based solutions with backward compatibility is huge.
In an attempt to tell the story of why I think the user experience is so much better for the life of a Mac user, the mobile user, the non IE user I put together this chart that speaks to the user experience. I feel like MS has done such a better job with this release in terms of supporting these other non MS worlds that this story alone is one why companies should consider upgrading to SharePoint 2013. There are 3 simple stories to me on why people should consider upgrade to SP2013 now, and this is story of mobile support + browser support is at the top of the list.
I was putting this story together for an upcoming webinar I’m doing on Improving the SharePoint Experience with SharePoint Analytics on May 22 1PM EDT where I’ll explore this in much more detail.
The Browser User Experience Report Card
A: Best Experience
B: Some Functionality Missing
C: Not A Great Experience, but fine for browsing and limited editing
D: Poor/Frustrating Experience
(Minus and pluses used to differentiate the experience and used for comparison reasons)
This report was compiled based on my own testing, experience, and revisiting the TechNet content and getting frustrated. For more details see the following…
SharePoint 2013…. the browser story
The ActiveX controls have been minimized a lot. The Silverlight dependencies have been minimized and attempted to only be utilized where it can be leveraged around video compatibility. Drag and Drop and Multi File upload support has made the Firefox and Chrome experience tons better. There are still a few office integration scenarios, but now those are primarily for power users, so the average user will find a good experience with Firefox and Chrome for the first time.
The 64 bit experience is a second class experience if you’re use to IE, so please avoid it. Windows 8 mode is also a disappointment due to lack of 64 bit support for a few of the ActiveX controls and again if you’re use to IE 32 bit mode, you will be disappointed. Just use desktop mode and pin IE 32 bit.
Mac users will be very pleased to see support for multi file upload in Safari and Firefox. While 2010 was better than 2007, this leap is even a better one. Office integration is hopeful to get even better when the Office 2014 release happens.
Huge leap in the mobile experience. We go from a text by default experience to a rich experience that is more easily toggled, and controlled. While I wish it was responsive by default, the iPad and Android Tablet experience really isn’t that bad.
Sponsored and paid for by Metalogix.
Download the Free Edition or Purchase Online from Metalogix.com to Rapidly and Cost-Effectively Migrate Content and Files to SharePoint 2013 or Office 365
Metalogix, which provides content infrastructure software to improve the use and performance of enterprise content on Microsoft SharePoint, Exchange and Cloud platforms, has launched Content Matrix Migration Express to make SharePoint migrations simple and fast migrations. The new Migration Express edition is highly suited for SharePoint customers with focused migrations or Office 365 deployment projects. The new product is available as a free offering for 25 GBs along with additional small and departmental editions opportunistically priced and purchased online via credit card from Metalogix.com.
Metalogix is the established market-leader for SharePoint migrations with more than a decade of SharePoint migration experience, 7,500 customers and 50,000 terabytes successfully migrated.
The new Content Matrix Migration Express provides SharePoint administrators fast, easy and affordable access to the industry's most trusted and widely-used migration technology with the market's most attractive pricing and packaging. The new edition includes a comprehensive range of features required for fast and focused migrations and upgrades to SharePoint 2010, 2013 and to Office 365 from SharePoint 2003, 2007 and 2010. It also includes capabilities to migrate content from File Shares and Exchange Public Folders. Customers can securely purchase Content Matrix Migration Express Edition via Metalogix.com starting with a free version for up to 25 GBs and upgradable editions starting at $1,995. All purchases include Metalogix's award-winning, live 24/7 product support.
Content Matrix Migration Express is easy to use because it downloads and installs in mere minutes and requires only a simple, one-time connection to get started. Content Matrix Migration Express requires no server side install, which is ideal for moving to Office 365 or SharePoint Online as organizations can connect and migrate using Microsoft's API. This ability is highly beneficial and tactical for departments within organizations that want to move only a small portion of content to the cloud.
Migrating content is simply a matter of selecting and copying content from the source and pasting it onto the target SharePoint environment. Powerful site collection migration features allow migration of entire site collections at once. The product's reorganization capabilities help clean up existing structure prior to a migration as well as create a new structure in the target destination during the migration.
Metalogix is offering Content Matrix Migration Express for free for migrating up to 25 GBs so customers can experience the benefits risk-free and immediately get started on their SharePoint 2010, 2013, or Office 365 migration projects.
The full edition of Metalogix Content Matrix is also now available to purchase directly from Metalogix.com. This edition supports migration from additional content sources including website content, blogs and wiki products, and eRoom. It includes advanced features such as the ability to offload migrated BLOBs with the Metalogix RBS product StoragePoint, migrate Nintex workflows or MySite Collections and more advanced filtering options for migrated content. Organization tools available directly within the SharePoint UI allow administrators to offload significant portions of pre-migration, post-migration, and Continuous Improvement organization work to Site Collection Owners and Site Owners.
Customers with larger amounts of content, advanced migration needs or a large number of sites and users should consider the full Content Matrix product for their SharePoint upgrade and reorganization needs. For more information, please visit the product page.
Sponsored and paid for by Metalogix.
Mobile is hot, and harmon.ie is doing some real power delivery. Today harmon.ie launches a significant release to its desktop and mobile software including new releases for iOS and the BlackBerry 10. harmon.ie delivers new solutions that provide a simple and consistent experience in the Office with Outlook integration, on the road with a tablet, on the run with your phone, or from the web on any kiosk via the cloud.
Figure 1: harmon.ie 4 brings real Simplicity + Reach to the Mobile Enterprise
While Microsoft has delivered a simple newsfeed app providing links to followed documents, you might ask… what's missing? Essentially Microsoft doesn't really provide a lot to non-Windows mobile users. Windows 8 especially Surface and Surface Pro are designed to provide the experience of a tablet while providing the richness of a keyboard while allowing it to have the richness of a productivity device with Microsoft Office. Microsoft has provided basic browser experiences, but lacks real rich experiences for the most part. There are a number of important gaps; from the lack of apps in Android, to missing Office App support on iOS. There is a conflict of interest for Microsoft to create too much of a great experience on iOS and Android, so it will continue to lean on partners to fill gaps.
Perhaps most significantly, the Microsoft iOS SharePoint Newsfeed App and the Office Web Apps aren't integrated, so native document editing is non-existent. harmon.ie has taken advantage of the great work in the Office Mobile Web Apps and provided the best of both worlds. Essentially, the apps that Microsoft provide are incomplete – they focus primarily on the Newsfeed as is suggested by the name and not on document collaboration. If you hold your breath, you'll still be waiting for Android Apps, SkyDrive Pro Apps, something for editing and managing your documents across iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. And this is precisely the problem that harmon.ie has solved for the hundreds of millions of iOS and Android users who need access to their Office documents on the go.
Understanding Challenges Today
Security + Offline Support in BlackBerry and Outlook
One of the biggest challenges with enterprise mobile apps is the concern about security. harmon.ie is built from the ground up with a focus on enterprise-grade security. First, on iOS and Android, harmon.ie turns the tablet and smartphone into a secure data less mobile device. Context is preserved to simplify login and getting to your data, but data is not stored on the device. In contrast, the work perimeter and Blackberry have offline support added with Blackberry 10 including a rich search interface and with perimeter support allowing work files to be separated and managed from personal content.
SharePoint usage is known to bring data across many platforms, into a single platform. Out of the box there's still a problem with data being stored on multiple sites from your personal data on a My Site or SkyDrive Pro, your team data across a variety of projects and workspaces often spread across a half dozen or so sites. Not uncommon these days is for an individual to have documents span extranet environments, Office 365 and on-premise based deployments. In addition there are additional security considerations resulting in many URLs, and potentially multiple user names and passwords. With harmon.ie this data can be managed in a single simple interface with context. Here is another problem harmon.ie has solved by providing SkyDrive Pro access directly from the Outlook client.
Furthermore, context preservation of tasks is really important, particularly on the mobile device. When you finish editing a doc with harmoni.e using Office Web apps, you are returned to the same screen from which you left, remaining in the same context as before. This is a key design consideration with harmon.ie on all platforms. In contrast to the desktop experience, when editing a doc, you are usually shunted away to another app with another UI. When you close the document, you have to navigate back to where you left off, it's these types of user experiences that turn people off to new technology. Harmon.ie has focused on smooth experience of working on files leveraging the new Office mobile web apps in an integrated way. It is something you need to experience to see how smooth it is in contrast to using the SharePoint Newsfeed app which gives an inconsistent experience between the Office Web apps.
Today's enterprise incorporate a wide variety of devices. Even when work pays for a device, there's user preference that plays into it. For phones, you've got Androids, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry, if not more. It's becoming less and less common to see a single device or mobile OS standard; it's more and more common for the enterprise to simply support a host of modern devices. In the tablet space, the iPad has been very dominant, but it's not unusual to see a big variety of Android devices.
While Microsoft has made some progress, there is still no Android support for Office 365/SharePoint,, and the iOS app is a newsfeed, with no document support at all. In contrast, harmon.ie provides a robust comprehensive solution for all the following mobile devices:
Supported OS and Devices
- Android: Tablets and Phones
- iOS: iPad and iPhone
- Blackberry 10
- Windows: Outlook Add-in
- Outlook Web App (OWA)
As long as Microsoft is producing Windows Phone and Surface there will be a gap in software that they provide for non Windows devices. This hurts the BYOD strategy which has a goal of providing a consistent experience across mobile and tablet devices. harmon.ie solves this problem because it is designed with the strategy of consistency, aggregation and simplicity in mind.
SkyDrive Pro + Ad-hoc Sharing
Today you add a document to an email and you're not sure if you setup permissions properly until someone complains saying they can't access the document. With harmon.ie 4.0's integration with Outlook 2013, you simply drag on the document which adds the link. Then if you click "Send" it prompts you to set read or edit access to the document in your SkyDrive Pro. harmon.ie has really focused on making it intuitive for users. Rather than having to jump back and forth between the SharePoint interface and your email, you can configure it all right from Outlook with the harmon.ie add-in.
Figure 2: SkyDrive Pro permissions on the fly!
Microsoft has shared its plans and Yammer is the future of the SharePoint Newsfeed. In the near future Yammer will be included as a link that can replace the SharePoint newsfeed with the word "Yammer" in the web interface on the top link bar.
Customers today want to combine the user experience of Yammer and SharePoint. They don't want to have to open up multiple applications. harmon.ie 4.0 brings together what seems like another 'feature,' but the idea of adding another collaboration modality to the main collaboration window, means that now you have Outlook, SharePoint, O365, Lync, AND Yammer – all in the same window, single context. Office 365 will accelerate the adoption and usage of Yammer with SharePoint as these two products get more and more integrated.
harmon.ie knows that Yammer is the direction of the product team, and viewing the newsfeed with your SharePoint data is increasingly important. Easily flip between documents, newsfeed, and your company contacts – in the people tab.
Figure 3: harmon.ie 4.0 Outlook Add-in with zoom focus on Yammer side by side with SharePoint, Documents and People.
Figure 4: Simplicity is key. Simply open with an app, send it, check it out and start working on it. On a tablet you get the power of the office mobile web application integrated right into the app.
Right from the device one can simply update the properties on the document with a document panel, guiding you to the required fields that otherwise may be overlooked.
Figure 5: Document Preview - (requires SharePoint 2013) harmon.ie desktop client provides simple document preview window ensuring you are copying or sending the right document
Easily navigate to the correct file or folder.
Reality Check and My Thoughts on harmon.ie 4.0
Exciting release. To be honest, I was really impressed with the intuitive work on SkyDrive Pro. I've been waiting for Microsoft to come out with an app that gave us synchronization. Something harmon.ie has done is focus on the core things you need in most collaboration environments… documents, people, and the newsfeed. While I agree these are the core things, it is important to acknowledge that this isn't all of your lists, forms, workflows, and such. It's not your BI dashboards and interfaces, but then again, you can open up the site and browse to access those interfaces and pinch and zoom if you need to.
harmon.ie has really made social work across platforms and gets users focused on the things that matter in most corporations. I applaud the work that's been done in getting the Yammer integration, that part is very insightful given the direction in the short term by Microsoft to simply expose the Yammer newsfeed. While I'd still like to see document sync, I understand the argument of not providing the documents for iOS and suggesting that security is more important. Microsoft assumes there won't be much editing on iPad and only provides read only access to the iPhone for Office files.
The reality is, Microsoft has made some beginning investments, but making major investments in Android and beyond the Newsfeed app is unlikely. They've invested in the SharePoint Newsfeed, but there is a lot of confusion about why anyone would roll this out with the understanding that Yammer will replace much of the newsfeed function. Why invest or encourage users to use the SharePoint Newsfeed? There's a missed opportunity in the mobile and tablet app marketplace for a cohesive strategy and harmon.ie has done well to get ahead of that and provide rich functionality that focuses on what most users need. Enterprise mobile device managers will be pleasantly surprised by seeing an app experience that goes from the desktop to tablets, mobile and in the cloud with smooth consistency.
So what's the downside?
The downside is support, governance, and management. These concerns would exist for any mobile app. You need to find an enterprise support strategy. As well, authentication is a huge pain, but harmon.ie has done a good job of getting ahead of what most organizations will need. Yet, there are bound to be VPN and dual authentication issues that are not dealt with. Be sure to test your authentication with the free editions to verify that you are on premise or private cloud or SSO or UAG to verify it isn't blocking or dropping connections. Office 365 should work right out of the gates, but depending on ADFS and Single Sign on, it's worth doing some extra testing. In the case of harmon.ie you get a pretty decent document story right out of the free version.
There is competition even other enterprise mobile device management solutions for SharePoint. It's not hard to simply search for SharePoint to find what's out there. The good news is, this harmon.ie 4.0 release is ahead of the pack in taking advantage of the new SkyDrive Pro, Search, Document Previews, Office Mobile Web Apps, and so much more. It really is a great release and the harmon.ie engineering team needs to be applauded for the Yammer integration… way ahead of its time. Well done.
harmon.ie 4.0 Mobile Enterprise is launching today and is a huge concerted effort across desktop, tablets, mobile and into the cloud. You'll continue to see improvements and broader support as time goes on, but already the product breadth is impressive.
As enterprises look at the demand for mobile Intranets, and mobile access to documents they must not stop at what is accessible through the browser on the phone or even in the simple SharePoint newsfeed app. The limits in the device software have really missed the mark on search, access to people and simple access to documents.
What's key in any enterprise mobile strategies is a strategy. Understand your business needs and then execute. Until that time allow users to provide your team their preference. As suggested above, the free apps are worth your time to validate your security requirements and to validate authentication.
Interested? Download the app on iPhone, iPad, Blackberry 10 or Android or visit harmon.ie to learn more about "how harmon.ie 4.0 brings Office365 to the Mobile Enterprise.
This product analysis is an unbiased review and service by Joel Oleson designed to educate and inform providing awareness of great products to the SharePoint community. How did I do?
Sponsored and paid by Titus.
Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM ET/9:00 AM PT
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 provides features and functionality that enable organizations to control authentication, authorize and secure access to sites and content. However, choosing which options to use, configuring the options to meet your business needs and understanding their impact can be complex and confusing.
Join Alan Pelz-Sharp, Research Director at 451 Research and SharePoint MVP and TITUS Senior Product Manager Antonio Maio for a discussion on SharePoint security best practices and strategies. Specifically, we will discuss:
- New information sharing features in SharePoint 2013
- Best practices for designing security policies for SharePoint
- How to build a high-level SharePoint data governance model
- Using identity, claims and security policies to authorize access to sensitive information
- Real-world success stories with practical advice
Whether or not you're ready to upgrade today, you'll gain immediate benefits in your current environment and ensure you are ready to take advantage of the new SharePoint 2013 features in the future.
Presenter: Alan Pelz-Sharpe
Content Management and Collaboration, 451 Research
Presenter: Antonio Maio
Sr Product Manager and SharePoint MVP, TITUS
Sponsored and paid for by Titus. Visit them at www.titus.com.
It’s taken some convincing and some serious coordination, but it looks like it’s getting off the ground. I’m very excited to announce this summer I’m doing a So Cal SharePoint User Group Tour. My roots are with User Groups, before the big global events, I found that the real community happens locally in user groups. I’ve been blessed with the ability to speak at User Groups around the globe and I’ve spoken at a few different user groups in southern California.
Still working out details, but I want to let people know…
Schedule so far lays out like this…
June 25 – San Diego – #SANSPUG More info to come http://sanspug.org
June 26 – Orange County – #OCSPUG Roland DGA 15363 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine CA at 6:30PM. More details to come http://ocspug.org
June 27 – LA - #LASPUG June 27th at Warner Brothers Knowledge Center, 3400 W Riverside Dr, Los Angeles 91505