Friday, 13 May 2016

Managing Documents with SharePoint Document Center

We recently dealt with a client that had a very specific requirement regarding document management in the SharePoint environment. Most of this was due to ISO requirements.

They had a current SP environment running on SharePoint 2010 with custom dev for things like UID's for documents etc.

We went in and installed SharePoint 2016, (There was other requirements as well). I create the site structure as before, but this time used a SharePoint Document Center.

Very important to note, or just a tip, before creating the site collections, activate the Document ID Feature in SharePoint. It can be done afterwards, but it seem to take a while, or not work always. For more info on setting that up, have a look Here

I added some Custom Content Types and Columns as per the clients Request - Results can be seen below :

Note the UID next to each document. This is auto generated by SP, no need to custom dev or columns with calculations etc. :-)

One of their other requirements was to have some of the SharePoint Columns appear as Information in their templates, and populated as a new document is created from a Content Type. This was the fun part to figure out, as some things are not as obvious as it may seem.

Above image shows how i have edited a Word Document's header, added a table with the required descriptions on the left. Now we have to insert the actual values on the right.

Select the cell in table where you want to insert the value, go to Insert Tab on the Ribbon, and Select Quick-Parts - Document Property. A list of available properties. The custom columns appear in the list, Document Creator, Document Type and Department (Custom - Using Managed Metadata)

There were 2 fields i had issues with, initially the Document ID column was not available. What i did was save the template to a document library, which forces the updating of content types and the creating of an initial Document ID. I could then find the Document ID Value from the list. 

The second one i had issues with is the "Version" field. For some odd reason, it is just not available to insert, but i found a workaround.

Go into the document library where the documents will be stored - Library Settings and then click on Information management policy settings.  

 Click to Enable labels and put this into the label format box : Version : {Version} \n . Then click to save. 

Go back to the document in Word , or it might need to be saved and re-opened. If you now go to word, you will see under the document properties, there is a field called label, that will now allow you to insert the version number.

The end product will look like this :

This document can now be attached to a content type for easy access for the end user, using the "new file" option from the Document Library 

If you have questions let me know by using the comments. Will help where i can. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

AvePoint - DocAve Accreditation Obtained

Hey all followers,

Just a quick note to "show off" a bit.

I have spent a few months working on and with DocAve 6, and have done some exams that i have passed.

Shows that hard work and dedication does pay off !!

If you are looking at DocAve look me up, or have a look at for more information.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Archiving completed Projects in Project Server 2010 or 2013

Closing a completed Project on Project Server This is bit a process, so bear with me on the lengthy Post.  Before we can start the Archiving of completed projects, there is a bit of work to be done, on existing projects. This will have to be done, otherwise the process will not work.

First Things First :

This post requires a new custom field to be created on Project Level using a lookup table with
 " Registered, In Progress and Completed" as values.

Once the field and lookup has been created follow the steps below.

Please do the following for ALL Projects on the PWA environment.  Navigate to Project Center and click on a Projects Name :
Figure 1: Select Project from Project Center

This will then open the Project Basic Info PdP (Assuming no customization has been done) if there was customization done on the PDP's the field needs to be added to the relevant PDP

Figure 2: Set relevant Project Status

 You will notice a new field at the Bottom labelled “Project Status” For EVERY project the correct value needs to be selected, either, Registered, In Progress or Completed. If this has not been done for all projects the rest of the process becomes Null and Void.

To correctly archive projects please follow these steps :

1.      Open Project Schedule in Microsoft Project
2.      Insert the remaining work column into the current view.
3.      Remove ALL remaining work on the schedule for all tasks (so there must be Zero remaining work on all tasks)
4.      Change to the Resource Sheet view  and Insert the “Booking Type” column
a.      Change the Booking type for all resources to Proposed (This will “release” resource allocations to the schedule)
5.      Change to the Gantt Chart view – and Insert the “Published” column
a.      Change the value of all tasks (Summery Tasks will not change) in the Published column to “No” (This will un-publish all tasks from resources Timesheets)
6.      Open the “Project Information”  Dialog Box from the “Project Tab” on the ribbon.
a.      Change the Project Status field to “Completed” – Click Ok
7.      Save and Publish project as per normal.

If you now navigate to the Project Center and have a look on the ribbon, there are 2 new Views:

Create 2 new views (or 1 new view for the archived / completed projects) You can always edit your existing (All Projects View or Summery view) to show only In Progress and Registered by filtering out "Completed" projects.

Add the "Archive / Completed view and filter out both, In Progress and Registered Projects. (If your security is setup in such a way, you can make this Archive view available to a certain category only like the PMO.

Below is an example of 2 views that has been created.

·        *All Completed Projects (This will show all Projects that have been completed)
·        *All In-Progress Projects (This will show all Projects with the status of “Registered or “In Progress”) Completed Projects will not be displayed in this view.

Figure 3 : New views

trust this well help with the process. If you have questions please drop me a comment on the post.

Monday, 11 January 2016

IT Change Control - But Why

This is not be a huge post on the topic, a very simple post (Rant) on why it is important, for all parties involved. For the purpose of the post, i will break it up into 2 different categories, IT Importance and Client (Business) importance.
Let's start with a scenario, You get a support call from a client, that they cannot create Projects, nor Project Workspaces, in Project Online, after the December holliday break. No one really worked during the holliday's but there are issues on the environment.
So now the consultant has to go out to observe the error and all the broken items in the environment. Once you get there and start troubleshooting, you find it is a feature on a SharePoint Site, that has been de-activated.
The client themselves could not do it, they do not have this permissions, we did not do it, so that leaves, a 3rd Party vendor, in charge of their O365 deployment. Apparently they did n "clean-up" and security activity during the holliday's, and though the Limited -access user permission lockdown mode is Unnecessary and can be switched off!
This deactivation of the feature caused all of the issues in the environment. After switching it on, it works again.
The impact that this unscheduled change had :

IT Impact

  1. 4 Hours of on-site work
  2. No starting point for troubleshooting
  3. No idea why something was changed (the logic behind the change)
  4. No documentation of implemented or proposed changes
  5. No discussion of possible impact to other systems, on change implementation
  6. Unnecessary disruption of service and unnecasary time and cost spent
Yes we can bill for the work, which is not the major issue, but rather the impact on the business affected :

Business Impact

  1. Unnecessary disruption of service
  2. Unnecessary cost impact
  3. No idea of any changes that happened in their environment
  4. End user time impact, their work falls behind which mean projects could potentially be delayed.
  5. "System Confidence", sound rather minor, but a bunch of incidents like this, could very quickly cause users to "dislike" or not "trust" a system, due to the frequent down time. 
So please, for everone involved's sanity levels as well as cost and business impact, follow some sort of change process, and document any changes made. 
To finish off, please find below a good description of a change:
Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system. The purpose is to ensure that no unnecessary changes are made, that all changes are documented, that services are not unnecessarily disrupted and that resources are used efficiently. Within information technology (IT), change control is a component of change management. 
Happy Changing :-)

Monday, 4 January 2016

New Years Changes

Happy New Year!

First off, may all my followers and viewers of my blog, have a blessed and prosperous 2016. May all your wildest dreams come true!

Changes to the blog :

The last month everything was in turmoil, as TPG Africa, whom I worked for, applied for liquidation, and thus leaving myself and a few other people without work.

I was very fortunate to have been approached by Mint Management Technologies, to join their team as a Senior SPS Consultant. I have since accepted and started with them today.

Mint Management Technologies specializes in the following technologies: ECM, CRM and CAM. Thus I will no longer be very actively involved in the Project Server space (for now) and will focus on SharePoint and SharePoint online.

All future posts on my blog will be SharePoint and ECM related.

Thanks for your understanding and your support!