We’ve created SharePoint templates to help organizations with 10 common business problems.

In our recent SharePoint Best Practices post, we embedded a few quick demo videos that show how easy to use and how helpful these SharePoint templates could be to plug in and start using for your organization.

Fpweb has been the first to host every version of SharePoint in the cloud since 1999 and has managed 1.9 billion SharePoint logins. We’ve performed more than 5,000 custom SharePoint migrations and we provide Microsoft-certified, USA-based, 24/7 SharePoint support on-premises, or in any cloud – including SharePoint Admin, SQL DBA, and SharePoint Developer as a Service.

That SharePoint specialty guided us to build these templates as a way to help organizations get set up and going with a framework that they can just plug in their information and begin utilizing a few of the out-of-the-box features in SharePoint 2013 and 2016 that can solve common business challenges like:

  • Contact management system
  • FAQ system
  • RFP process
  • Team blog
  • Asset management system
  • Course registration system
  • Team sites
  • Scheduling system
  • Project management system
  • Track service requests

You can see the demo videos, and more about how these common business challenges can be addressed with out-of-the-box SharePoint solutions at fpweb.net/sharepoint-templates.

Please fill out the form at fpweb.net/sharepoint/trial to try a 30-day SharePoint trial with any of these SharePoint templates installed.

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Feature Pack 2 for SharePoint Server 2016 is now available. It’s good to know Microsoft continues to show their commitment and continued investments on this journey.

The September 2017 Public Update for SharePoint Server 2016 Microsoft delivered new features. Your voice was heard!

Customer feedback and developer needs highlight these investments, starting with improvements in the SharePoint Framework – an incredible single code base for development. The SharePoint Framework (SPFx) lets you build responsive, engaging web parts. This page and web part model provides support for client-side SharePoint development.

SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 contains:

  • SharePoint Framework client-side web part support with classic SharePoint pages
  • Overview of SharePoint Framework
  • SharePoint Framework development with SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 2

You don’t need to separately install Feature Pack 1 and then install Feature Pack 2. Feature Pack 2 is included in all future Public Updates for SharePoint Server 2016, beginning with the September 2017 Public Update. This definitely simplifies an installation. No need to go back in time to find old patches.

To learn more about these enhancements, please refer to https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=856819.

Download SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack 2 at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt715807(v=office.16).aspx#BKMK_2016

Feature Pack 2 also delivers all of the features previously included in Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016, including:

  • Administrative Actions Logging
  • MinRole enhancements
  • SharePoint Custom Tiles
  • Hybrid Auditing (preview)
  • Hybrid Taxonomy
  • OneDrive API for SharePoint on-premises
  • OneDrive for Business modern experience (available to Software Assurance customers)

To learn more about Feature Pack 1 refer to https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=832679.

The KB articles for September 2017 CU with Feature Pack 2 are available at the following location:

  • KB 4011127 – September 2o17 Update for SharePoint Server 2016 with Feature Pack 2 (language independent) – this is also a security update!
  • KB 4011112 – September 2017 Update for SharePoint Server 2016 with Feature Pack 2 (language dependent fixes)
  • KB 3213658 – September 2017 Update for Office Online Server 2016 – this is also a security update!

The download for September 2017 CU is available through the following link:

  • Download September 2017 Update for SharePoint Server 2016 with Feature Pack 2 (language independent) – this is also a security update!
  • Download September 2017 Update for SharePoint Server 2016 with Feature Pack 2(language dependent fixes)
  • Download September 2017 Update for Office Online Server 2016 – this is also a security update!

The download for September 2017 CU is available through the following link:

Which language you choose does not matter.  Choose any language you have from the drop down in download center. Even the language dependent fixes are all in the same package for all languages.

NOTE: After installing the fixes, you need to run the SharePoint 2016 Products Configuration Wizard on each machine in the farm, or if you prefer to run the command line version psconfig.exe.

Need more SharePoint support, whether to extend your team, fill a gap, or just unburden your team from managing your SharePoint so that they can focus on your core business? Fpweb offers SharePoint Support as a Service, with SharePoint admin, SQL DBA, and SharePoint dev, starting for as little as $500 a month. Contact us to find out more!

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SharePoint improves collaboration. It improves the communication among staff. It also improves business workflows.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to see something a little more concrete than those vague terms when researching intranet software options, upgrades, and optimization. So we’ve put together these quick videos showing some examples of a few common business problems that can be solved, or at least addressed by, SharePoint. And these are all out-of-the-box solutions that come with SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016.

Track Service Requests

One of the main things we see SharePoint being used for is to track service requests. This is the practice of setting up a help desk solution and tracking ticketing. This is also something that can be used for budgetary concerns about resource planning or for staffing. This is a function that a managed service provider like ourselves relies upon, since we know how important help desk reporting truly is. But obviously, this is an important function for your internal teams as well. And it’s customizable, so that you can fit this solution to your need.

IT help desk screenshot

This example of an IT Help Desk provides the availability to look through the number of tickets, and to be able to track your staff’s response time, the volume and to be able to see who’s submitting which requests to be able to track those patterns. And that’s just one example of service requests that could be tracked like this with SharePoint.


Project Management System

A modest project management system is something that can be built so that you can keep everybody on the same page. You can utilize a responsive workflow, you can track timelines, and by entering budgetary concerns about over and under budget, you can ensure the scope of project has stayed within expectations. Setting it up as a dashboard allows easy and different ways to display data and see who is responsible for each task. Using Project Server with SharePoint allows for seamless integration with the Project desktop app in the Office suite.

Project management system with SharePoint

This example of a project management system is for a demo site that assigns and tracks tasks with a dashboard.


Scheduling System

You can manage resources with a scheduling system. The main function is to increase efficiency. A company calendar to use for time off requests is one example of this. You can have your time off request auto email a manager for approval and then automatically add those dates to your calendar and their calendar, if approved. This is also a great place to manage sick time, PTO, room scheduling within your own building, birthdays, milestones, business trips, and expense reimbursements.

Scheduling system with SharePoint screenshot

Another advantage to using calendar feature in Microsoft SharePoint for a scheduling system is that it integrates well with Microsoft Outlook, so you don’t need to change two different calendars.


Team Site

Another great way to use SharePoint is creating a site to support geographically dispersed teams. It allows everyone the ability to jump in and converse like an ongoing meeting. SharePoint is accessible from anywhere. Coauthoring is easy in SharePoint, which allows multiple people to edit a document at the same time, and versioning keeps previous versions available as well. SharePoint provides real-time collaboration, instead of relying on reply-all emails. You can give a library its own email address to record the conversation and it will attach to that corresponding library.

SharePoint Team Site example

This example is a team site for a geographically dispersed marketing team, which allows them to collaborate without relying on reply-all emails and confusion about which version is most current


Course Registration System

You can also use SharePoint for a course registration system. You can customize this so that you get the required information needed from the registrants and set notifications for full classes, or changes, etc. This doesn’t just apply to colleges or universities. This could be used by organizations providing continuing education and professional development opportunities for their employees in regards to their product, service, or industry. It’s a one-stop-shop for employees to select, register, and schedule these courses or seminars – which again ties to the calendar feature so that the selections would populate the already established scheduling system. No need for two calendars because SharePoint integrates so well with Outlook.

Course Registration System

Eliminate costly third-party registration systems by utilizing SharePoint


Asset Management System

Another area that SharePoint can help is an inventory and asset management system. You could use this to track company-issued devices, company cars, uniforms, widgets and parts, or supplies. It combines the organization of Excel with the mobility of SharePoint. Plus, you can incorporate filters and look utilize business intelligence for easier reporting.

asset management systems

This example is from a restaurant and is using SharePoint to manage the supplies and ingredients needed on a fulfillment basis.


Team Blog

Another thing that can be done with SharePoint is a team blog. This allows end-users to review any pertinent content from a knowledge base for team members to share instructional or institutional specific skills. There’s obviously other software and websites that are available for making blogs, many of which are no worse or better. As a part of SharePoint, it’s searchable through the intranet, without having to manage and maintain a separate database for the blog platform.

SharePoint team blog

The ability to publish blog posts within SharePoint allows convenient knowledge sharing hub.


RFP Process

Another other great use for SharePoint is to create a process to coordinate requests for proposals (RFP). So you can create an extranet site for the outside vendors that you might have to submit RFPs. You can then track, review those RFPs and instantly update each submission’s progress and set up notifications. This internal access to an RFP repository with structures to coordinate a review process can help streamline the workflow.

RFP system in SharePoint

External vendors can be provided access to intranet as an extranet site, and streamlining RFP process


FAQ System

Another great function of SharePoint is the setting up of an FAQ system, internally, or external facing. You can help users find the answers that they need quickly and you can make it a forum style from an external standpoint or a knowledge base that is open to all of the staff to be able to ask questions and add answers internally.

SharePoint screenshot of FAQ system

We surveyed 25 clients and webinar attendees about which of these SharePoint solutions to common business challenges was most applicable to them, and a FAQ system ranked highest


Contact Management System

Another area that is a really nice SharePoint feature is a cost-effective contact management system. You can search, add, delete, modify, save changes to contacts and instantly update that for the entire staff in one centrally located place that is accessible anywhere.

SharePoint screenshot - contact management system

SharePoint gives you the opportunity to work off one contact list, so that if somebody makes a change to a client or prospective client’s contact information, even if they’re out of the office, out in the field, or otherwise geographically dispersed, they can make those updates to the SharePoint site via their mobile device, and then the rest of the team now has that updated information because they’re all working off that same contact list


Visit fpweb.net/sharepoint to learn more about our SharePoint expertise, SharePoint consulting services, SharePoint migration services, SharePoint hosting, SharePoint admin service, SharePoint dev service, SharePoint backup and security services, and the differences between SharePoint 2010, 2013, and 2016. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 866-780-4678 with any questions.

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To analyze content disk space in SharePoint you could go through the trials of finding the Quota (if it is configured), finding the content database location, and examining the database. That will absolutely work, but what if you want to do it faster, and get some more valuable information?

Introducing WinDirStat! Well, this isn’t its first introduction; we also wrote about how to use this WinDirFul tool in the past. If you are unfamiliar with this tool, feel free to read that blog first, or watch the Amazing Joe Bohac give a spectacular visual walkthrough.

Try these steps out.

  1. You are going to want to map your site as a network drive. To map a Network Drive:
    1. Open ‘My computer‘
    2. Unfocus any selected drives and then click ‘Map Network Drive‘
    3. Select the drive letter that you want to use
    4. Under ‘Folder‘, enter the URL to the SharePoint library, ie. ‘http://www.mysite.com/Shared Documents’ (Please Note that you do not include the page name, ie. allitems.aspx, or the drive will fail to map properly)
    5. Click Finish.
      1. Notice in the screenshot below, you will need to specify you credentials for the site, and either use the folder as http(s) or \\networkpath.
      2. If you want the drive to appear permanently on your workstation, choose ‘Reconnect at logon’


2. Once that is completed, open WinDirStat (or any disk analysis tool) and select drive you just mapped.


3. Click ‘OK’ and let it do its PacMan thing! When it is finished, you will have a very detailed page of File Structure, Top Content Types by Size used, and a Graphical Representation of the space used and count of the file types.


4. Want to do one better? How about managing these file directly within this tool? If you see a file that is taking a large amount of space and you are sure it is not needed, you can delete it. Play around with this tool. You can click on the file types to highlight all of them in the bottom pane, or click any individual block in the bottom frame, or even by browsing the File Tree. It’s fairly robust, and powerful. Be careful though… With great power comes great responsibility. If you fully delete a file, it is gone for good.


There you have it. While these instructions are covering some of the basic things you can do with this tool, there are more reasons to use this for management of your site. We will leave that to all you wonderful SharePoint Admins to determine your best uses though.

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All eyes have been watching for the impending release of SharePoint 2016, which will be released next spring, and many are wondering how this latest version will compare to 2013’s model. We are expecting to see several new updates and features in SharePoint 2016, updates that will put 2013’s version to shame.

Check out how SharePoint 2016 compares to the current 2013 version below!


Content Database Size – SharePoint 2013 allows users 200 GB in general usage scenarios. The 2016 version will go far beyond that point and expand content database sizing into the TB realm. Yes, a single content database in the 2016 version can hold 100,000 site collections, which is 20 times greater than the existing version.

Indexed Items – With SharePoint 2013, you get 100 million indexed items per search service application and 10 million per index partition. SharePoint 2016 will increase the search scale by two times – we’re talking 500 million items.

Max File Size – The default maximum file size in SharePoint 2013 is 250 MB, which can be increased up to 2 GB. SharePoint 2016 will blow 2013’s version out of the water with a 10 GB maximum, including the removal of character restrictions.

Site Collections Per Content Database – The recommended amount of site collections for SharePoint 2013 came in at 2,000 with a maximum of 5,000 collections. You’ll find that the number of site collections will have expanded twenty-fold in SharePoint 2016 – literally. You will be able to maintain 100,000 site collections per content database come next spring.

Of course, there are other amazing new features that will be coming our way in SharePoint 2016. We will be discussing these exciting new updates and features next month in our blog. Until then, if you have any questions or want to know how SharePoint can fit in your business plan, give Fpweb.net a call toll-free at 1-866-780-4678 or learn more about us, who we are, and what we can do for you at www.fpweb.net!

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[In Part 3 of his series on Document Management and Collaboration in Microsoft SharePoint, Matt Milsark introduces SharePoint Versioning. Missed the last post? Please read about SharePoint Document Check-In and Check-Out]

Understanding SharePoint Versioning

Version control is a critical feature for any enterprise-scale document collaboration platform. In SharePoint, the versioning feature automatically saves every version of a document. This allows multiple people to make changes to a document without the fear of overwriting a previous version. If necessary, you can always revert to a previous document versions.

Sometimes it’s necessary to revert if the most recent copy becomes corrupt or is inadvertently saved in a “messy” state. SharePoint Versioning will also prevent the (disastrous, yet all too familiar) scenario of “accidentally” saving over a live copy of a document. Compared to using a simple file share, the ‘roll-back’ versioning feature makes SharePoint a more reasonable and viable choice for storing critical corporate documents.

SharePoint Versioning also allows you to use the ability to leverage content approval. This is useful if a document needs to be reviewed before it’s published “live.” For example, contracts typically need approval from a separate legal department or 3rd party law firm. Using content approval versioning features, documents must be reviewed and approved- by a user with sufficient privileges- before publishing or moving to the next stage of workflow. We’ll discuss more about the SharePoint 2010 content approval process in the next article in this blog series.

By default, SharePoint 2010 has Versioning turned off. To enable Versioning you must configure Versioning on every library where you want Versioning used.

How to Access Versioning Settings

From your Document Library, click Library and then Library Settings.

Screenshot: SharePoint Library Settings

In the General Settings section, click Versioning settings.

Versioning Settings option under General Settings heading

For the purposes of this post, we’re going to just look at Document Version History section. There are three options available: No versioning, Create major versions, and Create major and minor (draft) versions.

Choose from three available options

No Versioning:

No versioning is the default setting and basically means only one copy of a document exists. If you overwrite that copy with a new copy, you cannot retrieve the older version.

Create major versions:

Create major versions specifies numbered versions of a document using a basic number scheme (such as 1, 2, 3). When an existing document is saved to a document library, a new version is created. You can always revert to a previous iteration of a document by its version number.

Create major and minor (draft) versions:

Create major and minor (draft) versions uses a major and minor versioning scheme (such as 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1). Versions ended in .0 are major versions, often referred to as published versions. All other versions are minor (or draft) versions. So a document with a version of 2.3 means it’s the third draft from the second published versions. This option allows you to differentiate between published content and content in draft form that is not yet ready for public consumption. Major and minor versioning will be discussed in the next article of this blog series, as it is best used with content approval.

For now, however, we’re going to take a look at how major versioning works. So I’ll go ahead and select Create major versions. Remember, you can use Versioning in conjunction with the SharePoint document Check-In/Check-Out process.

After choosing Create major versions, return to the document library and upload a document. You can see from the screenshot, the version is 1.0.

Screenshot: document version 1.0 in SharePoint 2010

A new version is created whenever the content or the metadata associated with the content is changed. So upon changing the value in the POAmount field, you can see the Version number changes.

Screenshot: version number changes to 2.0

And when I make a change to the document and save it back to the library, the version number changes from 2.0 to 3.0.

If I use the Edit drop-down for the document, I can choose Version History.

click document to reveal Version History link

The Version History screen displays the previous versions that are retained, as well as any metadata changes that were made. For example, in the following screenshot, version 2.0 shows the POAmount column and the value that it was changed to.

Version History Screen in SharePoint 2010

Version 3.0 does not display this information, because the actual document was changed and not the metadata.

Reverting to a Previous Version

Use the Version History screen to revert to a previous version. Use the Edit drop-down for the version you want to restore, and click Restore.

Restore document in SharePoint 2010 Version History window

Reverting to a previous version replaces the current version with the old one. Click OK to proceed when the message box appears.

SharePoint alert window: warning you are about to replace the current version

It does not delete the current version. It just creates a new version. So now my version history screen looks like this:

New Version History Window after Version Change

Version 4.0 is actually the same document and metadata as version 2.0 because I chose to restore that specific version.

Versioning and Storage Space

If you are using Versioning, keep in mind that each version of a document is stored in the SQL Server content database. So in our example, there are actually four copies of this single document being stored in SQL Server. As you can see, this can exponentially increase your storage needs.

In the Versioning settings, you have the ability to limit the number of versions saved. It is recommended to use this option if storage capacity is a concern (and when is it not?).

Limit number of versions saved

As you can see, SharePoint Versioning is a significant feature for document management and document collaboration in SharePoint 2010. It allows users to make edits to content and metadata without fear of destroying an already live or published document.

SharePoint Versioning also keeps track of who makes changes and when, and what metadata changes were made. This improves accountability and makes it easier to follow the changes of a specific document.

Next time we’ll take a look at major and minor versioning and how content approval ensures only approved documents are published and accessible.

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8 Skills Every SharePoint Administrator Must Know

Quality SharePoint Admins are hard to come by. It’s a complicated technology to begin with, and once you train someone they become a target for recruiters almost immediately.

Recently, I was contacted by a local HR professional on LinkedIn asking for advice on what makes a qualified SharePoint Administrator candidate.

I was happy to help, and it got me thinking about what it takes nowadays to be a SharePoint Administrator. All SharePoint professionals know that the product has many moving parts, has many different use cases, is highly customizable and has tight roots in many Windows Server technologies behind the scenes. My goal is to list and discuss many of the most important competencies that a SharePoint Administrator candidate must have.

Important Traits Your SharePoint Administrator Should Possess:

1.) Windows Server Administration Experience

SharePoint is a Microsoft Server product that is installed on one or more Windows Servers. In order to set up SharePoint properly, you need to understand in-depth IIS, Active Directory, DNS, NLB, Windows Services, and more.

2.) SharePoint Deployment, Configuration, Upgrade, and Patching Experience

The candidate should have extensive experience in designing, deploying, and maintaining one or more SharePoint farms. Proper architecture design, effective service application configuration, patching and general maintenance are critical to the success of a SharePoint deployment.

3.) SQL Server Administration Experience

SharePoint deploys a large number of content and configuration databases to SQL Server. If SQL Server is down or not performing well, neither is SharePoint. General understanding of SQL Server permissions, logs, data files and performance tuning is important if you don’t have dedicated SQL DBA resources.

4.) Excellent Troubleshooting Experience

Most everything around supporting IT systems involves problem solving and troubleshooting. Due to the fact that SharePoint is a platform built on many different components and technologies, effective problem solving skills are a must to resolve application and performance problems. The candidate must know where to look to gain more information about issues such as the windows event log, ULS logs, IIS logs, etc.

5.) Web Application Security Planning and Configuration

User authentication is decoupled from SharePoint in 2010 and even more so in 2013. There are many options on how to authenticate users and each method has its own ‘gotchas’ or caveats that may require custom code to deliver a fully functioning system. The choice of the authentication mechanism will greatly impact the end user experience.

Aside from choosing the security method, there are many architecture design decisions based around web application and site collection topology, search capacity and performance planning, business intelligence integration, and much more that needs to be well thought out before implementation.

6.) Microsoft Certification in SharePoint Administration

Most of the general configuration and farm planning is covered by the MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Pro) exams and the new SharePoint MCSE exams. If the candidates have earned these then they probably have a nice foundation of knowledge and experience around the product.

I know there are people out there who don’t believe in these exams for various reasons such as lack of real world implementation exam questions among others, but from my experience in studying and taking these exams, I have learned a lot!

7.) PowerShell Experience

All of the Microsoft Server products can be deployed and managed with PowerShell. PowerShell is an incredibly powerful tool and allows for scripted and repeatable SharePoint installations among many other use cases. I have utilized PowerShell mostly for automating long running operations and automating SharePoint installation and configuration.

8.) Background in .Net\SharePoint Development is a Plus

SharePoint is an ASP.Net web application which encompasses web sites, Windows services, WCF services, SQL Databases, stored procedures and much more. There are times when having this background helps troubleshoot errors or issues caused by customizations and third party add-ons. Looking at the different log sources and stack traces to identify the erroneous component is generally easier if you have a programming/debugging background.

I hope that you find this information useful in your search for a candidate or your studies. SharePoint Administration is a multi-layered position, but, from a high level, I believe this covers most of the qualities a good SharePoint Admin will possess.

Put Fpweb.net’s Expertise on Retainer

If hiring or training a SharePoint Admin doesn’t fit your budget or time restraints, look into Fpweb.net’s expert, USA-based 24/7 Absolute Support® on-premises, or in any cloud. It’s a budget-friendly subscription plan with four levels named after the roles they support – Admin, Database, Development, and Security. Each level builds off each other, so Database includes Admin support, Development includes Database and Admin support, and Security includes all four. It’s unlimited use, it provides 24/7 access to expertise with a six-minute ticket response, it frees up your team to innovate, and it has 68% multi-role cost savings.

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This blog goes hand in hand with another blog, “SharePoint Internet Explorer Compatibility Issues” written by a colleague of mine here at Fpweb.net, Steve Lattina. He focuses on compatibility issues with Internet Explorer and some fixes, but I’m actually going to dive into the other types of browsers out there and why some functions work and others don’t in non IE browsers.

Sure, Internet Explorer isn’t always users first (or even second) choice for browsing the internet, but if you want the best that SharePoint has to offer, you need to make IE your default. Nevertheless, a lot of users are opening their SharePoint sites in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

These are both great browsers that will for the most part run your SharePoint site without an issue, but since SharePoint is designed to work best for IE, you may run across some functionality that’s not available or that throws an error when you try and use it.

Microsoft listed the different browsers and version and their level of support:

Browser Supported Not supported
Internet Explorer 11 X  
Internet Explorer 10 X  
Internet Explorer 9 X  
Internet Explorer 8 X  
Internet Explorer 7   X
Internet Explorer 6   X
Google Chrome (latest released version) X  
Mozilla Firefox (latest released version) X  
Apple Safari (latest released version with limitations) X  

And while that list may say what’s supported and what isn’t, that doesn’t mean the level of support will be identical. SharePoint is a Microsoft product and will always be best used in IE 10 or IE 11, depending on your version of SharePoint.

Your functionality can also depend on whether you have third party web parts, custom development on your site or if you basically have anything done to your SharePoint environment that isn’t an out-of-the-box function. For example, trying to open a library with file explorer is only possible with Internet Explorer.

Open with Explorer in Firefox

Open with Explorer in Chrome

Open with Explorer in IE

As you can see, there is definitely a compatibility issue with this feature. Another example would be the “Export to Excel” function. This is also a feature not available in Chrome, but is available in Firefox and also IE.

Export to Excel in Firefox

Export to Excel in Chrome

Chrome doesn't open the file

In summation, you need to be careful with using any browser other than IE for your SharePoint needs.

Sometimes you may have certain things that don’t agree with your browser, but there are always work-arounds for those – like adding the site into compatibility mode. You can do so by clicking on Settings in the upper right hand corner, and about halfway down the list is called Compatibility View Settings. Make sure the correct URL is in the website box and select Add.

That will usually help when you have a newer version of IE and an older version of SharePoint or vice versa. Another work around you can try is to lower the security of the site and add it to your trusted sites. You can do so by going to Internet Options, the same way you get to compatibility settings, selecting the Security settings, next selecting Trusted Sites and make sure that the setting is at Low.

Add to your Trusted Sites

Both of these should help for most of your compatibility issues. As always, thanks for reading!

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How to Set Up SharePoint Calendars and Stay On Track

SETTING UP SHAREPOINT CALENDARSSpring is in full swing, and as part of your Spring Cleaning at work, perhaps you’ve organized all your old documents on SharePoint. Maybe you’re starting to feel like your work life is back on track. And yet, every night as you leave the office, you can’t help but feel like you’re forgetting something…

You shuffle through the papers on your desk and try to make sense of all the scribbled Post-It notes scattered across your monitor, but you can’t shake the feeling that you’ve missed an important event, task or meeting…

Well, once again I’m here to help ease your frustration and make your work life better. Behold the power of SharePoint Calendars! SharePoint’s out-of-the-box Calendar can help organize your work life quickly. So, let’s begin!

First, we need to learn how to create a calendar. Click on the ‘Gear’ at the top right of the window and then click on ‘Add an app’.

Add an App

On the next screen, click on ‘Calendar’.


Go ahead and name your Calendar, then click on the ‘Create’ button.

Name your calendar

If you are wondering where the ‘Advanced Options’ link takes you, see the screenshot below. For this post, we will forego those options as they’re pretty self-explanatory for the most part.

Advanced Options

Once you’ve created your calendar, you’ll be taken to the ‘Site Contents’ screen, and you should see your new Calendar.

Site Contents

When you click on the Calendar, you will be taken to the current month. This is where the magic happens!

Current month

To add an event on the Calendar, you can simply click on the day, then an ‘Add’ link will appear on the bottom right side of that day.

Add an Event

Go ahead and enter the super important event that you need to keep track of into the fields in the form. As you can see, you can specify the date and time and even if this is an all-day or reoccurring event. Once you’re done, click on ‘Save’.

New event item fields

Once you’ve created the event, it will take you back to the Monthly view of the Calendar. The entry will now also display in the day you created it on.

Event is displayed

By default, the Calendar view is set to display the current Month, but you can change the views to where you see your schedule Daily or Weekly.

To change the view, click on the ribbon at the top of the window and then click on ‘Calendar

Change Calendar View

As you can see, you have the ‘Day’ and ‘Week’ button to choose from.

Change view to day, week or month

Day view:

Day View

Week view:

Week view

Now that you’ve successfully created a new Calendar, let’s talk about customizing the default Categories. While the default choices are good, they may not cater to the level of organization that you’re looking for.

While you’re in the Calendar, click on the ‘Calendar’ tab in the ribbon. Then you will need to locate the ‘List Settings’ icon.

List settings

The next page displays all the current available columns. In this example, we will be editing the ‘Category’ column. Click on the ‘Category’ column.

Edit Category column

On this next page, you will want to go down to the ‘Choices‘ and edit the Choices. Once you’ve entered your custom categories, click on ‘OK’ to save your changes.

Edit the choices

So right about now, you’re probably excited about filling up your brand new Calendar. Hold on one second there. We aren’t done yet.

Being the Organizational monster that you are, I know you plan on creating multiple calendars to keep track of different types of schedules. Maybe you created a different schedule for your Engineering team or even a separate one to keep track of your Executive team’s schedule. Instead of clicking on different links for those Calendars, wouldn’t it be easier to just click on one main Calendar and see all of those?

Well let me show you how you can do that.

Create Multiple SharePoint Calendars Under One View

Before we get started, you need to know the exact URL of the SharePoint site where these Calendars have been created. If you’ve created those Calendars all in the same SharePoint site, that makes it easier.

Open up your calendar once again and then click on the ‘Calendar’ ribbon tab. You will need to look for the ‘Calendars Overlay’ button.

Calendars Overlay

At the ‘Calendar Overlay Settings’ page, click on ‘New Calendar’.

New Calendar

At the next screen, you will want to name the Calendar you’re trying to link to appropriately.

Name the calendar

Enter a description of the calendar and give the events a separate color if you like. This will be the color of the event when it displays on your main Calendar.

Enter calendar description


Now, make sure you’re pointed at the correct Web URL and click on ‘Resolve’. This will refresh the ‘List’ and display all the calendars that you can access.

Click Resolve to refresh List

Simple choose the name of the Calendar from the dropdown and click on ‘Always Show’. Click ‘OK’ once and you’re finished.

If you have other calendars to add, simply repeat the process above. Keep in mind that you can enter up to 10 different calendars max.

Once you’re finished and have everything color coordinated, your calendar should look something like this:

Team Calendar final view

If you can’t remember which color corresponds to what calendar, don’t worry – SharePoint has a Legend on the left side pane, under ‘Calendars in View’.

Calendars in View Legend

Hopefully, I’ve quenched your thirst for Calendar organization. Now you can put your mind at ease and go home. …Wait, what’s that you ask? ‘Where are your car keys?’ I’m sorry, not even SharePoint can help you there… Till next time folks!

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SharePoint Tips & TricksIn this post, I’ll detail how to move all SharePoint 2013 search components to a different server in the SharePoint farm. Unlike SharePoint 2010, there are no topology options in Central Administration so the entire operation must be performed in PowerShell.

Although that may stress some admins out, I’ve found that moving the topology via PowerShell in SharePoint 2013 works much better than moving it via the UI in SharePoint 2010. As you should assume, there is no PowerShell command like:

move-SPSearchTopology –components ALL –destination NewServer.

That’d be nice. And too easy. And honestly, it probably wouldn’t work anyway.

I’m going to assume you have a working Search Service in your (at least) two server SharePoint farm. I’m also going to assume you have rudimentary knowledge of using PowerShell with SharePoint.

Before performing any operation, your Search Administration topology section should look like this:

Search Administration topology


Although this isn’t necessary, performing this simple operation will avoid future potential headaches. Trust me.


The first real step is to clone the existing topology to move all the search components except for the Admin component. The Admin component must remain online to move all other components, so this particular component has to be moved separately.

You could choose to move the admin component first and then all others after it is moved. I prefer moving it last, because if there’s going to be an issue, I’d prefer it not to be with the admin component. Recovering from a failed move of the admin component can be a complete nightmare.

If it’s going to fail, fail on one of the other components. It’s much easier to troubleshoot.

Anyway, execute the following lines to clone the existing service:

$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
$active = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa –Active
$clone = New-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa -Clone –SearchTopology $active


Before you can move the components, a search service must exist on the new server. Run the following (obviously, you need to replace the NewServerName):

$NewServer = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance -Identity “NewServerName“

Now that you have identified the new server, start the service on the server by:

Start-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance -Identity $NewServer

The next step is where a lot of people get stuck. Now that the service has been started, they assume they are good to start creating the new components on the server (which is the next step). But before doing so, you must ensure the new search service is online on the new server.

Type this:

Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance -Identity $NewServer

You should see something similar to the following in the console:

SharePoint Server Search Provisioning

If the Status says anything other than online, wait a few minutes and retry the command. Repeat until you see something like this:

SharePoint Server Search Online

Now the Status is online, we can continue.


Now you want to create all Search components except for the admin component. Use the following:

New-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryProcessingComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $NewServer
New-SPEnterpriseSearchAnalyticsProcessingComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $NewServer
New-SPEnterpriseSearchContentProcessingComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $NewServer
New-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $NewServer
New-SPEnterpriseSearchIndexComponent -SearchTopology $clone -IndexPartition 0 -SearchServiceInstance $NewServer

There are options on the Index Component that you may be interested in researching. But those are really beyond the scope of the article. Look here for more information: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219721.aspx.

For now though, let’s assume you’re happy with the parameters. To actually create the components, use this:

Set-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -Identity $clone

And wait…

When it’s finally completed, your topology page should now look like this:

Revised Topology Page


Now let’s remove components from the original server. First, close the topology again. Do this:

$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
$active = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa -Active
$clone = New-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa -Clone –SearchTopology $active

Now you need to get the identity of the search components. Type this:

Get-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent -SearchTopology $clone

The console spits out all the search components in the farm. You’ll need to look through the output to find the values applicable to your SharePoint farm. Here’s a portion of what the console should look like:

SharePoint Search Components

You need the NAME of all components for the old Search Server. In my SharePoint farm, SP2013Demo101 is the old search server and SP2013Demo112 is the new search server. So, the CrawlCompont0 and QueryProcessingComponent1 are some of the names I need.

So now you’ll use the following to remove these components.

Obviously, you’ll want to change the identity for the Names of the components in your environment. Use the output from Get-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent to ensure you have a Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent for all components on the old server, except for the admin component.

Be careful, the names are case sensitive!

Also, notice there is no admin component in the below list.

Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent -Identity QueryProcessingComponent1 -SearchTopology $clone -confirm:$false
Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent -Identity CrawlComponent0 -SearchTopology $clone -confirm:$false
Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent -Identity IndexComponent1 -SearchTopology $clone -confirm:$false
Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent -Identity AnalyticsProcessingComponent1 -SearchTopology $clone -confirm:$false
Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent -Identity ContentProcessingComponent1 -SearchTopology $clone -confirm:$false

Set-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -Identity $clone

You’ll have to wait for a while to let SharePoint do its thing.

When it’s done, your topology will look like this:

SharePoint Topology 3

Great! The only thing left is move the admin component. It’s pretty much identical to the other components, so I won’t go into great detail.


First, clone the topology:

$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
$active = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa –Active
$clone = New-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa -Clone –SearchTopology $active

Second, identify the destination server:

$NewServer = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance -Identity “NewServerName“

Start a new admin component on the new server.

New-SPEnterpriseSearchAdminComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $NewServer
Set-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -Identity $clone

Again, you wait.

When it’s done the topology will look like this:

SharePoint Topology 4


Now you have to delete the old admin component. First, clone the topology:

$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
$active = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa -Active
$clone = New-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $ssa -Clone –SearchTopology $active

Remove the admin component. If you have to, run Get-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent to get the proper name of the admin component running on the old server.

Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchComponent -Identity AdminComponent1 -SearchTopology $clone -confirm:$false
Set-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -Identity $clone

When this is done, your Topology will look like:

SharePoint Topology 5

Congratulations! All search components are now online on the new server.

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