“GOVERNAGE” – Thé mix between Governance and end user Usage – Blog 2 follow up

a vision paper written by Rick Hilferink – SharePoint Consultant @ Portiva.

This vision paper will be written in a series of three blogs. In each of these series I hope to provide you with more insight in my understanding of today’s Microsoft SharePoint technology and how governance can be applied best.

Table of contents

  1. Blog 1 – A new Era
    1. Introduction
    2. SharePoint puberty
  2. Blog 2 – The rising
    1. SharePoint grown up
    2. Governance explained, what is it?
    3. End users (Business Roles)
  3. Blog 3 – The future
    1. Vision and Strategy – Ownership and dedication
    2. “Governage” and SharePoint as a platform – Find the right mix
    3. A look into the future (Maturity?)

Blog 2 – The rising

SharePoint grown up

SharePoint has evolved as a product, containing lots of modern technology and features suitable for a wide variety of businesses both small, medium and enterprise. Not less important it has also evolved into a strategic platform for large enterprises which are very much depended on this platform, day in day out. Microsoft is a strategic choice, so is SharePoint.

Some numbers…

Microsoft SharePoint is a grown up product these days. According to an article that was published on ZDNet.com three years ago, SharePoint had been adding 20.000 users per day for the previous five years. Between 2006 and 2011 that means, 36,500,000 users began using SharePoint.

In an article on caldiatech.com these massive numbers were revealed.
(Ref: http://www.caldiatech.com/blog/3-surprising-facts-regarding-the-worldwide-use-of-microsoft-sharepoint.html)

80 percent of the fortune 500 companies are using Microsoft SharePoint with approximately 100,000,000 user accounts. These numbers were updated after the SharePoint 2013 release, which proved very successful.

As we can see, the influence and dependency grows, and it grows fast. More and more companies choose Microsoft strategically; the decision for SharePoint is a no-brainer.

Off course these are just (awesome) numbers. Installing SharePoint, adding users and use it as a document management system does not solve all your issues or business challenges and far more important is not a guarantee to success.

This is the reason that governance is a hot topic the last few years, people and businesses start to understand that SharePoint is more than just a tool or application that is evident when Microsoft becomes a strategic choice.

It requires high priority and attention from upper management.


“… The collection of guidelines, roles, responsibilities and processes, which is defined to control and to supervise the deployment of SharePoint, so that the pre-defined objectives can be achieved within the organization.”

The reason for establishing and implementing a governance plan is to control the platform and how it is used. It ensures that resources can be used to its full potential. Agreements are clearly defined within the framework by a strategy group that determines to what extent and at what level governance is applied and secured.

Governance explained

Introducing the SharePoint 2013 platform can be compared to building a house. The client has a specific design in mind. When constructing a house, all kinds of rules (procedures) should be followed. There is a zoning plan (vision), there are regulations (company policy), there is a design (functional design) and a drawing (technical design). When construction is completed, the building must be maintained and perhaps rebuilt again after several years to improve the structure or the use of it.

This is the same for the SharePoint platform. It requires designs, plans, regulations and maintenance.

A governance plan.

To start determining a governance plan for your company, you have to setup a strategy group. In that group people from multiple layers of the organization should be represented, preferably from multiple departments. This mix ensures a broad perspective on your governance plan thus providing a more qualitative governance plan.

The strategy group needs to determine and agree upon a lot of subjects which describe how the platform will function, to which rules people should obey and all procedures and guidelines to make the platform work the most effective as possible. These subjects are divided into two different areas: Functional and Technical.

  • Vision and Purpose of SharePoint Implementation
  • Roles and responsibilities
    • Support Roles
    • Who is owner?
  • Information policy
    • Document retention and lifecycle
    • management of data
    • Taxonomy
    • Agreements about metadata
    • External and mobile access.
    • Name conventions
    • Work agreements
  • Branding
    • Theming / MasterPage / Document templates
  • Education plan
  • Authorization structure
    • Define a matrix
  • Quota’s
    • Per Site Collection
    • Per Site
    • Per document library
    • My Site storage
  • Management organization and management tooling
    • Define strategy group
  • Auditing
  • Search


Example of an image that describes the user support within SharePoint. This way users know where to go and how support is being delivered. Part of the “Roles and Responsibilities” subject.


  • Updates
    • When and how often installed?
  • Service packs
    • Always the second most recent version available?
  • WSP deployment
    • Time windows, who can and who can’t?
  • Performance testing
    • Monthly or quarterly scheduled?
  • Backup
  • Recovery time
  • Allowed loss of data
  • Disaster recovery
  • Technical guidelines
    • Development via .wsp’s allowed or apps only?
    • Development guide
    • Testplan acceptance procedure
  • Service accounts

An important thing to discuss, besides these functional and technical subjects, are the things you, as an organization, do not wish to accomplish when implementing the SharePoint platform. These could be very practical things like: SharePoint should not only replace the fileshare and SharePoint should not cause employees to receive an information overload.

How to get the business involved?

Business users determine the success of a SharePoint implementation. Therefore the users should get involved with setting up the platform right from the beginning. This would mean that they, as a group, should be represented within the strategy group to begin with.

Within all organizations there are multiple types of end users, we call these the business roles. These business roles that make use of the SharePoint platform should be represented within the strategy group, this is best thinkable although not always possible.

The size of the strategy group and how many people are representing the business is dependent on a lot of things but should be thought of very well. This is an early mistake easily made, not inviting the right people for these discussions could cause them to loose direct interest.

Get the business involved, talk to the end users, set up a communication plan and communicate! And be aware, that when you communicate towards the business, your governance should be in place to provide the business with all guidelines and procedures in order to help them create added value for the company.

Write down all requirements that the business provides in a roadmap. Discuss about these requirements and roadmap in the strategy group and attach dates to them. Then again, communicate with your business and enjoy the controlled added value of the SharePoint platform.

In the next blog part I will talk about how governance has evolved along with SharePoint and provide a quick look into the future. One thing that will be more and more important these next few years is Office 365 and SharePoint online. Off course governance applies for these platforms as well, but is it the same? If not, what is different and how does that effect your business?


“GOVERNAGE” – Thé mix between Governance and end user Usage

A vision paper written by Rick Hilferink – SharePoint Enthusiast @ Portiva.

This vision paper will be written in a series of three blogs. In each of these series I hope to provide you with more insight in my understanding of today’s Microsoft SharePoint technology and how governance can be applied best.

Table of contents

Blog 1 – A new Era

  • Introduction
  • SharePoint puberty

Blog 2 – The rising

  • SharePoint grown up
  • Governance explained, what is it?
  • End users (Business Roles)

Blog 3 – The future

  • Vision and Strategy – Ownership and dedication
  • “Governage” and SharePoint as a platform – Find the right mix
  • A look into the future (Maturity?)

Blog 1 – A new Era


Hi there, my name is Rick Hilferink. A SharePoint enthusiast working for Portiva, a top SharePoint company with its roots in the Netherlands.

In the past 9 years that I’ve been working in this business I have had the luck to see Microsoft SharePoint evolve from a document management solution into a strategic portal technology.

Back in 2001 when Microsoft introduced SharePoint, the product had three features, 1) Document management, 2) Intranet, 3) Content management. In those first few years that the product was released, companies started to use the technology with projects often started by the IT department itself. After it has proven successful other departments would try to hook on to this new technology. This was the classic grow model, mostly starting within the IT department.

Now, in 2014, SharePoint has become a lot more than just a document management solution. Today it provides an office-like interface for adding and editing content, lowering the threshold towards from site admins to end users. There is a wide variety of usage options, such as integration with ERP systems, social features, intranet portals, extranet portals, websites, business intelligence and enterprise search.

Implementing a new SharePoint platform is complex. It requires architects to plan hardware and infrastructure. Business consultants talking to the business, often in workshops, to gather functional requirements and startup an implementation project. One of the implementation steps is called ‘governance’. Creating a Governance Plan means that time should be spend on setting up rules and policies for using the application, for maintaining it, and also for creating new functionality on this platform.

Every single time that governance is set up and thought off, it is unique. For each and every organization the set of rules and agreements are tailored to fit and serve the business as best as possible. Governance should not be about creating barriers, it should be about long-term stability and quality.

I have come to this point, realizing that the next couple of years will be about finding the right mix in using modern technology and providing the best governance model possible for your organization. Keep it simple but organized. Don’t overdo!

That is what I call “Governage”. In a practical way, fitting the exact needs off the business to the complex enterprise platform SharePoint has become.

SharePoint puberty

SharePoint was designed from the need to have documents centralized available for sharing and collaboration, easily findable, without the folder jungle, that file shares did provide. On the network, outside the regular file shares that went 10 levels deep.

In 2001 two versions of SharePoint were released. SharePoint Team Services (STS) and SharePoint Portal Server (SPS). In STS users could create websites and fill content – a bottom up technology. SPS however was meant for administrators, the IT guys, for indexing files and other databases. There was no or very little connectivity between the two.

SharePoint 2003 was the first integrated application version that provided a solution for document/information sharing and applications/websites within the company network. STS and SPS were connected. A dashboard for creating sites, adding/uploading and removing files was added so that end users could contribute easily to SharePoint sites. Old school administrators, the IT guys, were left with the management of the SharePoint application and most of the decisions.

Within three years, a small shift from managing technique into managing information became visible. Still, the classic administrators had a significant role in how information architecture would be set up and maintained. The end users only provided the content.

A SharePoint implementation project, if it was a project at all, would be started bottom up: Starting with IT, it would sometimes evolve into a business application that would be used by upper management. Unfortunately this created enough inconveniences because of never thought off challenges such as storage limits or confidential documents being available somewhere in the site hierarchy.

This is the period I call ‘SharePoint puberty’. A rather new product with great potential became a quick success because of the upcoming internet industry. People started to use internet in their personal daily routines, which lowered the threshold for people when first confronted with this new portal technology. It was cool to use SharePoint instead of those old dull file shares everyone used.

In retrospect, what was missing in those days, regarding governance?

  • No or very little requirement inventory with the business
  • No definition of roles and responsibilities
  • No policies
  • No training / instruction
  • No agreements on usage
  • No plan for growth
  • No plan for backup and recovery

In the following posts I will discuss the SharePoint evolution history, how companies started using SharePoint as a tool and how it evolved into an enterprise platform requiring extensive guidelines and policies. I will also provide detailed content of what I think a governance plan should contain.

SharePoint 2013 in Las Vegas – What’s new for IT pro’s, SPC12

Me and two colleagues from The Triple A Company are visiting the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas this week.

Besides a lot of community people and party’s the sessions are off course the main reason for us to be here. On the first day the key note kicked off the conference which was a great keynote.

On day one I decided to have a look at the “What’s new for IT pro’s” session to begin with. It turned out to be a great headsup on future changes and new stuff that is in SP2013.

My notes:

  • SP2013 cannot be installed on client systems.
  • 14 hive will exist within the (new)15 hive.
  • There will be a corporate catalog and general a market place.
  • New translation service, content as well!
    • Also on the client model.
  • Word documents can get translated live and real time…
  • There is a work management service for creating a task rollup. Exchange/SharePoint/Lync/project.
  • PowerPoint automation service, convert to pdf. Was allready available in SP2010.
  • Office web apps, seperate server, no service apps.
  • Improved urls, wac url. Web=1 parameter, to open in browser.
  • Web analytic is no service application any longer.
  • New analytics based on search.
  • Only delta’s are saved, not de complete version of a document. This is off course trivial for planning storage. Another topic that is related to this one is called “shredded storage” for SQL. This means that for instance powerpoint no longer will be saved as one big blob, but lets say that i have 10 slides, in 10 smaller blob parts.
  • Minimal download strategy.
  • No chrome refresh in pages. No page flicker.
  • License management on AD level, for WebParts and SharePoint farms. This will cut a lot of costs on SharePoint implementations..
  • PowerShell for SharePoint command builder, a new html page at Microsoft.
    That are my first notes of a session on monday, I will post some more this or next week. Cheers!

Filter The Content Query Web Part by file type and display file size.

Today I had to configure a Content Query WebPart to display the most recent modified documents and their file size. An easy task which I had quickly completed by reading two blogposts:

Filter CQWP by File Type:

  1. Insert a CQWP to a page and configure it as you would like.
  2. Export the web part and save it as “.webpart” file on your local computer.
  3. Open the “.webpart” file in a text editor. (I use SharePoint Designer)
  4. Look for the following line:
    <property name="CommonViewFields" type="string" />
  5. Replace it with the following line:
    <property name="CommonViewFields" type="string">DocIcon,Lookup</property>
    This will make the CQWP retrieve also the DocIcon field that basically include the file extention.
  6. Look for the following line:
    <property name="AdditionalFilterFields" type="Lookup" null="true" />
  7. Replace it with the following line:
    <property name="AdditionalFilterFields" type="Lookup" >DocIcon</property>
    This will make our CQWP to allow you to filter by our newly added DocIcon field through the filtering UI in the web part’s toolpane.
  8. Save the file.
  9. Go to a sharepoint page and import the modified “.webpart” file into your page.

CQWP Filter Before and After

Display File Size:

  1. Export the .webpart file for the content query you want to have the file size.
  2. Change the CommonViewFields property in the .webpart file to look like the following:
    <property name=”CommonViewFields” type=”string”>FileSizeDisplay,Computed;File_x0020_Size,Lookup;</property>
  3. Save the .webpart file
  4. Import the .webpart file and put it on a page
  5. Add the following to the end of the itemstyle.xsl:
    <!– The size attribute for each item is prepared here –>
    <xsl:template name=”DisplaySize”>
    <xsl:param name=”size” />
    <xsl:if test=’string-length(@FileSizeDisplay) &gt; 0′>
    <xsl:if test=”number(@FileSizeDisplay) &gt; 0″>
    <xsl:when test=”round(@FileSizeDisplay div 1024) &lt; 1″><xsl:value-of select=”@FileSizeDisplay” /> Bytes</xsl:when>
    <xsl:when test=”round(@FileSizeDisplay div (1024 *1024)) &lt; 1″><xsl:value-of select=”round(@FileSizeDisplay div 1024)” />KB</xsl:when>
    <xsl:otherwise><xsl:value-of select=”round(@FileSizeDisplay div (1024 * 1024))”/>MB</xsl:otherwise>
  6. Create a new style in the itemstyle.xsl and include the following where you want the file size to appear:
    <xsl:call-template name=”DisplaySize”>
    <xsl:with-param name=”size” select=”size” />
  7. Select the style you added the file size to in the properties of the CQWP.


All you need to know about SharePoint 2010, for end users and information workers

A good blog post about all the ins and outs of SharePoint 2010 for end users.

It will give you information about:

– Capabilities
– Clear explanation on terminology
– How to videos
– Resources
– Communities

You can find it here: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/en-us/Pages/default.aspx

SharePoint in Plain English

Often we (SharePoint people) are asked to explain what SharePoint is, what people can do with it and perhaps most important, what SharePoint can do for people.

Well, there is a YouTube video that explains in plain English what SharePoint is and I don’t want to keep it from you.

The video: