Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration: Farm Governance

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Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration Cookbook

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration Cookbook

Over 90 simple but incredibly effective recipes to administer your SharePoint applications

  • Solutions to the most common problems encountered while administering SharePoint in book and eBook formats
  • Upgrade, configure, secure, and back up your SharePoint applications with ease
  • Packed with many recipes for improving collaboration and content management with SharePoint
  • Part of Packt’s Cookbook series: Each recipe is a carefully organized sequence of instructions to complete the task as efficiently as possible
        Read more about this book      

(For more resources on MicroSoft SharePoint, see here.)

An administrator’s job is akin to being the Marines. They are the first ones to be called when there is an issue with SharePoint. Nothing gets done without their knowledge. Typically, the administrator has to decide who to bring in when an issue needs to be addressed. Additionally, administrators deal with management, end users, developers, and the power users.

The recipes in this article teach and expose useful and common functionality found in SharePoint 2010. The intent of the recipes is to create a SharePoint Farm environment that is efficient and monitored. For example, large lists have always been an issue in SharePoint in the past, with little or no support to address it out of the box. This is directly related to the performance of your SharePoint installation. This article has a recipe on a new functionality, throttling large lists.

PowerShell is a critical tool for the SharePoint Administrator. While the recipes may only show how to use the commands at a granular level, they may be combined to create powerful administrator scripts. As a result, many of the tasks that are performed today can be automated and collected at a macro level. After reading this chapter, think about how these techniques can be combined.

Administering SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer 2010 is a powerful tool that helps create rapid solutions using SharePoint. As the tool is free, any user can download and access its functionality. By connecting to a SharePoint site, users can freely make significant changes to the site. This includes the look and feel of the site, workflow, and connecting to external sources.

The issue with this amount of power is the havoc that can be done by creating customizations that inadvertently tax the SharePoint Server(s). The end result may be a degradation of the responsiveness of the SharePoint farm, adversely affecting the performance of the site.

Let’s look at the preceding paragraph in terms of a real workflow as an example. Workflows are very popular and can be done out of the box with SharePoint Designer. Zach’s trucking company hauls product all over the country. They get their work responding to a Request for Quotation. They can get up to ten RFQs per day.

The requirement is that when an RFQ document gets uploaded, several tasks are created in a separate list for multiple people. Using the task list, they can determine when the document is ready to be sent out.

The workflow can be created in SharePoint Designer (SPD) out of the box. If the person using SharePoint Designer is not well-versed in creating workflows, it is possible that he/she might create long running tasks and infinite loops. Over time, the farm performance will degrade. This is because at the heart of SharePoint, every call made goes back to the SQL database. An infinite loop could cause a list to become quite large.

A different issue has to do with usability and standards. As users with proper permissions can modify look and feel of individual sites, they can deviate from corporate standards. Multiply this capability with the number of users in your organization, and you will realize there is a very real issue with governance of sites in general.

SharePoint 2010 has a solution for these problems that can either limit a user’s capability in their site or take it away completely. This recipe shows you how and where to do this within SharePoint.

Getting ready

You must have farm level administrative permissions to the Central Administration site.

How to do it…

  1. Open up the SharePoint 2010 Central Administration website.
  2. Click Application Management. Under the Web Applications section, click Manage Web Applications.
  3. The available web applications will be listed. Click to the right of the web application you wish to manage. The entire line will turn blue and the ribbon will light up. If you have installed SharePoint into the default instance, it may look like the following screenshot:

    Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration: Farm Governance

  4. On the ribbon, there is a button called General Settings. Click on that button and select the SharePoint Designer option from the drop-down list that appears.
  5. The following screenshot appears:

    Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration: Farm Governance

    Fill in the required information:

    • Allow SharePoint Designer to be used in this Web Application: Unchecking this box will disable SPD for the entire web application.
    • Allow Site Collection Administrators to Detach Pages from the Site Template: Once this option is unchecked, Site Administrators will not be able to detach pages and modify them via SPD.
    • Allow Site Collection Administrators to Customize Master Pages and Layout Pages: If it is unchecked, Site Administrators will not be able to customize pages via SPD.
    • Allow Site Collection Administrators to see the URL Structure of their Web Site: If unchecked, it will not allow Site Collection Administrators to manage the URL structure via SPD.

How it works…

SharePoint Designer is a client application that is installed on the user’s desktop. This recipe shows how to disable SPD from working at a web application level.

There’s more…

The Site Collection Administrator can also modify the way SharePoint Designer works. To accomplish this:

  1. Open up the Site Collection screen and click Site Settings.
  2. In the section under Site Collection Administration, there is an entry call SharePoint Designer Settings; select that.
  3. The following form appears:

    The sections are self-explanatory.

If the Farm Administrator limits SPD access at the Central Administration level (as shown earlier in the recipe), the changes are reflected in red color on the form, with a message as seen in the following screenshot:

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