Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Handy add-ons

I’ve always got my eye out for SharePoint add-ons that improve the functionality of SharePoint for user and administrators. Here are some that cater for both.

 

One really nice thing to have is the ability to know exactly what’s been added or changed on a SharePoint site in a single location. By default, if something new is added to a SharePoint site you’ll see the !NEW icon only next to the entry but wouldn’t it be nice if we could see all changes, from all parts of a SharePoint site in one location? Well now you can.

 

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As you can see from the above screen shot I’ve added the What’s New web part to my site’s front page so I can see at a glance exactly what’s been added or changed by date. The web part also supports some customization, so in the above case I also know which SharePoint user made the change. Now, I can click on either the changed item or the location to be taken straight there. Really handy I reckon.

 

The second add-on extends the normal functionality of the Site Actions menu which can only be seen by SharePoint administrators and appears in the top right of the screen as shown below.

 

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With this add-on you can see that the Site Actions menu now has a whole lot more options including List Settings, Feature Settings, Users and Permissions, etc. Access to all of these options is still available by the normal means in SharePoint but with this add on installed an administrator can get to then much quicker.

 

How to install and configure both of these add-ons will be available in the Windows SharePoint Operations Guide in December. You may also be interested to know that come December the Guide will now exceed 1,000 pages! Best of all, each month it continues to grow, add up to date and handy information that will help improve any SharePoint deployment. If you are planning to deploy SharePoint for your business or for customers then the Guide is a great investment and will save you hours and hours because I’ve done all the hard work for you. Because it’s a subscription the information just keeps growing and growing each month. All that for less than a few hours work. Why would you try and do it yourself? Be smart and get the Windows SharePoint Operations Guide.