Chapter 3: Planning Redundancy and Scaling the SharePoint Environment


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Use a general discussion for obtaining employee feedback on policies, procedures, events, and other items of interest to employees. Moderate the discussion; have the Human Resources department or Legal department responsible for approving all items submitted to the discussion group to ensure that they are appropriate. Maintain a separate discussion forum for non-company-related items such as employees selling candy for their child's youth group. This type of discussion should not take up valuable home page space, but should provide a link to it from the home page. Surveys can also be used to get specific input on a topic.

Maintain a corporate Events list in a Calendar view to provide visual impact for upcoming events. Depending on the corporate climate, things such as birthdays and vacations can be maintained on the corporate calendar as well as company events and holidays.

Store company policies, procedures, and forms in shared document libraries for ease of maintenance and for accessibility. The department responsible for maintaining the documents should also be responsible for the publishing of documents (approve contents), with read access provided to all other users.

TIP - For document libraries that contain company policies, procedures, and forms, include a "Frequently Asked Questions" document to provide answers to the questions asked most often.

Create content source groups for a logical breakdown of content for searching to prevent an inordinate amount of time from being spent performing searches.

Using Active Directory as the basis for the company directory assists in keeping the SharePoint-viewed company directory synchronized with Active Directory. A customized view of the directory can be created that filters and displays only relevant columns of information.

Using an application such as Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007/2003, InfoPath forms can be created, filled out, and stored in document libraries for access and processing. Alerts can be set up in the library for the person(s) that need to process the documents so that when something is submitted, they are notified and can review the items. Approval processing can also be used to approve and/or reject the documents. This concept could be used for things such as expense reports and other workflow documents. For a real end-to-end solution, application code can be developed to feed the data from the form documents into the appropriate external application (for example, the accounting system) for final processing.

Because there is generally a great deal of information on a corporate intranet, users should take advantage of the ability to create and customize their own personal site to include information they find useful. By using web parts that interface with Microsoft Outlook 2003/2007, the personal site can become the primary user interface.

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