SharePoint is a single integrated platform for you to manage your intranet, extranet
and internet applications across the organization. Knowledge–sharing is made easy
in an environment with reduced information management risks, increasing decision-making
efficiency and effectiveness. SharePoint integrates very closely with Microsoft
Office, accelerating convenience and usability.
SharePoint supports task-oriented collaborations within the organization with technologies
like customizable sites, issue tracking, alerts and RSS. These features bring internet
concepts into the enterprise and integrates with its messaging infrastructure.
Manage content effectively with well-integrated facilities, and customize searches
that yield more accurate results with contextual relevance. Achieve all of these and
much more with MOSS, your gateway to an efficient and organised working environment.
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AuraTech offers end-to-end SharePoint consulting services. Below are details on
our offered services:
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server comes in different editions and is comprised
of numerous components. The deployment can comprise of a single front end server
or a farm deployment. AuraTech would analyze the usage needs and your existing infrastructure
before recommending an architecture and installing SharePoint.
AuraTech would recommend a server topology based on your needs. Factors taken into
account include: Usage Volume, Geographic Spread of Users, Internet vs Intranet
access and existing infrastructure.
SharePoint by default authenticates users using Windows Active Directory. However,
some users may need sites deployed using forms authentication in order to provide
access to external users such as customers. Anonymous user access may also need
to be setup for sites/sub-sites that are internet facing.
SharePoint server is made up of a number of services such as the search and indexing
service and excel service. For optimal use, each of these services needs to be setup
and configured effectively. For instance, lets consider the Search Server, one of
the most powerful features of SharePoint. This server is capable of searching attachments,
web content, people, meta data, etc. However to get meaningful search results with
a fast response time, the search server needs to be configured appropriately. AuraTech
has extensive experience configuring the search server and building add-on search
tools on top of it. During requirements analysis, we will determine the type and
quantity of data that will be stored in sharepoint. Based on these findings, AuraTech
will configure the server for optimal performance. As part of the routine maintenance,
AuraTech will periodically assess the performance of the search server and tweak
the configuration for optimization as and when needed.
Sharepoint has built in security for access to documents and content. After requirements
analysis, AuraTech will determine the different levels of user groups needed and
access permissions that are to be granted at each level. Extra care will be take
to safeguard sensitive data.
Disk and Processor Quota
AuraTech will work with the IT admin team to setup and enforce disk quotas for document
and content for various organizations. AuraTech often deploys SharePoint using virtualization.
Such a deployment enables admins to configure the processing power to be granted
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AuraTech conducts detailed requirement analysis and planning to ensure that your
implementation is a success. We understand that each organization has unique needs
and cater for them in our implementation plan. As a first step AuraTech SharePoint
functional specialists would interview the key stakeholders and users in your organization.
At the end of requirements analysis, a Requirements and Fucntional Specification
will be prepared to communicate the implementation plan. The implementation plan
takes into account the following:
Ease of Use
Setting up the system so that its easy to use will be a top priority for AuraTech.
Our past experience has taught us that the most powerful tools if not easy to use,
do not enhance user productivity. After carefully analyzing the requirements of
each department, AuraTech will setup the system to provide easy access to required
features. Sharepoint is a very powerful Enterprise Content Management System and
includes a large number of features so that needs of all types of organizations
can be answered. However not all the features are relevant in every deployment.
AuraTech will configure the system so that features that are most frequently used
will be made available most easily via an easy to follow navigation structure. The
portals will also exhibit consistency. Features that are not needed, are irrelevant
and cause unnecessary clutter will be hidden from the common user. The client however
will be made aware of all available features.
Sharepoint is part of the Microsoft Office family of products and integrates very
closely with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. Users can subscribe to forums via
outlook and edit SharePoint content directly in Word. SharePoint folders can be
mapped to user drives, which makes adding content to SharePoint as easy as saving
content on your own hard drive. AuraTech will configure SharePoint and integrate
it with the users work environment so as to minimize changes to their daily routine.
This will reduce the learning curve to using SharePoint and increases its adoption.
Often data will need to be ported from your legacy systems to SharePoint. AuraTech
can assist with the migration efforts.
Content Management Strategy
After Requirements Analysis, AuraTech will help formulate a strategy for content
management within the organization. Having a consistent strategy will make it easier
for users to add, manage and find content on the enterprise portal. The strategy
will be formulated at the enterprise, department and individual levels. The enterprise
strategy and practices will provide general guidelines for the entire intranet portal.
Each department is expected to have their own subsite. The department level strategy
will provide guidelines for each department subsite. Users within a department will
have different permission levels. Certain users are expected to be content creators,
while others will have only read access. The individual group policy will help govern
the rights and access of individuals. SharePoint makes it very easy to manage content
using blogs, wiki and content editors. Below diagram shows the image of the content
editor in SharePoint.
Sharepoint supports a multi-level site structure. Each level can have its own unique
permission levels and structure. AuraTech will help setup the enterprise portal
with the corporate site and the top level and department sites at the sub-levels.
The navigation interface will be setup for ease of use.
Sharepoint can enhance collaboration and dissemination of information using Wiki
pages, blogs, document and project workspaces. The workspaces can be setup on the
fly when multiple individuals need to work on a project or document. AuraTech will
train users and teams to utilize these tools.
SharePoint supports most common workflows. Users can setup workflows to create content
or notify them when content changes. Approval workflows for managing content also
exist. AuraTech will setup these workflows after analyzing the your requirements.
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SharePoint is a powerful and feature rich product. It has much potential to enhance
user productivity. However, the gains cannot be realized if users are not equipped
with the knowledge to fully utilize the system. AuraTech provides training for both
IT and non-IT savvy individuals for productivity enhancement using SharePoint. We
have realized that breaking the training into different sessions as per the following
schedule yields the best results. The 2nd and 3rd training sessions allow users
to gain a deeper understanding of the system.
- 1st Training Session: 1 week before system launch
- 2nd Training Session: 2 weeks after system launch
- 3rd Training Session: 4 weeks after system launch
Training is customized for each user group/department based on their intended use
of the system.
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SharePoint is an ideal platform for hosting all kinds of business applications.
Hosting your applications using SharePoint has a number of advantages. These include:
- SharePoint's framework provides
the foundation layers such as authentication and data access that most applications
depend on. This allows developers to focus right away on the important business
processes and goals rather building the application foundation.
- All data for these applications are secured
by the SharePoint security framework.
- Users already familiar with
SharePoint will be able to adapt to new applications easily
- Applications built for
SharePoint become just as scalable as SharePoint.
- SharePoint applications
can easily be developed using Microsoft’s .Net framework.
AuraTech can help analyze your requirements and assist in building custom business
applications for SharePoint. Our in-depth knowledge of the SharePoint framework
allows us to write code that fully utilizes the built in ability of the framework.
Our solutions for SharePoint are packaged as re-distributable features and solutions
that are easy to deploy using SharePoint Central Administration. This allows us
to deliver efficient solutions at lower costs. Our custom solutions often comprise
of the following components:
- We can translate your business
processes to workflows and implement them using SharePoint Designer or Windows Workflow
- Webparts to SharePoint are
like widgets to many Web 2.0 applications. They are redistributable and easily configurable
pieces of User Interface and Business Logic. These are built using the popular .Net
- Custom Lists
are one of the foundational pieces of SharePoint. Most data is stored in Lists in
SharePoint. We have extensive experience building sound applications with logic
focused around data using SharePoint List Programming and Event Receivers.
- SharePoint is
a great platform for Data Analysis and Business Intelligence. The SharePoint framework
provides hooks to feed into data from a huge variety of sources. This data can then
be analyzed and presented as reports and dashboards in SharePoint. The diagram below
shows one such dashboard.
Confused if you should use SharePoint for hosting your business application? Ask
yourself the following simple question. If the answer is yes then you should use
SharePoint for hosting your applications. Does your application need to be accessed
by more than 1 individual?
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AuraTech offers maintenance services to ensure that your SharePoint deployment is
running optimally and data integrity is not being compromised. We offer monthly
as well as quarterly maintenance plans. Our maintenance covers:
- Performing Diagnostics on Server Configuration
- Performing Diagnostics on Search Server Parameters
- Ensuring Integrity and Frequency of Backups
- Diagnostics on Applications and Reporting performance
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In order to achieve flexibility and scalability, AuraTech recommends installing
SharePoint in a virtual environment using Hyper-V that comes with Windows Server
2008. The diagram below illustrates a typical deployment.
AuraTech proposes to setup the environment using virtualization technology in the
new Windows 2008 server. Hyper V provides a perfect balance of performance and energy
efficiency. New servers can be added to manage the load or the entire architecture
can be migrated to a more powerful server without any changes or disruption to the
existing system. This architecture also allows the easiest path to growth in terms
of supporting additional users. New virtual servers hosting new applications could
be deployed in a matter of minutes using the existing database server. The proposed
architecture is easy to maintain, manage and is scalable for the future.
Following are the major components of the proposed architecture:
- A windows server
with Hyper-V will be installed on the server.
- A windows server
will be setup to act as the database server
- SQL Server will be installed on
Windows Virtual Server 1. This will host the database for sharepoint and all future
- Sharepoint will
be installed on this server. This server will also have IIS installed to provide
the web user interfaced for Sharepoint.
- This is the web server that comes with the
operation system and is used to render web pages.
- This is the sharepoint
portal that runs within IIS.
- This is the main
sharepoint application server.
- The Microsoft Forefront
server for sharepoint will be setup and installed to provide malware and anti-virus
protection for sharepoint.
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