SharePointables (WSS) in SBS 2003

Happy Monday Mornging To YOU!

I am posting up more SharePointables today from Chapter 7 of Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices. As you may know – I am the author of the “purple book” and I am posting up several pages a day until SBS 2008 ships. I consider this my way of giving to the SBS COMMUNITY!

Enjoy learn more about SharePointables in Windows SharePoint Services and remember this BLAST FORM THE PAST: Wasn’t it a SharePoint date bug in late November 2003 (Thanksgiving Weekend) that caused fits for theearly part of the SBS 2003 product lauch cycle? YEP! It was folks like Wayne Small and Jeff Middleton holding a workshop in Australia that discovered it along with Microsoft aussie MArk o’Shea!

Enjoy the read…harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation, www.smbnation.com

Microsoft Small Business Specialist (SBSC),MBA, MCSE,MCT, CNE and other madness!

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BEST PRACTICE: Another SBS client I have who is starting to greatly benefit from WSS is a real estate company with a HUGE photo library of commercial real estate properties. Keeping the photos organized was historically a major problem and one that WSS has solved in a single stroke of the proverbial pen. And we didn’t have to deploy Adobe’s new Photoshop Album 2.0.

Lists

Business people are slaves to lists! So the inclusion of built-in common lists, such as announcements, will sit well with the business folks using the SBS network. You can create your own lists to meet your specific needs, which is the beauty of the list paradigm in WSS.

BEST PRACTICE: That is a key point I don’t want you to miss: creating custom lists. Whereas Microsoft masters on the SBS development team have made sound decisions about the common lists required in a business, they can’t hope to know the unique requirements you face. Ergo, you can to add massive business value in WSS by creating lists that meet your specific needs. These could be needs that were never even anticipated by Microsoft (or even me!).

 Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

Pay particular attention to the Help Desk list. This is unique to SBS 2003 and is a really cool technology management feature. It is shown in Figure 7-19 with a user request that I’ve added (Elvis can’t print…). Please create a similar request now. I’ll relate this to the Administrator’s view of Remote Web Workplace in the next chapter.

Figure 7-19

A user needs help!

I highly recommend you also horse around with the Vacation Calendar (also unique to SBS 2003), as seen in Figure 7-20. This provides a centralized calendar for employees to make entries for out-of-office experiences, including vacation. My concern here is that you might be creating an “island of information” outside of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 (Chapter 6). You do have the ability to link it back to Outlook by clicking Link to Outlook (you’ll then reply Yes to a request to add a folder to Outlook 2003). By doing so a SharePoint Folders object is added to the Exchange Server 2003 organization and a calendar object titled Springer Spaniels Limited – Vacation Calendar is created (Figure 7-21).

BEST PRACTICE: So said vacation calendar concerns so noted, how about some perspective on why the SBS development team added this to WSS in SBS 2003. What the SBS development team members found with numerous customer site visits is that most small companies maintained a manual vacation calendar on the wall of the kitchen. The vacation calendar in WSS is intend to replace the manual calendar. It’s not meant to compete with Public Folders.

While you and I are this topic of what was presented to you (vacation calendar), let me share with you what wasn’t presented in SBS 2003. The SBS development team decided not to present WSS contacts and tasks (which you’d see in the full WSS on a non-SBS 2003 implementation) in order to prevent small business confusion. You should use the Springer Spaniels Limited Contacts in Public Folders for your contact sharing needs. Shared tasks could also be a Public Folder object.

Figure 7-20

NormH is getting away for a few days of skiing, according to the vacation calendar at SPRINGERS!

 Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

Figure 7-21

The ability to populate a calendar object in Exchange/Outlook assists in overcoming an “island of information” fear about using the vacation calendar in WSS.

Discussions

The newsgroup meets SBS 2003! This is your chance to internally deploy a threaded newsgroup discussion in the organization running SBS 2003. This can be a more effective way to communicate business matters versus e-mails, because it’s easier to preserve the discussion over time. That way, a new employee who “didn’t get the e-mail” is able to follow the important business discussion. Just promise me that you will actively manage the newsgroup to minimize DRAMA!

Surveys

Why not? Why not create a survey to find out what folks think about business, technology, or event politics at the small business? There are entire management texts dedicated to business communication, facilitation, feedback, and sampling, so I’ll just plant the seed here and make you aware that a very simple survey vehicle exists for your use. USE IT!

BEST PRACTICE: Much of the SBS-specific cool stuff in WSS I’ve highlighted so far is the result of the insight, wisdom, and fortitude of a Microsoft SBS program manager named “Dean” (we’ll use AA rules here to protect his full identity). Dean “owned” WSS in the SBS 2003 time frame, and he had the vision to see both the business and technical dimensions to this tool kit. Please point your positive vibes towards Dean! And Dean, take a bow!

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