Microsoft sharepoint portal server aka mercury april 2006
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Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server aka Mercury April 2006. Nick Clark – Director of IT Services nick.clark@tower.ac.uk. Original MLE Vision. To create a single system for accessing information and electronic resources for all College users including students, staff, and managers.

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Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server aka Mercury April 2006

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Microsoft SharePoint Portal Serveraka MercuryApril 2006

Nick Clark – Director of IT Services nick.clark@tower.ac.uk

Nick Clark


Original MLE Vision

To create a single system for accessing information and electronic resources for all College users including students, staff, and managers.

This is traditionally known as a Managed Learning Environment (MLE) and will provide a single source of information about the college and individuals

Nick Clark


Original Objectives

  • Integrate CIS, CelCat, CurWeb, WebCT, Workshare, and Outlook into one comprehensive system for all College users

  • Web-based interface

  • Accessible inside and outside of the College

  • Personalise the online experience

  • Secure access and interface

Nick Clark


Original Objectives

  • Allow students easy access to online materials and information about their courses

  • Document Management System

  • Make documents available outside the College

  • Allow collaboration on documents and projects

  • Bring together SR, HR, Finance and other information

Nick Clark


Infrastructure

  • Infrastructure in place

  • Integrated Student Accounts - IT, Mercury, library…

Nick Clark


Design

  • Homepage - targeted college information, news, events

Nick Clark


Personalisation

  • Personalised site (My Site) with storage accessible from outside

Nick Clark


Personalisation

  • Personalised site (My Site) with storage accessible from outside

Nick Clark


Personalisation

  • Personalised site (My Site) with storage accessible from outside

Nick Clark


Personalisation

  • Personalised CIS - registers

Nick Clark


Personalisation

  • Personalised CIS - registers, tutor reports

Nick Clark


Personalisation

  • Personalised CIS - registers, tutor reports, timetables

Nick Clark


Collaboration

  • Meeting collaboration - currently piloted by Senior Management Team

  • Integration with Outlook

Nick Clark


Collaboration

  • Document collaboration and versioning

  • Publication vs Copying – authentication issues

Nick Clark


Collaboration

  • Team and Group Sites

  • Did it twice – Sites vs Areas

Nick Clark


Collaboration

  • Team and Group Sites

Nick Clark


Integration

  • Links to other systems and programs

Nick Clark


Integration

  • Data capture – registers, Quals on Entry, SR2 (soon)

Nick Clark


To be done

  • Formalise cross-college document storage structure

  • Training on awareness and use

  • Investigate Class Server vs WebCT for VLE

Nick Clark


To be done

  • Student Information – allowing students to see their own record and inform changes – integrated with Distinction QLS

  • Further CIS Integration - .NET

  • Further CIS Personalisation

  • Organisation for posting information – News, Announcements, …

Nick Clark


Issues with SharePoint

  • Authentication issues (Partly solved with SharePoint Service Pack)

  • Client side problems (several), this tended to be fixed with latest patches from Microsoft, particularly IE security updates

  • COMPATIBILITY, differences with Office versions, full functionality only available with Office 2003. i.e. lists, members  available in application, wouldn’t let some users open documents for edit, or stopped the internet explorer process.

Nick Clark


Issues with SharePoint

  • Publication through ISA Server requires certain ISA functions to be turned off  (i.e. Normalization and url length), for SharePoint to work

  • Problematic issues with backup (can only backup and restore the complete portal site) not granular (still trying to figure out Veritas for this). Not yet supported by VBAK

  • Use of Sites as apposed to Areas (Allowed for security to be placed on list items as opposed to the whole area)

  • Document publication to an area requires access to originating site

Nick Clark


Development Issues

  • Writing Web Parts requires these to be trusted by SharePoint Servers, so a lengthy process for development and publishing.

  • If Web Parts fail, then removal is not so easy. (in one case had to reset all users customised “My Sites”

  • Development of pages - all have be processed via FrontPage extensions as files are stored in DB as opposed to file/directory structure. (Changes to SharePoint files in directory only affect new sites)

Nick Clark


Useful external tools

  • Use of WebDav to publish internal folders for read access only – but some IIS 6.0 authentication issues to be aware of

  • Use of “My Network Places” to explore SharePoint folders – but can be a problem with many folders with same name

  • InfoPath – but some Client side Internet Explorer updates required

  • ...

Nick Clark


Conclusion

  • Much progress made

  • Much as yet unrealised potential

  • Staff awareness and training is key

The future is Mercury (SharePoint)

Nick Clark


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