Is it possible to create a ‘link to a folder’ in a SharePoint document library?

To place a shortcut to a document library:

1.Upload it as *.url file. However, by default, this file type is not allowed.
2.Go to you Document Library settings > Advanced Settings > Allow management of content types. Add the “Link to document” content type to a document library and paste the link

5 Very Important Gmail Security Tips

Gmail – Be careful

It’s important to take every preventive measure possible to avoid any compromise of your Gmail account. Here are a few tips for Gmail users that are concerned about security. Note that most of these tips are recommended by Google itself and hence are extremely important.

Always Use HTTPS
this is a very important security feature introduced by the Gmail team recently and every Gmail user must know it. In Gmail, go to “Settings” and under the “General” tab in “Browser Connection” click “Always use https”. Then click save. That’s it! Such a simple step could add an extra layer of security to your Gmail account.

Check Your Filters Regularly
All the Gmail vulnerabilities which have been reported so far involve the setting up of malicious filters and email auto-forwarding. Hence you should check them regularly by going to your Gmail settings and make sure that you don’t see anything suspicious there.

Check for HTTPS
Yes, no matter where you login to your Gmail, make sure the url in the browser address bar starts with https:// and not http://. As Google says, “we recommend you only ever enter your Gmail sign-in credentials to web addresses starting with, and never click-through any warnings your browser may raise about certificates.”

Don’t Use Gmail In Browser ( Only If You Want To Be Extremely Cautious )
This would be a tip for those who are really concerned and can do without Gmail’s web interface. Since most of the security issues reported so far are browser based, you might just want to avoid opening Gmail in browser completely and instead, access it through IMAP or POP.

I personally don’t do it because I am addicted to Gmail’s web interface. 🙂

Don’t Disclose Your Password
Sounds simple, isn’t it? Believe it or not, this is a major reason why email accounts are compromised. I’ll give you an example. Are you on sites like LinkedIn, MySpace or Facebook? If yes, then you probably know about their friend finder feature where you can enter your Gmail account and password and they check your contacts list and let you know if your friends are on the respective services. Well, when it comes to such reputed sites you could trust them, but don’t just start doing this on every other site.

Also, beware of emails which ask you for your Gmail account credentials. Gmail would never ask you for that, so you can be sure that they are phishing emails which you need to stay away from.

PhotoRec – Digital Picture and File Recovery

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

PhotoRec is free – this open source multi-platform application is distributed under GNU General Public License (GPLV v2+). PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, an application for recovering lost partitions on a wide variety of file systems and making non-bootable disks bootable again. You can download them from this link.

For more safety, PhotoRec uses read-only access to handle the drive or memory card you are about to recover lost data from. Important: As soon as a picture or file is accidentally deleted, or you discover any missing, do NOT save any more pictures or files to that memory device or hard disk drive; otherwise you may overwrite your lost data. This means that while using PhotoRec, you must not choose to write the recovered files to the same partition they were stored on.

Here is a link to download.

How SharePoint Site Use Confirm and Deletion works

Recently, It was asked exactly how the Site Confirmation and Deletion feature works in SharePoint? Does the timer restart when a user visits the site? Does the feature look at the some field and then reset the value in a service? It was a simple question that made me think about how the process worked from an Administrator point-of-view.

The simple answer is that once a user adds content to a site, a field in a content database is updated and then when a timer job is run, it will review that field and notify site owners appropriately to ensure that they are notified that their site is on “the chopping block”. Based on your configuration, it will notify you after 90 days (by default) of site collection creation or confirmed use. You can change the amount of notifications sent or you can automatically delete the site collection if use is not confirmed after 28 notices.

To access this feature, go to Central Administration > Site Collections > Site Use Confirm and Deletion option.

Some administrators or business users do not like to use this feature, but you can see that you have to make a very big effort to not confirm your site’s usage before it magically vanish. Also, this can provide a great deal of efficiency for the removal of sites that are just not used anymore.

That’s the Executive Summary of how it works, let look at the details.

There are three database fields that play a part in the process and they are:

DeadWebNotifyCount and CertificationDate are used to keep track of the date that a site owner verifies the use of the site. These fields are reset when the user verifies usage through the email sent. Do not modify the values in the SharePoint database, as this is not supported by Microsoft. The LastContentChange field keeps record of the last time a document or list item (or any content) changes on the site. This feature does not use the last time a user visited the site, only when content changes.

This feature is misunderstood, but a very valuable tool to manage storage space and helps provide governance within your environment, use it or not, but keeping sites that are timely and relevant is always important and having a tool to help administrator’s is a plus.

Managing Alerts in SharePoint

A common issue i see on a daily basis is people getting alerts for Libraries when they no longer work in that sector. They are unsure of what library or site they had alerts on. So an easy way to find out is to do the following…

View my alerts on a site
1.At the top of the site, click Welcome User name , and then click My Settings.
2.Click My Alerts.
Top of Page

Change my alert settings
1.At the top of the site, click Welcome User name , and then click My Settings.
2.Click My Alerts.
3.Click the name of the alert that you want to change.
4.On the Edit Alert page, change the settings that you want to change.
5.Click OK.

Tip When you receive an e-mail alert, you can click a link to see alert information on the site.

Note If you are a site designer or administrator, you can change the alert e-mail message by modifying the XML files for alerts. The alert confirmation, however, cannot be customized.

Cancel an alert for myself
1.At the top of the site, click Welcome User name , and then click My Settings.
2.Click My Alerts.
3.Select the check box next to the alert or alerts that you want to cancel.
4.Click Delete Selected Alerts.
5.When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click OK, if you are sure that you want to cancel the selected alerts.

For the complete spiel on Alerts click HERE.

How to find incoming/outgoing email settings in SharePoint 2007

Log onto front end server and go to Central Administration
Then click into Application Management in left hand pane.
Under the heading “SharePoint Web Application Management”
Choose “Web Application Outgoing Email Settings”
Ensure you change Web Application to the correct web application you use.
Here you will see your incoming and outgoing mail settings.

What is a Shared Service Provider?

For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about a bit of overview. In MOSS 2007 there is this new concept of Shared Services Providers(SSP). The idea being that there are certain services that really make sense to centrally manage and share. A good example being profiles. With a SSP we can import all of the profile information from AD once and then our various web applications can consume the data. So maybe we have http://marketing and http://accounting it doesn’t make sense for each one to maintain identical profile information, they should share.

The major services that are handled by the SSP are:

Profiles and Audiences
My Sites
All of Excel Services
All of the BDC (Business Data Catalog)

Below is an example screen shot from MOSS 2007 Enterprise:

Sometimes the easiest way to think of Shared Services is the Parent vs. Child relationship. The Parent (your SSP) goes out and does all of the work (pulling BDC data, indexing content, hosting My Sites) and the child (your web applications) come to the parents to ask for $5 (request data from the BDC, or view a calculated Excel sheet). Does that help?

Multiple SSPs

One of the most overwhelming things about SSPs for some people planning is how many should I have? It is easy to see from the interface that you are given the opportunity to create more than one. When should you do this?

As a general rule of thumb most companies will use one SSP. This is my default answer. So why do they give you the ability to run multiple SSPs? There are cases where you want separate search or profiles. The most common? Extranet/internet scenarios. Maybe your SharePoint farm hosts two primary web applications. http://portal for your intranet and http://ourcustomers for your extranet. In this scenario you probably want separate search and profiles. And now you have found the reason to have multiple SSPs. You don’t want to share information you want unique information for both.

Another advantage of SSPs

Separation of roles. In some medium and large environments it is not uncommon to have one group administering the physical server farm while another group needs to just maintain search. Well the SSP concept makes this very easy. Since the SSP is its own SharePoint site collection you can define a users access so they can NOT access central administration but they CAN access the SSP. And once they get into the SSP you can even limit them. Once inside the SSP you can determine if they can:

Manage user profiles
Manage audiences
Manage permissions
Manage usage analytics

Best I can tell if you give them access to the SSP all of the other SSP functions they will have rights to. Guess it needs more testing.

Still this separation of services from the actual administration of the server can be quite useful. Epically in companies where the less access I give a user the better.

Moral of the story

SSPs are very helpful and important to understand. They should be part of your initial planning. They can be secured at a very granular level or they can be give broad access. Just mark this topic down as something else you need to full think through before you start rolling out SharePoint. And when all else fails just have one SSP.

Moving Libraries in SharePoint 2007

We have recently merged two departments here in Giddidy Business and as a result need to merge two SharePoint sites.
Is it possible to move a library from one location to another retaining all metadata, ownership and version history?

This can be achieved using Site Actions/ Site Settings/ Site Administration/ Content and Structure. This will allow the movement of data between sites on the same site collection while retaining the metadata. Best to do a COPY first rather than a MOVE just to be sure !! Do it a piece at a time rather than moving the whole lot in one go .. just to be sure.