Scott Brewster works for Data Analytics Solutions. He is got his Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM) credentials through the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI), and he has been working on both the farm administration and front end solution architecture of SharePoint since 2008.
I just figured out something cool. I was reading http://thebitsthatbyte.com/ because I met the blog’s author, Kelly Rusk, at SharePoint Saturday Charlotte over the weekend and wanted to check on some stuff he had mentioned. He pointed out in a recent post that one could use intellisense in OneDrive if you go to open up certain file types. I checked by creating a .js file. The built-in text editor is pretty darn good. Then I spotted something else that drove me to make my own post. Inside of a folder in OneDrive, there is an embed link you can hit. It gives you code to insert on any other page to show people the contents of that folder. Here is the folder I’m going to dedicate to all of the big files for this blog. Check it out folks.
See that? You don’t even need to authenticate because it passes a key along with the link.
The primary purpose for me to start this blog was to highlight a few of those war stories I’ve got of saving the day. I will leave the names of the clients I’ve had out of this.
So here is a rather recent event. A whole lot of us were on a rather large contract, and the client failed to get paperwork completed on time to keep us on site. We were sent home on mandatory vacation. While on vacation, I learned that there might not be funding for my position after we got back. I spent the time looking for another position. Anyway, three weeks pass and we finally get back to work. A few days later, a guy asks me why he can’t see Title on one of his libraries. After looking at that library for a minute, then others on the same site, then all the way to the Title site column of the whole site collection. Yes, you may have guessed it, Title had been set to hidden and cascaded through the whole site collection.
Now, in a happy world, I’d just run to the farm admin and ask him to restore from a backup, but that wasn’t going to be possible. It happened a week after we left the client’s site. It was another three weeks before I learned of this, so all of the documents that had been edited and pages that had been modified would have been lost if we restored from the last good backup. The only other contractor working on SharePoint with me spent seven days going to every single list and library in the site collection, converted all of them to manage content types, and set Title to required, optional, or hidden as required. I spent only two days on the task before I started to work on my last project before leaving to start with a new company.
Obviously, never screw with the out of the box (OOTB) site columns.
Don’t let qualified people have full control permissions at the root of a site collection. For the record, I had previously stated the one responsible should not have permissions there, but I’m only a contractor.
Your farm admin should have a list of daily tasks and weekly tasks. Somewhere among them should include a series of tests to check for changes via the audit log. You can never expect communication to work properly even if you think you have a good change management process in place, so you need to have someone checking these logs often.
Don’t expect a lot of love from the ones who enabled the person who did this when you fix it. This was a very public airing of dirty laundry. Just do your job and take notes.
Firstly, I wanted to explore a few war stories and tell you about those SharePoint challenges I’ve faced over the years. I hope to bring on a couple others to share their experiences as well. I’ve maintained madwhitehatter.com for the last few years, but that was a blog using Office365, which has stopped allowing new public-facing sites. It was also a domain to cover far more than just SharePoint; it was mainly aimed at hacking and security. That was the goal nyway.
Secondly, I’m making a new start with a new company. As a farewell gift, my coworker gave me the coolest picture ever. She grabbed a little bit of everything about me and had an artist put it all into one graphic that says a lot about who I am. Most of the clients I’ve had over the last several years were tied to the Army and I was in the Army for 10 years. I’m kind of grumpy, like Tartar Sauce (the coolest cat to grace the internet). Lastly, when someone needs help, I’m the hero.
Honestly, I know a lot of people in this business who are far smarter than I am, especially when it comes to adding code to a page to render data better or change the UI/UX; but, I’ve often been the only one for them to come to their aid. I have been in the customer service business my whole life, not just in IT. The truth is that we all are in the customer service business whether we like to admit it or not. Taking the time and patience with the customers, whether you can solve their issue right then or not, goes a long way. You also need to genuinely give a damn, and I do. It isn’t just a job.